Twelve members elected to the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Today, States Parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) have elected, in the first round, twelve members to the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT). All twelve will serve their term from 1 January 2017, for four years. APT wishes them all the best for the forthcoming period of membership.

Of the elected members, five were re-elected for a second term of four years:

  • Hans-Jörg Bannwart (Switzerland)
  • Malcolm Evans (United Kingdom)
  • Margarete Osterfeld (Germany)
  • June Caridad Pagaduan-Lopez (Philippines)
  • Victor Zaharia (Moldova)

Seven new members were elected:

  • Satyabhooshun Gupt Domah (Mauritius)
  • María Dolores Gómez (Argentina)
  • Petros Michaelides (Cyprus)
  • Kosta Mitrovic (Serbia)
  • Abdellah Ounnir (Morocco)
  • Haimoud Ramdan (Mauritania)
  • Zdenka Perović (Montenegro)

With its 25 members, the SPT is the largest treaty body within the United Nations. Its mandate is also unique within the UN, as members need to be able to conduct visits to various types of places of detention in any country, interview persons deprived of liberty, analyse the situation of torture and ill-treatment, and work constructively with States authorities, National Preventive Mechanisms, and a variety of other stakeholders.

Elections represent an opportunity to strengthen the composition and expertise of the Subcommittee. In today’s elections, only four of the 14 candidates were women. All of them were elected and the gender balance of the whole SPT will be thus maintained, with 12 women out of the 25 members.

The representation of the Africa group will increase from next year, with the election of three new members, two of them from Northern Africa. Hopefully, this will help advancing the effective implementation of the OPCAT, the biggest challenge faced by States in the region.