The inspectors were due to visit a number of facilities under an agreement voluntarily entered into by Australia to assess whether the country was in compliance with the OPECAT torture convention. In only three countries were working conditions previously considered so problematic that missions had to be cancelled: in Azerbaijan, Rwanda and Ukraine.
Inspectors team leader Aisha Mohamad, a justice of the High Court of the Maldives, stated that Australia is in breach of its international obligations.
“Despite many efforts to explain our protective mandate, it is clear that it has not worked,” she said.
Former prison inspector Stephen Caruana coordinated the visit to the Australian side.
Australia had five years to prepare for this visit. He said Australia would now have to respond to this embarrassing disaster before the UN Committee on Torture.
In the background there is disagreement between the federal and state governments over who should bear the costs of the inspectors’ visits.
Australia has repeatedly been accused of human rights abuses in prisons, detention centers and asylum facilities.
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