Jamaica: UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to launch fact-finding mission

GENEVA (10 February 2010) — The UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, will launch his first official visit to Jamaica, from 12 to 19 February 2010, at the Government’s invitation.
“The aim of the mission is to evaluate in person, in an objective and impartial manner, the situation regarding torture and ill-treatment, and to initiate a process of constructive cooperation with the Government,” said the UN independent expert.
In order to gather first-hand information in relation to the mandate, Mr. Nowak will meet with Government officials, civil society members and representatives of United Nations agencies and international organizations. He will also visit places where persons are deprived of their liberty.
A press conference will be held in Kingston at the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur’s visit on Friday 19 February. The venue and time of the press conference will be announced at a later stage. A final report on the Special Rapporteur’s visit to Jamaica will be presented to the Human Rights Council in 2011.
Manfred Nowak, appointed Special Rapporteur on 1 December 2004 by the UN Commission on Human Rights, is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity. He has previously served as member of the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, the UN expert on missing persons in the former Yugoslavia, the UN expert on legal questions on enforced disappearances, and as a judge at the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nowak is Professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights at the University of Vienna, and Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.