CAT/C/NIC/CO/1
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5.
The Committee commends the State party for its establishment of the National Coalition
against Trafficking in Persons in 2004 and its accession to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and
Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the
United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, also in 2004.
6.
The Committee appreciates the efforts made by the State party to improve the operation of
the national prison system, especially the adoption on 11 September 2003 of Act No. 473 on the
prison system and enforcement of sentences, which establishes rules on how sentences are to be
served and custodial measures enforced in accordance with the principles of re-education and
social reintegration.
7.
The Committee takes note with satisfaction of the adoption of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, which is intended to improve the administration of justice.
8.
The Committee welcomes the Refugee Protection Act, which was adopted by the National
Assembly on 4 June 2008 with all-party support.
9.
Furthermore, the Committee expresses its satisfaction at the creation of the post of Special
Procurator for Prisons in 2006 for the purpose of monitoring the treatment given to persons held
in detention centres.
C. Principal causes of concern and recommendations
Definition and criminalization of torture
10. The Committee notes that the new Criminal Code, which entered into force on 9 July 2008,
contains both a characterization and an explicit definition of torture in chapter II (Crimes against
humanity), article 486. The Committee is, however, concerned that the definition of torture in the
Criminal Code is not fully in line with article 1 of the Convention because it does not specifically
refer to offences committed by, at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiescence of a
public official or other person acting in an official capacity. The Committee is also concerned by
the fact that the Military Criminal Code does not include the offence of torture but instead refers
to “abuse of authority” and “causing injury”, which could entail the application of standards that
are more favourable to the accused (arts. 1 and 4).
The State party should adopt a definition of torture fully in line with article 1 of the
Convention and ensure that this definition covers all the elements of torture. The
State party should also amend the Military Criminal Code to include the offence
of torture and bring it into line with the provisions of articles 1 and 4 of the
Convention.
Obligation to investigate and the right to complain
11. The Committee notes with concern the complete absence of cases and sentences relating to
the offences of torture and ill-treatment, which could be viewed as being akin to impunity. The

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