UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Special Rapporteur on Torture
Special Rapporteur on Torture
Organization type Special Rapporteur
Abbreviation SRTorture
management Nils Melzer
Founded March 13, 1985
Headquarters Palais des Nations , Geneva
Upper organization UN Human Rights Council

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture ( English Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ) is one of the United Nations ( English UN / German  UN ) proclaimed expert . As a public official , he has access to and inspection rights in all prisons of the UN-affiliated nations that recognize international law . Every year he prepares a detailed report to the public of the world community on the incidents he has learned and verifiable justified allegations.

The UN mandate

The UN Human Rights Commission created this position on March 13, 1985 by means of a resolution in which the mandate was also defined. This UN mandate is limited to three years and is regularly extended. After the UN Human Rights Commission was replaced by the UN Human Rights Council in 2006 , the latter is now responsible and oversees. The last extension of the mandate took place on April 7, 2017.


The UN Human Rights Commission decided in its resolution 1985/33 to appoint an expert for all questions about torture, who has a mandate for all countries, even if they have not ratified the UN Convention against Torture . However, this mandate is limited in several respects, in particular because visits are only possible with the approval of the respective state.

The term of office of the Special Rapporteur, who is appointed by the President of the UN Human Rights Council through a diplomatic procedure, is three years. The Special Rapporteur works on a voluntary basis but receives personal support from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights .

The annual report for 2003 , which comprises 420 pages, lists incidents of torture in a total of 115 countries. The People's Republic of China takes up the largest section with 130 documented cases of serious mistreatment by state officials . After he was denied the necessary conditions for an objective investigation in 2004, the Chinese leadership was ready to fulfill them in 2005, so that the special rapporteur, then Juan E. Méndez , visited the People's Republic for the first time on November 21, 2005. At the same time, he rejected an invitation to the American prison camp Guantanamo in Cuba , because the United States government was not ready to allow undisturbed discussions between UN representatives and prisoners.

On November 1, 2016, the Swiss lawyer Nils Melzer took up the post of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. In December 2016, he asked France not to extradite the Kazakh opposition leader Muchtar Abelyasov to Russia because he was at risk of torture there.

In May 2019 visited Melzer the investigative journalist en Julian Assange in London in prison. Then he wrote the end of June 2019 a report entitled Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange ( German  expose the torture Julian Assange ), he offered no avail various prestigious print media in the US, UK and Australia for publication. On January 31, 2020, Melzer gave the Swiss online magazine Republik an interview on the Assange case.


See also


  • Manfred Nowak : The Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. A balance sheet after six years. In: United Nations 59.2011,5, pp. 202–209, pdf @ dgvn.de, accessed on August 27, 2012
  • Manfred Nowak: Torture - the everyday of the incomprehensible . Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-218-00833-4 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. OHCHR | Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Retrieved March 23, 2020 .
  2. Creation and mandate. (Word) In: A / HRC / RES / 1985/33. UN Human Rights Commission , March 13, 1985, accessed April 8, 2019 .
  3. UN Human Rights Council. In: Enforce human rights. Published by: German Society for the United Nations e. V. (DGVN), accessed on March 24, 2019 (The Human Rights Council replaced the Human Rights Commission, which until 2006 had been the United Nations' most important body in the protection of human rights, but was increasingly exposed to criticism of its efficiency.).
  4. Decision of the UN General Assembly to create the Human Rights Council. (pdf) In: UN Res. 60/251. Published by: UN General Assembly , March 15, 2006, p. 1, item 1 , accessed on March 24, 2019 .
  5. ↑ Extension of mandate. (PDF) In: A / HRC / RES / 34/19. UN Human Rights Council , April 7, 2017, accessed April 8, 2019 .
  6. https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakhstan-un-envoy-urges-france-not-extradite-ablyazov-to-russia/28163600.html
  7. United Nations Human Rights: UN expert says "collective persecution" of Julian Assange must end now
  8. https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian-assange-b252ffdcb768
  9. A murderous system is created before our eyes [1]
  10. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Torture/SRTorture/Pages/NilsMelzer.aspx