Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, A/HRC/13/39/Add.5, 5 February 2010
III. Cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment
B. Excessive use of force by law enforcement bodies
189. Upon my fact-finding missions I have received numerous worrying allegations of excessive use of force by police authorities outside of the context of detention. As stated above, this may amount to CIDT if it does not meet the test of proportionality.
193. Of particular concern are the reports of police brutality against vulnerable, disadvantaged groups and minorities. In Paraguay, I have received numerous allegations of excessive force by the police against members of indigenous communities and the military in dispersing demonstrations of campesino movements. The Committee against Torture has equally expressed its concern about reports of police brutality against vulnerable groups such as racial minorities, migrants and persons of different sexual orientation, which have not been adequately investigated.
D. Corporal punishment
2. Corporal punishment as a judicial sanction
216. Since assuming my mandate, I have sent several communications relating to corporal punishment to a certain number of countries. In fact, a review of these communications reveals that only a very limited number of countries seem to sustain this cruel and inhuman form of judicial sanctions. Another fact that can be observed from assessing my communications is, on the one hand, the incredible cruelty of some of the reported punishments, such as amputations of the right hand and the left food or flogging with 5000 lashes. On the other, many of the offences sanctioned with corporal punishment involved acts related to sexuality, such as “un-Islamic sexual activities”, “illicit relations”, or adultery.
E. Conditions of detention
231. Many detainees complained that they felt like they were treated worse than animals. Indeed, most human beings would not like their dogs or cats to be treated in the same way that many human beings are treated in detention. They usually belong to the most disadvantaged, discriminated and vulnerable groups in society, such as the poor, minorities, drug addicts or aliens. Within detention facilities, there is usually a strict hierarchy, and those at the bottom of this hierarchy, such as children, the elderly, persons with disabilities and diseases, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans-gender persons, suffer double or triple discrimination.
V. Conclusions and recommendations
257. Among detainees, certain groups are subject to double discrimination and vulnerability, including aliens and members of minorities, women, children, the elderly, the sick, persons with disabilities, drug addicts, gays, lesbians and transgender persons.
Link to full text of the report: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/13session/A.HRC.13.39.Add.5_en.pdf