U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).


1. At its forty-first session, the Commission on Human Rights adopted resolution 1985/33, in which it decided to appoint a special rapporteur to examine questions relevant to torture. Since then the mandate has been renewed by Commission resolutions 1986/50, 1987/29, 1988/32, 1990/34 and 1992/32. In resolution 1992/32, the Commission extended the mandate for a period of three years. In pursuance of these resolutions, the Special Rapporteur submitted annual reports to the Commission, which are contained in documents E/CN.4/1986/15, E/CN.4/1987/13, E/CN.4/1988/17 and Add.1, E/CN.4/1989/15, E/CN.4/1990/17 and Add.1, E/CN.4/1991/17, E/CN.4/1992/17 and Add.1 and E/CN.4/1993/26.

2. In its resolution 1993/40, the Commission took note of the resignation of Mr. P. Kooijmans as Special Rapporteur and requested the Chairman, after consultations within the Bureau, to appoint an individual of recognized international standing as his successor. As a result, Mr. Nigel S. Rodley (United Kingdom) was appointed Special Rapporteur.

3. In conformity with resolutions 1992/32 and 1993/40, the newly appointed Special Rapporteur hereby presents his first report to the Commission. Chapter I deals with a number of aspects pertaining to the mandate and methods of work. Chapter II consists mainly of a review of the information transmitted by the Special Rapporteur to Governments, as well as the replies received, from 15 December 1992 to 15 December 1993. Chapter III contains conclusions and recommendations.

4. In addition to the above-mentioned resolutions, several other resolutions adopted by the Commission on Human Rights at its forty-ninth session are also pertinent within the framework of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and have been taken into consideration in examining and analysing the information brought to his attention with regard to the different countries. These resolutions are, in particular:

(a) Resolution 1993/41, entitled "Human rights in the administration of justice", in which the Commission called upon its special rapporteurs and working groups to give special attention to questions relating to the effective protection of human rights in the administration of justice, in particular with regard to unacknowledged detention of persons, and to provide, wherever appropriate, specific recommendations in this regard, including proposals for possible concrete measures under advisory services programmes;

(b) Resolution 1993/45, entitled "Right to freedom of opinion and expression", in which the Commission invited the special rapporteurs to pay attention, within the framework of their mandates, to the situation of persons detained, subjected to violence, ill-treated or discriminated against for having exercised this right.

(c) Resolution 1993/46, entitled "Integrating the rights of women into the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations", in which the Commission requested all its special rapporteurs and working groups to include regularly and systematically in their reports available information on human rights violations affecting women;

(d) Resolution 1993/47, entitled "Human rights and thematic procedures", in which the Commission recommended that Governments that had invited any of the thematic special rapporteurs to visit their countries consider follow-up visits and encouraged Governments to respond expeditiously to requests for information so that the thematic special rapporteurs concerned might carry out their mandates effectively. It also encouraged Governments encountering problems in the field of human rights to cooperate more closely with the Commission through the pertinent thematic procedures, in particular by inviting a thematic special rapporteur or working group to visit their countries. It further encouraged the thematic special rapporteurs and working groups to follow closely the progress made by Governments in their investigations carried out within their respective mandates and requested them to include in their reports gender-disaggregated data, as well as comments on problems of responding and the results of analyses;

(e) Resolution 1993/48, entitled "Consequences for the enjoyment of human rights of acts of violence committed by armed groups that spread terror among the population and by drug traffickers", in which the Commission requested the Special Rapporteurs to continue paying particular attention to the adverse effect on the enjoyment of human rights of such acts of violence;

(f) Resolution 1993/64, entitled "Cooperation with representatives of United Nations human rights bodies", in which the Commission urged Governments to refrain from all acts of intimidation or reprisal against persons cooperating with representatives of United Nations human rights bodies, availing themselves of human rights protection procedures established under United Nations auspices or providing legal assistance for this purpose, as well as those who submit communications under procedures established by human rights instruments and relatives of victims of human rights violations. It also requested representatives of human rights bodies to continue to take urgent steps to help prevent the occurrence of such intimidation and reprisals.

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