Mongolia to take decisive steps against torture

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recent national discussions on the eradication of torture in Mongolia have appeared to produce immediate results in the form of a ministerial commitment to ratify the OPCAT. The APT has learned that Minster of Justice and Home Affairs Tsend Nyamdorj has given the green light to the ratification of the instrument and the establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism.

The APT Secretary General Mark Thomson welcomed this move by stating: "Mongolia's courageous move earlier this year to strike the death penalty from its law books is to be highly congratulated. It is therefore extremely encouraging that the government now appears intent on tackling torture."

This high-level political signal emerged immediately in the wake of a series of events on the issue of torture and ill-treatment organized by the APT and its partners in Ulaanbaatar in April.  

During the week beginning 23 April the APT and its partners co-organized several events on the OPCAT. These included a hearing with parliamentarians, a seminar and an OPCAT training workshop for representatives of the National Human Rights Commission and NGOs. All of these events aimed to constructively promote a national dialogue on the ratification and implementation of the OPCAT and were well attended at all levels by a range of participants.  

The question of Mongolia ratifying the OPCAT is not a new issue and has been under discussion for several years. Its November 2010 examination by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva was a crucial moment. During its Universal Periodic Review Mongolia committed itself to ratify this important instrument.

It is therefore most positive that Mongolia will soon act on this international commitment.    



The APT’s partners in the project are Amnesty International Mongolia, Asia Pacific Forum and the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia.

This project is funded by the Open Society Institute as part of a two-year three-country torture-prevention project. The project covers Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. For more information contact mpringle@apt.ch