Reprisals and similar unwanted consequences of detention monitoring

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Kerschbaumer, Caroline
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This thesis discusses reprisals and other unintended consequences of visits to places where people are deprived of their liberty – primarily towards detainees but also towards monitors and others involved in detention monitoring. It explains what is meant by reprisals and highlights the different groups of persons at risk and subsequently discusses the practices by the main detention monitoring bodies, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and others. Also case studies have been conducted to examine the frequency and types of reprisals. Finally protection strategies and safeguards are pointed out, which should be used by all bodies who conduct visits to prisons in order to reduce this risk. Since literature on this topic is very limited, this research is mainly based on published reports by the detention monitoring bodies as well as on expert interviews of basically all of the mechanisms. Reprisals are an alarming issue for all bodies who conduct visits to prisons and interview detainees. Especially with the emerging of the new mechanisms established by the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture more emphasis should be put on this issue in order to find practices, which counteract reprisals.
Second semester University: , Université de Strasbourg
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, detention, human rights monitoring, human rights violations, reprisals