This is a preview of how your content will look on export. To export the complete content in DOC format, click the blue export button in the upper right corner of this page.
Treaty Bodies
  • 1 ICCPR, Part IV

    ICCPR

    PART IV

    Article 28

    1. There shall be established a Human Rights Committee (hereafter referred to in the present Covenant as the Committee). It shall consist of eighteen members and shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided.

    2. The Committee shall be composed of nationals of the States Parties to the present Covenant who shall be persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights, consideration being given to the usefulness of the participation of some persons having legal experience.

    3. The members of the Committee shall be elected and shall serve in their personal capacity.

    Article 29

    1. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons possessing the qualifications prescribed in article 28 and nominated for the purpose by the States Parties to the present Covenant.

    2. Each State Party to the present Covenant may nominate not more than two persons. These persons shall be nationals of the nominating State.

    3. A person shall be eligible for renomination.

    Article 30

    2. At least four months before the date of each election to the Committee, other than an election to fill a vacancy declared in accordance with article 34, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a written invitation to the States Parties to the present Covenant to submit their nominations for membership of the Committee within three months.

    3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all the persons thus nominated, with an indication of the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Covenant no later than one month before the date of each election.

    4. Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at a meeting of the States Parties to the present Covenant convened by the Secretary General of the United Nations at the Headquarters of the United Nations. At that meeting, for which two thirds of the States Parties to the present Covenant shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those nominees who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.

    Article 31

    1. The Committee may not include more than one national of the same State.

    2. In the election of the Committee, consideration shall be given to equitable geographical distribution of membership and to the representation of the different forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems.

    Article 32

    1. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated. …

    2. Elections at the expiry of office shall be held in accordance with the preceding articles of this part of the present Covenant.

    Article 35

    The members of the Committee shall, with the approval of the General Assembly of the United Nations, receive emoluments from United Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the General Assembly may decide, having regard to the importance of the Committee's responsibilities.

    Article 36

    The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Covenant.

    Article 37

    1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene the initial meeting of the Committee at the Headquarters of the United Nations.

    2. After its initial meeting, the Committee shall meet at such times as shall be provided in its rules of procedure.

    3. The Committee shall normally meet at the Headquarters of the United Nations or at the United Nations Office at Geneva.

    Article 38

    Every member of the Committee shall, before taking up his duties, make a solemn declaration in open committee that he will perform his functions impartially and conscientiously.

    Article 39

    1. The Committee shall elect its officers for a term of two years. They may be re-elected.

    2. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure, but these rules shall provide, inter alia, that:

    (a) Twelve members shall constitute a quorum;

    (b) Decisions of the Committee shall be made by a majority vote of the members present.

    Article 40

    1. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to submit reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized herein and on the progress made in the enjoyment of those rights: (a) Within one year of the entry into force of the present Covenant for the States Parties concerned; (b) Thereafter whenever the Committee so requests.

    2. All reports shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit them to the Committee for consideration. Reports shall indicate the factors and difficulties, if any, affecting the implementation of the present Covenant.

    3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations may, after consultation with the Committee, transmit to the specialized agencies concerned copies of such parts of the reports as may fall within their field of competence.

    4. The Committee shall study the reports submitted by the States Parties to the present Covenant. It shall transmit its reports, and such general comments as it may consider appropriate, to the States Parties. The Committee may also transmit to the Economic and Social Council these comments along with the copies of the reports it has received from States Parties to the present Covenant.

    5. The States Parties to the present Covenant may submit to the Committee observations on any comments that may be made in accordance with paragraph 4 of this article.

