Preventing torture in Timor Leste through the OPCAT
The APT has prepared a paper suggesting some steps Timor Leste could take to better prevent torture and other ill-treatment, including by ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). This follows an APT mission to Timor Leste in 2007, an APT briefing on OPCAT in Timor Leste (2008) and a letter sent to President José Ramos-Horta in November 2010, encouraging Timor Leste to move forward with ratifying the OPCAT.
Timor Leste is making important progress towards long-term peace, stability and development. In this transition period, there has been much focus on how to deal with a legacy of human rights abuses in the past, including torture and other ill-treatment. Equally important is to ensure rights are protected in the future. The Government is reforming the police force, which in March 2011, took back full control of security in the country from the United Nations. Timor Leste is party to the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) and signatory to its Optional Protocol (since 2005). This is an important time to take measures to ensure that the dignity of detainees is upheld and torture and other ill-treatment are prevented in the country.