UN Committee against Torture Reviews Holy See and Non-Reporting State

Vatican Window. Photo Credit: Flickr user Derek Key.

In May 2014, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) held its 52nd session in Geneva. Two significant events took place during this session: consideration of the initial report of the Holy See and the review of a non-reporting state. The Holy See, which ratified the UN Convention against Torture in 2002, appeared before the CAT [Read More...]

Is Forced Feeding in Response to Hunger Strikes a Violation of the Prohibition of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment?

The American Society of International Law hosted a panel discussion as part of if its Annual Meeting on April 10, 2014 on the topic “Is Forced Feeding in Response to Hunger Strikes a Violation of the Prohibition of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment?” The panelists included Baher Azmy from the Center for Constitutional Rights, [Read More...]

The Situation of Journalists in Cuba

Photo Credit: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Commissioners: Felipe González (Rapporteur for Cuba), José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, Paulo Vannuchi, Catalina Botero (Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression) Petitioners: CUBALex legal assistance center, Primavera, Lets Talk Press (Centro de Información Hablemos Press (CIPRESS)). State: Cuba (not present) Petitioners before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reported on the lack of freedom of [Read More...]

Human Rights Situation of Persons Deprived of Liberty in Nicaragua

Photo Credit: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Commissioners: Tracy Robinson, Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, James L. Cavallaro Petitioners: Centro Nicaragüense de Derechos Humanos (CENIDH); Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL) State: Nicaragua On March 25, 2014, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) heard a petition addressing the state of human rights in Nicaragua’s prisons. The Petitioners alleged that individuals [Read More...]

State of Emergency Threatens Human Rights in Paraguay

Photo credit: ccarlstead via flickr

Recently inaugurated President Horacio Cartes promised that his administration would not allow frontier threats to dictate the agenda of his government. This dynamic has changed, however, following an attack on a cattle ranch that resulted in the deaths of five security officers in August 2013. The attack was presumably carried out by the Paraguayan People’s [Read More...]

General Human Rights Situation in Venezuela

Photo Credit: Comision Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Commissioners: Dinah Shelton, Felipe Gonzalez, Tracy Robinson, Rodrigo Escobar Gil, Emilio Álvarez Icaza (executive secretary) Petitioners: Comité de Familiares Victimas de los sucesos de febrero y marzo de 1989 (COFAVIC) / Vicaría de Derechos Humanos de la Arquidiócesis de Caracas / Caritas de la Diócesis de Los Teques State: Venezuela On October 31, 2013, the [Read More...]

Poland refuses second ECtHR request for information regarding secret CIA detention centers on its soil

Prison Security by x1kilma

Despite extensive allegations and evidence that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated secret facilities in several foreign countries, Poland is the only country that has launched a domestic criminal investigation into the matter. Through domestic proceedings, Poland is investigating allegations that the country hosted a CIA “black site,” or secret detention center, which [Read More...]

Abuse in Guatemalan Psychiatric Hospital May Amount to Torture

CC image courtesy of Nooccar on Flickr

Psychiatric patients are often considered among the most vulnerable populations, largely as a result of a psychiatric patient’s powerlessness once placed under the control of another person. This vulnerability can be illustrated through a recent investigation of a Guatemalan psychiatric facility that produced alarming results. Human rights groups—including Disability Rights International—conducted a month-long study of [Read More...]

Situation of Human Rights of Intersex Persons in the Americas

Photo by Claudia Abasto (March 15, 2013)

Commissioners: Felipe González, Tracy Robinson and Rosa María Ortiz Petitioners: Mauro Cabral, Natasha Jiménez, Advocates for Informed Choice, Núcleo de Pesquisa em Sexualidade e Relações de Gênero, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Consórcio Latino Americano de Trabalho sobre Intersexualidade State: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica Petitioners testified on the plight of intersex individuals (people [Read More...]

Situation of Human Rights of Lesbian Women in the Americas

147th Period of Sessions, Commission Hearing. Photo by Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (March 15, 2013).

Commissioners: Rose-Marie Antoine, Rosa María Ortiz, Tracy Robinson, Rodrigo Escobar Gil, Victor Madrigal-Borloz (IACHR Senior Specialist) Petitioners: AIREANA (Paraguay), Taller de Comunicación Mujer (Ecuador), Colombia Diversa State:  n/a In a hearing on the human rights of lesbians held on March 15, 2013 at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, both the petitioners and the Commissioners [Read More...]