Prevention of Torture: A human rights body suspends Rwanda visit citing obstructions

GENEVA / KIGALI (20 October 2017) - The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) has suspended its visit to Rwanda due to the lack of cooperation with the Government and to a series of obstructions. of detention and in assuring the confidentiality of interviews with people deprived of their liberty. The SPT also received allegations that some interviewees could face reprisals.

The delegation suspended their mission on the seven-day visit, which precluded the application of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT). This is the third time in 10 years that the SPT has suspended a mission.

"Said Arman Danielyan, head of the STP delegation, said:" We have been forced to do so in certain places, and serious limitations have been imposed on certain places of detention. "We have also been unable to carry their private and confidential interviews with some of their liberty. Moreover, many of those we have managed to interview. We must not place people in danger, "he added.

The delegation concluded that the visit was so compromised to such an extent that it could not be

Under the provisions of the OPCAT, the SPT has the mandate to visit and may be detained. The visited country must grant the opportunity to the delegation to their private liberty, without witnesses.

The SPT mission to Rwanda also aims at the establishment of a National Monitoring Mechanism (NPM), which according to the OPCAT should have a similar status as SPT and should have already been in place in Rwanda. The delegation also regrets that it was unable to meet the expectations of the NPM Law Committee.

For the SPT, the key to preventing torture and ill-treatment in relation to constructive relations with the State concerned, and its guiding principles are cooperation and confidentiality.

"Now we call on the Government of Rwanda to further its cooperation with us and we hope that we will be able to do so. of an independent and effective National Preventive Mechanism in the country "said the head of delegation.

Mr. Arman Danielyan (Head of Delegation, Armenia), Ms. Margarete Osterfeld (Germany), Mr. Kosta Mitrovic (Serbia), Ms. Zdenka Perovic (Montenegro) and Ms. Aneta Stanchevska (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).


For more information and media inquiries, please contact:

In Rwanda: Joao Nataf, +41 (0) 79 221 80 74 /

In Geneva: Jeremy Laurence, + 41 (0) 22 91 793 83 /


The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to date, been ratified by 84 countries. The SPT communicates with its recommendations and observations to the country by a confidential report and, if necessary, to national preventive mechanisms. The SPT is guided by the principles of confidentiality and cooperation.

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