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Report of the Secretary-General.

UN Document Symbol A/39/499/Add.2
Convention Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Document Type Report of the Secretary-General
Session 39th
Type Document

5 p.

Subjects Torture and Other Cruel Treatment

Extracted Text

General Assembly
6  November  1984 ENGLISH
Thirty-ninth session Agenda  Item 99
Report of   the Secretary-Genral Addendum
Syrian Arab Republic        2
Thailand        2
Venezuela        4
94-26726     1358s   (E)
A/39/499/Add.2 English Page 2
[Original:    Arabic! /30 October  19841
1.    The draft convention  in question  is principally derived from drafts submitted by Sweden and Costa Rica.     In  its final  form,  the draft   is the result of numerous revisions ana amendments and the outcome of   Lengthy and many-faceted discussions undertaken by  the delegations of  the States participating  in the working Group to which the Economic and Social Council of  the united Nations entrusted the preparation of  the said draft at the recommendation of   the Commission on Hunan Rights.
2.    From the  travail preparations  for  the draft convention,   it  is clear   that  the
delegations of  a number of States  such as the union of  Soviet Socialist Republics, the German  Democratic Republic,  India,  Spain, Uruguay, Canada,  Senegal, France,   the United Kingdom,  the United States of America, China,   and Brazil,  have shown appreciable  flexibility  in  the discussions and  In accepting   the  proposals made  in the working Group, as explicitly stated by the representatives of  those States. They did so in a spirit of conciliation and co-operation  in order  to assist  in the completion of  the draft convention and to reach consensus on certain questions which had  been  the subject of  dispute and in view of   the convention being of   the highest priority and of pressing  importance.
3.    Consequently, we have no substantive observations to make on  the said draft
with regard to the articles and the wording that have been settled.     It is,   then,
to be considered a progressive step in the international arena  for the protection
of humanity and human dignity from arbitrariness and  injustice and for  the
extirpation of  torture and  that degrading treatment which  is  incompatible with
fundamental human rights.
(Original    English] [25 October  1984)
Part I Article 1
I.       There  is no definition of   torture  in Thai  law but  the  term is used in many sections of  the Thai Criminal  procedure Code with relatively the same meaning as that of  the draft convention,     in particular,  sections 134 and 13S of  the Thai Criminal Procedure Code prohibit  the inquiry official against deception,  threat or promise to any alleged offender  inducing such person to make any particular
statement concerning  the charge against him.     in this context "threat" can be interpreted to embrace the meaning of  torture.
A/39/499/Add.2 English Page 3
Article 2
2.    Prohibition against  torture of any kind  is the applicable rule of Thai
constitutional law and criminal procedure with no exception whatsoever  under any
Article   3
3.    Prohibition against extradition  nay violate the existing commitment of  States
Parties under  particular extradition treaties to which they have been parties
before,  especially in case the requesting State  is not a state party  to this
Article 4
4.    Under  section 200 of  the Thai Penal Code,  any acts of  torture maliciously
committed  by criminal   Justice officials with  the   intention  to cause  any  person  to
be punished or  to receive heavier  punishment shall  be an offence punishable by  life
Article _5
5.    The underlying principle of   this article is already provided by sections 4
to 11 of  the Thai  Penal Code, according to which the That courts can assume
jurisdiction over  a category of offences committed outside  the  territory of the
Kingdom of Thailand.    Furthermore,  the offence under section 200 as mentioned above
also falls  under  this category.
Articles 6 and 7
6.    This  is a  longstanding principle adopted by  the Thai Criminal Procedure Code.
Tharp   is to say, wherever   it appears that any offence  including the one under
section 200 at   the Thai Penal Code  leas  been committed,  the   inquiry and prosecution
regarding  that case shall be undertaken without delay.    The proposition under draft
article 6,   paragraph 3,  specifying the requirement of  notification regarding the
assumption of court  jurisdiction over   the case  between States parties concerned,   is
therefore welcome as an appropriate co-operative measure.
Article  6
7.    According  to the present practice in Thailand regarding extradition,  the
offence under  section 200 of  the Thai  Penal Code   is an extraditable one.    Moreover,
