Edição V. 7 - N. 13 - Jan/2010
The Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa: The Potential for Synergy or Inertia?
This article examines the implications arising out of the recent decision of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (African Commission) to appoint the Chair of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) as the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention (SRP). The article reviews the mandates of these Special Mechanisms and considers the potential impact of one Commissioner holding both mandates at the same time. The article then considers whether the current practice of the African Commission to appoint Commissioners as Special Rapporteurs can in fact deliver the necessary expertise and level of action required to function effectively and meet the increasing demands for more mechanisms to be established. Finally, the article suggests that lessons can be drawn from the recent review of the UN Special Procedures in order to reform the Special Mechanisms procedure of the African Commission.
Original in English.
Received in June 2010. Accepted in November 2010.
Debra Long, Lukas MuntinghLeia mais
Edição V. 6 - N. 10 - Jan/2009
“Very wicked children”: “Indian torture” and the Madras Torture
While it is often argued that police torture is institutionalised in India, the only authoritative government-backed study of the practice in the history of modern India is the Madras Torture Commission Report of 1855. In the context of the silence that surrounds present-day police violence in India, the rather curious phenomenon of an investigative Commission, instituted by a colonial state, over a hundred and fifty years ago, is particularly interesting. In this article, I attempt a textual analysis of this Report, and an investigation of its ideological and historical context. I argue that the Report primarily served to discursively “manage” the issue of torture, by erasing the complicity of the colonial state in its practice, and that the reforms it suggested resulted in the institutionalisation of a specifically colonial model in the restructuring of the Indian police, a structure that substantially survives to this day.
Original in English.
Submitted in December 2008. Accepted in June 2009.
Anuj BhuwaniaLeia mais