Human Rights Commission lead discussions on torture prevention

December 1, 2023 3:06 pm

[Source: APT]

The National Workshop on Torture Prevention focused on the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in places of detention.

The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (HRADC) conducted the workshop, in collaboration with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the Asia Pacific Forum for National Human Rights Institutions (APF).

A total of 31 participants from different private and state institutions, including the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Corrections Service, FICAC, Immigration, Legal Aid Commission, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Police Force, RFMF, St. Giles Psychiatric Hospital, Social Welfare, and University Academics, attended the workshop.

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The human rights and anti-discrimination chairperson, Pravesh Sharma, states that there is no stand-alone legislation in relation to torture in Fiji.

The participants considered a review of the current domestic legislation relating to torture and the possibility of specific stand-alone legislation.

The experts introduced the Mendez principles, which are a guide to providing an alternative to coercive and confession-based interrogations.

The Mendez Principles improve the results of investigations, fully respect human rights, and enhance trust in the state.

The commissioner also mentioned the possibility of establishing a national preventive mechanism through the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).