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Pakistan: UN reports of 48 people executed in the last 4 months and 8000 who remain on death row

last updated Mar 23, 2015 Since December 2014, when Pakistan’s authorities reversed the death penalty moratorium, 48 people were executed. 8000 people still remain on death row, including several hundreds who were convicted for crimes committed as juveniles. UN experts criticised this practice as a violation of several international human rights treaties to which Pakistan is legally bound . Last week, Muhammad Afza, who reportedly was 16 at the time of the offense, was executed despite interventions by human rights groups.

Georgia: UNSRT presents preliminary findings of the latest country visit: positive accomplishments in the treatment of prisoners since the October 2012 parliamentary election

last updated Mar 23, 2015 Juan E. Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (UNSRT), presented his preliminary findings of his latest country visit to Georgia.

UNSRT: “Detention of children is inextricably linked with ill-treatment”

last updated Mar 18, 2015 The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture presented to the Human Rights Council his latest thematic report on juveniles in detention, in which he concludes that “the detention of children is inextricably linked – in fact if not in law – with the ill-treatment of children, owing to the particularly vulnerable situation in which they have been placed that exposes them to numerous types of risk.”

Afghanistan: Number of detainees tortured or ill-treated decreased by 14 % in last two years

last updated Mar 02, 2015 The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published a new report on the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan, in which it welcomed a decrease of 14% in the practice of torture and ill-treatment compared to the previous reporting period two years ago. However, further steps need to be done since one third of the Afghanistan’s detainees are still exposed to torture and ill-treatment.

Bahamas: Migrants detained under inhuman conditions of detention

last updated Feb 24, 2015 The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS) examined reports on the treatment of detainees at the main immigration detention centre on the Bahamas and concluded that the detention conditions under which people are deprived of liberty amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

Syria: Torture still widespread and systematic and used by all sides

last updated Feb 24, 2015 The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, urged the Syrian authorities to immediately take steps to end the continuing use of torture by Syrian security forces. Amnesty International (AI) also voiced their concern about the systematic use of torture by Syrian opposition armed groups including ISIS.

Australia: Human Rights Commission criticises detention of migrant children

last updated Feb 17, 2015 The Australian Human Rights Commission published a report on children in immigration detention, in which it criticised the Australian government for its constant failure to adequately adopt international standards in the treatment of detained children of migrants and asylum seekers.

Iran: Juvenile offender to be executed after conviction based on evidence obtained under torture

last updated Feb 17, 2015 Amnesty International accuses the Iranian authorities of violating human rights law by executing the now 22-year old Saman Naseem. He was convicted for taking part in armed activities against the state, a crime which he was forced to confess under torture when he was 17 years old.

Iraq: Children tortured, abused and mass-executed by ISIS

last updated Feb 09, 2015 In the beginning of February, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) published its Concluding Observations on the treatment of children in Iraq and accused the militant forces of the so-called ISIS to systematically abuse, torture and kill children.

Philippines: “Wheel of torture” as part of the endemic torture routine

last updated Feb 02, 2015 Amnesty International (AI) reports about the “wheel of torture”, which was discovered in a secret detention centre in the Philippines and used by police officers for their own “torture show”. It is one of the latest discoveries in the endemic practice of torture and ill-treatment on detainees by the Philippines’ authorities.

USA: “Guantánamo Diary“ exposes daily ill-treatment of detainees

last updated Jan 19, 2015 After a six-year struggle with the US-authorities, Mohamedou Ould Slahi published his book “Guantánamo Diary” in which he describes his daily life at Guantánamo prison. Mohamedou, who is still detained at Guantánamo, exposes the excessive use of force and ill-treatment by security guards and reveals details of his own torture experiences.

Saudi Arabia: Blogger Raif Badawi publicly flogged

last updated Jan 13, 2015 On 9 January, Raif Badawi, a 30-year old blogger from Saudi Arabia was flogged 50 times in front of a mosque in Jeddah for establishing an online platform to promote political and religious discussions.

30th Anniversary of the UN Convention against Torture

last updated Dec 10, 2014 The 10 December 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Convention has currently 156 ratifications, and is considered as one of the core international human rights treaties.

United States: Long-awaited release of CIA’s torture report

last updated Dec 10, 2014 The long expected report about the CIA’s torture methods of the Senate Intelligence Committee was published on Tuesday. The US authorities were therefore stepping up their security measures in US facilities around the world to prevent possible security attacks, which they fear as a reaction on the report.

