COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE
19 OF THE CONVENTION
Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture
128. The Committee against Torture considered Switzerland's second
periodic report (CAT/C/17/Add.12) at its 177th and 178th meetings,
held on 20 April 1994 (see CAT/C/SR.177 and 178 and Add.2), and adopted
the following conclusions and recommendations:
129. The Committee against Torture thanks the Government of Switzerland
for its second periodic report. It also listened with interest to
the oral report and clarifications presented by the Swiss delegation.
The Committee wishes to thank the delegation for its replies and for
the spirit of open-minded cooperation in which the dialogue was conducted.
It considers the report to be in conformity with the Committee's guidelines
regarding periodic reports.
130. The Committee appreciates the renewed determination of the Swiss
Government to guarantee respect for, and the protection of, human
rights through its accession to a number of international and regional
instruments for the promotion of such rights and its intention to
support the adoption of the draft optional protocol to the Convention
131. The Committee notes with satisfaction and sets special store
by the fact that no governmental or non-governmental body has affirmed
the existence of cases of torture within the meaning of article 1
of the Convention.
132. However, the Committee, which has heard of cases of ill-treatment
suffered by persons arrested by the police, considers that reform
of the legislation and practice relating to police custody and pre-trial
detention is desirable, particularly the right to get in touch with
one's family, immediate access to a lawyer and the right to a medical
examination by a doctor of the detained person's choice or drawn from
a list of doctors compiled by the Medical Association.
133. The Committee is also concerned about the system of holding persons
incommunicado during pre-trial detention and the problem of solitary
confinement of prisoners for long periods, which may constitute inhuman
134. The Committee, while welcoming the delegation's assurances that
the Federal Court views the right of non-return as a basic right,
none the less fears that certain provisions of the legislation on
the right to asylum may authorize return and extradition to States
in which the applicant is genuinely at risk of being subjected to
torture, in violation of article 3 of the Convention.
135. The Committee considers it essential that any asylum-seeker whose
case is being considered with a view to return or regularization of
his situation should be treated with due consideration for his dignity
and should be protected against any measure that deprives him of his
136. The Committee takes note of the delegation's promise to furnish
missing information in writing within six months, in particular certain
137. The Committee is convinced that the State party will make every
effort to introduce the suggested legislative and administrative improvements
with a view to ensuring even more satisfactory compliance with the
standards laid down by the Convention.