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Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Ecuador, U.N. Doc. A/49/44, paras. 97-105 (1993).


Convention Abbreviation: CAT


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture


97. The Committee against Torture considered the periodic report of Ecuador (CAT/C/20/Add.1) at its 164th and 165th meetings, held on 15 November 1993 (see CAT/C/SR.164 and 165), and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations:

A. Introduction
98. The Committee thanks the State party for its report and its sincere cooperation in the constructive dialogue with the Committee. It takes note of the information submitted in the report and in the oral presentation by the delegation of Ecuador.

99. Ecuador has fulfilled its obligation to submit a periodic report under article 19 of the Convention. Its next report is due on 28 April 1997.

B. Positive aspects
100. The Committee appreciates the firm commitment of the Government of Ecuador to the promotion and protection of human rights and in particular its efforts to eradicate all forms of torture.

101. It also appreciates the efforts made by Ecuador to modernize its legislation (Constitution, Penal Code, Code of Penal Procedure, and Act on the Attorney-General's Office) and to establish a Judicial Police, which will be the only public body responsible to criminal investigation, under the direct supervision of independent magistrates.

C. Subjects of concern
102. The Committee is nevertheless concerned by the many allegations received from various non-governmental organizations regarding torture, which is reportedly practised in a number of places of detention and prisons, particularly in the premises of the Crime Investigation Office.

103. The Committee is also by the fact that no action has been taken on several of the recommendations it made to Ecuador in 1991, in particular those aimed at bringing all custodial measures (arrest warrants, habeas corpus) under the direct responsibility of independent members of the judiciary. In general, the Committee is concerned by the limitations that appear to be placed on the powers of the courts in Ecuador and by the existence of officials referred to as "judges" who are empowered to try cases without belonging to the judiciary and who consequently do not provide safeguards of independence.

D. Recommendations
104. The Committee recommends that Ecuador should take fundamental and urgent steps for the complete eradication of torture and other similar treatment. To that end, the Government should ensure that all forms of torture as defined in article 1 of the Convention are offences under criminal law.

105. The Committee also encourages Ecuador to implement, within a reasonable period the legislative reforms undertaken to place the criminal justice system (from the investigation of offences to the serving of sentences) under the direct supervision of independent members of the judiciary and ensure that they can quickly investigate reported or suspected cases of torture or ill-treatment.



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