Wednesday, June 9, 2010

UN torture expert says Cuba fails to accept dates for visit

UN torture expert says Cuba fails to accept dates for visit

The UN human rights expert on torture said Wednesday that the Cuba
government had failed to agree on a date to allow him to go to the
country to examine the human rights situation on site.

Manfred Nowak, whose mandate as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture runs
out on October 30, 2010, said Havana had informed him that it would not
be able to accommodate his mission before the end of his term.

Cuba had invitated Nowak in February 2009 to conduct a fact-finding
mission to the country, but repeated proposals made by the United
Nations expert for dates have not been accepted by the government.

"I regret that in spite of its clear invitation, the government of Cuba
has not allowed me to objectively assess the situation of torture and
ill-treatment in the country by collecting first-hand evidence from all
available sources," Nowak said.

No UN human rights mandate holder on torture has been able to conduct
any fact-finding missions in Cuba.

However, previous visits to Cuba by UN rights envoys include mandate
holders on the use of mercenaries, violence against women and right to food.

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