Penal Reform International (PRI) and Dr. Sharon Shalev, Research Associate at the University of Oxford and Independent Consultant at SolitaryConfinement.org welcome the Special Rapporteur’s call for input for the forthcoming thematic report on “psychological torture and ill-treatment”. This submission highlights the relationship between psychological torture and ill-treatment to solitary confinement. We chose to prioritise solitary confinement because it is commonly used in prison systems internationally, and because its harmful impact on the health of those subjected to it mean that when used in a manner not commensurate with the UN Nelson Mandela Rules, it can constitute a form of psychological torture and ill-treatment.
The submission also draws on material published in the Guidance Document On The Nelson Mandela Rules: Implementing The United Nations Revised Standard Minimum Rules For The Treatment of Prisoners which was co-published by PRI and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
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