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Issues Concluding Observations on Reports of Albania, Armenia, Canada, Cuba, Czech Republic, Greece and Rwanda, and in Absence of a Special Report on Syria
1 June 2012

The Committee against Torture concluded its forty-eighth session today, issuing its concluding observations and recommendations on reports from Albania, Armenia, Canada, Cuba, Czech Republic, Greece and Rwanda which it reviewed during the session, and also on the situation in Syria in the absence of a special report by Syria.

The Committee against Torture considered the implementation of the Convention in Syria in the absence of the special report requested by the Committee in a meeting held on 16 May 2012 and also in absence of a dialogue with the State party in the same meeting.  It subsequently adopted concluding observations.

All the countries reviewed are among the 147 States parties to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and are bound by the terms of the treaty to submit periodic reports on efforts to ensure that such human rights violations do not occur on their territories

During this morning’s meeting the Committee unanimously adopted its annual report to the General Assembly and programme of work for future sessions.

The forty-eighth session was opened with an address by Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang, the Committee elected a Chairperson and Officers, and swore in new members of the Committee.  During the course of its four-week session, in addition to examining the situation in the eight countries cited, the Committee met with the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, considered follow-up to reports provided by States parties to their respective concluding observations, and considered, in closed meetings, information appearing to contain well-founded indications that torture is systematically being practised in some States parties, as well as complaints from individuals claiming to be victims of a violation by a State party of the provisions of the Convention. The Committee met in private with representatives of United Nations agencies as well as national human rights institutes and non-governmental organizations from States whose reports were considered at this session.

The full concluding observations for all country reports examined during the session are available on the Committee’s website.   

The Committee’s forty-ninth session will be held from 29 October until 23 November 2012, during which it will review nine State party reports.  Those will be the initial report of Gabon, the combined fifth to sixth periodic report of Mexico, the seventh periodic report of Norway, the sixth periodic report of Peru, the second periodic report of Qatar, the fifth periodic report of Russia, the third periodic report of Senegal, the second periodic report of Tajikistan and the second periodic report of Togo.

The Committee also agreed that reports from Bolivia, Burundi, Estonia, Guatemala, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mauritania, Netherlands, Poland, Tunisia, United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan will be reviewed at the Committee’s fiftieth session.  

For use of the information media; not an official record