The Straits Times
Published on Oct 24, 2012

UN investigator says Morocco using torture


UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - Morocco uses torture in its own country and on opponents in the disputed territory of Western Sahara, a United Nations investigator said on Tuesday.

The rights investigator gave details of a special trip to Morocco and Western Sahara as the UN Security Council debates demands that the UN mission in Western Sahara be granted a mandate to investigate human rights abuses.

"There is a lot of evidence of excessive use of force," Mr Juan Mendez, UN special rapporteur on the use of torture, told reporters after presenting a eport to the UN General Assembly.

"Whenever there is a sense that national security is involved, there is a tendency to use torture in interrogation. Difficult to say how pervasive or how systematic it is, but it happens frequently enough that the government of Morocco should not ignore the practice," Mr Mendez added.