The advance unedited concluding observations of the UN Human Rights Committee on Russia, in relation to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

6 Apr 2015

In its report, the UN Human Rights Committee make a strong call for the end of torture and ill-treatment of people who use drugs held in custody.

'The Committee, noting the legal ban on opioid substitution therapy, is concerned at allegations that the police sometimes deliberately cause arrested drug users to suffer withdrawal symptoms in order to elicit forced confessions or coerce them into cooperating with the police – actions that would also ultimately lead to violation of their rights under article 14 of the Covenant. The Committee notes that such physical and mental pain and suffering associated with withdrawal syndromes may amount to torture or ill-treatment and is concerned that the State party’s approach to the treatment of drug-dependent individuals deprived of their liberty does not seem to adequately protect them against such suffering (arts. 7, 9, 10, and 14).

The State party should take all necessary measures to ensure:

(a) that its policies vis-à-vis drug users deprived of their liberty fully conform to its obligation to effectively protect them against the pain and suffering associated with the withdrawal syndrome and that timely, adequate and scientifically based medical assistance to counter withdrawal symptoms is available in practice.

(b) that adequate legal safeguards are in place against conducting interrogations or any other procedural actions while the person is suffering from withdrawal syndrome.

(c) that due process rights of drug users deprived of their liberty, including not to be compelled to testify against themselves, are effectively respected in practice.'

To read the full report click here 

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