COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE
19 OF THE CONVENTION
Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture
52. The Committee considered the initial report of Paraguay (CAT/C/12/Add.3)
at its 158th, 159th and 161st meetings, held on 10 and 11 November
1993 (see CAT/C/SR.158, 159 and 161), and adopted the following conclusions
53. The Committee thanks the State party for its report and for its
cooperation in the constructive dialogue with the Committee; it takes
note of the information submitted in the report and presented orally
by the representative of Paraguay.
54. Paraguay has complied with its obligation to submit an initial
report under article 19 of the Convention, and its second periodic
report is due on 10 April 1995.
55. The Committee regards as very positive the fact that Paraguay
now has a democratic Government and that its authorities have expressed
the firm determination to promote and protect human rights and, in
particular, to bring about the total and effective eradication of
torture and other similar treatment. It also regards as a positive
step the adoption in 1992 of a new democratic Constitution that firmly
enshrines fundamental human rights and expressly prohibits torture.
56. It is also encouraging that judicial proceedings are now under
way to investigate grave violations of human rights, especially torture
and political murders committed under the previous regime.
57. However, the Committee is concerned, firstly, that the practice
of torture continues within the police, according to serious allegations
received; the victims of this practice are said to be not only adults,
but also minors.
58. The Committee is also concerned about the complex situation in
the prisons, which do not appear to meet the minimum requirements
in order to serve as re-education centres for offenders and not to
become instruments of ill-treatment.
59. Another cause for concern is the continued lack of legal mechanisms
to make clearer the prohibition of torture (which the Constitution
has already established), to halt extended or incommunicado detention
and, in general, to bring domestic law fully into line with the Convention.
The Committee is also concerned about the absence, in practice, of
a swift and firm reaction on the part of the courts to allegations
of ill-treatment and torture.
60. Lastly, the Committee is concerned about the slow pace of judicial
proceedings relating to violations of human rights committed under
the previous regime and also about Paraguay's apparently inadequate
system for the civil compensation and rehabilitation of victims.
61. The Committee believes that Paraguay could have a more complete
mechanism for the eradication of torture if it recognized the competence
of the Committee under articles 21 and 22 of the Convention.
62. The Committee hopes to receive in writing the replies that it
did not obtain orally during those meetings and, in particular, comments
on the information communicated to the Committee by two non-governmental
63. The Committee encourages the Government of Paraguay to finish
making changes to its legislation and to bring it into line with the
Convention, as well as to speed up investigations and judicial proceedings
relating to torture and other similar treatment.
64. The Government might wish to request the technical assistance
of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights.
65. A contribution by Paraguay to the United Nations Voluntary Fund
for Victims of Torture would be a gesture reflecting that State's
determination to promote human rights.