    Article 41

    1. A State Party to the present Covenant may at any time declare under this article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the present Covenant. Communications under this article may be received and considered only if submitted by a State Party which has made a declaration recognizing in regard to itself the competence of the Committee. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration. Communications received under this article shall be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure:

    (a) If a State Party to the present Covenant considers that another State Party is not giving effect to the provisions of the present Covenant, it may, by written communication, bring the matter to the attention of that State Party. Within three months after the receipt of the communication the receiving State shall afford the State which sent the communication an explanation, or any other statement in writing clarifying the matter which should include, to the extent possible and pertinent, reference to domestic procedures and remedies taken, pending, or available in the matter;

    (b) If the matter is not adjusted to the satisfaction of both States Parties concerned within six months after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication, either State shall have the right to refer the matter to the Committee, by notice given to the Committee and to the other State;

    (c) The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it only after it has ascertained that all available domestic remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the matter, in conformity with the generally recognized principles of international law. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged;

    (d) The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under this article;

    (e) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (c), the Committee shall make available its good offices to the States Parties concerned with a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the present Covenant;

    (f) In any matter referred to it, the Committee may call upon the States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), to supply any relevant information;

    (g) The States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), shall have the right to be represented when the matter is being considered in the Committee and to make submissions orally and/or in writing;

    (h) The Committee shall, within twelve months after the date of receipt of notice under subparagraph (b), submit a report:

    (i) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached;

    (ii) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is not reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts; the written submissions and record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned shall be attached to the report. In every matter, the report shall be communicated to the States Parties concerned.

    2. The provisions of this article shall come into force when ten States Parties to the present Covenant have made declarations under paragraph I of this article. Such declarations shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter which is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this article; no further communication by any State Party shall be received after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the Secretary-General, unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration.

    Article 42

    1. (a) If a matter referred to the Committee in accordance with article 41 is not resolved to the satisfaction of the States Parties concerned, the Committee may, with the prior consent of the States Parties concerned, appoint an ad hoc Conciliation Commission …

    Article 45

    The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly of the United Nations, through the Economic and Social Council, an annual report on its activities.

  • 2 ICCPR, First Optional Protocol

    Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

    Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966

    entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 9

    The States Parties to the present Protocol,

    Considering that in order further to achieve the purposes of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Covenant) and the implementation of its provisions it would be appropriate to enable the Human Rights Committee set up in part IV of the Covenant (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to receive and consider, as provided in the present Protocol, communications from individuals claiming to be victims of violations of any of the rights set forth in the Covenant. Have agreed as follows:

    Article 1

    A State Party to the Covenant that becomes a Party to the present Protocol recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by that State Party of any of the rights set forth in the Covenant. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party to the Covenant which is not a Party to the present Protocol.

    Article 2

    Subject to the provisions of article 1, individuals who claim that any of their rights enumerated in the Covenant have been violated and who have exhausted all available domestic remedies may submit a written communication to the Committee for consideration.

    Article 3

    The Committee shall consider inadmissible any communication under the present Protocol which is anonymous, or which it considers to be an abuse of the right of submission of such communications or to be incompatible with the provisions of the Covenant.

    Article 4

    1. Subject to the provisions of article 3, the Committee shall bring any communications submitted to it under the present Protocol to the attention of the State Party to the present Protocol alleged to be violating any provision of the Covenant.

    2. Within six months, the receiving State shall submit to the Committee written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have been taken by that State.

    Article 5

    1. The Committee shall consider communications received under the present Protocol in the light of all written information made available to it by the individual and by the State Party concerned.

    2. The Committee shall not consider any communication from an individual unless it has ascertained that:

    (a) The same matter is not being examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement;

    (b) The individual has exhausted all available domestic remedies. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged.

    3. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under the present Protocol. 4. The Committee shall forward its views to the State Party concerned and to the individual.

    Article 6

    The Committee shall include in its annual report under article 45 of the Covenant a summary of its activities under the present Protocol.

    Article 7

    Pending the achievement of the objectives of resolution 1514(XV) adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 14 December 1960 concerning the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the provisions of the present Protocol shall in no way limit the right of petition granted to these peoples by the Charter of the United Nations and other international conventions and instruments under the United Nations and its specialized agencies.

    Article 8

    1. The present Protocol is open for signature by any State which has signed the Covenant.

    2. The present Protocol is subject to ratification by any State which has ratified or acceded to the Covenant. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

    3. The present Protocol shall be open to accession by any State which has ratified or acceded to the Covenant.

    4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary- General of the United Nations.

    5. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States which have signed the present Protocol or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession.

