Istanbul Protocol – IoM Response

The Department of Home Affairs has responded to a query from the Celtic League about the application of the United Nations `Istanbul Protocol’ in the Isle of Man.

The League wrote to all British jurisdictions in July following criticisms voiced by the UN Committee Against Torture about the failure of the Irish government to provide specific training on the Protocol to both Police and Prison Officers.

The Isle of Man response (in late August) was the final reply awaited and it is clear from collating the replies that no specific training on the Protocol is provided in N. Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales or the Isle of Man.

The full text of the IOM response is set out below:

“31 August 2011

Dear Mr Moffatt

Re. United Nations Convention Against Torture

Thank you for your letter dated 17 th July 2011.

In the United Kingdom’s 2nd Periodic Report on compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) in 1995, which is the earliest report that the Isle of Man contributed to, in relation to Article 10 the Island stated:

“The prohibition against torture is well understood by police, prison officers, medical personnel, public officials and others who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of an individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment. Such persons are aware of the need to treat everyone with humanity and respect and to act within the law at all times. Such persons may also be subject to internal disciplinary codes, as well as to legal proceedings, if they use any unnecessary violence against any prisoner or other person with whom they may be brought into contact in the execution of their duty.”

In the Isle of Man’s contribution to the UK’s 4th Report we said:

“38. The initial report outlined the general principles – respect for the individual, humanity, and the need to act within, and uphold, the law at all times – under which the Isle of Man Constabulary and the Isle of Man Prison Service operate.”

We also indicated members of the Constabulary and the Prison Service are kept up to date on developments in training in the United Kingdom.

I am satisfied officers of the Isle of Man Constabulary and the Prison Service are aware of their duty to carry out their functions in accordance with the law and the Island’s obligations under this Convention. I have taken this opportunity nevertheless to write to the Chief Constable and the Prison Governor to reiterate the importance of ensuring officers, staff and medical personnel under their leadership, or performing functions under their overall supervision, understand the importance of complying with international obligafJons in the execution of their duties.

In any event, if the Celtic League has specific concerns with regard to the Island’s obligations under the Convention I would be grateful for further information so these concerns may be resolved.

Yours sincerely

Hon. Adrian Earnshaw
Minister for Home Affairs”

For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666

gensec@celticleague.net

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

16/10/11

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