In cases where protection measures apply to one or more individuals, these are referred to as Mr. / Ms. X, Y, Z, etc. or, just as some specific locations are referred to as X, Y, Z, etc.
I. Introduction The present document is submitted by the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez, to the Human Rights Council, pursuant to its resolution 25/13.
In the present addendum, the Special Rapporteur provides observations, where considered appropriate, on communications sent to States between 1 December 2014 and 30 November 2015, as well as on responses received from States in relation to these communications until 31 January 2016. In some instances and where appropriate, observations are provided to older communications which received a late reply within the above-named date range, as well as communications with updated replies following the request of the Special Rapporteur (see additional observations). Communications sent and responses received during the reporting period are accessible electronically through hyperlinks.
The Special Rapporteur is grateful to all States, which have transmitted responses to communications sent. He considers response to his communications an important part of cooperation by States with his mandate. In this context, the Special Rapporteur recalls paragraph 2(a) of the Human Rights Council resolution 25/13 which urges States to “fully cooperate with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of his or her task, to supply all necessary information requested by him or her and to fully and expeditiously respond to his or her urgent appeals, and urges those Governments that have not yet responded to communications transmitted to them by the Special Rapporteur to answer without further delay.”
The communications and the relevant replies can also be accessed via the encorporated links or in the communications reports of Special Procedures A/HRC/29/50 (communications sent, 1 December 2014 to 28 February 2015; replies received, 1 February to 30 April 2015), A/HRC/30/27 (communications sent, 1 March to 31 May 2015; replies received, 1 May to 31 July 2015) and A/HRC/31/79 (communications sent, 1 June to 30 November 2015; replies received, 1 August 2014 to 31 January 2016).
The Special Rapporteur on torture has made follow-up one of his priorities during his six year term. The Special Rapporteur has initiated a study to better understand the impact the communications procedure has on victims of torture and those subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and how to further improve the effectiveness of this mechanism (including Observation reports) to prevent violations, protect victims from further violations and encouraging timely and substantive responses from the State concerned to ensure accountability.
The Special Rapporteur has received input from the Secretariat of the Special Procedures Branch and the Registry of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Further, in September 2015, the Special Rapporteur sent a letter and questionnaire to non-government organizations at the international, regional and national level, who had submitted information over the past two years which formed the basis of a communication that was sent and subsequently reflected in the Special Rapporteur’s 2014 and 2015 Observations Reports, presented to the Human Rights Council, A/HRC/25/60/Add.2 and A /HRC/28/68/Add.1 respectively. The Special Rapporteur extends his appreciation to the non-government organizations who responded with detailed information about the communication process and follow up information on individual cases and what, if any, action taken by the State to address any violation. The information gathered is being verified and analysed. The results will also be submitted and considered in the systemic review of the communications procedure being undertaken by Special Procedures mandate holders as reported in the Annual Report of Special Procedures (A/HRC/31/39 paras. 11 and 52). The Special Rapporteur hopes that the conclusions and recommendations from this study could help identify ways to improve follow-up on cases, have a greater impact for the victim, increase the effectiveness of communications and observations and identify practices that may also be of assistance to the working methods of Special Procedures more generally.