On November 25, 2019, the case was won in the UN Committee against Torture.

Заголовок: On November 25, 2019, the case was won in the UN Committee against Torture. Сведения: 2024-06-27 03:51:41

Decision of the Committee against Torture of November 25, 2019 Ali Arras against Morocco. Communication No. 817/2017.

In 2017, the author of the communication was assisted in preparing a complaint. Subsequently, the complaint was communicated to Morocco.

During the long period of detention in Morocco, the applicant, in his opinion, was subjected to severe torture: injections of some substances, rape, beatings, humiliation, threats, etc. Under the influence of these tortures, he signed an open-hearted confession, drawn up in advance, and in Arabic, which he does not speak. The complainant claimed that the State party had violated articles 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16 Conventions.

The Committee's legal position: Solitary confinement may constitute a violation of article 16 of the Convention [against Torture], depending on the circumstances of the case and taking into account the special conditions of solitary confinement, the severity of the application of this measure, the duration of such detention, the purpose pursued and the consequences for the person concerned (See: AA v. Denmark (CAT/C/49/D/412/2010), paragraph 7.4.). The Committee reiterates its recommendation that solitary confinement and isolation should be used as a last resort for as short a period as possible, under strict supervision and with the possibility of judicial review (See: Vogel v. New Zealand (CAT/C/62/D/672/2015), para. 7.2.). The Committee also refers to the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), rule 44 of which states that solitary confinement means the restriction of prisoners' freedom for 22 hours or more per day without meaningful contact with people and that prolonged solitary confinement means solitary confinement for a period exceeding 15 days in a row (See also A/66/268, para. 26.). The Committee notes its previous practice with regard to certain fundamental guarantees that should apply to all persons deprived of their liberty in order to prevent torture and ill-treatment. These guarantees include, among other things, the right of prisoners to promptly receive independent legal assistance, independent medical care and to contact their family (paragraph 8.5 of the Decision).

The Committee recalls its general comment No. 3 (2012) on the implementation of article 14 and notes that article 14 applies to all victims of torture and ill-treatment. The Committee also recalls that article 14 not only recognizes the right to fair and adequate compensation, but also requires States parties to ensure that victims of torture or ill-treatment receive compensation. The Committee considers that reparation should cover the totality of the damage caused to the victim and include, among other measures, restitution, compensation and rehabilitation of the victim, as well as measures capable of ensuring that violations cannot be repeated, taking into account the circumstances of each case (paragraph 8.6 of the Decision) (See: Ali v. Tunisia (CAT/C/41/D/291/2006), paragraph 15.8.).

The Committee's assessment of the factual circumstances of the case: the applicant was placed in solitary confinement for a long period of time. The Committee also took note of the applicant's claim that during the period of his solitary confinement, he was forced to stay in his cell 23 hours a day, could exercise for one hour a day and could take a shower once a week. In addition, the Committee took into account the applicant's claim that at the time in question he was particularly vulnerable because he slept on the floor without a mattress, had health problems and suffered from malnutrition. The Committee has taken note of the State party's allegations that the complainant was placed in solitary confinement due to disciplinary measures, the conditions of his imprisonment were standard and humane, and he had the right to regular contact with his family... The Committee has taken into account the complainant's claim that solitary confinement, as well as the lack of clarification from the State party in this regard, caused him suffering and affected his state of health. The Committee noted that the applicant's detention regime amounted to solitary confinement, even if it was not qualified as such under Moroccan law. The Committee considered that the applicant's solitary confinement and its duration, aggravated by the lack of regular inspections of this regime, restrictions on communication with family and failure to provide regular access to medical care, were not proportionate to the stated purpose of ensuring compliance with discipline (paragraph 8.5 of the Decision).

The Committee stressed that in the present case, the applicant had been in solitary confinement for a long period of time, and no objective investigation had been conducted into the circumstances of his isolation and the regime of his detention had not been relaxed, which caused him unnecessary suffering (paragraph 8.6 of the Decision).

The Committee's conclusions: The facts presented reveal a violation of articles 16 and 2, paragraph 1, considered in conjunction with articles 1 and 11, as well as article 14 of the Convention (paragraph 9 of the Decision).

See also the following Decision of the Committee against Torture of 22 November 2019 in the case of Hani Khater v. Morocco. Messages N 782/2016. The Committee considered that the applicant's placement in solitary confinement, the restriction of his contact with his family and lawyer and the denial of his regular access to medical care constituted a violation of article 16 of the Convention against Torture.



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