PORTUGAL – UN Human Rights Committee reviews Portugal’s implementation of civil and political rights (2012-10-24)

Published on October 24 2012 by admin

[[SUMMARY / COMMENTS : The question of the use of taser weapons by Portuguese police officers remains a concern of the UN Human Rights Committee as it reviews Portugal’s implementation of civil and political rights. Note the only really pertinent paragraph (in bold): The UN Committee against Torture has recognised that their use causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture and, in 2007, made recommedations to Portugal on their use. The State Party confirmed that police officers may bear taser guns but their use is allegedly restricted to a last resort.]]

UN Human Rights Committee

Geneva 23-24 October 2012. The United Nations Human Rights Committee examined the fourth periodic report of Portugal on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Committee regretted that no national civil society organisations attended the session or provided the Committee with information. This deficiency seriously affected the depth of the review of Portugal.

The Human Rights Committee appreciated the positive developments mentioned by the State, which have strengthened human rights protection in its territory. A few issues still need to be addressed, in particular with regard to the duration of pre-trial detention, the question of the use of taser weapons by police officers, and the issue of domestic violence.

On the question of preventative detention, the Human Rights Committee expressed concern about the lack of any limit to the length of preventative detention. The State also acknowledged that there are no statistics available on the average length of pre-trial detention.

The Human Rights Committee also raised the issue of the use of taser guns. The UN Committee against Torture has recognised that their use causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture and, in 2007, made recommedations to Portugal on their use. The State Party confirmed that police officers may bear taser guns but their use is allegedly restricted to a last resort.

On the question of domestic violence, the Human Rights Committee emphasised the need to take further measures in order to prevent domestic violence. On this particular matter, the State Party acknowledged that domestic violence is still a scourge in Portugal. The Committee also pointed out that the reported rate of prosecutions is worryingly low in the face of the large number of registered complaints.

The Human Rights Committee will make its recommendations public at the end of session, on 31st October 2012.

http://www.ccprcentre.org/publication/press-releases/un-human-rights-committee-reviews-portugals-implementation-of-civil-and-political-rights-despite-the-regrettable-absence-of-civil-society/

 

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