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[UPR] ACAT Benin and FIACAT’s Report on the situation of torture and ill-treatment in Benin

May 2008

Préoccupations de la FIACAT et de l’ACAT Bénin concernant la torture et les mauvais traitements dans les prisons béninoises présentées au Conseil des Droits de l’Homme en vue de l’examen du Bénin dans le cadre de l’Examen Périodique Universel, 2èmeème session du 5 au 16 mai 2008.

After inquiry into nine prisons in Benin, FIACAT and ACAT Benin denounce a series of violations of the rights of detained persons. They include:
- prison overpopulation, a shortness of buildings, and dilapidated facilities,
- an elevated number of preventative detentions, which are frequently due to the late opening of judicial proceedings,
- uncertain sanitation in places of detention and an increasing lack of hygiene,
- a very limited access to medical care and food rations that are insufficient and of mediocre quality,
- a deficit of regular visits to prisoners.

Aside from a few specific actions, NGOs active in the defense of human rights do not have systematic and permanent access to prisons and other places of detention. They must ask the State for authorization each time the government changes. In November 2007, before the UN Committee Against Torture, the Minister of Justice promised to allow national human rights NGOs permanent access to all places of detention. However, ACAT Benin has still not been able to meet with the Minister in order to obtain this authorization.

Full report available in french

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