The Secretary of UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, Mr. Patrice Gillibert visits Haigazian University
Beirut, February 10, 2010- On February 8, 2010, Mr. Patrice Gillibert, Secretary of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture paid a visit to Haigazian University.
Gillibert had an educational and beneficial encounter with the Haigazian University administration, in addition to a select group of students.
Gillibert made a presentation on a new United Nations human rights mechanism, the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), established under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).
The objective of the OPCAT is to establish a system of regular visits undertaken by independent international (the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture) and national bodies to places where people are deprived of their liberty, in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Gillibert announced that Lebanon is the only country in Arab world which had ratified the OPCAT and hence, it can play a role model to the countries of the region. The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture will undertake a visit to Lebanon during the second half of April 2010. As provided for under the OPCAT, the subcommittee’s members – who are independent experts- have the right to immediate access to all places of detention such as prisons, police stations, psychiatric wards, airports and so on, without any prior notice or authorization during their stay in the country.
Gillibert also stressed on the issue of confidentiality; visits are carried out in strict confidentiality and confidential reports are submitted afterwards to the Government of the state in question. The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture publishes the report, together with comments from the State party, whenever requested to do so by the State party.
Gillibert concluded his presentation by describing the UN Subcommittee’s role in advising and assisting in establishing independent national preventive mechanisms of torture in States parties to the OPCAT.
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