Paris – N’Djamena, 18 May 2009
The International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT) and ACAT Chad are pleased that the recommendations made by the United Nations Committee against Torture have been adopted following the examination of the initial review on Chad.
FIACAT and ACAT Chad welcome the frankness with which the party State recognised the gaps in its domestic law concerning the prevention and eradication of torture.
Our organisations share all the concerns set out by the Committee against Torture and call upon the government of Chad to implement as swiftly as possible the actual recommendations put forward by the UN body and in particular to :
Revise and adopt urgently the bill to amend and make additions to the Criminal Code so that it includes a definition of torture that is in line with Article 1 of the Convention as well as clauses setting out that acts of torture constitute a criminal offence that will be punished proportionally to the seriousness of the acts committed ;
Adopt immediately measures to guarantee in practice that all allegations of torture and ill treatment are promptly, impartially and exhaustively investigated, that perpetrators of such acts are brought before the courts and that, if found guilty, they are sentenced proportionally to the seriousness of the acts committed ;
Revise the Code of Criminal Procedure in Chad to include fundamental legal guarantees to all suspects held in custody including, in particular, the right to access to a lawyer, to be seen by an independent doctor, to contact a family member or close friend and to be informed of their rights as soon as custody commences and to be informed of all charges made against them and to be brought before a judge at the earliest possible instance. Chad must also ensure that these rights are respected in practice, that custody time limits are fully complied with and that legal aid is made available to those who need it ;
Ensure that in practice litigants in criminal cases and witnesses are protected against any ill treatment or intimidation linked to their case or to their testimony ;
Investigate the activities of the Environment Protection Force and the Weapons Recovery Force to ensure proper monitoring of their future actions ;
Implement as swiftly as possible the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry on the events of February 2008 ;
Draw up a list of, and order the closure of, all illegal places of detention, order the immediate judicial supervision of those who may still be detained there and ensure that they benefit from all the fundamental guarantees to prevent and protect them from any torture or ill treatment ;
Take all necessary measures to grant NGOs the possibility of carrying out regular, independent, unbiased and unlimited visits to places of detention.
FIACAT and ACAT Chad will closely follow the implementation by Chad of the Committee against Torture’s recommendations especially the most urgent ones.
Nathalie Jeannin - firstname.lastname@example.org