Resolution on Prohibition and Prevention of Torture in Africa

We, the participants of the Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 11th African Human Rights Book Fair, held in Banjul, The Gambia, from April 27 to May 11, 2005,

Recalling the universal and absolute character of the condemnation and prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments or treatments;

Deeply indignant at the persistence of such acts in Africa;

Noting with satisfaction the adoption by ACHPR at its 32nd Session held from 17th to 23rd October 2002, of the Robben Island Directives on the prohibition and prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments or treatments in Africa, and of the recommendations made during the consultative meeting on the implementation of the Robben Island Directives held in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, during its 36th Ordinary Session held in Dakar, Senegal, from 24th November to 7th December 2004;

Delighted with the appointment by ACHPR of a Follow up Committee of the implementation of these Directives during its 35th Session held in Banjul, the Gambia, from 23rd May to 4th June 2004;

Recommend to the 37th Session of ACHPR:

1. To adopt the recommendations of the first working session of the Follow up Committee held in Bristol, Great Britain, from 19th to 20th February 2005 and the annexed Rules of Procedure.

2. To appeal to the African States:

  • To ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments or treatments of 10th December 1984.
  • To ratify the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments or treatments of 18th December 2002 (see annexed specific draft resolution).
  • To ratify the Protocol to the African Charter establishing an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights of 9th June 1998 and the effective establishment of this Court.
  • To refer to the Robben Island Directives in the fulfilment of their obligations under Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

3. To make systematic use of the Robben Island Directives during consideration of the periodic reports of the States.

Done at Banjul, on 26th April, 2005