Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Palestine Must Strengthen Torture Prevention Measures, UN Body Finds

GENEVA (25 September 2023) – The State of Palestine needs to improve the effectiveness of the fundamental legal safeguards against torture and ill-treatment, especially from the first moments of detention, experts from the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) concluded after their first visit.

“The delegation received full cooperation from the Palestinian authority to visit places of deprivation of liberty in the West Bank, but we regret that, despite all efforts, we were unable to visit detention facilities in Gaza,” said Daniel Fink, head of the delegation.

During its visit, from 10 to 21 September, the delegation visited 18 detention places in different locations in the West Bank, including prisons, police stations, facilities of the security forces, a psychiatric hospital and a military detention centre.

The delegation met with high-level officials, notably the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Interior, who coordinates the National Team for Monitoring the State's Commitments. The experts also had meetings with various authorities, including security agencies, the Supreme Judicial Council, the Attorney General, the Judicial Council of the Security Forces, the Independent Commission on Human Rights, involving its Gaza branch, the Bar association, civil society organisations, including those from Gaza, as well as other UN bodies.

The State of Palestine has been a party to the Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol since 2014 and 2017, respectively. The Government has done much since then, including recently positive relevant amendments to the penal code. However, the delegation stated that its concerns remained, such as the implementation of legal safeguards during detention and the effective establishment of a monitory body, officially called the national preventive mechanism (NPM).

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

The delegation also engaged, at the technical level, with entities working on drafting legislation related to the long overdue national preventive mechanism.

“We hope that our visit will lead to the effective establishment of the preventive mechanism within a short period of time,” said the head of the delegation. “In particular, we look forward to seeing an independent body that can carry out its mandate in accordance with the State’s legal international obligations, including unannounced visits to any places of deprivation of liberty,” he added.

A confidential report will be sent to the Palestinian authority in the coming months, which the delegation encourages the State party to make public.

The SPT delegation was composed of Daniel Fink, head of Delegation (Switzerland), Abdallah Ounnir (Morocco), Carmen Comas-Mata Mira (Spain), and Hamida Dridi (Tunisia). The delegation was accompanied by two human rights officers from the Secretariat of the Subcommittee.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.