University of Minnesota

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Netherlands, U.N. Doc. A/50/44, paras. 116-131 (1995).


Convention Abbreviation: CAT


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture


116. The Committee considered the second periodic report of the Netherlands (CAT/C/25/Add.1, 2 and 5) at its 210th and 211th meetings, held on 25 April 1995 (CAT/C/SR.210 and 211), and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.

A. Introduction

117. The Kingdom of the Netherlands submitted its three reports (European part of the Kingdom, Antilles and Aruba) partly on time.

118. The Committee thanks the three respective Governments for their comprehensive reports. The reports were not accompanied by the core document providing general information on the State party, as required in the Committee's guidelines (CAT/C/14), but apart from this, they met all the reporting requirements of the Convention.

119. The Committee listened with interest to the oral reports and clarifications of the representatives of the three parts of the Kingdom.

120. The Committee wishes to thank the delegation for its reports and for the spirit of openness and cooperation in which the dialogue was conducted.

B. Positive aspects

121. The Committee notes with satisfaction that it has received no information about alleged perpetration of torture in any of the three parts of the Kingdom.

122. The Committee also notes that both Antilles and Aruba are preparing special laws to incorporate fully the provisions of the Convention in domestic law.

123. The Committee also notes with satisfaction that, according to the oral information given, force - physical or pharmacological - is no longer used in connection with the expulsion of asylum seekers.

C. Subjects of concern

124. With regard to the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Committee has questions about the way in which compensation provisions apply in practice.

125. With regard to the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, the Committee is concerned that the new penal legislation appears not to be in force yet and thus it is not clear whether the provisions of the Convention are part of the domestic law.

126. With regard, in particular, to the Netherlands Antilles, the Committee is concerned about the severeness and the relatively high number of cases of police brutality which are described in the Government's report, as well as by information provided to the Committee by non-governmental organizations. The Committee is particularly concerned about the apparent failure of the Netherlands Antilles authorities to investigate fully and deal with such cases.

127. With regard, in particular, to Aruba, the Committee recognizes that conditions in detention places are far from being satisfactory and notes that the Government has acknowledged that it is aware of this situation.

D. Recommendations

128. The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba should give high priority to speeding up the procedure for the adoption of the act which will incorporate the provisions of the Convention in domestic law.

129. The Netherlands Antilles should take strong measures to bring to an end the ill treatment which reportedly occurs in police stations and to ensure that such allegations are speedily and properly investigated and that those who may be found guilty of acts of ill treatment are prosecuted. In this regard, the Committee would appreciate receiving data concerning the number of investigations by the public prosecutor and the outcome of them.

130. Aruba should take steps to change the situation with regard to conditions in police and prison premises and especially to shorten the period of 10 days in police custody which is allowed under the law.

131. Finally, the Committee is pleased that the Netherlands has agreed to provide in writing additional information in response to the questions on the compensation for victims of torture which were raised by the Committee. The Committee would also appreciate receiving additional information on whether or not the public prosecutor initiated an investigation to prosecute General Pinochet when he was on the territory of the Netherlands and therefore under its jurisdiction. If the answer is yes, the Committee would like to know on what grounds the investigation was initiated.


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