Torture as a crime should be included in the Criminal Code in order to prevent and address all forms of torture, a number of legal experts proposed.

The recommendation was made during an international conference held by the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law and the Vietnam Lawyers’ Association on November 7, with a focus on the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).

The convention was submitted to the National Assembly and will be debated during the ongoing eighth session of the 13 th NA.

Participants highlighted the importance of UNCAT, Vietnam ’s obligations to issue regulations in accordance with the convention, and criminal liability of torture as well as the prevention of torture in the first place.

According to Prof. Dr Dao Tri Uc from the Hanoi National University , in order to prevent torture, it is necessary to strengthen the legal rights of prisoners and defendants, including the right to remain silent.

At the same time, it is important to improve the supervisory role of the National Assembly’s Justice Committee and NA deputies in the field, whilst also completing the Law on State Compensation, he said.

Sharing Uc’s opinions, Dr Dao Thi Le Thu from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Lasw suggested acts of torture be criminalised by including it as a crime with punishments similar to those stipulated for crimes in Chapter XXIV of the Criminal Code, which range from 10 years in prison to the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Associate Prof. Dr Tran Do, Deputy Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court, highlighted the need to specify measures to prevent torture and complete regulations on the legal status of detainees to safeguard respect for human rights and rights to legal support.

During the conference, participants said it is necessary to clarify a number of regulations, including those on cases interrogated at night, the observation of defendants and prisoners’ rights to remain silent, and regulations on professional measures applied during interrogation process.-VNA