Monday, March 4, 2024
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HRADC leads discussion on torture prevention

Fiji’s  Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (HRADC), in collaboration with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), and Asia Pacific Forum for National Human Rights Institutions (APF), conducted a national workshop on Torture Prevention in Suva this week.

31 participants from diverse private and state institutions including the Attorney-General’s
Chambers, Corrections Service, FICAC, Immigration, Legal Aid Commission, Office of the
Director of Public Prosecutions, Police Force, RFMF, St. Giles Psychiatric Hospital, Social
Welfare, and University Academics, attended the workshop.

Discussions were centred around prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in places of detention.

HRADC chair, Pravesh Sharma said at present, there is no stand-alone legislation in relation to torture in Fiji and the participants considered a review of the current domestic legislation relating to torture; and the possibility of specific stand-alone legislation.

He said the experts from the APT and APF introduced the Mendez Principles which is a guide to providing an alternative to coercive and confession-based interrogations.

“The Mendez Principles improve the results of investigations, fully respect human rights, and enhance trust in the State.”

Sharma added that the possibility of establishing a National Preventive Mechanism through the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) to deal specifically with torture prevention was also discussed at the workshop.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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