UN human rights office welcomes law for creation of a body to prevent torture in Tunisia

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Rupert Colville

The passing of a law to establish a national body to prevent torture in Tunisia has been welcomed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The National Constituent Assembly unanimously adopted the law on Wednesday, making Tunisia the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to create such a national preventive mechanism.

In June 2011 Tunisia ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the United Nations human rights office in Geneva, says the Protocol provides for the creation of such a preventive mechanism against torture  in each State Party.

"The National Body to Prevent Torture is an independent body with a broad jurisdiction, including the power to visit all places of detention. It should become operational as soon as the law is published, and ensure the respect and implementation of procedural safeguards for those deprived of their liberty. The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, that's the body that monitors the application of the Optional Protocol, is the biggest UN Committee and the only one with a visiting mandate and it will be providing assistance and advice to this newly-established organization in Tunisia." (32")

Rupert Colville says the UN human rights office in Tunisia has played an important role in the creation of this national body through debates and consultations among government officials and key non-governmental actors.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’30″

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