Concluding Observations of the Committee against Torture : Mauritius. 05/05/1999.
A/54/44,paras.118-123. (Concluding Observations/Comments)

Convention Abbreviation: CAT
COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
Twenty-second session
26 April-14 May 1999

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 19 OF THE CONVENTION


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture


Mauritius


118. The Committee considered the second periodic report of Mauritius (CAT/C/43/Add.1) at its 368th, 371st and 375th meetings, held on 28 and 29 April and 3 May 1999 (CAT/C/SR.368, 371 and 375) and has adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.


1. Introduction



119. The Committee welcomes the report of Mauritius submitted on time and supplemented and updated by the Solicitor-General of the State party, who introduced it. The above clearly reflects the continuing efforts of the State party to comply with its international human rights obligations.



2. Positive aspects



120. The Committee takes note of the following, inter alia, positive aspects, many of which closely follow upon recommendations made by it during the consideration of the initial report:



(a) The abolition of the death penalty;



(b) The recent coming into force of the Protection of Human Rights Law, which establishes the National Human Rights Commission, the competence of which includes examination of torture complaints;



(c) The amendment of article 16 of the Constitution in order to prohibit discrimination based on gender;



(d) The training programmes for the police and other law enforcement officials with a human rights component.



3. Factors and difficulties impeding the application of the provisions of the Convention



121. No factors or particular difficulties emerged as a result of the consideration of the report by the Committee and it was clear that the State party, a developing country, is to the best of its ability carrying out its obligations under the Convention.



4. Subjects of concern



122. The Committee is concerned about the fact that six years after its accession to the Convention and four years after the consideration of its initial report, the State party has failed to incorporate into its internal legislation important provisions of the Convention namely:



(a) A definition that encompasses all cases covered by article 1 of the Convention;



(b) Article 3 of the Convention in toto, i.e. covering not only extradition but also, expulsion and return (refoulement);



(c) The provisions of article 5, subparagraphs 1 (b) and (c) and 2 in conjunction with those of articles 8 and 9.



5. Recommendations



123. The Committee recommends that the State party should take the following measures:



(a) Enact legislation defining torture in accordance with article 1 and considering it as a specific crime;



(b) Clarify through appropriate legislation that superior orders can never be invoked as a justification of an act of torture;



(c) Introduce legislation that would give effect to all the provisions of article 3 of the Convention by preventing extradition, return and expulsion of persons in danger of being subjected to torture;



(d) Take legislative measures to establish universal jurisdiction as required by article 5 of the Convention;



(e) Appraise the Committee of the results of the investigation and judicial inquiries into the death, whilst in custody, of Mr. Kaya;



(f) Ensure that all instances of torture and especially those resulting in death, are promptly and effectively investigated by an independent body and that the perpetrators be brought immediately to justice.


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Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
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