IRCT endorses candidates to the upcoming SPT election

On 25 October 2012, States parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture will elect the 12 new members of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT).

The IRCT is delighted to note that four of the candidates have a long standing working relationship with the IRCT and extensive experience with torture prevention, rehabilitation and fighting impunity.

The Candidates are Christian Pross, Suzanne Jabbour, June Lopez and Victor Madrigal-Borloz.

The IRCT has worked closely with all four candidates over many years and we are well aware of their capabilities and outstanding commitment to the prevention of torture. We therefore take this opportunity to warmly endorse their candidature.

Below, you will find a short introduction to each of the candidates.

Christian Pross

Christian has been a leading figure in the torture rehabilitation movement for many years. He co-founded and directed the Berlin Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims for 13 years. In this capacity he gained ample experience in examining and treating torture survivors, in documenting human rights violations and collecting evidence on torture cases. He participated in numerous human rights fact finding missions to countries ridden by dictatorship and armed conflict. For many years Christian Pross has visited prisons, mental hospitals, police stations and refugee camps in countries all over the world and has done inquiries on their adherence to international standards and codes of human rights. As a member of the SPT, he established a task force for monitoring mental health institutions and drafted a mental health monitoring guide which is presently in the process of being finalized.

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Suzanne Jabbour

Suzanne Jabbour is a clinical psychologist and the director of Restart center for rehabilitation of victims of violence and torture, Lebanon since 2007. She has visited prisons, social welfare institutions, police stations and refugee camps in many countries all over the world and since 2005, she has been conducting monitoring visits to places of detention along with judges and other professionals in a multidisciplinary team. She is a specialized trainer in mental health based rehabilitation and forensic documentation of torture in accordance with the Istanbul Protocol. Suzanne Jabbour has been a member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) since October 2011 and became a vice president in January 2011. In September 2011, she has participated in SPT’s country visit to Brazil where she visited prisons for adults and juveniles, police stations, mental hospitals and shelters for drug addicts and street children.

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June Lopez

June Caridad Pagaduan-Lopez, MD, a recognized expert in psychosocial trauma management and a member of the University of the Philippines Faculty Medicine since 1980, has been involved in human rights work and rehabilitation of torture survivors and their relatives for more than three decades. She has conducted trainings on the detection, management and rehabilitation of torture victims and other survivors of political violence in the Philippines, East Timor, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia and Kosovo. If elected to the SPT, Mrs Lopez will contribute her extensive knowledge and experience in the area of mental health rehabilitation of torture survivors to the work of the Subcommittee.

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Victor Madrigal-Borloz

Victor Madrigal-Borloz, born in 1969 in Costa Rica, is a lawyer specialized in international human rights law. He is Head of the Registry Section of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Washington D.C., USA) since 2007. He has gained extensive experience in the development and implementation of research and fact-finding methodologies, the development of non-repetition strategies and the application of legal standards to instances of torture and mistreatment. Through his work, Victor Madrigal-Borloz has acquired experience with representatives of all sectors of public life, among them, politicians, civil society activists, academics, diplomats, administrative officers, police officers, human rights defenders, survivors and perpetrators. He has advanced communication and organizational skills and has handled many situations in which organizational or group conflict required facilitation.

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