Banjul, The Gambia and Geneva (15 March 2013) - The Chairperson of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNSRT), while following the developments on the death of Mido Macia, a Mozambican taxi driver, resulting from the treatment to which he was subjected to by the police in South Africa on the 27 February 2013, express their concern on such cruel and degrading acts carried out in full view of the public.
The CPTA and the UNSRT wish to reiterate the obligation of the Republic of South Africa to take measures to prevent, prohibit and punish all acts of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment within its territory, in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the UN Convention against Torture and other forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Robben Island Guidelines on the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture in Africa and other international instruments it has ratified.
While commending the prompt action of the Government of South Africa in initiating judicial proceedings against the perpetrators of this gruesome act, we expect that the legal process will be taken to its logical conclusion without delay.
In the meantime, we urge the Government of South Africa to take all necessary measures to expedite the enactment into law of the draft Bill on the criminalization of torture that has long been pending before its Parliament.
We further call on the Government of South Africa to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and establish a fully independent, inclusive and adequately resourced National Preventive Mechanism to undertake frequent visits to places of detention in order to prevent the occurrence of acts of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.
Dupe Atoki, Chairperson of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa
Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment