Prevention of torture: a commitment made by Panama

Friday, January 20, 2012

As a year has now passed since the incident in the Tocumen Youth Detention Center, in which five detainees died and two others were seriously injured, the Association for the Prevention of Torture reaffirms its commitment to preventing torture and other ill-treatment in Panama and totally repudiates any event of this nature.

In this regard it is worth highlighting the importance of establishing an independent National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) in order to monitor conditions of detention and the treatment received by detainees, as stipulated in the Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention against Torture (OPCAT), ratified on 02 June 2011 by the Panamanian authorities. The establishment of such a mechanism constitutes an essential step to prevent similar cases taking place in the future, and to improve living conditions for detainees in Panama.

The APT has full confidence in the commitment made by the Panamanian government, undertaken by the ratification of this international instrument, to establish its own NPM within one year.