Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman o r Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Visit to Togo from 1 to 10 December 2014: observations and recommendations addressed to the State party
Report prepared by the Subcommittee *
Replies of Togo ** , ***
1.Togo has taken note of the report of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture issued following its mission of 1-10 December 2014.
2.The Government is willing to cooperate fully with the Subcommittee in implementing the recommendations. In this connection, a request will be submitted in due course to benefit from the Fund established for this purpose. In addition, the Government has no objection to the Subcommittee’s report being published.
3.As refresher training for judicial police officers and prison administration and rehabilitation personnel, two regional workshops on capacity-building in the struggle against torture were organized in September 2014 by the Ministry for Human Rights and the Strengthening of Democracy, in cooperation with the ministries of justice and relations with the institutions of the Republic, security and civil protection and with financial support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
4.A mission to evaluate the implementation of the action plans drawn up as a result of these workshops is planned for later this year.
5.Act No. 2015-10 of 24 November 2015 relating to the new Criminal Code has been adopted and promulgated.
6.The building work on the new prison that was in progress at the time of the visit has been completed. The work was signed off in December 2015.
7.With a view to improving the living conditions of prisoners, in December 2015 the prison and rehabilitation administration introduced telephone booths in all of the country’s prisons in order to facilitate communication between prisoners and their relatives or friends.
8.This will serve to counteract uncontrolled communications by prisoners. Searches will soon be conducted to collect mobile telephones which have been smuggled into prisons and are used to conduct a range of mainly disreputable activities.
9.Educational activities (establishment of a library in Lomé), recreational activities (to relieve stress) and sporting activities (football and certain physical exercises) have begun to be introduced in some of our prisons — especially, as far as sport is concerned, in closed prisons.
10.Similarly, workshops have been set up for inmates wishing to undergo vocational training, particularly in carpentry, basket weaving, electronics, shoemaking, tailoring (men’s and women’s) hairdressing (men’s and women’s) and beadwork. Prisoners have recently been provided with a guide designed to help them organize their work better and derive significant benefit from it.
11.A set of internal regulations is available following approval and is awaiting implementation through the adoption of a decree.
12.Provisions will be introduced through a service note or by other means to reorganize the internal management of prisons where prisoners are responsible for bullying other inmates, who are reduced to a kind of slavery and subjected to various kinds of humiliations unworthy of the human race.
13.Discussions are in progress with a partner (Handicap International) with a view to the complete renovation of the Cabanon, involving its extension and improved distribution of building space between the two sexes and also juveniles.
14.A Computerized Prison Management System (GIP) has been in place for several years now but, owing to technical difficulties, is not currently operational. Efforts are being made to bring it back into service in the coming weeks.
15.Since the draft internal regulations are available, steps will be taken at a high level to secure the signature of the decree that will improve prison organization.
16.Service notes or circulars will be issued to instruct prison administration staff as to the need to enable prisoners to convey their complaints and concerns to the administration. This task will be entrusted to certain diligent persons in order to facilitate interaction between inmates and the administration.
17.The prisoners themselves will be informed of these efforts, either through the Club juridique or through the various meetings between the administration and the prisoners or their leaders.
18.Practical steps will be taken to alleviate hardship among prisoners.
19.We have always taken the necessary action to ensure that children in conflict with the law are not held in prison alongside adults.
20.In December 2015 a large-scale operation was carried out in cooperation with one of our partners to thoroughly clean and disinfect all the cells of the Lomé juvenile delinquency division. The operation also covered all police and gendarmerie stations in the Maritime Region.
21.The various categories of prisoners are separated from each other, and accordingly our prisons have sections for men, women and juveniles, particularly in the interior of the country.