    Article 9

    1. Subject to the entry into force of the Covenant, the present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the tenth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.

    2. For each State ratifying the present Protocol or acceding to it after the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.

    Article 10

    The provisions of the present Protocol shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.

    Article 11

    1. Any State Party to the present Protocol may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate any proposed amendments to the States Parties to the present Protocol with a request that they notify him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposal. In the event that at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for approval.

    2. Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the present Protocol in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.

    3. When amendments come into force, they shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Protocol and any earlier amendment which they have accepted.

    Article 12

    1. Any State Party may denounce the present Protocol at any time by written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take effect three months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.

    2. Denunciation shall be without prejudice to the continued application of the provisions of the present Protocol to any communication submitted under article 2 before the effective date of denunciation.

    Article 13

    Irrespective of the notifications made under article 8, paragraph 5, of the present Protocol, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to in article 48, paragraph I, of the Covenant of the following particulars:

    (a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under article 8;

    (b) The date of the entry into force of the present Protocol under article 9 and the date of the entry into force of any amendments under article 11;

    (c) Denunciations under article 12.

    Article 14

    1. The present Protocol, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.

    2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Protocol to all States referred to in article 48 of the Covenant.

     

  • 3 ICCPR and CAT Ratification Maps

  • 4 Reporting Cycle Chart

  • 5 HRC, Concluding Observations on the Fifth Periodic Report of Iraq, UN Doc.

  • 6 HRC, Bleier v. Uruguay, Comm. No. 30/1978, UN Doc. A/37/40 (1982)

    [As you read, the Optional Protocol allows individual complaints against ratifying states, and a quasi-judicial hearing by the Human Rights Committee. Though the “verdicts” are not legally binding, they are sent to “the State Party concerned and to the individual” (Optional Protocol, Art. 5(4)).]

    Human Rights Committee, Bleier v. Uruguay, Comm. No. 30/1978, UN Doc. A/37/40 (1982)

    1. The author of the original communication … is Irene Bleier Lewenhoff, a Uruguayan national residing in Israel. She is the daughter of the alleged victim. Her information was supplemented by further letters … from Rosa Valino de Bleier, a Uruguayan national residing in Hungary who is the alleged victim's wife.

    2.1 In her letter of 23 May 1978, the author, Irene Bleier Lewenhoff, states the following:

    2.2 her father, Eduardo Bleier, was arrested without a court order in Montevideo, Uruguay, at the end of October 1975. The authorities did not acknowledge his arrest and he was held incommunicado at an unknown place of detention. Met father's detention was, however, indirectly confirmed because his name was on a list of prisoners read out once a week at an army unit in Montevideo where his family delivered clothing for him and received his dirty clothing. His name appeared on that list for several months until the middle of 1976. On 11 August 1976, "Communique No. 1334 of the Armed Forces Press Office" was printed in all the Montevideo newspapers requesting the general public to co-operate in the capture of 14 persons, among whom Eduardo Bleier was listed, "known to be associated with the banned Communist Party, who had not presented themselves when summoned before the military courts". The author also alleges that her father was subjected to particularly cruel treatment and torture because of his Jewish origin.

    2.3 A number of detainees who were held, together with the author's father, and who were later allowed to communicate with their families or were released, gave independent but similar accounts of the cruel torture to which Eduardo Bleier was subjected. They generally agreed that he was singled out for especially cruel treatment because he was a Jew. Thus, on one occasion, the other prisoners were forced to bury him, covering his whole body with earth, and to walk over him. As a result of this treatment inflicted upon him, he was in a very bad state and towards December 1975 had to be interned in the Military Hospital. …

    2.6 [The author] further states that the authorities never answered the numerous letters addressed to them by various personalities, institutions or organizations, asking for information about her father's situation. She adds that such silence might well indicate that her father died as a result of torture.

    2.7 The author claims that the following provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have been violated by the Uruguayan authorities in respect of her father: articles 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, (1) (2) (3) (4) and (5), 10, 12 (2), 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 25 and 26.

    3. By its decision of 26 July 1978, the Human Rights Committee transmitted the communication under rule 91 of the provisional rules of procedure to the State party concerned, requesting information and observations relevant to the question of admissibility of the communication.

