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UN Special Rapporteur on torture to visit Brazil

GENEVA (30 July 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Juan E. Méndez will visit Brazil from 3 to 14 August 2015 to identify and assess the main challenges related to torture and ill-treatment in the country.

“I look forward to engaging with the Brazilian Government on how to meet the challenges of upholding the rule of law, promoting accountability, and fulfilling the right of reparations for victims,” said the independent expert tasked by the UN Human Rights Council with monitoring and reporting on the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment around the world.

During his twelve-day visit, the Special Rapporteur will meet with relevant authorities and human rights institutions on federal and state level, as well as with international and regional civil society organizations, victims and their families.

Mr. Méndez, who visits Brazil at the invitation of the Government, will travel to the Federal District and the states of São Paulo, Sergipe, Maranhão and Alagoas, to conduct unannounced visits to places of detention such as police stations, pre-trial facilities and penitentiaries.

The expert will share his preliminary comments and recommendations at a press conference to be held on Friday 14 August 2015 at the UN House in Brasilia. For information regarding time and place, please contact Valéria Schilling (+55 21 2253 2211 / +55 21 9820 20171 / valeria.schilling@unic.org).

The Special Rapporteur will present a final report to the Human Rights Council in March 2016.

Mr. Juan E. Méndez (Argentina) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in November 2010. Mr. Méndez has dedicated his legal career to the defense of human rights, and has a long and distinguished record of advocacy throughout the Americas. He is currently a Professor of Law at the American University – Washington College of Law and Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Torture/SRTorture/Pages/SRTortureIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

For more information and media requests, please contact: Andrea Furger (+41 79 444 4078 / afurger@ohchr.org) or Petrine Leweson (+41 79 444 3993 / pleweson@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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