34th Human Rights Council – Torture

NEWS RELEASES – On 2nd March 2017, the Human Rights Council carried out a clustered Interactive Dialogue (ID) to exchange on torture. Mauritania and Sri Lanka had five minutes to explain the new policies they did to reduce this practice in their countries and to promote Human Rights values. Then, other countries expressed their concern on this topic in two minutes, underlining what they think it’s important to focus on. 



Islamic Republic of Mauritania (5’)

The country explained what they did to prevent act of tortures on their citizens. In January 2016, the Special Rapporteur on torture came to visit the prisons and made some critics. Mauritania explained the details they had to change but they refuted three points:

  • Prisons. Violence on inmates only when they are violent.
  • Refugees. There is no violence against them, they are protected.
  • Senegal. Senegalese people are not suffering violence and are always welcome.

Mauritania also explained that they have new laws banning Female genital mutilation (FGM) with the intensification of prison term.  


Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (5’)

Sri Lanka explained that they have followed the advices from the Special Rapporteur and the ICRC. Some points have to be improved but the situation is better. Nevertheless, Sri Lanka is asking for help regarding the definition of torture and terrorism.


General discussion by countries (2’)

A lot of countries supported the work of the Special Rapporteur and the conclusions of his report. Some countries focused on different points of the situation. This report is going to present some of them:

  • Republic of Finland urged the importance to focus on Human Rights defenders who protect women and LGBTI rights. They asked: what kind of protection do they have in the national legal framework?
  • French Republic explained they want to support Human Rights defenders. They want to work on the Convention against Torture (CTI) to put it into concrete practice by 2024.  
  • Swiss Confederation and Netherlands explained their concern on the actual situation of Human Rights defenders. The raise of cruel treatments because of security (in the case of terrorism for example) is not acceptable and they need to be more protected. The Swiss ambassador insisted in creating a new plan to increase cooperation between states and to reduce this kind of violation.
  • Russian Federation didn’t support the Special Rapporteur and commented his methodology to do his report. They don’t want to work with UN Women and think it’s not the main problem in Russia. They want to focus on Human Rights Defenders who want to protest against the government. Russia explained this is a danger for the Russia stability. 


Par Sonia Rodríguez - Project Coordinator at CIPADH