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UN Expert Urges Kyrgyzstan To Prevent Torture

Juan Mendez, the UN's special rapporteur for torture
Juan Mendez, the UN's special rapporteur for torture
A United Nations human rights expert has urged Kyrgyz authorities to prevent abuses, torture, and ill-treatment and to end impunity by ensuring that alleged perpetrators are held responsible.

In a statement released on December 14, Juan Mendez said that in Kyrgyzstan, there was "a serious lack of sufficiently speedy, meaningful, thorough, and impartial investigations" into allegations of torture and ill-treatment, as well as lack of effective prosecution of law enforcement officials.

His statement came a day after he wrapped up a fact-finding mission in the country.

On his visit, Mendez interviewed people held in various detention facilities, as well as victims of torture and ill-treatment in Bishkek, Osh, and Jalal-Abad.

Mendez noted that the conditions in detention centers he visited ranged from "adequate to dreadful."

He stressed that Kyrgyz authorities need to restructure procedural safeguards against torture, including by creating a transparent system of access to legal counsel for detainees.