The Catalan Parliament appoints the members of the Síndic’s Advisory Council for the Prevention of Torture


With the election of these twelve new members, the Catalan Chamber takes a step forward in starting up this control mechanism as mentioned in the Catalan Ombudsman’s (Síndic) regulation Act, of December 2009. The Council must assist and advise the Catalan Ombudsman institution in the exercise of its duties as the Authority for the Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The new appointed members are: Lídia Condal and Pedro Yúfera, proposed by the bar associations; Mariona Creus and Miquel Vilardell, proposed by professional associations of health care providers; Sabina Puig, Olga Casado, Eva Labarta and Joan Merelo-Barberà, proposed by non-governmental organizations devoted to the defence of human rights; Santiago Redondo and Victòria Camps, proposed by university research centres devoted to human rights and José Maria Mena and Jaume Saura, professionals with experience in the field of torture prevention and in work with persons deprived of freedom.

The main competences of this new Catalan Ombudsman Advisory Council are formulating proposals for the Catalan Ombudsman’s performance, including preventive visits to specific spaces where persons deprived of freedom can be found, issuing reports on specific matters at the Catalan Ombudsman’s request and proposing two of its members as members of the Catalan Ombudsman Task Force for the Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.

The Catalan Ombudsman, Rafael Ribó, congratulates on the appointment of the new Advisors Council and the fact that Catalan institutions are able to develop the forecasting for this guarantee mechanism in a fast and determined way.

The Mechanism for Prevention of Torture emanates from a United Nations protocol, signed by Spain, foresees the creation of a mechanism or decentralised mechanisms to fight torture and other cruel treatment or penalties, inhumane or degrading. The aim of this protocol it is to set up a system of periodic visits to institutions where there are people deprived of freedom by independent international and national bodies.