    4. By a note dated 29 December 1978 the State party informed the Human Rights Committee that a warrant had been out for the arrest of Eduardo Bleier since 26 August 1976, as he was suspected of being connected with the subversive activities of the banned Communist Party and had gone into hiding ("wanted person No. 1,189").

    5. In reply to the State party's submission of 29 December 1978, Irene Bleier Lewenhoff, by a letter dated 15 February 1979, stated that she had irrefutable proof of the arrest of her father and the treatment inflicted upon him during detention. She claims that she has had the opportunity to talk in various parts of the world with persons formerly imprisoned in Uruguay and that many of them spoke of her father and the barbarous torture to which he had been subjected.

    6. By a letter dated 25 February 1980, Rosa Valino Bleier, the wife of the alleged victim, requested the Human Rights Committee to accept her as co-author of communication No. R.7/30 concerning her husband, Eduardo Bleier. She further confirmed all the basic facts as outlined in Irene Bleier Lewenhoff's communication of 23 May 1978. In addition, she stated that she has received many unofficial statements, the latest in December 1978, indicating that her husband was still alive. She claims that some of the persons who were imprisoned with her husband and witnessed his tortures and who have explained to her the facts in detail, have now left Uruguay. She further stated that in 1976, she submitted an application for habeas corpus to the military court, as a result of which she received a report saying that her husband had been "wanted" since August of the same year.

    7. On 24 March 1980, the Committee decided:

    (a) That the authors were justified in acting on behalf of the alleged victim by reason of close family connexion;

    (b) That the communication was admissible in so far as it related to events which have allegedly continued or taken place after 23 March 1976 (the date of the entry into force of the Covenant and the Optional Protocol for Uruguay);

    (c) That, in accordance with article 4 (2) of the Optional Protocol, the State party be requested to submit to the Committee, within six months of the date of the transmittal to it of this decision, written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have been taken by it;

    (d) That the State party be informed that the written explanations or statements-submitted by it under article 4 (2) of the Optional Protocol must relate primarily to the substance of the matter under consideration. The Committee stressed that, in order to perform its responsibilities, it required specific responses to the allegation which had been made by the authors of the communication, and the State party's explanations of the actions taken by it;

    (f) That the authors be requested to submit any additional detailed information available to them of Eduardo Bleier's arrest and treatment during detention, including statements from other prisoners who claim to have seen him in captivity in Uruguay.

    8.1 In reply to the Committee's request for additional detailed information on Mr. Bleier's arrest and treatment, Rosa Valino de Bleier, in two letters dated 20 June and 26 July 1980, provided detailed information which she had obtained from other ex-prisoners who claimed to have seen her husband in captivity in Uruguay. She also included the text of testimonies on her husband's detention and ill-treatment. In one of the testimonies an eyewitness, Alcides Lanza Perdomo, a Uruguayan citizen, at present resident in Sweden as a political refugee, declared, inter alia, the following:

    "I have known Mr. Eduardo Bleier personally since 1955; our acquaintance continued until 1975. Therefore my ability to identify him in person is beyond doubt. I was detained in Montevideo on 2 February 1976 and held until 1 July 1979 ... At the beginning of my imprisonment, on a date between 6 and 10 February 1976 which I cannot specify more exactly with any certainty, the events which I am about to relate took place. I was imprisoned in the barracks of Infantry Regiment No. 13, in C n Casavalle, Montevideo, held completely incommunicado and tortured along with other prisoners. On two or three occasions I struggled violently with the torturers and, driven by pain and desperation, snatched off the hood which I had to wear 111 the time.

    "On those occasions I saw Eduardo Bleier, who was being subjected to savage torture by a group of men. I identified him quite clearly and positively, without the slightest doubt, and so confirmed my certainty that Mr. Bleier was there and was being tortured, because I had for a long time fully recognized his voice, both in its normal tone and in his heart-rending shrieks under torture;

    "What I was able to see and hear showed that Mr. Bleier was being subjected to particularly brutal torture and continually insulted at the same time." a/

    8.2 The additional information submitted by Rosa Valino de Bleier on 20 June and 26 July 1980 was transmitted to the State party on 23 June and 2 September 1980, respectively.

