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12-Point Programme for the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment by Agents of the State

4. Provide safeguards during detention and interrogation All prisoners should be
immediately informed of their rights. These include the right to lodge complaints about their
treatment and to have a judge rule without delay on the lawfulness of their detention. Judges
should investigate any evidence of torture or other ill-treatment and order release if the
detention is unlawful. A lawyer should be present during interrogations. Governments should
ensure that conditions of detention conform to international standards for the treatment of
prisoners and take into account the needs of members of particularly vulnerable groups. The
authorities responsible for detention should be separate from those in charge of interrogation.
There should be regular, independent, unannounced and unrestricted visits of inspection to all
places of detention.

5. Prohibit torture and other ill-treatment in law
Governments should adopt laws for the prohibition and prevention of torture and other illtreatment incorporating the main elements of the UN Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture) and
other relevant international standards. All judicial and administrative corporal punishments
should be abolished. The prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment and the essential
safeguards for their prevention must not be suspended under any circumstances, including
states of war or other public emergency.

6. Investigate
All complaints and reports of torture or other ill-treatment should be promptly, impartially and
effectively investigated by a body independent of the alleged perpetrators. The scope, methods
and findings of such investigations should be made public. Officials suspected of committing
torture or other ill-treatment should be suspended from active duty during the investigation.
Complainants, witnesses and others at risk should be protected from intimidation and reprisals.

7. Prosecute
Those responsible for torture or other ill-treatment should be brought to justice. This principle
applies wherever those suspected of these crimes happen to be, whatever their nationality or
position, regardless of where the crime was committed and the nationality of the victims, and
no matter how much time has elapsed since the commission of the crime. Governments should
exercise universal jurisdiction over those suspected of these crimes, extradite them, or
surrender them to an international criminal court, and cooperate in such criminal proceedings.
Trials should be fair. An order from a superior officer should never be accepted as a
justification for torture or ill-treatment.

Amnesty International 22 April 2005

AI Index: ACT 40/001/2005

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