University of Minnesota

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Sweden, U.N. Doc. A/52/44, paras. 214-226 (1997).



Convention Abbreviation: CAT


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

K. Sweden

214. The Committee considered the third periodic report of Sweden (CAT/C/34/Add.4) at its 291st, 292nd and 294th meetings, on 5 and 6 May 1997 (CAT/C/SR.291, 292 and 294/Add.1), and formulated the following conclusions and recommendations.

1. Introduction
215. The third periodic report of Sweden was submitted on 9 August 1996, in accordance with the reporting schedule under the Convention. It conformed fully to the requirements laid down in the reporting guidelines. In addition, the Swedish representatives drew the Committee's attention to relevant developments since the completion of the report. The Committee and the Swedish representatives engaged in a frank and open discussion of the report.

2. Positive aspects
216. The Committee takes note with satisfaction of the revised law relating to refugees, as well as the way in which the Swedish Government now offers protection to many displaced persons who would not technically be identified as refugees under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.4

217. The Committee is also pleased to acknowledge the way in which Sweden provides material and political support for the rehabilitation of the victims of torture, both within the country and internationally.

3. Factors and difficulties impeding the application of the provisions of the Convention

218. Because Sweden adopts a dualistic theory of incorporation of international treaty norms into its domestic law, the provisions of the Convention against Torture require enabling legislation before they become part of Swedish domestic law. The continued failure of Sweden to do this renders the full implementation of the Convention's terms more difficult.
4. Subjects of concern
219. The Committee is concerned about the continued failure of the Swedish Government to incorporate into its domestic law the definition of torture, in accordance with article 1 of the Convention.

220. It is also concerned about the use of "restrictions", some leading to solitary confinement for a prolonged period of time, for persons held in pre-trial detention centres and prisons.

221. The Committee is concerned about information it received on isolated cases of ill-treatment by the police.

222. The Committee expressed concern with regard to certain methods used by Swedish police in dealing with detainees or with public demonstrations, such as, in the latter case, using dogs for crowd control.

5. Recommendations
223. The Committee recommends that the State party proceed to incorporate the provisions of the Convention against Torture into Swedish law, as it has already done with regard to the European Convention on Human Rights.

224. The Committee specifically renews its recommendation, made during its consideration of the previous reports of the State party, that Sweden incorporate into its domestic legislation the definition of torture as contained in article 1 of the Convention.

225. While the Committee welcomes the information that the question of "restrictions", including solitary confinement, during pre-trial detention is under review by the Swedish authorities, it recommends that the institution of solitary confinement be abolished, particularly during the period of pre-trial detention, other than in exceptional cases, inter alia, when the security or the well-being of persons or property are in danger, and the measure is applied, in accordance with the law and under judicial control.

226. The Committee recommends that the State party reconsider the methods used by the police with regard to crowd control.


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