Posts Tagged ‘UN Convention against Torture’

26 June: Torture issues in Hong Kong and Thailand

June 26, 2017

This week, to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, celebrated annually on 26 June, Just Asia has a special report on Hong Kong’s plan [not sure but still…] to withdraw from the UN Convention against Torture.  The reason for such a withdrawal is a misguided attempt to address the rise in torture protection claimants in Hong Kong and block “fake” refugees, as well as solve the issue of illegal workers. In the video report Just Asia speaks to three prominent persons in the city to discuss their views. Puja Kapai is the Director of Hong Kong University’s Centre for Comparative and Public Law; Mark Daly is a human rights lawyer with Daly and Associates; as is Patricia Ann Ho. The three discuss how such a withdrawal will impact Hong Kong’s international standing, Hong Kong’s human rights protections, and whether it will truly make a difference to the city’s numerous torture claimants. [for other Just Asia posts: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/just-asia/]

In the same context of anti-torture work in Asia, Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists issued today a statement calling on Thailand to finally follow through on commitments to prevent torture and ill-treatment. They regret repeated delays to the finalisation and passage of Thailand’s Draft Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act……Similarly, Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists urge Thailand to move ahead with its commitment to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which obligates authorities to establish a National Preventive Mechanism.. as well as to allow such visits by an international expert body. Such independent scrutiny is critical to prevent torture and other ill-treatment, including through implementing their detailed recommendations based on visits. Authorities should also act immediately on the commitment made at Thailand’s Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2016, to inspect places of detention in line with the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, also known as the Nelson Mandela Rules….

Acts of torture and other ill-treatment in Thailand have rarely been investigated in a prompt, impartial, independent and efficient manner, as required by the Convention against Torture, and perpetrators of such acts have seldom been held to account. Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists urge authorities to ensure that such investigations are undertaken into all credible reports of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The scope, methods and findings of such investigations should be made public. Where sufficient, admissible evidence is gathered, perpetrators should be prosecuted in fair trials in civilian courts.

Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists also notes with concern the criminal prosecution or threats of prosecution—often under criminal defamation provisions—of victims of torture, their family members, and human rights defenders who have raised allegations of torture, including with a view to seeking redress. The organizations urge that such threats, investigations, charges, prosecution or other proceedings against these persons be are withdrawn and charges dropped, and that authorities take steps to create an enabling environment for freedom of expression in which people are able to seek redress and raise concerns about torture publicly without fear of reprisal or recrimination….

[see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/thailand/]

http://reliefweb.int/report/thailand/thailand-amnesty-international-and-international-commission-jurists-call-thailand

 

Sir Nigel Rodley – a giant human rights scholar – passed away

January 26, 2017

It is with great sadness that I learnt of the death of my old friend Nigel Rodley at the age of 75. From 1973 to 1990, he was the first Legal Adviser of Amnesty International (I was Executive Secretary of the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva at the time) and in that capacity we met often and worked together on many projects, in particular the coming about of the International Convention Against Torture. Nigel went on to become the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Torture, President of the International Commission of Jurists, Chairman of the UN Human Rights Committee and a long-time professor and Chair of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. We saw each other last year at the anniversary party of our common friend Leah Levin and he was as sharp as ever. Reed Brody on his Facebook page wrote rightly: “Sir Nigel Rodley, one of the legends in the field of international human rights“. We will miss him.

If you would like to see and hear him, go to the minutes 34-48 in the video report of 2016 contained in: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/02/10/video-to-learn-more-about-the-nels… Read the rest of this entry »

Norbert Fanou-Ako protects children in Benin’s cycle of violence

December 8, 2015

In the series “10 December, 10 Defenders” [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/10-december-10-defenders-profiles-of-human-rights-defenders-against-torture/]the OMCT publishes today the case of “Benin: Meet Norbert: Better protecting children to break Benin’s cycle of violence. “Violence is the first inheritance of a child born within a violent family,” says Norbert Fanou-Ako.  As director of a non-governmental organization called Solidarity for Children in Africa and the World (ESAM) he is trying to break Benin’s vicious cycle of violence. The violence deeply engrained in this country starts at home and in school with commonplace whipping, caning, slapping and other uses of ill-treatment against children and then extends to regular beatings to force confessions out of suspected juvenile delinquents at police stations. Read the rest of this entry »

Adilur Rahman Khan speaks out against torture

December 2, 2014

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention against torture, the OMCT HAS launched its Campaign “10 Days of Activism against torture and ill-treatment” from the 1st to the 10th of December 2014. This is the first episode figuring human rights defender Adilur Rahman Khan, from Bangladesh. He was one of the 3 final nominees of the MEA 2014.

https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/adilur-rahman-khan/

 

OMCT launches again its 10 days campaign for and with Human Rights Defenders

November 26, 2014

OMCT-LOGOAs from 1 December the Geneva-based NGO OMCT will launch, for the 3rd year in a row, its Campaign “10 Days of Activism against torture and ill-treatment“(coinciding this year with the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention against torture). Through 10 videos, 10 human rights defenders will speak out against torture and discuss the importance of the UN Convention against Torture and its implementation in their respective countries under the slogan: “Nothing Can Justify Torture Under Any Circumstances!”. I will try and cover most of them, but you can also go to the OMCT website:

via 10 Days of Activism against torture and ill-treatment / November 25, 2014 / Events / Human rights defenders / OMCT.