Statute of limitations
The Committee is concerned that the crime of torture is subject to a statute of
limitations of 18 years.
The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the offence of
torture is not subject to any statute of limitations, in order to preclude any risk of
impunity in relation to the investigation of acts of torture and the prosecution and
punishment of perpetrators.
National and regional mechanisms for the prevention of torture
The Committee welcomes the establishment of the National Authority for the Rights
of Persons Detained or Deprived of Personal Liberty as the national preventive mechanism
under the Optional Protocol to the Convention, and commends the creation of local
preventive mechanisms in some regions and cities, although their independence has
sometimes been questioned. It regrets, however, the lack of information provided about the
action taken by the State party in response to the recommendations issued by the National
Authority since it became operational in March 2016 (art. 2).
The State party should:
Ensure the functional, structural and financial independence of the
existing regional and municipal preventive mechanisms for the prevention of torture;
Ensure effective follow-up to, and implementation of, recommendations
of the National Authority for the Rights of Persons Detained or Deprived of Personal
Liberty, generated by its monitoring activities, in accordance with the guidelines on
national preventive mechanisms, of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (see CAT/OP/12/5,
paras. 13 and 38).
National human rights institution
While acknowledging the existence of institutional structures that monitor the
implementation of human rights, the Committee is concerned that the State party has not
yet established a consolidated national human rights institution (art. 2).
The Committee reiterates the recommendation contained in its previous
concluding observations (see CAT/C/ITA/CO/4, para. 8) that the State party should
proceed with the establishment of an independent national human rights institution,
in accordance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the
promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles).
Fundamental legal safeguards
The Committee takes note of the procedural safeguards set out in articles 143, 386
and 387 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, mainly the right of detainees to notify a relative
of their detention, to access a lawyer of their own choosing and to receive the assistance of
an interpreter. However, it is concerned about consistent reports indicating that detainees
are often not informed about their rights or authorized to communicate with their relatives.
The Committee is also concerned at the limited access to legal aid, owing to restrictive
qualifying criteria, especially for non-citizens, and that not all detentions are recorded
promptly. Lastly, the Committee regrets the maintenance of a maximum detention period of
five days for certain crimes before a person held in custody following arrest is brought
before a judicial authority (art. 2).