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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/63/175
28 July 2008

Original: English

Sixty-third session
Item 67 (a) of the provisional agenda*
Promotion and protection of human rights: implementation of human rights instruments


Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Note by the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the members of the General Assembly the interim report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, submitted in accordance with Assembly resolution 62/148.

_______________
* A/63/150.



Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment


Summary

In the present report, submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 62/148, the Special Rapporteur addresses issues of special concern to him, in particular overall trends and developments with respect to questions falling within his mandate.

The Special Rapporteur draws the attention of the General Assembly to the situation of persons with disabilities, who are frequently subjected to neglect, severe forms of restraint and seclusion, as well as physical, mental and sexual violence. He is concerned that such practices, perpetrated in public institutions, as well as in the private sphere, remain invisible and are not recognized as torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The recent entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol provides a timely opportunity to review the anti-torture framework in relation to persons with disabilities. By reframing violence and abuse perpetrated against persons with disabilities as torture or a form of ill-treatment, victims and advocates can be afforded stronger legal protection and redress for violations of human rights.

In section IV, the Special Rapporteur examines the use of solitary confinement. The practice has a clearly documented negative impact on mental health, and therefore should be used only in exceptional circumstances or when absolutely necessary for criminal investigation purposes. In all cases, solitary confinement should be used for the shortest period of time. The Special Rapporteur draws attention to the Istanbul Statement on the Use and Effects of Solitary Confinement, annexed to the report, as a useful tool to promote the respect and protection of the rights of detainees.



Contents


Paragraphs
Page
I.
Introduction
1-4
4
II.
Activities related to the mandate
5-36
4
III.
Protecting persons with disabilities from torture
37-76
8
A.Legal framework for the protection of persons with disabilities from torture
42-44
9
B.Applying the torture and ill-treatment protection framework to persons with disabilities
45-69
10
C.Conclusions and recommendations
70-76
18
IV.
Solitary confinement .
77-85
18
Annex
Istanbul Statement on the Use and Effects of Solitary Confinement.
22



I. Introduction

1. The present report is the tenth submitted to the General Assembly by the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 62/148 (para. 32). It is the fourth report submitted by the present mandate holder, Manfred Nowak. The report includes issues of special concern to the Special Rapporteur, in particular overall trends and developments with respect to issues falling within his mandate.

/...

II. Activities related to the mandate

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Country visits

/...

10. The Special Rapporteur recalls requests for invitations sent to the following States: Algeria (request first made in 1997); Afghanistan (2005); Belarus (2005); Bolivia (2005); Côte d’Ivoire (2005); Egypt (1996); Eritrea (2005); Ethiopia (2005); Fiji (2006); Gambia (2006); India (1993); Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2005); Israel (2002); Liberia (2006); Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (2005); Papua New Guinea (2006); Saudi Arabia (2005); Syrian Arab Republic (2005); Tunisia (1998); Turkmenistan (2003); Uzbekistan (2006); Yemen (2005); and Zimbabwe (2005). He regrets that some of these requests are long-standing.

/...

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