Deaths or serious injuries of persons in custody, disappearances of individuals, and allegations or indications of torture and other forms of ill-treatment can be summarised as ‘serious incidents’ in custody, which can have a variety of different causes.
This Factsheet is intended to give guidance to monitoring bodies in assessing whether the prison authorities have fulfilled all the obligations that arise in cases of serious incidents, i.e. primarily recording and reporting these cases in a timely manner, preserving evidence, and cooperating with the investigation. In addition, the basic elements of an effective investigation are summarised.
- lists the relevant international standards
- identifies types and situations of risk
- provides checklists of questions that monitoring bodies can ask for each risk factor
- suggests what monitoring bodies can do
The Factsheet is part of PRI/APT’s Detention Monitoring Tool, which aims to provide analysis and practical guidance to help monitoring bodies, including National Preventive Mechanisms, to fulfil their preventive mandate as effectively as possible when visiting police facilities or prisons. The Tool seeks to support such bodies in addressing systemic risk factors that contribute to an environment where torture or other ill-treatment occurs.
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