62. Croatia accepted the Convention against Torture by succession and recognized the competence of the Committee to receive complaints, as provided for in articles 21 and 22 of the Convention, on 8 October 1991. Croatia has also been a party to the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment since 1997.
63. The Committee notes with satisfaction that the second periodic report complies with the general guidelines for periodic reports prepared by the Committee. Although it was submitted a year and a half late, the report demonstrates the State party’s willingness to cooperate with the Committee in order to fulfil its obligations under the Convention.
2. Positive aspects
64. Croatia has incorporated the crime of torture and acts constituting other inhuman, cruel or degrading treatment or punishment into its internal legislation in terms which are in keeping with the provisions of articles 4 and 16 of the Convention, since it makes these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.
65. There have been some changes in the rules of criminal procedure, such as the introduction of the obligation to bring detainees before a judge within 24 hours so that a decision may be taken on the lawfulness of detention and the determination of the maximum time limits for pretrial detention.
3. Subjects of concern
66. The Committee notes that the Amnesty Act adopted in 1996 is applicable to a number of offences characterized as acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment within the meaning of the Convention.
67. The Committee is seriously concerned about allegations of illtreatment and torture, some of which resulted in death and are attributable to law enforcement officials, especially the police.
68. The Committee is concerned about the incompetence revealed in investigations of cases of serious violations of the Convention, including deaths which have not yet been explained. It is also concerned about the lack of a sufficiently detailed report, which was to be prepared on the basis of the recommendations made following the consideration of the initial report.
69. As during the consideration of the initial report, the Committee recommends that the State party should make all necessary efforts to ensure that the competent authorities immediately conduct an impartial, appropriate and full investigation whenever they have to deal with allegations of serious violations made in a credible manner by non-governmental organizations.
70. The Committee also recommends that, through the intermediary of the competent authorities, the State party should take account of the evidence transmitted to it by the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and some non-governmental organizations concerning violations of human rights and, in particular, cases of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
71. The Committee recommends that constitutional complaints should be received directly by the Constitutional Court in all cases of allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.