Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture : Iceland. 11/17/1998.
A/54/44,paras.53-60. (Concluding Observations/Comments)

Convention Abbreviation: CAT
COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
Twenty-first session
9-20 November 1998


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


Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture


Iceland



53. The Committee considered the initial report of Iceland (CAT/C/37/Add.2) at its 350th, 351st and 357th meetings, held on 12 and 17 November 1998 (CAT/C/SR.350, 351 and 357) and has adopted the following conclusions and recommendations:


1. Introduction



54. The Committee thanks the Government of Iceland for its frank cooperation and its representative for the constructive dialogue. It considers that the initial report of the State party fully conforms with the Committee’s general guidelines for the preparation of reports and provides detailed information on the implementation of each provision of the Convention.



2. Positive aspects



55. The Committee notes with satisfaction that Iceland has made the declarations necessary to recognize the Committee’s competence under article 21 and 22 of the Convention.



56. It also notes with satisfaction that the amendments to the Constitution adopted in 1995 enhance protection of human rights and establish, in particular, the absolute prohibition of torture.



57. The Committee finally commends the Icelandic authorities for the enactment of legislation and rules on the rights of arrested persons, interrogations by the police, and the protection of persons committed to psychiatric hospitals against their will.



3. Subjects of concern



58. The Committee is concerned over the fact that torture is not considered as a specific crime in the penal legislation of the State party.



59. It is equally concerned about the use of solitary confinement, particularly as a preventive measure during pre-trial detention.



4. Recommendations



60. The Committee recommends that:



(a) Torture as a specific crime be included in the penal legislation of Iceland;



(b) The Icelandic authorities review the provisions regulating solitary confinement during pre-trial detention in order to reduce considerably the cases to which solitary confinement could be applicable;



(c) The legislation concerning evidence to be adduced in judicial proceedings be brought in line with the provisions of article 15 of the Convention so as to explicitly exclude any evidence made as a result of torture;



(d) Information on constraining measures applied in psychiatric hospitals be included in Iceland’s next periodic report.


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Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
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