CAT/C/AUT/CO/3 page 3 5. The Committee also welcomes: (c) The signature of the Optional Protocol to the Convention in September 2003, as well as the oral assurances given by the State party’s representatives that ratification is envisaged shortly; (b) The ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in 2001. C. Subjects of concern and recommendations Definition of torture 6. Notwithstanding the State party’s assertion that all acts that may be described as “torture” within the meaning of article 1 of the Convention are punishable under the Austrian Penal Code, the Committee observes that a definition of torture as provided by article 1 of the Convention is still not included in the Penal Code of the State party. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (A/55/44, para. 50 (a)) that the State party should establish adequate provisions in order to legally define torture in accordance with article 1 of the Convention, and criminalize it in accordance with article 4, paragraph 2, of the Convention. Non-refoulement 7. The Committee is concerned about information that the new Asylum Law, which entered into force in May 2004, could increase the risk of refugees being sent to supposedly safe third countries, that asylum-seekers could be deported before a decision on their appeal has been taken, and that the possibility of presenting new evidence during the hearing is limited. Since the Constitutional Court has declared some of the Act’s articles unconstitutional, the State party is requested to provide the Committee with information on the measures it intends to take to rectify this. 8. The Committee regrets the reported extraditions carried out by the State party after receiving diplomatic assurances from the requesting country. The State party should provide the Committee with detailed information on cases of extradition or removal subject to the receipt of diplomatic assurances since 1999. Additionally, the State party should provide the Committee with detailed information on cases of denial of extradition, return or expulsion owing to the risk that the person might be subjected to torture, ill-treatment or the death penalty upon return. 9. The Committee is concerned at the limited guarantees for women asylum-seekers to be interrogated by female officers. The State party should take the necessary measures to extend the guarantee that women asylum-seekers will be interviewed by women officers to all instances.

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