Morocco: Accession to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture

last updated Dec 01, 2014 Morocco acceded to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT) on 24 November 2014 and became its 76th State party. The State, which was visited by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez in 2012, will assign to the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) the National Preventive Mechanism under OPCAT. With the accession to OPCAT Morocco is one of the pioneers in the region of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the fourth State party, after Lebanon, Tunisia and Mauritania.

United States: Committee against Torture criticised excessive use of force and police brutality

last updated Dec 01, 2014 The Committee against Torture published its Concluding Observations on the situation of torture and ill-treatment in the United States. In light of the recent incidents of police shootings, the Committee criticised the numerous reports of police brutality and excessive use of force by police forces.

UAE: Government dismissed Amnesty International’s torture report as “one-sided and inaccurate”

last updated Nov 24, 2014 Amnesty International (AI) released a new report in which it accuses the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment and torture of its political critics. In turn, the government rejects the report as “one-sided and inaccurate”.

Austria: Ex-police officers convicted for torture state „we are the victims“

last updated Nov 22, 2014 In 2006, four policemen were found to have tortured an asylum seeker, Mr. Bakary J., after he forcefully resisted his deportation. They were sentenced to eight and six months imprisonment. Bakary J. is now seeking compensation money for his suffering as torture victim. Parallel to this, three of the four police officers are requesting to reopen the case because of newly discovered “discrepancies”.

Philippines: Zero convictions under the Anti-Torture Act since 2009 despite constant allegations of torture and ill-treatment

last updated Nov 19, 2014 In 2009, the Anti-Torture Act was passed by the Government of the Philippines, a landmark for the recognition of human rights in the country according to several international human rights organisations. For the first time, the Philippine legislation encompassed a law which constitutes torture as a separated crime and provides regulations to adequately redress victims of torture and other ill-treatment.

Gambia: UN Special Rapporteurs prevented from investigating in Gambia’s detention facilities

last updated Nov 19, 2014 Two UN Special Rapporteurs conducted their first visit to Gambia. Although they followed an invitation of the Gambian Government, they were prevented from completing their fact-finding mission due to denied access to a prison facility.

HRC: General Comment No.35 on Article 9 liberty and security of person published

last updated Nov 03, 2014 The Human Rights Committee (HRC) published its new General Comment on Article 9 the right to liberty and security of person of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In its General Comment No.35, the HRC discussed several issues related to Article 9 including, amongst others, the definition of arbitrary detention, procedural safeguards, detention in armed conflicts, and the states duty’s regarding persons deprived of liberty.

United States: 80.000 people detained in solitary confinement

last updated Oct 20, 2014 Amnesty International (AI) reported that at any given time approximately 80.000 people are detained in solitary confinement in the prison facilities of the United States (US). AI stated that no other country is known to keep more detainees in isolation.

Austria: Authorities fail to adequately investigate and respond to ill-treatment of detainees

last updated Oct 20, 2014 The Austrian newspaper Falter published an article in which it accuses the Austrian authorities to repeatedly fail to adequately investigate and respond to several cases of ill-treatment of detainees by prison staff including the case of the 74-year old mentally challenged detainee who was neglected for months until the prison guards noticed a decay scent.

Germany: Footage shows “pictures that we only know from Guantanamo”

last updated Sep 29, 2014 Several newspapers reported the abusive and inhuman treatment of asylum seekers by security forces in refugee homes in Germany. Chief of Police Frank Richter stated that “these are pictures that we only know from Guantanamo”.

China: Trade of potential torture equipment booms

last updated Sep 29, 2014 Amnesty International (AI) published a new report in which it described the increasing trade of Chinese law enforcement equipment that is inherently inhuman and cruel and should therefore be banned. The report “China’s Trade in Tools of Torture and Repression” details the flourishing and lucrative manufacture and export of potential torture tools by Chinese companies and its use worldwide.

Eritrea: HRC announces members of Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea

last updated Sep 29, 2014 In June 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council established a Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea to investigate allegations of human rights abuses. Last week, the appointment of the members of the Commission, namely Mike Smith, Victor Dankwa and Sheila Keetharuth was announced by the President of the Human Rights Council.

