por Portugal aos Órgãos de Controlo da Aplicação
dos Tratados das Nações Unidas em Matéria de
observations of the Committee against Torture : Portugal. 12/06/94
A/49/44 - paras.106-117. (Concluding Observations/Comments)
106. The Committee considered the initial report of Portugal (CAT/C/9/Add.15)
at its 166th and 167th meetings, held on 16 November 1993 (see CAT/C/SR.166
and 167), and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations:
107. The Committee notes with satisfaction that
the report of Portugal is in conformity with its general guidelines
on the presentation of the initial reports to be submitted by States
parties under article 19, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
108. It listened with interest to the oral statement
and explanations and clarifications of the Portuguese delegation.
It greatly appreciated the spirit of trust and fruitful cooperation
that characterized the dialogue with the delegation.
109. However, the Committee noted with regret
that the report had been submitted more than three years late, contrary
to the provisions of article 19, paragraph 1, which stipulates that
States parties should submit initial reports within one year after
the entry into force of the Convention for the State party concerned.
B. Positive aspects
110. The Committee expresses its appreciation
for the efforts made by the State party in the constitutional and
legislative fields to ensure that its legal system is in conformity
with the Convention. Those efforts seem to be the expression of
a genuine desire to create the conditions necessary to protect the
physical and moral integrity of individuals and to prevent the practice
of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
111. The Committee particularly appreciates
the fact that the Constitution of Portugal:
(a) States that duly ratified international
conventions are directly applicable and directly binding on all
public and private bodies;
(b) Affirms the joint liability of the State,
its public bodies and officials in civil matters;
(c) Declares evidence obtained under torture
to be invalid, as well as clearly proclaiming that the right to
physical integrity cannot be called in question when the country
is under a state of siege or a state of emergency.
112. The Committee considers as positive the
objectives of the institutions set up to protect and promote human
rights, and the broad teaching, training and information programme
being carried out to that end.
C. Subjects of concern
113. The Committee against Torture notes with
regret that, despite those efforts:
(a) Ill-treatment and occasionally acts qualified
as torture continue in police stations and other places of detention
throughout the country;
(b) Investigations into such allegations are
often embarked upon rather late and last too long and offenders
are not always brought to court. That situation, together with
the lightness of the sentences imposed, creates an impression
that the culprits act with relative impunity - an impression highly
prejudicial to the implementation of the provisions of the Convention.
114. The Committee also considers that the duration
of pre-trial detention, both in law and in practice, is a negative
115. Moreover, it regrets the treatment of the
territory of Macao, under Portuguese administration until December
1999, owing to the non-application of the Convention against Torture
to that territory.
116. In conclusion, the Committee recommends:
(a) That the next periodic report of the State
party should be submitted within the time-limit laid down in the
(b) That the State party should continue its
efforts, particularly with respect to the reform of the Penal
Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, to ensure that its legislation
is fully in conformity with the provisions of the Convention;
(c) That it should establish machinery for
the systematic review of interrogation rules, instructions, methods
and practices, particularly at police stations, as stipulated
in article 11 of the Convention, and ensure that such machinery
is sufficiently effective, as required by article 2, to give full
effect to the commitments assumed and to implement the provisions
of the Convention.
(d) That it should extend the application
of the Convention to Macao, in accordance with article 2, paragraph
1, of the Convention.
117. The Committee against Torture takes note
of the undertakings given by the Portuguese delegation and is convinced
that Portugal will spare no effort to implement these recommendations.