    9. In its submission of 9 October 1980, the State party repeated what it had stated in its brief submission of 29 December 1978, namely, that a warrant was still out for the arrest of Eduardo Bleier, whose whereabouts, were still unknown. No information, explanations or observations were offered with regard to the various submissions from the authors concerning Mr. Bleier's detention.

    10.1 With reference to operative paragraph 6 of the Committee's decision of 24 March 1980, Mrs. Rosa Bleier submitted on 31 October 1980 three further testimonies from persons who claim to have seen Eduardo Bleier in detention. One of them, Manuel Pineiro Pena, a Spanish citizen, declared in Barcelona, Spain, on 24 September 1980:

    "I was arrested in my house by an intelligence squad of the Uruguayan army in the early morning of 27 October 1975 and taken hooded to a private house used by this squad for all kinds of torture ... In this place, three days after my arrest, I heard for the first time the voice and cries of Eduardo Bleier as he was being tortured. I heard them again in the early days of November of the same year when I was transferred to the barracks of the 13th Infantry Battalion in Calle Instrucciones, where I could also see him through a small gap in the blindfold which covered my eyes during the first eight months of my detention and also because, for some 15 days, we were lying on the floor side by side ... Then, one night in early December, I heard them calling him as always by his number, which was 52, and they took him to the interrogation room; for hours his cries were heard, and then there came a moment when his cries ceased and we heard the medical orderly being summoned urgently."

    10.2 Another witness, Vilma Antuney de Muro, a Uruguayan citizen residing in Sweden, testified that she had been arrested on 3 November 1975 and taken to the barracks of the 13th Infantry Battalion, where she first saw Bleier on 7 November.

    "During the night of the same day we heard cries and saw Bleier falling down the stairs which led to the little room upstairs. When he reached the bottom, he sat up and said something to them for which he was beaten. On another day, between the cries of one of the worst torture sessions, I suddenly heard about six or seven people approaching, struggling with someone who clutched me for a moment and said, 'They want to kill me'. At that moment they trampled on one of my breasts and the pain forced me to sit up ... my blindfold slipped and I saw that some torturers were again taking Bleier upstairs."

    10.3 These testimonies were transmitted to the State party on 17 February 1981. By note of 5 May 1981 the State party, referring to Mrs. Bleier's communications of 31 October 1980, reiterated its position that it did not know the whereabouts of Eduardo Bleier.

    11.1 By an interim decision of 2 April 1981 the Human Rights Committee stated that before adopting final views in the matter,

    "the Committee considers that it is the clear duty of the Government of Uruguay to make a full' and thorough inquiry (a) into the allegations concerning Mr. Bleier's arrest and his treatment while in detention prior to 26 August 1976, and (b) as to his apparent disappearance and the circumstances in which a warrant for his arrest was issued on 26 August 1976. The Committee urges that this should be done without further delay and that the Committee should be informed of the action taken by the Government of Uruguay and of the outcome of the inquiry".

    11.2 The Committee based its interim decision on the following considerations;

    "11. As to the merits of the case, the Committee had before it (i) detailed information, including statements of family members and eyewitness testimonies of persons who had been detained in Uruguayan prisons together with Eduardo Bleier and who were later released, concerning his detention and severe mistreatment in prison and later 'disappearance' and (ii) a brief categorical denial of Eduardo Bleier's detention by the Government of Uruguay, which, in the light of (i), is totally insufficient.

    "12. The Committee cannot but give appropriate weight to the overwhelming information submitted by the authors of the complaint. This information tends to corroborate the author's allegation that Eduardo Bleier was arrested at the end of October 1975 in Montevideo, Uruguay. His detention would appear to be confirmed at that time by the authorities because his name was on a list of prisoners read out once a week at an army unit in Montevideo; it also appears to be confirmed by several fellow prisoners and other persons who had seen and talked to him in several identified detention centres in Uruguay. Also, several eyewitnesses have reported that Eduardo Bleier was subjected to severe torture during detention.

