last updated Oct 05, 2015 From 4 to 7 October 2015 the UN Special Rapportuer on Torture (UNSRT), Juan Méndez, carries out a follow-up visit to Ghana to discuss and assess the implementation of his recommendations issued after his mission in November 2013.
last updated Jul 06, 2015 Human rights organisations raise their concerns on the call of Eduardo Cunha, President of the Brazilian House of Representatives, to revote on the proposal to lower the age at which juveniles can be prosecuted as adults from 18 to 16 years.
last updated Jun 29, 2015 UN experts remind States of their obligations to guarantee international human rights standards also for migrants. At the same time, Amnesty International (AI) reports of conditions in immigrantion detention facilities that are significantly falling “below international and national standards and may amount to inhuman or degrading treatment.”
last updated Jun 26, 2015 On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) and the Human Rights Implementation Centre at the University of Bristol (HRIC) publish their study on enhancing the impact of torture prevention mechanisms operating in the EU, which highlights the need for a strategic, impact-oriented approach to strengthen follow-up on their recommendations.
last updated Jun 22, 2015 A new report by Amnesty International discloses shortcomings of the authorities of the United States in the implementation of international standards regarding the use of lethal forces by the police.
last updated Jun 22, 2015 Amnesty International reports of 84 children who are illegally detained for six months. They were arrested in the course of a school raid by Cameroon's authorities where several teachers were accused of running terrorist training camps.
last updated Jun 15, 2015 Amnesty International urges UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to reassert Uzbekistan's obligations under international human rights law in order to fight torture and other human rights abuses.
last updated Jun 09, 2015 The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea reports that torture, disappearances, forces labour, sexual violence and extrajudicial executions are widespread and sysemtatic in Eritrea.
last updated Jun 09, 2015 A new bill which would reduce the number of children deprived of liberty in the adult criminal justice system is up for vote in Florida's full Senate and House.
last updated May 26, 2015 The Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) presented its preliminary observations to the Guatemalan authorities and called for the improvement of independent monitoring bodies.
last updated May 26, 2015 The UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners were revised at the 24th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna and are now to be named "Mandela Rules" in honour of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela.
last updated May 11, 2015 UN human rights experts welcome the judgement of the Pakistani Supreme Court to suspend all executions imposed by military courts. The system of military courts was established to fight terrorism by the Pakistani authorities but has been heavily criticised since then for its lack of compliance with international human rights standards.
last updated May 11, 2015 From 16 to 24 April 2015, the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) conducted a monitoring visit to Azerbaijan. The original visit was planned for September 2014 but had to be suspended due to a lack of cooperation by the Azerbaijani authorities.
last updated May 11, 2015 A group of health professionals and human rights activists published a new report, in which they accuse the American Psychological Association (A.P.A.) of secretly collaborating with the US Government under former President George W. Bush to enable the authorities to argue that their “enhanced interrogation methods” programme in the "War on Terror" did not constitute torture.
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last updated Apr 20, 2015 Brutal police beatings of peaceful protesters in Harare demonstrating against xenophobic violence in South Africa show “a complete disregard for the rule of law and a culture of impunity” by the Zimbabwean polices forces, stated Amnesty International (AI). AI therefore urges the Zimbabwean authorities to respect people’s rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
last updated Apr 17, 2015 As part of its campaign “stop torture”, Amnesty International (AI) published a new report on the situation in Uzbekistan stating that “torture is rampant” and part of the system.
last updated Apr 13, 2015 Amnesty International (AI) reported that they received footage of extrajudicial killings of several Ukrainian soldiers by armed rebel groups in the Donbass region. At the same time, a Russian fighter confessed the killings 15 Ukrainian prisoners.
last updated Apr 13, 2015 The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published a report on its latest visiting mission to Spain together with the response of the Spanish authorities. The report focuses on the treatment of irregular migrants deprived of liberty on Spanish territory and shows several grievances.
last updated Apr 09, 2015 Bangladeshi security services proposed to amend the Torture and Custodial Death Prohibition and Prevention Act 2013. The proposed changed would defeat the very purpose of the Act and would be a violation of the UN Convention against Torture (CAT), ratified in 1998, according to the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) and the organisation Odhikar.
last updated Apr 09, 2015 Italy condemned under article 3 ECHR: the European Court of Human Rights just found that ill-treatment committed by the Italian police in the Diaz-Pertini school amounted to ‘torture’ and that Italian criminal legislation concerning the punishment of acts of torture is inadequate.
last updated Apr 02, 2015 The human rights activist and regime dissident Itai Dzamara was kidnapped on 9 March, allegedly by Zimbabwean state forces, and remains missing since then. Human rights groups, the European Union as well as the United States are demanding his immediate release and are deeply concerned about his physical and psychological integrity.
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.
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.
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.”
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.“
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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”.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.“
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.