“The NCHR has acknowledged that it is required to provide prior notice to the Prosecutor General before visiting places of deprivation of liberty.
The SCA notes that, in accordance with article 3(18) of the draft law, the NCHR is mandated to visit prisons and places of detention and to meet in private with those who are held there. However, the amendments do not specify whether these visits can be undertaken unannounced.
While the SCA notes that, in some circumstances, it may be necessary to provide notice for security reasons, it encourages the NCHR to conduct ‘unannounced’ visits to all places of detention within its jurisdiction as this limits opportunities for detaining authorities to hide or obscure human rights violations and facilitates greater scrutiny.
The SCA encourages the NCHR to continue to access all places of deprivation of liberty to effectively monitor, investigate and report on the human rights situation in a timely manner, and to undertake systematic follow-up activities and advocate for the consideration and implementation of its findings and recommendations in order to ensure the protection of those detained.
Further, the SCA encourages the NCHR to advocate for the explicit mandate to conduct unannounced visit to all places of detention.”