Practice Relating to Rule 90. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
Finland’s Criminal Code (1889), as amended in 2008, provides that any person who “kills another or wounds or tortures him or her or in violation of his or her interests, maims him or her … or in another manner causes him or her considerable suffering or a serious injury or seriously harms his or her health” shall be “sentenced for a war crime
to imprisonment for at least one year or for life”.
(emphasis in original)
In 2003, in its fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Finland stated:
111. The Emergency Powers Act (1080/1991) requires that the basic necessities of the population, the maintenance of law and order and the protection of the territorial integrity and independence of Finland be ensured in emergency situations … The Emergency Powers Act may not be applied with a view to restricting the right to life and integrity of person. Furthermore … no one may be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment …
Prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment
125. Section 7, subsection 2, of the Constitution provides for a prohibition of death penalty, torture and other inhuman treatment, supplementing the general provision guaranteeing integrity of person. Although the repealed Constitution Act of Finland did not contain any explicit provision guaranteeing the right to human treatment, the right to integrity of person was also meant to provide protection against such inhuman treatment as would be carried out by interference with the physical integrity of a person without his or her consent. The specific prohibition of torture in the existing Constitution underlines that treatment inflicting physical or mental suffering upon a person may not be allowed in any circumstances.
126. The prohibition of inhuman treatment refers to both physical and mental treatment. The provision is meant to cover any forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The wording of the provision corresponds to the provisions of Article 7 of the Covenant and those of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
127. The prohibition of inhuman treatment has further been taken into account in the provisions of the Aliens Act relating to expulsion.
In 2003, in its third periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Finland stated:
H. The right not to be subjected to torture or other form[s] of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (art. 37 (a) [of the Convention on the Rights of the Child])
247. Finland does not accept torture in any form. Prohibition of torture is absolute and no exceptions to this prohibition are possible in any circumstances. In accordance with the Constitution of Finland, no one may be sentenced to death, tortured or otherwise treated in a manner violating human dignity. Capital punishment in times of peace was removed from the Finnish penal system in 1949 (Act 728/1949) and totally in 1972 (Act 343/1972). The prohibition of treatment violating human dignity applies to both physical and mental treatment.
250. The Government of Finland considers it important that the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment be enforced as soon as possible.