COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE
19 OF THE CONVENTION
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:
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
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.
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.
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.