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[HRC 19] Oral statement : TOGO : the new penal code should contain a definition of torture consistent with Article 1 of the UN Convention against Torture

March 2012

[English] [français]

THE SITUATION IN TOGO REVIEWED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE UNIVERSAL PERIODICAL REVIEW

FIACAT and ACAT Togo welcome the presentation of the national report of Togo and its responses to the questioned posed during the interactive dialogue. Our associations welcome the next ratification, announced by Togo, of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty and of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; specifications of the ratification calendar would be welcome, however.

Our associations are worried by the frequent cases of torture and ill treatment in Togo. Generally, many international provisions are found within the Constitution but are not transposed into national legislation and are therefore unknown by police officers, magistrates, penitentiary personnel and even less so by the population.

1. ON THE DEFINITION AND PROHIBITION OF TORTURE IN INTERNAL LAW

FIACAT and ACAT-Togo look forward to responding to proposed revisions to the Penal Code to be submitted this month and before that these projects are adopted.

The Revised Penal Code should contain a definition of torture consistent with Article 1 of the UN Convention against Torture and provide for appropriate penalties to the seriousness of this crime.

Indeed, for the moment, the numerous acts of torture and ill treatment committed can only therefore be continued under the qualification of “voluntary violence;” this does not permit a sanction of its particularly grave character nor prevention of its occurrence.

2. ON THE RESPECT OF DEFENSE RIGHTS

Numerous acts of torture and ill treatment happen during interrogations. The lack of training of judicial police officers and agents of the state is flagrant. FIACAT and ACAT Togo worry also that the provisions of the current Procedural Penal Code concerning custody do not provide for the notification of rights nor the presence of a lawyer.

A person may be held in custody for a maximum duration of 48 hours before being brought before a judge. Yet in practice, one notes strong corruption of police officers and gendarmes as well as a frequent breach of statutory deadlines. So, certain persons, including children, are detained without charge or are waiting for judgment for many years.

- See the oral statement online

Oral statement delivered by the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture – FIACAT a non governmental organization in special consultative status

Human Rights Session
19th Session
Item 6: Consideration of UPR reports- Togo

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