Press Statement on the Promotion Mission regarding Prisons by Commissioner Catherine Dupe Atoki, to the Federal Republic of Nigeria

The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights informs the general public that Honourable Commissioner Catherine Dupe Atoki, Member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Special Rapporteur for Prisons and Other Places of Detention in Africa, and Chairperson for the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa, has been invited by the Federal Republic of Nigeria to undertake a Prisons Promotion Mission in Nigeria.

The Prisons Promotion Mission is being undertaken in Commissioner Atoki’s capacity as the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Other Places of Detention in Africa. A very important part of this Mission will be visits to various prisons and places of detention in the country, which will include meetings with detainees and prisoners and discussions with senior prison officials.

This Special Rapporteur Prisons Mechanism of the African Commission was established in 1996 to, among other things, promote and protect the rights of persons deprived of their liberty, inspect prisons and other places of detention, and advise African Member States on appropriate means to improve their penal systems.

Since the creation of the Mechanism, the various Special Rapporteurs have undertaken visits to different African countries and made pertinent recommendations to the relevant state authorities on how to effectively protect the rights of persons deprived of their liberty. The number of visits undertaken by this Special Mechanism to date stands at fifteen (15).

The visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria is scheduled to take place from 23 August to 2 September 2011. During the visit the Special Rapporteur plans to hold talks with high ranking government officials and decision makers, especially those dealing with penal and penitentiary reforms in the country.

The discussions will also encompass what Nigeria is doing to fulfil its obligations in implementing provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which it signed on 31 October 1982, and ratified on 22 June 1983.

The Special Rapporteur will also meet with local NGOs and other relevant individuals and institutions working in the country in the area of human rights in general and prisons in particular.

The Special Rapporteur invites journalists to a Press Conference to be held at the end of the Mission on 2 September 2011 beginning from 10:00am at a venue to be announced later.

For further information, please contact
The Secretary for the Commission
No. 31 Bijilo Annex Lay-out, Kombo North District,
Western Region,
P. O. Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia
Tel: (220) (220) 441 05 05 /441 05 06,
Fax: (220) 441 05 04
E-mail:; Web

Done in Banjul, The Gambia, on 19 August 2011


    Date: 19 August 2011


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