Nigeria: Torture is “an integral part of policing in Nigeria“

last updated Sep 22, 2014 Amnesty International (AI) published a new report of the alarming situation of the routine use of torture and ill-treatment by security forces and stated that torture is “an integral part of policing in Nigeria.“

Azerbaijan: UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture suspends visit

last updated Sep 22, 2014 The OHCHR reported that the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), while conducting its monitoring visit to Azerbaijan, faced official obstruction to such an extent that it decided to suspend the visit.

Mexico: Torture and ill-treatment increased by 600% in the last decade

last updated Sep 15, 2014 Amnesty International (AI) released a new report drawing an alarming conclusion about torture and ill-treatment in Mexico. According to AI, reported cases of torture and ill-treatment rose by 600% over the past decade. However, impunity remained unimproved and only seven perpetrators have ever been convicted in federal courts.

China: Human rights defender Gao Zisheng released from prison, but in need of medical treatment

last updated Sep 03, 2014 Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was finally released from prison after years of detention but is still under surveillance by the Chinese authorities. According to his wife, he is in poor health due to inadequate detention conditions, and in urgent need of medical care.

Syria: UN report accuses the Syrian government and ISIS of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity

last updated Aug 29, 2014 A UN Commission released a report in which it accuses the Syrian government as well as the Islamist militant group ISIS, which seeks to establish a cross-border caliphate, of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, and urges the UN Security Council to bring them before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Egypt: 1150 protesters killed by police forces

last updated Aug 19, 2014 Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuses the Egyptian authorities of massive human rights violations referring to six demonstrations against the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsy in July and August 2013 in which at least 1150 people were killed by the police forces. Incidents which - according to HRW- can be considered crimes against humanity.

Philippines: Fight against the impunity of security forces

last updated Aug 19, 2014 In 2011, former Major General Jovito Palparan was indicted for torture, abduction and enforced disappearances and has now been arrested in Philippines’ capital Manila. According to Amnesty International (AI), the detention of Palparan is a positive sign that the Philippines’ authorities are finally starting to end the impunity of security forces who committed human rights violations.

Brazil: Widespread torture by security forces continues despite reforms

last updated Aug 01, 2014 Human Rights Watch (HRW) released an article, in which it highlights that despite important reforms the Brazilian government still has to implement more effective measures to combat torture. HRW found evidence of torture and ill-treatment of detainees by security forces or prison authorities in 64 cases since 2010.

United States: Prisoners detained in extreme solitary confinement

last updated Jul 21, 2014 Amnesty International (AI) accuses the US government of violating international law by detaining prisoners over prolonged duration in solitary confinement in the so-called Administrative Maximum facility near Florence, Colorado, a prison known as ADX Florence.

Libya: Detained migrants tortured and ill-treated

last updated Jun 30, 2014 Human Rights Watch (HRW) found evidence that security forces under the Libyan government regularly tortured and ill-treated migrant prisoners, including with severe beatings and electric shocks in several detention facilities. Amnesty International (AI) reported of migrants being subjected to arbitrary arrest, and denied access to information or medical care. Both organisations call the Libyan authorities as well as the European Union (EU) to account and urge them to immediately take steps against the unacceptable treatment of migrants in the country.

26th June: HUDI Team takes part to the Amnesty International Campaign “Gelbe Couch”

last updated Jun 26, 2014 Today, 26 June, is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture and the Team Human Dignity and Public Security (HUDI) of the Institute celebrates it by taking part in the Amnesty International Campaign “Gelbe Couch” in Vienna.

26th June: International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

last updated Jun 26, 2014 The 26th June is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On this occasion various human rights organisations raise awareness on the topic of torture and remind us that despite international standards and obligations torture and other forms of cruel and inhuman treatment still occurs.

Brazil: World Cup accompanied by excessive use of force, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment by police forces

last updated Jun 17, 2014 The World Cup started one week ago and demonstrations in Brazil are still ongoing. Thousands of Brazilians protest against government corruption and the poor level of healthcare, education and public transport in the light of excessive state spending for the World Cup. The state response to the demonstrations is alarming. Police forces try to repress the demonstrations with excessive use of force and violence against the protesters.

OHCHR: UN human rights expert calls for a global reform on laws on the use of force by the police

last updated Jun 17, 2014 In his recent report on the use of lethal force by law enforcement officials worldwide, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns calls upon a global reform on laws regulating the use of force by the police in order to meet international standards.

