GENEVA (11 June 2019) – United Nations human rights expert Nils Melzer will visit Comoros from 12 to 18 June 2019 to assess developments and identify challenges regarding the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
“Following the re-election of President Assoumani in March 2019, my primary task is to engage with decision-makers and key actors to help the authorities uphold the rule of law and investigate and prosecute allegations of excessive force, torture and ill-treatment. I am also aware of the challenge faced by the Government of a large numbers of its citizens attempting to leave Comoros on makeshift boats in dangerous conditions to neighbouring Mayotte, only to be routinely deported back by French authorities,” Melzer said.
He will hold meetings with authorities, the judiciary, civil society, national human rights mechanisms, United Nations agencies, victims and their families. He also will visit places of detention on the islands of Grand Comore and Anjouan.
The Special Rapporteur’s first official visit to Comoros follows the Government’s commitment, made during the Universal Periodic Review in January 2019, to receive all special procedures mandates.
Melzer will share his preliminary comments and recommendations at a press conference to be held on Tuesday, 18 June at 12:30 pm, at the Golden Tulip Grand Comore Hotel, Moroni. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.
The Special Rapporteur’s report will be submitted to the Human Rights Council in March 2020.
Mr Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; is 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.
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