Home Contact Us Maps Links The Constitution Marikana
| More

SAHRC expresses concerns about reports of torture of persons in custody of the state and to urge for the ratification of OPCAT

Monday, 08 November 2010

The SA Human Rights Commission is urging the South African government to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

In addition to this, the Commission is urging the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development to fast track the Combating of Torture Bill which seeks to ensure that South Africa complies with its international obligations in terms of the UN Convention against Torture (CAT) which South Africa has signed and ratified by criminalizing and prohibiting acts of torture. Currently the act of torture is not a recognized statutory crime in South Africa.  Torture legislation is needed in order that the criminal justice system can deal more effectively with acts of torture.

The Commission is concerned about incidents of reports of suspects in police custody being tortured. Recently, a national daily newspaper reported of court proceedings wherein the police admitted in court that they acted illegally when they arrested, beaten, throttled, kicked and injured the private parts of a Port Elizabeth pastor. The police also admitted to have thrown him on the ground before forcing him into a mortuary freezer for 45 minutes.
Such incidents indicate the need for South Africa to ratify and implement the OPCAT. This would oblige South Africa to establish a national Preventative Mechanism (NPM), a system of regular visits to all places where persons are deprived of their liberty. The establishment of a NPM has been demonstrated as an effective tool to prevent torture.

In an attempt to further drive the process of ensuring that the country ratifies the OPCAT, the Commission in collaboration with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) recently hosted a workshop on ‘Ratifying the OPCAT:  Exploring the Implications for South Africa’. The workshop included participants from various government departments such as, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Department of Home Affairs, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Department of Police and the Department of Correctional Services.

The workshop focused on discussing the international requirements for the establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism in South Africa; the sharing of experiences from other countries which have established NPMs; and discussing lessons learnt from these international experiences. By the end of the workshop there was general agreement that South Africa should ratify the OPCAT.                                                                    

ENDS

For further enquiries please contact Vincent Moaga on 073 562 9866

For comments email info@sahrc.org.za [Back]



- See more at: http://www.justice.gov.za/legislation/constitution/index.html#sthash.vQme5ODl.dpuf

The South African Constitution

The Commission is available on social media

SAHRC TWITTER.jpg One.jpg @SAHRCommission

Facebook-Icon.jpg SA Human Rights Commission

YOU1.png SAHRC 1


To lodge a human rights violation complaint, click here.

or Call 011 877 3600
e-mail: complaints@sahrc.org.za

Provincial contact details are available here

 



PAIA section 14 Manual.jpg


MEDIA STATEMENTS

SAHRC launches investigation into allegations of racism at University of the Free State
SAHRC finalizing report on complaints against King Goodwill Zwelithini
SAHRC response to ANC petition on racism
International Disability Day – SAHRC calls for employers to do more
SAHRC welcomes Supreme Court judgment on the delivery of textbooks in Limpopo


SAHRC NEWSLETTER

Pfanelo January Edition


Upcoming Events

  • 20 year Anniversary Celebration

 

Report any fraudulent and/or unethical behavior taking place in the Commission anonymously to the SAHRC Tip-offs Line.

FreeCall: 0800 222 365
Email: sahrc@tip-offs.com
FreeFax: 0800 00 77 88
FreePost: KZN 138, Umhlanga Rocks 4320
Website: www.tip-offs.com

Independently managed by the Office of the Public Service Commission.



 

SAHRC Programmes

Since its establishment, the SAHRC has dedicated itself to:
•  Raising awareness;
•  Monitoring and assessment;
•  Education and training
•  Addressing human rights violations

How can the SAHRC help?

The SAHRC promotes, protects and monitors human rights in South Africa. It also has a specific responsibility to promote and monitor the implemen-
tation of PAIA.

Calendar

08 March – International Women’s Day
21 March - Human Rights Day
27 April – Freedom day
1 May - Workers day
03 May – World Press Freedom Day

[See more]