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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Press Release on the Drafting Retreat to Develop the General Comment on the Right to Redress for Victims of Torture or Ill-treatment under Article 5 of the African Charter


The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Secretariat), wishes to inform the general public that the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (the CPTA or the Committee), in collaboration with the Redress Trust (Redress) and Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI) convened a Drafting Retreat from 1 – 3 February 2016, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The aim of the Retreat was to develop the zero draft of the General Comment on the Right to Redress for Victims of Torture or Ill-treatment under Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The Retreat follows the Technical Meeting which was held in Accra, Ghana, in July 2015, and the Consultation Meeting which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in October 2015. These earlier Meetings provided the Committee with detailed insight into the legal, practical and political challenges that currently prevent victims of torture or ill-treatment from obtaining redress on the continent.   

The Retreat generated a zero draft of the General Comment, taking account of the outcomes of the previous Meetings. The Draft General Comment will be uploaded on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights website for further inputs from the general public.

The Meeting brought together sixteen participants including the following Members of the CPTA: Honourable Commissioner Lawrence M. Mute (Chairperson), Honourable Commissioner Med. S. K. Kaggwa, Honourable Commissioner Solomon Dersso, Mr Jean-Baptiste Niyizurugero (Vice-Chairperson) and Mme Hannah Forster; as well as representatives of Redress, CSPRI, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), Human Rights Implementation Centre (HRIC) of the University of Bristol, Public Law Department of the University of Cape Town, Article 5 Initiative (A5I), and International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT).

Banjul, The Gambia, 5 February 2016