The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), at the end of their first visit to Panama, urged the State Party of Panama to promptly put in place an independent and effective national mechanism for the prevention of torture compliant with international standards.

Following the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture in 2011, the State of Panama assumed the international obligation to create a national preventive mechanism (NPM) within one year.

During its stay in Panama from August 20 to 26, the delegation met with state authorities, the Ombudsman, representatives of civil society and UN agencies.

The SPT visited 13 places of deprivation of liberty. Among others, the SPT visited prisons, police stations, a psychiatric institution, a nursing home for elders as well as juvenile and migrant detention centres. The delegation conducted private interviews with persons deprived of their liberty, prison officials, police and medical personnel, obtaining solid findings on the situation of persons deprived of their liberty and prison conditions.

This highlights the fact that, were Ireland to ratify the OPCAT, an NPM would not be necessary before ratification.

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