    "13. The failure of the State party to address in substance the serious allegations brought against it and corroborated by unrefuted information, cannot but lead to the conclusion that Eduardo Bleier is either still detained, incommunicado, by the Uruguayan authorities or has died while in custody at the hands of the Uruguayan authorities."

    12. By a note of 14 August 1981 the State party submitted the following observations on the Committee's interim decision of 2 April 1981:

    "the Government of Uruguay wishes to state that, in paragraph 13 of that document, the Committee displays not only an ignorance of legal rules relating to presumption of guilt, but a lack of ethics in carrying out the tasks entrusted to it, since it so rashly arrived at the serious conclusion that the Uruguayan authorities had put Eduardo Bleier to death. The Committee, whose purpose is to protect, promote and ensure respect for civil and political rights, should bear in mind that this task should always be carried out under the rule of law in accordance with its mandate and the universally accepted procedures concerning such matters as guilt and presumption of guilt."

    13.1 The Human Rights Committee cannot accept the State party's criticism that it has displayed an ignorance of legal rules and a lack of ethics in carrying out the tasks entrusted to it or the insinuation that it has failed to carry out its task under the rule of law. On the contrary, in accordance with its mandate under article 5 (1) of the Optional Protocol, the Committee has considered the communication in the light of the information made available to it by the authors of the communication and by the State party concerned. …

    13.2 The Committee notes that the State party has ignored the Committee's repeated requests for a thorough inquiry into the authors' allegations.

    13.3 With regard to the burden of proof, this cannot rest alone on the author of the communication, especially considering that the author and the State party do not always have equal access to the evidence and that frequently the State party alone has access to relevant information. It is implicit in article 4 (2) of the Optional Protocol that the State party has the duty to investigate in good faith all allegations of violation of the Covenant made against it and its authorities, especially when such allegations are corroborated by evidence submitted by the author of the communication, and to furnish to the Committee the information available to it. In cases where the author has submitted to the Committee allegations supported by substantial witness testimony, as in this case, and where further clarification of the case depends on information exclusively in the hands of the State party, the Committee may consider such allegations as substantiated in the absence of satisfactory evidence and explanations to the contrary submitted by the State party.

    13.4 The Committee finds that the disappearance of Eduardo Bleier in October 1975 does not alone establish that he was arrested by Uruguayan authorities. But, the allegation that he was so arrested and detained is confirmed (i) by the information, unexplained and substantially unrefuted by the State party, that Eduardo Bleier's name was on a list of prisoners read out once a week at an army unit in Montevideo where his family delivered clothing for him and received his dirty clothing until the summer of 1976, and (ii) by the testimony of other prisoners that they saw him in Uruguayan detention centres. Also there are the reports of several eyewitnesses that Eduardo Bleier was subjected to severe torture while in detention.

    14. It is therefore the Committee's view that the information before it reveals breaches of articles 7, 9 and 10 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and that there are serious reasons to believe that the ultimate violation of article 6 has been perpetrated by the Uruguayan authorities.

    15. As regards the latter point the Human Rights Committee urges the Uruguayan Government to reconsider its position in this case and to take effective steps (i) to establish what has happened to Eduardo Bleier since October 1975, to bring to justice any persons found to be responsible for his death, disappearance or ill-treatment; and to pay compensation to him or his family for any injury which he has suffered; and (ii) to ensure that similar violations do not occur in the future.

    [According to the 2013 Annual Report of the Committee, there were 167 States parties to the ICCPR and 114 States parties to the Optional Protocol; 2,239 communications had been registered; 964 had been concluded by Views, of which 809 found violations (therefore 155 reached the merits but found no violation); 608 inadmissible; 317 discontinued or withdrawn; 329 pending. ]

  • 7 Christen Broecker, “Reform of the United Nations Treaty Bodies” ASIL Insights (2014)

You've reached the bottom of your content preview.
To view the rest in your browser, click here.
To export the complete content in DOC format, click the blue export button in the upper right corner of this page.

(Note: If you view the entire playlist, any changes you've made to export settings will be lost. Large playlists may temporarily freeze your browser while loading, as well.)