14 May 2010

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture encourages Pacific countries to ratify convention

7:56 am on 14 May 2010

The UN Special Rapporteur on torture says he's encouraged by moves in the Pacific to address torture but regrets that he is yet to be invited for a fact-finding mission to Fiji.

Manfred Nowak says he has requested a visit to Fiji but is yet to get a response from the interim government in Suva.

He says he is concerned over a particular case in Fiji and has made representations to the interim government about this.

Mr Nowak has this week been in Vanuatu, where the government has just committed to ratifying the UN Convention Against Torture, before visits to Australia and Papua New Guinea.

"There is much more attention now to the situation of torture in Pacific Island states and I hope that the ratification of the UN Convention Against Torture by Vanuatu will be only a first step and that other countries will follow. I certainly will recommend also to the government of Papua New Guinea to take quick action and ratify the convention."

Manfred Nowak