United Nations Committee Against Torture - Concluding Observations
Convention against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment
18 December 2002
COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
11-22 November 2002
1. The Committee considered the third periodic report of Cyprus (CAT/C/54/Add.2) at its 536th and 539th meetings held on 15 and 18 November 2002 (CAT/C/SR.536 and 539) and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.
2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the third periodic report of Cyprus, which was submitted on time and is generally in conformity with the Committee’s guidelines for the preparation of periodic reports. It also welcomes the additional written and oral information provided by the delegation. The Committee commends the way in which the State party has addressed its previous recommendations.
3. The Committee notes with satisfaction that there are no reported cases of torture or political prisoners in the State Party.
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4. The Committee welcomes the recent legislative, administrative and institutional developments that took place in the State party since the consideration of its previous periodic report, namely:
(a) The bill for the amendment of the Ratification Law making the subjection to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as described in article 16 of the Convention a criminal offence, and providing for the presumption of ill-treatment if it is ascertained by medical examination that the person detained bears external injuries which were not present at the time of arrest;
(b) The adoption of the Protection of Witnesses Law by the Parliament with a view to securing anonymity of witnesses;
(c) The adoption of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence;
(d) The enactment of a new law in 2000 for the suppression of trafficking in persons and of the sexual exploitation of children;
(e) The abolition of the death penalty;
(f) The amendment of the Aliens and Immigration Law to provide additional protection to persons claiming refugee status;
(g) The enactment of a new law for the payment of adequate compensation;
(h) The decision of the Council of Ministers to empower the Attorney-General to appoint criminal investigators to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by police;
(i) The new measures taken to give effect to the newly adopted Psychiatric Treatment Law;
(j) The improvement and renovation of prison facilities;
(k) The establishment of a national institution for the promotion and protection of human rights;
(l) The establishment of a Police Human Rights Office to receive and investigate complaints of human rights violations by police officers;
(m) The introduction of a programme for the training of judges of first instance courts in the field of human rights.
5. Although there is a generally positive trend regarding the treatment of detained persons by police, the existence of some cases of ill-treatment require that the authorities remain vigilant.
6. The Committee commends the State party for its ongoing efforts to ensure the effective implementation of the Convention, appreciates the work done so far and calls upon the State party to continue these efforts.
7. The Committee recommends that the State party widely disseminate the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations, in all appropriate languages, in the country.