Paris, Lome, June 14th, 2010
FIACAT and ACAT Togo congratulate themselves on the ratification by Togo’s National Assembly, on June 10th 2010, of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT)
This ratification strengthens Togo’s legal arsenal and should allow the prevention of acts of torture in a country where this practice has been widely used during the last few years. Nevertheless, the ratification of the text is not enough and Togo must now commit itself to implement effectively the stipulations of this text.
In accordance with the stipulations, Togo, as any other State party to the Protocol, must now set up a national mechanism for the prevention of torture, within a year. This body shall imperatively be independent, and made up of competent people who have professional knowledge in the field of the fight against torture. It should also have enough resources in order to be able to make regular and unexpected visits to all places where people are deprived of their liberty in Togo.
FIACAT and ACAT Togo will make sure that the stipulations of this Protocol are effectively implemented.
The objective of the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, adopted in New York on December 18th 2002, is to “establish a system of regular visits undertaken by independent international and national bodies to places where people are deprived of their liberty, in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (article 1). After Benin, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal, Togo is the fifth country to ratify it in Africa.
FIACAT : Guillaume Colin – firstname.lastname@example.org - +33142800160