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UN human rights expert to examine torture situation in Ghana

witch-camp-1A human rights expert at the United Nations is set to visit Ghana to assess the country’s torture situation.

The UN Special Rapporteur, Juan E. Méndez, who will be on a week-long trip from November 7 to 14, will visit psychiatric centres, prayer camps, detention places, police stations, interrogation centres, prisons, juvenile and women’s facilities.

The Special Rapporteur intends to visit the Greater Accra, Central and Ashanti regions.

In a press statement issued by the UN, Méndez’s assessment will help in identifying challenges regarding torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the country.

“My ultimate task”, Mr Méndez said, “is to engage in a constructive manner with key decision makers and leaders in civil society to help the authorities uphold the rule of law, promote accountability regarding allegations of torture and ill-treatment, fulfill the right of reparations for victims, and to ensure that alleged perpetrators are held responsible in conformity with international law.”

According to the UN expert, he will engage with decision-makers and key actors on various aspects relating to his mandate, from legislative amendments to the criminal law.

The Special Rapporteur will present a final report to the Human Rights Council in March 2014, the UN statement indicated.

By Ekow Quandzie

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