UN torture prevention body to make first visit to Morocco
At the end of the visit, the SPT will present its confidential preliminary observations to the Government of Morocco
International obligations must be translated in practice and real changes for people on the ground
The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) is due to make its first visit to Morocco from 22 to 28 October to advise the Government on the establishment of a national detention monitoring body, officially known as the National Prevention Mechanism (NPM). The SPT will also assess the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty and the measures taken for their protection against torture and ill-treatment.
“International obligations must be translated in practice and real changes for people on the ground. Under OPCAT, the first step to ensure detainees are protected from torture and ill-treatment would be to establish an independent, effective and well-resourced National Preventive Mechanism,” said Hans-Jörg Bannwart, who will head the SPT delegation.
The SPT has a mandate to visit all States that are parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). States parties are obliged to set up a National Prevention Mechanism within one year of ratifying OPCAT. Although Morocco ratified the OPCAT in November 2014, the NPM is yet to be established.
Among the places the SPT delegation is due to visit are prisons and police stations. The experts will also meet government officials, the Judiciary, the National Council for Human Rights, UN agencies and representatives of civil society.
At the end of the visit, the SPT will present its confidential preliminary observations to the Government of Morocco.
For the SPT, the key to preventing torture and ill-treatment lies in building constructive relations with the State concerned, and its guiding principles are cooperation and confidentiality.
The SPT delegation will comprise the following members: Mr. Hans-Jörg Viktor Bannwart (Head of delegation, Switzerland), Mr. Gnambi Garba Kodjo (Togo), Ms. Radhia Nasraoui (Tunisia), Ms. Catherine Paulet (France) and Mr. Satyabhooshun Gupt Domah (Mauritius).
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).