In accordance with its mandate under the Optional Protocol to the Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
members of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment visited the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
from 23 to 29 April 2017.
The Subcommittee members who conducted the visit were Aisha Shujune
Muhammad (Head of delegation), Mari Amos, Sir Malcolm Evans and June Lopez.
The Subcommittee was assisted by two human rights officers from the Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), two security officers and
four local interpreters.
The State party acceded to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 12 December 1994 and ratified the
Optional Protocol on 13 February 2009. On 11 April 2011, the State party designated the
Ombudsman as the national mechanism for the prevention of torture and other cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The main objectives of the visit were: (a) to provide advisory services and technical
assistance to the national preventive mechanism, in accordance with article 11 of the
Optional Protocol, with the aim of identifying and addressing the challenges and difficulties
faced by the mechanism, taking into account the Subcommittee’s guidelines on national
preventive mechanisms (CAT/OP/12/5) and (b) to help the State party to fully implement
its obligations under the Optional Protocol, thereby strengthening its ability to protect
persons deprived of their liberty and addressing the challenges relating to penitentiary
facilities and in particular to persons on remand.
The Subcommittee met with government officials and other stakeholders (see annex
I) and visited places of detention (see annex II). Meetings held with members of the
national preventive mechanism permitted the Subcommittee to discuss their mandate and
working methods and to explore ways of strengthening and increasing their effectiveness.
In order to better understand how the mechanism works in practice, the Subcommittee also
visited, together with representatives of the mechanism, a place of deprivation of liberty
that had been chosen by the mechanism (see annex III). That visit was led by members of
the mechanism; the members of the Subcommittee acted as observers.
The present report contains the Subcommittee’s observations, findings and
recommendations and, in accordance with article 16 (2) of the Optional Protocol, will
remain confidential unless the State party decides to make it public.
The Subcommittee notes that States that have decided to make Subcommittee
reports public can apply for assistance through the Special Fund established under article 26
of the Optional Protocol, to help with the implementation of the Subcommittee’s
The Subcommittee wishes to express its gratitude to the authorities of the State party
for their help and assistance in planning and undertaking the visit.
The Subcommittee also wishes to express its gratitude to the United Nations
Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident
Representative for the assistance provided prior to and during the visit.
Facilitation of the visit and cooperation
The Subcommittee wishes to express its appreciation to the State party for its
cooperation and facilitation of the visit. In particular, the Subcommittee would like to thank
the State party for the information received before, during and after the visit. It is grateful to
have been able to effectively exercise its right of unrestricted access to all places visited by
the Subcommittee, except for certain vehicles, and to conduct private interviews in all