Written statement submitted by Amnesty International, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status

Written statement submitted by Amnesty International, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status

United Nations Human Rights Council | February 25, 2010
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Amnesty International’s reaction to the report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment on his visit to Equatorial Guinea

"Amnesty International welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment his visit to Equatorial Guinea in November 2008 (A/HRC/13/39/Add.4). This visit signaled willingness on the part of the Government to open their detention facilities to scrutiny and to seek advice on strengthening the related legal, policy and administrative framework. While welcoming this positive development, Amnesty International is concerned that the Special Rapporteur on torture was prevented from visiting military detention sites and that he was unable to undertake follow-up visits to the facilities in Malabo and Bata, the purpose of which – at least in part – was to ensure no reprisals had taken place against individuals who had already met with the Special Rapporteur. All states are expected to cooperate with Special Procedure mandate-holders at all stages of country missions, including by complying fully with the 1998 Terms of Reference for Fact-Finding Missions of the Special Procedures. 

The Special Rapporteur concluded that torture is systematically practiced in Equatorial Guinea and made a number of recommendations, which to date have not been acted upon by the authorities.  Some of his recommendations built on those previously made following a visit by the UN Working Group on arbitrary detention in 2007, which had not been implemented either. Amnesty International  notes that, during the recent review of Equatorial Guinea under the Universal Periodic Review, the Government indicated its readiness to consider UPR recommendations pertaining to the implementation of the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations and to the issue of torture and ill-treatment more generally..."

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