3.Article 11, paragraph (c), of the OPCAT provides that, for the prevention of torture in general, the SPT shall cooperate with the relevant United Nations organs and mechanisms as well as with the regional and national institutions or organizations working towards the strengthening of the protection of all persons against ill-treatment. During its visit to Paraguay, the SPT took account of all the available information, both from United Nations sources — in particular the report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture — and from other national and regional monitoring bodies. 4.In ratifying the OPCAT, States parties undertake to allow visits by the SPT to any place 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 (hereinafter referred to as “places of detention”). States parties also undertake to grant the SPT unrestricted access to all information concerning the number of persons deprived of their liberty in places of detention, the number of such places and their location, as well as to all information concerning the treatment of those persons and their conditions of detention. They are moreover obliged to allow the SPT to have private interviews, without witnesses, with persons deprived of their liberty. In this context, the SPT is at liberty to choose the places it wants to visit and the persons it wishes to interview. 5.This report on the SPT’s first visit to Paraguay sets out its findings and observations on the situation of persons deprived of their liberty, together with recommendations for improving that situation so as to protect those exposed to any form of ill-treatment. 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. The report forms part of the ongoing dialogue between the Subcommittee and the Paraguayan authorities aimed at preventing torture and other ill-treatment. The report will remain confidential in nature, the decision on its publication resting with the Paraguayan authorities. 6.The preventive work of the State with regard to torture and ill-treatment is necessary in every case, regardless of the occurrence of such abuses in practice. This work should be broad and inclusive in scope, so as to cover all forms of abuse against persons deprived of their liberty. It is justified by the particularly vulnerable situation of persons in State custody, which poses an inherent risk of excesses and abuses of authority prejudicial to the integrity and dignity of the detainee. Monitoring mechanisms and in particular training and sensitization of the State officials in direct contact with persons deprived of their freedom are one of the main tools for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment. 7.Visits by the SPT are intended in this way to examine the prison system and other public agencies with detention authority, with the aim of identifying gaps in the protection of the persons concerned and of determining, where appropriate, the safeguards needed to strengthen the system. The SPT adopts a comprehensive preventive approach. By examining examples of good and bad practice, it seeks to have a positive impact on safeguarding the life, the physical and mental integrity and the humane and dignified treatment of persons held in State custody and to eliminate or reduce to the minimum the possibilities of abuse. 8.The prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment hinges on respect for other fundamental human rights of persons deprived of their liberty, regardless of the form of custody in which they are held. The Subcommittee’s visits to States parties to the Optional Protocol focus on identifying factors that may contribute to, or avert, situations that could lead to ill-treatment. Beyond simply verifying whether torture and ill-treatment has occurred, the SPT’s ultimate goal is to anticipate such acts and prevent their occurrence in the future by persuading States to improve their system for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment. Introduction 9.In accordance with articles 1 and 11 of the Optional Protocol, the SPT made its first periodic visit to Paraguay from Tuesday, 10 March to Monday, 16 March 2009. 10.On this visit, the SPT focused its attention on the state of development of the national preventive mechanism and the situation of persons deprived of their liberty in National Police facilities, prisons and the neuropsychiatric hospital in Asunción. 11.The SPT delegation consisted of the following members: Mario Luis Coriolano, Hans Draminsky Petersen, Miguel Sarre Iguínez and Wilder Tayler Souto (head of delegation). 12.The SPT members were assisted by Patrice Gillibert (Secretary of the SPT), Anna Batalla, Hernán Vales and Jean-Louis Dominguez, all members of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and two interpreters. 13. In the course of its visit, the SPT examined the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the Tacumbú State Prison (Asunción) and in the Pedro Juan Caballero Regional Prison. It also visited 10 police stations in Asunción, San Lorenzo (Central Department), Limpio (Central Department), San Estanislao (San Pedro Department) and Pedro Juan Caballero (Amambay Department), the special unit of the National Police (Asunción) and the neuropsychiatric hospital (Asunción). 14.Besides visiting places of detention, the SPT met with various authorities, including the President of the Republic and the Minister of the Interior, ministerial, parliamentary and judicial representatives, and members of civil society. 15.At the conclusion of its visit, the SPT presented its confidential preliminary conclusions to the Paraguayan authorities. 16.Through this report, drawn up in accordance with article 16 of the Optional Protocol, the SPT conveys to Paraguay the observations and recommendations resulting from its visit as they relate to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, with a view to improving the protection of those persons against torture and ill-treatment. The report of the visit represents an important element in the dialogue between the SPT and the Paraguayan authorities concerning the prevention of torture and ill-treatment. In keeping with article 16, paragraph 2, of the Optional Protocol, this report is confidential unless the Paraguayan authorities request or decide upon its publication.

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