Practice Relating to Rule 90. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
El Salvador’s Soldiers’ Manual provides that physical or mental torture is prohibited.
El Salvador’s Human Rights Charter of the Armed Forces lists respect for the integrity of persons and their human dignity and the prohibition of torture among the ten basic rules. It also states that torture is a violation of human rights.
El Salvador’s Code of Military Justice (1934) punishes any soldier who maltreats prisoners of war.
Under El Salvador’s Penal Code (1997), “anyone who, during an international or a civil war, … causes damage to physical or mental health … of the civilian population … [or] maltreats prisoners of war” commits a crime.
El Salvador’s Penal Code (1997), as amended to 2008, which contains a section on the violations of the laws or customs of war, states in its general provisions: “No punishment or security measure, … which involves inhuman or degrading treatment, can be imposed.”
In 2007, in its second periodic report to the Committee against Torture, El Salvador stated:
The Office of the Inspector-General of the National Civil Police reported that when inspecting police units it did not observe any systematic use of torture during questioning, noting that the National Civil Police Organization Act, chapter IV (Code of Conduct), article 13, paragraph 4, states:
No police officer may inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and may not invoke the order of a superior or special circumstances such as a state of war or the threat of war, a threat to national security, domestic political instability or any other public emergency as a justification for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Any officer who violates this provision is subject to disciplinary investigation and proceedings, depending on the gravity of the offence, generally leading to disciplinary sanctions.