Bahrain: Released human rights activist Nabeel Rajab reported of torture and ill-treatment

last updated May 28, 2014 Human rights activist Nabeel Rajab was released from prison after serving his two years sentence for his involvement in “illegal gatherings” related to anti-government protests in Bahrain which started in 2011. He reported being subjected to ill-treatment and witnessed torture while deprived of liberty.

Austria: Detainee neglected for months by prison staff

last updated May 21, 2014 The newspaper Falter reported the case of an Austrian detainee neglected in his prison cell over months by the prison staff until they noticed a decay scent.

Amnesty International: New worldwide campaign against torture

last updated May 13, 2014 According to Amnesty International (AI), more than half of the 155 state parties who ratified the UN Convention against Torture (CAT) are still using torture and other forms of ill-treatment. For that reason, AI launched their new campaign “Stop Torture” to take further steps to combat torture and ill-treatment.

China: Human rights lawyers allege torture by police officers

last updated Apr 17, 2014 In China, four human rights lawyers accuse police officers of torturing them while being deprived of liberty for supporting participants of the Falun Gong movement. Human Rights Watch (HRW) urges the Government to immediately open an independent investigation.

Syria: Systematic torture constitutes a crime against humanity according to the UN

last updated Apr 15, 2014 The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a new paper confirming the systematic and widespread use of torture against the civilian population by the Syrian Government and armed opposition groups within the ongoing conflict.

United States: CIA accused to have lied about severity of torture methods and their effectiveness

last updated Apr 03, 2014 A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee which is responsible for the monitoring of the United States Intelligence Community accuses the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of misleading the government and the public about the post 9/11 program regarding the severity of torture methods and their effectiveness.

Egypt: UN states that the court procedure concerning 528 death sentences breaches international law and needs to be reviewed

last updated Apr 01, 2014 After the presumably largest mass death sentence in recent years by judges, the United Nations (UN) urges the Egyptian authorities to review the 528 death sentences to ensure new and fair trials under international human rights standards.

Sri Lanka: Systematic violence including torture and rape by security forces against Tamil people

last updated Mar 26, 2014 A new report accuses Sri Lanka’s security forces to still systematically use violence, including torture and rape, against Tamil men and women five years after the end of the brutal conflict between Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (Tamil Tigers). According to the report, torture and other ill-treatment is “approved by the highest levels of government”.

Vacancy: Intern/Volunteer

last updated Mar 26, 2014 The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights announces a vacancy as intern/volunteer in the team Human Dignity and Public Security Team.

North Korea: UN Commission of Inquiry reports on wide-ranging crimes against humanity

last updated Feb 20, 2014 The UN Commission of Inquiry in North Korea, established by the Human Rights Council in March 2013, just published its final report, in which it documents wide-ranging crimes against humanity arising from “policies established at the highest level of State”.

Iraq: Thousands of women illegally detained and tortured

last updated Feb 12, 2014 According to a report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW), Iraqi authorities are illegally detaining thousands of women. Many of them are subjected to torture and ill-treatment including rape or the threat of sexual abuse. Various international human rights groups complain about the failure of the Iraqi judicial system to investigate those allegations.

Ukraine: Allegations of torture and ill-treatment on an activist

last updated Feb 04, 2014 Dmytro Bulatov, one of the leading activists against the current Ukrainian authorities disappeared for eight days. He was recently found heavily injured in a village near Kiev and reported being kidnapped and tortured by unknown men.

Atlas of Torture: Final report on Togo published

last updated Jan 30, 2014 The Atlas of Torture project carried out by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights from 2010 to 2013 together with its local focal point YMCA publishes its final report on the project in Togo. The project gives a brief overview of the gaps and needs identified in the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in the country, describes the project activities carried out and their impact and analyses the follow-up to the project and how to advance in the prevention of torture.

Atlas of Torture: Final report on Moldova published

last updated Jan 30, 2014 The Atlas of Torture project carried out by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights from 2010 to 2013 publishes its final report on the project in Moldova. The project gives a brief overview of the gaps and needs identified in the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in the country, describes the project activities carried out and their impact and analyses the follow-up to the project and how to advance in the prevention of torture.

