INTERSESSIONAL ACTIVITIES REPORT AS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON PRISONS AND CONDITIONS OF DETENTION IN AFRICA
As Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa I was inhibited by a number of factors from undertaking any mission. These include:
a) The Secretariat did not receive any responses to the countries that were scheduled to be visited. In some instances, responses to Notes Verbale sent by the Secretariat are still being awaited and it is hoped that in the forthcoming inter session period I can undertake some prison inspections in at least two countries.
b) At the Extra Ordinary Session in February 2008 the ACHPR had set aside dates for possible fact finding missions to Kenya and to Somalia. Although these missions did not materialize, they affected the scheduling of dates in the intersessional period for any possible country visit of prison inspections.
I however managed to undertake the following activities
1. Meeting of the Robben Island Guidelines Implementation Committee
I was invited in my capacity as Special Rapporteur on Prisons, to attend the meeting of the RIG Implementation Committee which took place in Cape Town, South Africa on the 2nd April, 2008. The meeting strategised on how best to ensure that the Robben Island Guidelines are publicized and implemented in African countries that have not implemented them.
2. Workshop on Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture
Between the 3rd and the 4th of April in Cape Town, South Africa, I attended a workshop organized by Bristol University Law Faculty, Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), the South African Human Rights Commission and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The meeting was a follow up on the meeting held in April 2007 in Bristol, UK and was esigned to explore issues around prison visits under the Optional Protocol to the CAT. I made a presentation at that meeting on the challenges in implementing the OP CAT in Africa.