- by theguardian
- 20 Mar 2023
Queensland Health will also prevent the officials from visiting mental health wards where people ordered to undergo treatment or charged with crimes are held, the state health service confirmed to Guardian Australia.
Inspectors arrived at a facility in Queanbeyan, NSW, on Tuesday night and were denied access, the state corrections minister, Geoff Lee, said.
Inspectors from the UN subcommittee on prevention of torture arrived in Australia this week with plans to conduct surprise visits on state, territory and commonwealth prison facilities over 12 days.
Opcat was ratified by the federal government under the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2017. This is the first time inspectors have visited Australia.
Under its mandate, the SPT is able to make unannounced visits to all detention facilities and conduct private interviews with people deprived of their liberty without witnesses.
Queensland has known for five years that the inspections would occur and changed some laws to provide for access, as other jurisdictions around Australia have done.
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