Syria: Photographs of detainees show “systematic” torture and killings

last updated Jan 21, 2014 On day before peace talks are due to begin in Switzerland, CNN and the Guardian reported that the Syrian authorities systematically tortured about 11.000 detainees during the ongoing uprising. They referred to a report published by three former war crime prosecutors which "documented industrial-scale killing".

Vacancy: Full time position in the team Human Dignity and Public Security

last updated Jan 14, 2014 The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights is seeking a researcher and project officer for the team Human Dignity and Public Security.

UK: Dossier of systematic use of torture by British troops in Iraq submitted to the ICC

last updated Jan 14, 2014 The Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) submitted a 250-page dossier to the International Criminal Court (ICC) stating that high-level authorities of the British government and military are allegedly responsible for a systematic use of torture by British soldiers in Iraq between 2003 and 2008.

Cambodia: Excessive use of force against protesters leads to five deaths

last updated Jan 08, 2014 On 3 January, Cambodian authorities reacted to the ongoing demonstrations against low garment factory wages and the July 2013 elections with excessive use of force against protesters. According to the United Nations (UN), five people were killed by security forces, 20 people were injured by gunfire and beatings, and 23 more people were detained. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

Syria: “Crime against humanity” according to the U.N.

last updated Dec 20, 2013 The U.N. accuses the Syrian government of committing a crime against humanity. According to a report released by the U.N., enforced disappearances are a widespread and systematically used method of the Syrian authorities.

Atlas of Torture: Final report on Paraguay published

last updated Dec 19, 2013 The Atlas of Torture project carried out by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights from 2010 to 2013 together with its local focal point CODEHUPY publishes its final report on the project in Paraguay. The project gives a brief overview of the gaps and needs identified in the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in the country, describes the project activities carried out and their impact and analyses the follow-up to the project and how to advance in the prevention of torture.

Mexico: Allegations of torture and other ill-treatment by security forces rose by 500% between 2006-2012

last updated Dec 18, 2013 Amnesty International reported widespread and systematically use of torture and other ill-treatment by state security forces including amongst others the police and the military. Mexican authorities tolerates these methods of investigation in order to gain statistics suggesting that “the police are fighting crime effectively.“

China: Progress in the abolishment of labour camps and death penalty

last updated Dec 10, 2013 The state Xinhua news agency announced that the authorities at the Communist party’s third plenum decided a 60-point policy directive which contains a number of “promises to improve human rights in the judicial system” including the abolishment of labour camps and the gradual reduction of crimes subjected to capital punishment.

Tunisia: HRW reported about the conditions of pre-trial detainees

last updated Dec 10, 2013 Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report concerning the situation of pre-trial detainees in Tunisia. The report examines the treatment of persons deprived of liberty in pre-trial detention, gaps in the system of legal safeguards against mistreatment and the conditions of pre-trial detention.

Cambodia: Torture and ill-treatment in drug detention centres

last updated Dec 10, 2013 Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report in which it accuse the Cambodian authorities to unlawfully detain hundreds of people in drug detention centres where they are exposed to torture, ill-treatment and forced labor. HRW urges the authorities to immediately release all persons deprived of liberty including drug users, sex workers and children.

Mali: Investigations in the „Missing Red Berets“ case started

last updated Dec 03, 2013 The Malian justice opened criminal investigations against 20 soldiers and officers who are allegedly responsible for the arrest and enforced disappearance of some 20 so-called “Red Berets” in May 2012. One of the accused is General Amadou Haya Sanogo.

Ghana: UNSRT concludes fact-finding mission

last updated Nov 20, 2013 On 14 November 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (UNSRT) concluded his visit to Ghana and presented his preliminary observations on the situation of torture and ill-treatment in the country.

Tunisia: First National Preventive Mechanism established in the MENA-region

last updated Nov 13, 2013 With the establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), Tunisia fulfilled part of its obligations which came along with the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) in June 2011.

South Africa: Allegations of torture and ill-treatment in private prison run by G4S

last updated Oct 29, 2013 According to various newspapers, the G4S-prison staff of South Africa’s private prison “Mangaung Correctional Centre” is accused of torture and ill-treatment of detainees including electric shocks and forced medical treatment. The government as well as G4S itself launched investigations in the allegations.

Ethiopia: Detainees tortured and ill-treated in the capital’s main detention centre

last updated Oct 25, 2013 Maekelawi, the main detention centre in Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa, was the location of cruel human rights violations, according to a report of Human Rights Watch (HRW). Political detainees have allegedly been tortured and ill-treated by the security forces.

