Guidelines to prevent torture not observed by many states

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Juan Mendez

Guidelines to prevent and eradicate torture and cruel treatment have not been observed by many countries around the world according to a senior UN official

Speaking at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, criticized the "state secrets doctrine."

The doctrine allows countries to admit secret evidence during a trial which cannot be challenged in open court.

Mendez said the practice increases the risk of evidence being obtained by torture.

He also said that since "the war against terror," many states refuse to allow international oversight of intelligence work, a move which could prevent torture and ill-treatment.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations

Duration: 41″

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