CPTA Discuss Torture Prevention in Africa

By Kebba Jeffang
The Committee for Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) in a panel
discussion at the ongoing 56th Session of the African Commission on
Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul expressed concerns over the
continued practices of torture on the continent.Commissioner Muteh, the Chairman of the committee informed the
delegates that his committee was established by the African Commission
on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) with a view to preventing torture
and other inhumane and degrading punishment. He said the African
Charter has prohibited torture practice for the interest of human
rights.
He however indicated that they have much to do in ensuring that
torture is eradicated in Africa. He intimated that his committee will
embark on engaging the state parties to better understand certain
aspects in Article 5 as they have noticed a major gap that needs to
be filled.
Mr. Mute urged the state parties to bear in mind that it is their
obligation to end impunity in their respective countries. He said
torture has lots of impact and can easily cause disability to the
victim.
Madam Anna Moyo, also a member of CPTA said Article 5 is the most
violated article after Article 7 of the African Charter. She said the
general comments on Article 5 serve as guidelines to states as a
yardstick to the victims.
She said there are many forms of torture prevailing in Africa and one
of the frequent forms comes in the form of sexual violence against
women which, she added, can cause miscarriage of pregnancy. She
revealed that inspite of the fact that there are regional and
international human rights instruments, torture is still prevailing
rampantly in Africa.
Honourable Kayitesi Zainabo Sylvie, the Chairperson of the African
Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) said torture and death
penalty are linked at some point because the inmate is psychologically
tortured.
“They are always thinking about death, day in day out. Another form of
torture comes during the execution. Family members and even prison
officers who carry out their documentation suffer from psychological
torture,” said ACHPR Chairperson.