Friday, 24 Mar 2023

UN accuses Australia of clear breach of human rights obligations as it suspends tour of detention facilities

UN accuses Australia of clear breach of human rights obligations as it suspends tour of detention facilities


UN accuses Australia of clear breach of human rights obligations as it suspends tour of detention facilities

The United Nations has suspended its tour of Australian detention facilities and accused the country of a "clear breach" of its obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (Opcat).

The New South Wales government has refused inspectors entry into any facilities in the state and Queensland has blocked access to mental health wards.

In a statement released on Sunday evening, the subcommittee on the prevention of torture (SPT) announced it had stopped the visit following repeated access and information gathering issues.

"The SPT delegation has been prevented from visiting several places where people are detained, experienced difficulties in carrying out a full visit at other locations, and was not given all the relevant information and documentation it had requested," the statement read.

"Despite its continued efforts to engage the authorities for the resolution of the problems, the SPT continued to be obstructed in the exercise of its mandate.

"As a result of this, the SPT members felt that their 12-day visit, which began on 16 October and was due to run until 27 October, had been compromised to such an extent that they had no other option but to suspend it."

The statement claimed that there had been a "clear breach by Australia" and noted there was a misunderstanding about what the visit was for.

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