Iraq: 42 executions in only two days

last updated Oct 15, 2013 The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) as well as Amnesty International (AI) urges the Iraqi authorities to immediately halt all executions, after 42 people were executed in two days. Those executions were criticized in particular due to the “World Day against Death Penalty” which took place in the same week.

Turkey: CPT publishes report of its June 2012 visit

last updated Oct 10, 2013 The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published the report of its ad hoc visit in June 2012 to Turkey, together with the response of the Turkish authorities.

USA: The longest solitary confinement in history

last updated Oct 09, 2013 Juan E. Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture urges the U.S. government to end prolonged or indefinite solitary confinement, especially in regard of the cases of Albert Woodfox, who is still held in solitary confinement since 1972 and Herman Wallace, who died two days after his release of 41 years solitary confinement – according to the legal team of Mr. Wallace the longest solitary confinement in the history of the United States.

Brazil: Police officers charged with torture

last updated Oct 03, 2013 On Wednesday, homicide investigators said they would charge ten police officers with torture and murder in the disappearance allegedly of Amarildo de Souza, a construction worker from Rochina, one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela and problem area.

Afghanistan: Government establishes a committee to end torture

last updated Oct 01, 2013 Over the past years, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other human rights organizations have repeatedly documented cases of Afghan detainees who were exposed to torture and other ill-treatment. On September 8th, 2013, the Afghan president Hamid Karzai established a new committee in order to “study the general conditions of prisons and detention centers, along with the condition and situation of prisoners and detainees.”

Bahrain: Children detained routinely by security forces

last updated Sep 24, 2013 Bahrain is state party of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which requires governments to protect children from torture and other ill-treatment and to guarantee special protections for all child detainees. However, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released an article, based on reports from victims, family members and legal rights activists, in which they accuse the Bahraini’s authorities to routinely detain children and to subject them to ill-treatment, especially in relation to the anti-government protests since 2011.

North Korea: UN offers first update about inquiry on torture and inhuman treatment in prison camps

last updated Sep 19, 2013 The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) presented its first findings of widespread and serious human rights violations including torture, inhuman treatment, sexual violence, arbitrary detention and other “unspeakable atrocities” in the country’s prison camps.

China: Detained Chinese official died allegedly due to waterboarding

last updated Sep 06, 2013 A state-run newspaper reported on the death of the 42-year-old Yu Qiyi who died on the 9th April this year, allegedly due to waterboarding during an investigation in a secret detention centre run by the Communist party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

USA: Still no agreement between prison authorities and inmates – the hunger-strike continues

last updated Sep 04, 2013 At the beginning of July 2013, about 30 000 prison inmates started a hunger-strike to protest against inhuman conditions of detention, especially solitary confinement. According to information of Amnesty International (AI), more than 70 people are still refusing food.

Latvia: CPT reports ill-treatment and inhuman conditions of detention

last updated Aug 28, 2013 The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) released a country report based on its visit in 2011 including allegations of physical ill-treatment by police officers from persons in police custody. The CPT released its report together with the response of Latvian authorities.

Egypt: Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood allegedly tortured and killed in police custody

last updated Aug 20, 2013 Allegations of torture occurred after the death of 36 Muslim brotherhood followers while being deprived of their liberty. Egyptian officials stated in the first instance that the detainees were killed in the course of an escape attempt, whereas the Muslim Brotherhood stated that they were tear-gassed and shot while being locked in a police van.

Russia: HRW reports arbitrary detention and inhuman detention conditions of migrants

last updated Aug 13, 2013 In Moscow the police arrested thousands of people who allegedly do not have a legal residence or working permit just on the basis that they did not have a “Slavic” appearance. Hundreds of them are still kept in police detention centres, holding centres for foreign nationals or in a makeshift tent camp in Eastern Moscow.

Taiwan: Death of recruit due to ill-treatment

last updated Aug 08, 2013 On 4th of July, a young Taiwanese recruit died due to the ill-treatment of his superiors. Now the Taiwan authorities are under strain. According to a report of the Standard, between 100 000 and 200 000 people were demonstrating in the capital Taipeh, demanding the “truth” about the circumstances of the man’s death.

