Torture Reform Assessment

Uzbekistan’s Implementation of the Recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on Torture

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Three years ago, the government of Uzbekistan took the important step of issuing an invitation to the United Nations (U.N.) Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman degrading treatment or punishment, the first government of the five Central Asian states to do so. The Special Rapporteur’s long-awaited fact-finding visit in late 2002 represented a major development in torture reform efforts and raised significant hopes that it would trigger fundamental changes toward eradicating the use of torture in Uzbekistan. His subsequent report, issued in February 2003, detailed Uzbekistan’s pervasive torture problem, which he characterized as “systematic,” and made twenty-two recommendations for combating it. This briefing paper takes the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations as its basis for evaluating progress in torture reform.