1st General Assembly of Asia Alliance Against Torture

 

Petaling Declaration

(Adopted in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, on December 3rd 2019)

 

We, civil society groups from nine (9) countries across Asia, participating in the 1st General Assembly held in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia from 1-3 December 2019 adopt this declaration:

 

Asserting, the freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of the people in Asia shall be recognized in the countries across Asia in accordance with the international human rights law standards;

 

Standing in solidarity with all victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and their family members, including the victims’ rights on compensation, non-repetition and reparation according to the international human rights obligations and commitments;

 

Recognizing the contribution of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of the torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, other UN Special Procedure Mandate Holders, and other national, regional and international bodies and mechanism in combating torture;

 

Expressing concern that the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in Asia is pervasive and institutionalized by state apparatus and not being protected by strong regulations to put the perpetrator to justice;

 

Alarmed by the shrinking civic space, increased threats, attacks and other forms of intimidation of human rights defenders, lack of protection mechanism for victims, persecution of victims, complainants and witnesses of torture, and impunity granted to the perpetrators;

 

Noting that there is no regional mechanism in Asia and despite some positive developments in a few Asian countries such as ratification of UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), adoption of national legislation on torture, designating National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), in most of the countries, Governments, judiciaries, National Human Rights Institutions and other state institutions are failing to prevent the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and protect the victims by denying or delaying interventions, insufficient or improper medical documentation, due to a lack of mandate, power, political will, dysfunctionality and/or due to the culture of impunity and violence in Asia;

 

Committed to the establishment and empowerment of independent local, national, and regional level networks of civil society to combat torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

 

We call on Asian Governments to:

  1. Prevent, criminalize, and investigate all acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in national jurisdiction and hold perpetrators accountable in a transparent and effective manner;
  2. Implement obligations under international human rights treaties and standards, particularly the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by ratifying and adopting the treaty into national law;
  3. Eliminate all threats, attacks, and intimidation against human rights defenders and civil society and ensure effective preservation of civic space by removing all barriers that hinder human rights work;
  4. Ensure that states (in particular law enforcement and other security sector agencies) are held fully accountable for human rights violations and abuses they commit individually or in cooperation with one another;
  5. Ensure that victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and their families have effective access to redress and justice;
  6. Ensure that judicial processes are functional, transparent, effective, and just through radical reform, in line with the international human rights standards in combating torture;
  7. Issue invitations to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and respond promptly and substantively to all of the Special Rapporteur’s communications, giving due consideration to recommendations made in the Special Rapporteur’s reports.
2020-02-05T11:18:46+00:00 0 Comments

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