under   the Extradition Act of B.F.  2472   (1929),  extradition can be granted by the
Thai authority on the basis of  reciprocal principle.
Article 9
8.       Any mutual  judicial assistance ought  to be based on the  treaty obligation between  the States concerned.
A/39/499/Add.2 English Page 4
Article 10
9.    Such education and  information have already been   Included   In moat of  the
training programmes Cor Thai criminal  justice officials.
Articles   11   to   16
10.    Nearly all  the  safeguards contemplated by these draft articles have already
been provided under  the existing Thai Constitution and laws on criminal procedure
as well as the  rules of civil   law governing  tort  liability  in  relation  to the
rights of  the victim of an act of torture to fair  and adequate compensation.     In particular,   under   section  226  of   the Thai  Criminal  Procedure Code,    it   is provided that any evidence obtained as  a result of  torture shall  be  inadmissible  in any criminal proceedings.
Part II
Articles  17  to 24
11.    The  establishment  of  the committee with responsibility entrusted thereto would
seem to be unrealistic due  to the lack of genuine authority to deal with any
specific violations.    Besides,   it  is not virtually unlikely that the performance of
duties enumerated  in the relevant draft articles may not result In interference
with matters which are essentially within the domestic  Jurisdictions of United
Nations Member  States.
Part 111
Articles   25  to  32
12.    These provisions are generally accepted as  the final clauses of  many
multilateral conventions concluded by  the United Nations.    No particular comments
are   therefore necessary.
(Original    Spanish]
|19 October  1964)
1.    The Government of  Venezuela considers  that  the adoption of  such as international  instrument  is  In full accord with   the activities of   the  United Nations and Venezuela   itself   In support of   the enjoyment of human rights  throughout the world and that  it will enhance  the effectiveness of  the other   relevant international  instruments.
2.    Nevertheless,  with regard specifically to the text of  the draft convention, the translation  into Spanish requires careful revision since  It suffers  from a number  of  defects which could be corrected.     In particular,  the use of the word
Jurisdiction"    in   articles   5   to   7   of   the   draft  should  be   clarified,    as  so   to  avoid
difficulties of  interpretation.    Similarly,   in article 8, paragraph 2,  the word
"assistance"  should  be replaced  by  the word  'extencia11.
A/39/499/Aod.2 English
Page   5
3.    Concerning  the problem raised by articles 19 ana 20 of  the draft, the content of which was not agreed on  in the working Group, Venezuela wishes to pace the following comments.
4.    The difficulty as regards article 19 lies in the  fact that the wording of paragraphs 3 and 4 differs from that used in similar earlier  texts,  such as article  40 of the international Covenant on civil and Political Rights and article 9 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,    in   that connection,   some delegations have objected to the inclusion of the words ïcomments or  suggestions" because  they consider  that the use of   those teems would Increase the  risk of possible  interference in the internal affaire of  States*     It is  thus considered more appropriate to use the expression "genera comments.",  as  used  in  the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights and  the  above-mentioned Convention.
5.    With  respect  to article  20,   Which  authorize*  the Committee  to carry out Investigations if  there ate reliable  indications that torture  is systematically practised   in the territory of a State party,   in our view there are sufficient safeguards  in the text to preclude any abuse of   the  provision,   such as that whereby the co-operation of  the State party is required  for  the  investigation to begin,  and the  requirement that the consent of  the State  party must be given for a visit to be made  to its territory,  as provided for  in paragraph 3.    Further,  as affirmed  in the Commission on Hunan Rights by  the representative of the   international Commission of Jurists,   investigations are to be confidential,  and accepted by the States contravening the proposed article 20.
6.    To that end,  Venezuela considers  that the text of article 20 should be retained  in the form  in which  it  last appeared In the working Group,  including non-acceptance of  the proposal by one State  to add the phrase "which has made a declaration  in accordance with article  21,  paragraph  1"  in article 20, paragraph  1, after   the  words   "in   the  territory  of   a  State party".