Mitigating the risks of sanctions related to detention monitoring (2012)

What is understood by “sanctions”?

The term of “reprisals” is frequently used to describe punishment practices inflicted by guards or detaining authorities against detainees who have reported to independent monitors. However, “reprisal” being defined as an act of revenge or retaliation, is neither exact nor precise, since the effects suffered by individuals subjected to torture and other ill-treatment do not result from committing an “offence” supposedly justifying a revenge or a punishment. Therefore, the APT prefers to use a more generic but also more adequate term, “sanction”, which is also the wording used in articles 15 and 21 of the OPCAT, describing any punishment resulting from mere contact with an independent monitor.