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Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture, A/HRC/22/53/Add.4, 12 March 2013: United States of America

III. Replies received after the observations to communications report A/HRC/19/61/Add. 4 of 29 February 2012

United States of America

(h) JUA 19/08/2011 Case No. USA 15/2011 State reply: 02/04/2012

Alleged torture and ill-treatment in immigration facilities

178. The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government of the United States of America for its response to this communication in reference to allegations of torture and ill-treatment in immigration facilities. According to the information received, 16 gay and transgender individuals have allegedly been subjected to solitary confinement, torture and ill-treatment, including sexual assault, while in detention in U.S. immigration facilities. Furthermore, there was reportedly a lack of protection from persecution and respect for the principle of non-refoulement for those who risk torture if returned to their home countries on account of their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status. In its reply, the Government of the United States indicated that it is currently investigating these allegations, but has not provided any further details. The Government also refused to comment on whether the standards under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) would be extended to include immigration detention facilities. The Government stated that a wide variety of complaint, investigation, and medical assistance mechanisms have been established in immigration facilities, and that it is currently revising its prisoner risk assessment procedures and general detention standards, so as to provide enhanced protection to LGBT detainees. The Government, however, did not specify the exact measures that will be adopted under these initiatives. The Special Rapporteur would like to draw the attention of the Government to paragraph 6 of General Comment No. 20 of the Human Rights Committee, to article 7 of the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, to the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment and the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, particularly rule 22 (2). Given the lack of evidence to the contrary, the Special Rapporteur determines that the rights of the aforementioned victims have been violated under the Convention against Torture. The Special Rapporteur calls on the Government to ensure the continued investigation of the allegations, and to prosecute and punish those responsible, and to provide the victims with fair and adequate compensation and rehabilitation.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRTorture-Communications and replies-2013-eng-fra-esp

Link to Special Rapporteur’s correspondence with the State: Correspondence-SR-USA-15-2011-eng

Link to State’s reply: Correspondence-SR-USA-reply-15-2011-eng