Report of the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture, Theo van Boven, submitted pursuant to Commission resolution 2002/38


Summary of information, including individual cases, transmitted to Governments and replies received*



*  The present document is being circulated in the languages of submission only as it greatly exceeds the page limitations currently imposed by the relevant General Assembly resolutions.


1. This addendum to the report of the Special Rapporteur contains, on a country-by-country basis, summaries of general allegations and individual cases, as well as of urgent appeals, and government replies. Owing to restrictions on the length of documents, the Special Rapporteur has been obliged to reduce considerably details of communications sent and received. As a result, requests from Governments to publish their replies in their totality could not be acceded to. Observations by the Special Rapporteur have also been included where applicable. Such observations, which sometimes note the most recent findings of other supervisory bodies, in particular United Nations treaty bodies, are usually made when the information suggests that there may be a problem extending beyond the exceptional or isolated incident. The fact that there is no such observation in respect of a particular country merely reflects the state of information brought to the attention of the mandate, and does not necessarily mean that there is no substantial problem in that country. Observations are also included with regards to countries whose Governments have failed to provide the Special Rapporteur with any or without adequate information requested over a period of years.

2. During the period under review, i.e. from 1 December 2001 to 15 December 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent 109 letters to 65 countries. The Special Rapporteur also sent 68 letters reminding Governments of a number of cases that had been transmitted in previous years. The Special Rapporteur sent 294 urgent appeals to 82 Governments on behalf of individuals with regard to whom serious fears had been expressed that they might be subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment. A total of 72 Governments provided the Special Rapporteur with replies to allegations and appeals received during the period under review and in previous years.





Urgent appeals 


466. On 24 May 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the Special Representative on human rights defenders on behalf of nine activists who were reportedly arrested in May 2002 after they had announced that they were organizing a peaceful demonstration to protest against alleged massacres committed by Israeli troops in the Palestinian occupied territories.


468. Engineer Ali Abd El Fatah, the Secretary-General of the Popular Committee of Solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada, three owners of a publishing house, Gamal Mady, Ahmed Abd El Hafez and Khaled Souleman, and two owners of a printing house, Ahmed Ali and Ashraf Ali were reportedly arrested at their homes on 14 May 2002 by members of the Alexandria State Security Investigation. They were reportedly beaten and insulted during their arrest. They were said to have been brought before Cairo State Security Investigation (SSI), and charged with publishing propaganda to disrupt public security.

469. Dr. Gamal Abd El Fatah Abd El Dayeim, another activist from the Popular Committee of Solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada, was reportedly arrested on 13 May 2002 in Hadayiek, El Maadi, by members of an anti-drug force from the Directorate of Cairo Security. He was reportedly assaulted, beaten and insulted, before he was taken to the Security Directorate and brought before El Basateen Prosecution, where he was charged with selling expired medicines and with announcing false news, propaganda and publication that disrupt public security. He was reportedly released on 19 May on bail, following a decree by the South Cairo Public Prosecutor.



710. By letter dated 2 September 2002, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information on the following individual cases.

711. Abdallah Mahmud Abu Daka, a resident of the Gaza Strip, was reportedly arrested on 15 January 2002 and taken to the General Security Service (GSS) Interrogation Unit at the Shikma Detention Center in Ashkelon, where he was believed to have been held incommunicado for at least 26 days. Reportedly, on 6 February 2002, a lawyer attempted to meet with him but was prevented from doing so because an Order Prohibiting Meeting with Counsel valid for 5 days had been imposed against Abdallah Mahmud Abu Daka.

712. Khaled Mershed Hassan Rawashdeh, a taxi driver, Muhammad Yusuf Muhammad a-Salamin, a taxi driver, Muhammad Khalil Suleiman Sufia (Abu Seif), Mahmud Muhammad Hawamdeh, Muhammad Yusuf Muhammad Salamin, ‘Abd al-Muttaleb Muhammad Musleh Mahariq, all residents of As Samu’, Hebron District, Mahmud Muhammad Hawamdeh (Thefa), a resident of Samoa, Hebron District, and three other men were reportedly stopped and beaten for two hours on 23 July 2001 by soldiers from the Shimshon Battalion permanently stationed in the West Bank. Three women, a child and an elderly man that were travelling in the same cars were reportedly ordered to leave the area.Reportedly,Muhammad Khalil Suleiman Sufia was taken by one soldier behin