The Special Rapporteur on the question of torture undertook a visit to Mongolia from 6 to
9 June 2005 within the framework of his mandate. He expresses his appreciation to the
Government for the cooperation extended to him during the mission. However, despite repeated
requests he was denied all information related to the death penalty and access to prisoners on
death row, which constituted a serious violation of the terms of reference for the visit. The
report contains a study of the legal and factual aspects regarding the situation of torture or illtreatment in Mongolia. The Special Rapporteur concludes that torture persists, particularly in
police stations and pre-trial detention facilities. Moreover, in two very recent cases, detainees
were even tortured to death.
The Special Rapporteur found that impunity for torture and ill- treatment continues
unimpeded because of the absence in the Criminal Code of a definition of torture in line with the
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
the lack of effective mechanisms to receive and investigate allegations of ill- treatment; and a
basic lack of awareness, primarily on behalf of prosecutors, lawyers and the judiciary, of the
international standards relating to the prohibition of torture. Consequently, victims have no
effective recourse to justice, compensation and rehabilitation for torture and other forms of illtreatment.
The Special Rapporteur found the conditions at the open-style dormitory prisons of the
ordinary regime facility, Prison No. 421 (Amgalan), and the strict regime facility, Prison No. 413
(Zuunkharaa), to be generally in line with international standards. He expressed concern at the
serious overcrowding at the main police custody facility in Ulaanbaatar, the Centre for Forced
Detention. He also expressed concern at the overcrowded cells and the mixing of convicted and
pre-trial prisoners at Detention Centres No. 461 (Gants Hudag) and Zuunmod.
The Special Rapporteur’s is especia lly concerned about the situation of prisoners
subjected to the special isolation regime at Prison No. 405 (Tashireen Am maximum security
prison, also known as Tangaar Nam or Takhir Soyot). In the view of the Special Rapporteur the
special isolation regime, where prisoners serve 30-year terms in virtually by total isolation, is
contrary to article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and amounts to
cruel and inhuman treatment, if not torture, contrary to the Convention.
The Special Rapporteur is also deeply concerned about all the circumstances surrounding
the death penalty in Mongolia, especially the total secrecy. Despite repeated requests to the
highest authorities of the Government, as well as prosecutors and the judiciary, the Special
Rapporteur was not provided with any official information. Concern was expressed that not even
the families of the condemned persons are notified of the exact date or place of execution and do
not receive their mortal remains for burial, which amounts to inhuman treatment of the family,
contrary to article 7 of the Covenant. Moreover, prisoners on death row at the Gants Hudag and
Zuunmod detention centres are held in complete isolation, handcuffed and shackled, and denied
adequate food. These conditions constitute additional punishments which can only be qualified
as torture as defined in article 1 of the Convention.