Torture Prevention Database

The torture prevention database tracks progress on signatures and ratifications, by African States, of the two major instruments against torture, namely the United Nations Convention against Torture (CAT) and its Optional Protocol (OPCAT),which establishes international and national visiting mechanisms to places of deprivation of liberty in order prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

We also list, to the best of our knowledge, the measures in national law taken by African States to criminalize torture: according to article 4 of the CAT, each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law.

Criminalization of TortureLarger Image

Criminalization of Torture
  States which have legislation criminalizing torture 10
  States which have pending legislation criminalizing torture 7
  States which have no legislation criminalizing torture or whose status is unknown 37

CAT & OPCATLarger Image

Country Map
  States that have ratified both CAT and OPCAT 11
  States that have ratified CAT and signed OPCAT 9
  States that have ratified CAT 22
  States that have signed but not ratified CAT 5
  States that have neither signed nor ratified CAT 7
States Signed CAT Ratified CAT Signed OPCAT Ratified OPCAT Criminalization of Torture Penalty
Algeria26/11/198512/09/1989  Art 263 bis Criminal Code5-10 years of imprisonment
Benin 12/03/199224/02/200520/09/2006pending 
Burkina Faso 04/01/199921/09/200507/07/2010  
Burundi 18/02/1993  Art 196, 197, 200 – 209 Law n°1/05 of 22/04/2009 on the modification of the penal code10-15 years imprisonment. 20 years or life imprisonment depending on aggravating circumstances
Cameroon 19/12/198615/12/2009 Art 132 Penal CodeLife imprisonment or terms of imprisonment and a fine depending on aggravating circumstances or effects of the torture on the victim.
Cape Verde 04/06/199226/09/2011   
Central African Republic      
Chad 09/06/1995    
Congo 30/07/200329/09/2008   
Cote d'Ivoire 18/12/1995    
Democratic Republic of the Congo 18/03/1996 23/09/2010Bill passed by Parliament 
Djibouti 05/11/2002    
Egypt 25/06/1986  Art 126 Penal Code3-10 years imprisonment
Equatorial Guinea 08/10/2002  Art 3 Act No. 6/2006 on the Prevention of and Disciplinary Measures against TorturePrison terms between six months and six years, a fine of 300.000 CFA and a ban from holding public office for twice the period of imprisonment
Ethiopia 14/03/1994    
Kenya 21/02/1997  pending 
Lesotho 12/11/2001    
Liberia 22/09/2004 22/09/2004pending 
Libya 16/05/1989    
Madagascar01/10/200113/12/200524/09/2003 Art 2, 10-12 Law n°08/2008 of 25 June 2008 on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment2-5 years imprisonment. From 5 years to life imprisonment depending on aggravating circumstances
Malawi 11/06/1996    
Mali 26/02/199919/01/200412/05/2005  
Mauritania 17/11/200427/09/2011   
Mauritius 09/12/1992 21/06/2005Art 78 Criminal Code5 years imprisonment
Mozambique 14/09/1999    
Namibia 28/11/1994  pending 
Niger 05/10/1998    
Nigeria28/07/198828/06/2001 27/07/2009pending 
Rwanda 15/12/2008    
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic      
Sao Tome and Principe06/09/2000     
Senegal04/02/198521/08/198604/02/200318/10/2006Art 296-1 Penal Code 
Seychelles 05/05/1992    
Sierra Leone18/03/198525/04/200126/09/2003   
Somalia 24/01/1990    
South Africa29/01/199310/12/199820/09/2006   
South Sudan      
Swaziland 26/03/2004    
Tunisia26/08/198723/09/1988 29/06/2011Art 101 Penal Code8 years imprisonment
Uganda 03/11/1986  pending 
Zambia 07/10/1998    
Zimbabwe  27/09/2010   


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