Spindelegger: “Austria establishes anti-torture mechanism at ombudsman office”
Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
Vienna, 26 June 2011 – “Torture is one of the most perfidious threats to human dignity, human rights and the rule of law. Therefore, the ban on torture must not be subjected to any exceptions, compromises or limitations of any kind whatsoever,” said Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger, reiterating the importance of full implementation of the absolute ban on torture to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
The Foreign Minister asserted the Austrian commitment to the worldwide elimination of all forms of torture and inhuman, cruel or humiliating treatment. In this context he emphasised the importance of international human rights bodies aimed at the prevention of torture, such as the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT), the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Council of Europe’s European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). “Austria attaches great importance to cooperation with these bodies, which we demonstrated in the country reviews by CPT in 2009 and CAT in 2010. It must be guaranteed that these bodies can execute their mandate everywhere and without restriction,” said Spindelegger.
Combating torture effectively requires effective international instruments. An important contribution in this field is the Additional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture, which provides for the establishment of a national, independent prevention mechanism against torture. “Austria will therefore ratify this Additional Protocol in the near future and establish an appropriate prevention mechanism within the framework of the ombudsman’s office,” underlined Spindelegger. The respective bill is currently under review.
The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 26 June 1987.
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