Brazil: Law for National Preventive Mechanism against torture and ill-treatment signed

last updated Aug 06, 2013 President Dilma Rousseff signed a law for establishing a National System to Prevent and Combat Torture including a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) against torture and ill-treatment. With the new law Brazil meets the standards of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture ratified in 2007.

Central African Republic: UN experts warn about widespread torture, ill-treatment and sexual violence

last updated Aug 06, 2013 Several UN experts raised their deep concerns about the human rights violations in the Central African Republic. In a press release of 5 August 2013 they criticized ongoing killings, torture, arbitrary detention, gender-based violence, enforced disappearances and 'mob justice' and warned about the rising insecurity and the absence of rule law over the last five month.

Malaysia: Increasing number of deaths in police custody

last updated Aug 01, 2013 Amnesty International (AI) released an article in which they urge the Malaysian authorities to immediately take steps against the rising number of deaths in police custody, some of them caused by torture and other ill-treatment.

South Africa: Legislation to prevent and combat torture signed by President Zuma

last updated Aug 01, 2013 South African President Jacob Zuma has signed the "Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act" into law which represents a great step forward in the battle to reduce police violence, torture and ill-treatment.

USA: US Senate held its first Guantanamo hearings since 2009

last updated Jul 25, 2013 After President Obama renewed his urge to close Guantanamo Bay detention centre this May, the US Senate held its first US congressional hearing on the issue in Washington DC on 24 July 2013. It was the first session since 2009. The Senate judiciary committee started to examine proposals to enable the closure of the detention centre. In the recent weeks and months over half of the detainees have been participating in a hunger strike urging for an end of their indefinite detention.

Australia: Rape and torture allegations in asylum seeker detention centre

last updated Jul 25, 2013 In an Australian-run detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus island claims of torture and rape have been occurred. At least six detainees have been raped and some had been forced to sew their lips together by fellow detainees. Such brutal assaults happen almost daily, stated Ron St. George, the former head of occupational health and safety at the centre. He stated further that immigration centre staff did not act promptly and sufficiently because they do not have means to separate detainees when such incidents happen.

Lebanon: Allegations of torture, ill-treatment and enforced disappearances

last updated Jul 25, 2013 According to an article of Human Rights Watch (HRW), several released detainees reported of being tortured and ill-treated by the Lebanon army while they were deprived of liberty at various army checkpoints, following clashes with armed supporters of Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir in June 2013 in the southern city of Saida.

USA: Prisoners in solitary detention on hunger strike for about two weeks

last updated Jul 21, 2013 On 8 July 2013 detainees in California and as well as out-of-state detained Californians started a hunger strike to protest against inhuman conditions of detention, especially solitary confinement. In the beginning 30,000 had been refusing food, work and class. Solitary Watch, a web-based platform against solitary confinement, referring to official figures of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) stated that 1,457 individuals in 15 prisons across the state are still considered to be on hunger strike.

Syria: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, urges for truce in Syria

last updated Jul 21, 2013 Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights gave an overview about the situation in Syria in a briefing to the United Nations Security Council delivered by Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and calls all sides of the conflict to stop the atrocities and to respect their obligations by international law.

Yemen: Ethiopian migrants captured in “torture camps”

last updated Jul 19, 2013 Each year, about eighty thousand Ethiopian refugees try to come to Saudi Arabia. They get smuggled in boats across the Red Sea to the coasts of Yemen and then have to trek about five hundred kilometres to reach the Saudi borders. BBC released an article, in which the Ethiopian migrants spoke about their experiences and also report on so-called “torture camps”.

Austria: Four cases of sexual abuse in juvenile detention centres since January

last updated Jul 10, 2013 According to an article in the Standard, three more cases of sexual abuse in juvenile detention centres emerged, following the rape case of a 14-year old boy in pre-trial confinement in the detention centre Vienna-Josefstadt. Sven Pöllauer, spokesman of Minister of Justice Beatrix Karl and the head of the department for detention centres in Austria” Peter Prechtl confirmed the incidents.

Senegal/Chad: Hissène Habré's arrest a 'milestone for justice'

last updated Jul 10, 2013 The former president of Chad, Hissène Habré, who is allegedly responsible for the killing and torture of thousands of people during his eight-year reign in the 1980s, has been arrested by the police in Senegal where he has been living for 21 years after he was ousted during a coup.

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