Not averse to visits by UN Special Rapporteurs: India

A UN Special Rapporteur on torture has accused India of being "unresponsive" to his requests to visit the country, a claim rejected by India which said it had extended a standing invitation to UN experts to visit India on a mutually convenient time.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 12, 2015, 16:30 PM IST

Geneva: A UN Special Rapporteur on torture has accused India of being "unresponsive" to his requests to visit the country, a claim rejected by India which said it had extended a standing invitation to UN experts to visit India on a mutually convenient time.

Juan E Mendez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, mentioned India, Pakistan, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and few others countries as those who have been "unresponsive for requests of country visits in the last two years or more".

"In the case of India, we have been asking to go to India last 25 years and repeating our requests. We get no answer whatsoever," he said here yesterday presenting an annual report on torture to the Human Rights Council.

Referring to three cases of torture from India that came last year, Mendez said, "This is not representative of a large country like India but these are the cases I have worked on.

"It is important that I make a visit to India before the end of my term, and make more general comments on the country.

"I am willing to receive information from the government or civil society," the UN investigator added.

Responding to his allegations, the Indian mission to the UN here said India is not averse to the visits by Special Rapporteurs.

"India has extended a standing invitation to UN Special Rapporteurs to visit India on a mutually convenient time. We already have hosted nine Special Rapporteurs in the past," it said.

"We are therefore not averse to the visits of Special Rapporteurs to India. It is a matter of sequencing and timing of such visits," the mission said.