Africa: UN Human Rights Committee publishes findings on Togo

Geneva, July 30, 2021.-The UN Human Rights Committee has issued its findings on Togo, the State party which it examined during its latest session.

The findings concluded an online dialogue with the high-level delegation comprising five ministers, including the Minister of Human Rights and the Minister of Justice of Togo. The engaging discussion over wide-ranging issues attested Togo’s dedication to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Committee said.

The Human Rights Committee noted the positive aspects of Togo’s implementation of the Covenant. It however expressed concerns about a number of issues and made corresponding recommendations.

The Committee voiced its concern at the prevalence of corruption in the State party, especially in the justice sector. It recommended that Togo strengthen the High Authority for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption and Related Offences and give Public Prosecutor’s Office and law enforcement officials better tools for combatting corruption.

Regarding allegations of torture and ill-treatment being frequently practised to extract confessions from detainees, including children, in custody and pre-trial detention, the Committee recommended that the State party thoroughly investigate and prosecute all officials involved. It also called on Togo to lift the restrictions imposed on civil society organizations, allowing them to resume visits to detention facilities as soon as possible.

The Committee was concerned about the alleged use of criminal provisions by the authorities to hamper the activities of journalists, trade unionists, opinion leaders and human rights defenders. It recommended that the State party amend its legislation and stop intimidating, arresting and prosecuting journalists and human rights defenders who are exercising their right to freedom of expression.

The Committee was also concerned at the acts of mob justice, including the lynching of people suspected of committing crimes. It called on the State party to investigate and prosecute all perpetrators. It also recommended that the State party take practical measures to restore public confidence in its judicial institutions.

The above findings, officially known as Concluding Observations, are now available online on the session website.

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