Officials of Uzbekistan assured the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, that they are working on the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which prohibits torture and ill-treatment in prison, both in law and in practice. Volker Turk himself informed about this on 15 March, at a press conference with journalists at the UN office in Uzbekistan.
"Uzbekistan gave assurances to my office that it is working on the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, the main mechanism for detecting and preventing torture. I believe it will be done soon. Of course, action is more important than words. More broadly, it is necessary to strengthen the human rights perspective in the process of ongoing reforms related to law enforcement and the administration of justice," Volker says.
He also called active civil societies the heaver of the "wheel" of human rights.
"It is very important that non-governmental organizations operate freely in an environment free from interference. Likewise, a pluralistic environment is necessary to encourage diverse views and expand civil society," he said.
Commenting on the issue of free mass media, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights emphasizes that an open digital space can create a comfortable environment for everyone to fully participate in the country's development and growth. Further actions to protect journalists and mass media, as well as freedom of speech, in his opinion, are among these measures.