D.Prisons 319 - 35661
E.Youth rehabilitation centres 357 - 35965
I.List of places of deprivation of liberty visited by the SPT 66
II.List of governmental officials and other organisationsand persons with whom the delegation met 67
1.The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) was
established following the entry into force in June 2006 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT). The SPT began work in February 2007.
2.The aim of the OPCAT is “to establish a system of regular visits undertaken by independent international and national bodies to
places where people are deprived of their liberty”, in order to prevent ill-treatment. The term ill-treatment should be interpreted in its
widest sense, to include inter alia ill-treatment arising from inadequate material conditions of deprivation of liberty. The SPT has two
pillars of work: visiting places of deprivation of liberty to examine current practice and system features in order to identify where the
gaps in the protection exist and which safeguards require strengthening; and assisting in the development and functioning of bodies
designated by States parties to carry out regular visits - the national preventive mechanisms (NPMs). The SPT focus is empirical - on
what actually happens and what practical improvements are needed to prevent ill-treatment.
3.Under the OPCAT, a State party is obliged to allow visits by the SPT to any places under its jurisdiction and control where
persons are or may be deprived of their liberty, either by virtue of an order given by a public authority or at its instigation or with its
consent or acquiescence. States parties further undertake to grant the SPT unrestricted access to all information concerning persons
deprived of their liberty and to all information referring to the treatment of those persons as well as their conditions of detention. They
are also obliged to grant the SPT private interviews with persons deprived of liberty without witnesses. The SPT has the liberty to
choose the places to be visited and the persons to be interviewed. Similar powers are to be granted to NPMs, in accordance with the
OPCAT. The work of the SPT is guided by the principles of confidentiality, impartiality, non-selectivity, universality and objectivity, in
accordance with article 2, paragraph 3, of the OPCAT.
4.Whether or not ill-treatment occurs in practice, there is always a need for States to be vigilant in order to prevent ill-treatment. The
scope of preventive work is large, encompassing any form of abuse of people deprived of their liberty which, if unchecked, could
grow into torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The SPT’s preventive approach is forward looking.
In examining examples of both good and bad practice, the SPT seeks to build upon existing protections and to eliminate or reduce to
a minimum the possibilities for abuse.
5.The prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment proceeds from the respect for the
fundamental human rights of persons deprived of their liberty in whatever form of custody they may find themselves. The visits of the
SPT to States parties to the OPCAT centres on determining which factors may contribute to, or inhibit, situations conducive to illtreatment, in order to make recommendations to prevent ill-treatment from happening or from recurring. In this sense, rather than
merely checking or verifying whether torture has occurred, the SPT’s ultimate aim is to anticipate and forestall the commission of
torture by persuading States to improve the system of functioning safeguards to prevent all forms of ill-treatment.
6.In accordance with articles 1 and 11 of the OPCAT, the SPT visited the Maldives from Monday 10 December until Monday 17
7.In this first visit to the Maldives by the SPT, the delegation focused on the development process of the national preventive
mechanism and the situation, as far as protection against ill treatment, of people deprived of their liberty in police facilities, prisons,
facilities for children and in drug rehabilitation centres.
8.The delegation consisted of the following members of the SPT: Mr Hans Draminsky Petersen (head of delegation), Ms. Marija
Definis-Gojanovic, Mr. Zdenek Hajek, Mr. Zbigniew Lasocik, Mr. Victor Rodriguez Rescia, Mr. Miguel Sarre. The delegation was
accompanied by Mr. Mark Kelly and Mr. R. Vasu Pillai, experts.
9.The SPT members were assisted by Ms. Claudine Haenni Dale, SPT Adviser, and by Mr. José Doria and Mr. Edo Korljan, staff
members of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as well as by interpreters.
10.During its visit to the Maldives, the delegation reviewed the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty and made observations
and conducted private interviews with people deprived of their liberty in various types of institutions: 12 police facilities, including
police stations and police detention centres, and two prisons. It also visited two prisons under construction, an education and training
centre for children, a home for children in need and one drug rehabilitation centre. In addition, the delegation visited the Maldives
National Security Service training centre at Girifushi.11.In addition to visiting places of deprivation of liberty, the SPT had discussions
with public authorities and members of civil society in order to gain an overview of the legal framework regarding the administration of
criminal justice and places of deprivation of liberty and of how the system was functioning in practice. The delegation also held
meetings with representatives of complaints and monitoring bodies and with the members of the HRCM who very shortly before the