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The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment submits his third report to the Human Rights Council. In chapter II he summarizes
his activities between August and December 2008 (the period since the submission of his interim
report to the General Assembly (A/63/175), including updates on country visits, future visits and
pending requests for invitations, and highlights of key presentations and meetings. In chapter III,
the Special Rapporteur focuses on the compatibility of the death penalty with the prohibition of
cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. He concludes that the historic interpretation of the
right to personal integrity and human dignity in relation to the death penalty is increasingly
challenged by the dynamic interpretation of this right in relation to corporal punishment and the
inconsistencies deriving from the distinction between corporal and capital punishment, as well as
by the universal trend towards the abolition of capital punishment. The Special Rapporteur
invites the Council to request a comprehensive legal study on the compatibility of the death
penalty with the right to personal integrity and human dignity. In chapter IV, he discusses a
human rights-based approach to drug policies, concluding that drug users are often subjected to
discriminatory treatment and that States have a positive obligation to ensure the same access to
prevention and treatment in places of detention as outside them. He recommends that the Council
take up the question of drug policies in the light of international obligations in the area of human
rights at a future session.

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