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Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Peru, U.N. Doc. A/50/44, paras. 62-73 (1995).


Convention Abbreviation: CAT


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture


62. The Committee considered the initial report of Peru (CAT/C/7/Add.16), which should have been submitted in 1989, at its 193rd and 194th meetings, held on 9 November 1994 (CAT/C/SR.193 and 194 and Add.2), and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.

A. Introduction
63. The Committee appreciates the presence of a highly qualified delegation, as well as the clarifications and explanations supplied in both the written and oral reports.

B. Positive aspects
64. The Committee notes the intention expressed by the delegation to submit all the reports required by international human rights organizations and to respond to all their requests.

65. The Committee takes due note of the intensive campaign to make the armed forces and the police more aware of the need to respect human rights.

66. The Committee is pleased to note the approval of various items of legislation, such as that permitting procurators to visit places of detention in areas where a state of emergency has been declared, that providing for greater flexibility in the procedures relating to terrorism and those which establish new bodies for protecting human rights.

C. Subjects of concern
67. One cause for serious concern is the large number of complaints from both non-governmental organizations and international agencies or commissions indicating that torture is being used extensively in connection with the investigation of acts of terrorism and that those responsible are going unpunished.

68. The Committee points out that the legislation intended to repress acts of terrorism does not meet the requirements of international agreements concerning a fair, just and impartial trial with minimum safeguards for the rights of the accused (for example, "faceless" judges, serious limitations on the right of defence, lack of opportunity to take proceedings before a court, extension of the period of incommunicado detention, etc.).

69. The Committee is also concerned by the subjection of civilians to military jurisdiction and by the fact that, in practice, the competence of the military courts is being extended as regards cases of abuse of authority.

D. Recommendations
70. The Committee is aware of the serious difficulties which Peru is experiencing because of the terrorist attacks, which are to be condemned, and hopes that it will succeed in overcoming them.

71. Despite the determination stated by the delegation of Peru, in the Committee's opinion, the legislative and administrative measures adopted in order to comply with the Convention have not been effective in preventing acts of torture, as required by article 2, paragraph 1 of the Convention.

72. At the same time, the requirements of articles 12 and 13 of the Convention concerning the need for a prompt and impartial investigation of all complaints of torture are not being met.

73. Nevertheless, taking into consideration the intentions expressed by the delegation and the fact that the Government has available to it the means necessary to eradicate the scourge of torture, the Committee suggests the adoption of, among others, the following measures:

(a) The procedure relating to terrorist offences should be reviewed for the purpose of establishing a prosecution system which is effective but which preserves the independence and impartiality of the courts and the right of defence, with the elimination of so-called "faceless trials" and the holding of detainees incommunicado;

(b) The military courts should be regulated to prevent them from trying civilians and to restrict their jurisdiction to military offences, by introducing the appropriate legal and constitutional changes;

(c) The Judicature Council and the Ombudsman should start operating as soon as possible;

(d) The activities of the procurators' offices should be strengthened and they should be provided with the means necessary to perform their functions;

(e) The possibility of making the declarations provided for in the Convention in the circumstances described in articles 21 and 22 should be analysed;

(f) Consideration should be given to defining torture as an independent offence punishable by a penalty appropriate to its seriousness;

(g) The efforts to educate medical and law-enforcement personnel, civil and military, should be intensified, as should the programmes for the full rehabilitation of victims.


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