Tuesday, June 11, 2019


The obligation to investigate the allegations of degrading treatment in the places of detention in question, in the light of recent accusations against gendarmes Sed.

Serious torture charges brought by activists of the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon(Mrc) are targeting in recent days soldiers serving at the State Secretariat for Defense in charge of the National Gendarmerie (read below a new testimony after the other three already published last Thursday in our columns). These accusations sometimes target public officials that victims say they have identified. The Cameroonian portal of Belgium. The prohibition of torture is a principle formally adhered to by the State of Cameroon. This prohibition is contained in Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, which reads as follows: "Everyone has the right to respect for the inherent dignity of the human person and to the recognition of his or her legal personality. forms of human exploitation and degradation, including slavery, trafficking in persons, physical or mental torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are prohibited. "Cameroon has signed, ratified and deposited the instruments of ratification of this Charter respectively on 23 July 1987, 20 June 1989 and 19 September 1989.

Violence against others

Translating the will of the government to promote and protect human rights, Cameroon has even inserted into the Penal Code article 132 bis entitled torture: "Subject to harsher penalties if it fails, is punished by imprisonment of six months to five years, the official guilty of violence against others ", but also, the country has ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. General instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which include provisions prohibiting torture, should not be overlooked. And the specific question of torture in places of detention? Clear and crisp information. The news gives a particular echo to this problem.Torture is unique in the context of deprivation of liberty. In principle, fundamental guarantees are provided for the benefit of persons deprived of their liberty. A lawyer solicited by Le Jour explores the salient points insisting on "the procedural and material guarantees granted to persons deprived of their liberty, and in particular, the guarantees against incommunicado detention, the right to be informed of the reasons for his arrest, the right to to a council, the right to silence, the right to challenge the lawfulness of his detention, the right to be brought before a judicial authority, the right to visit, the right to a medical examination ", he lists.

Control of places of detention

What about the control of places of detention? There are various types of controls, including hierarchical control, control by the judicial authorities, control by independent administrative authorities such as the National Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms and control of civil society organizations. The systematization of these controls remains an objective to be achieved. A comprehensive manual exists to investigate torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 55/89 of 4 December 2000, also known as the Istanbul Protocol. This manual prescribes the obligation to investigate allegations of torture.Camer.be. This obligation is of public order, the investigation to be conducted even in the absence of a complaint or in case of withdrawal. The obligation to investigate, which should lead to the identification and punishment of those responsible, must not be restrictive. Beyond the framework of the criminal procedure, the investigation can also be conducted by an independent authority such as the National Commission for Human Rightsand Freedoms or an ad hoc committee. It must give rise to a public report, the State being called upon to indicate the measures envisaged to follow it up.

The challenge of investigation

The Istanbul Protocol places a premium on health professionals in responding to allegations of torture. This is one of the main challenges in investigating torture.The role of the doctor in establishing the evidence. One doctor deplores the weakness of training programs of professional schools in the field of forensics that deprives professionals of the necessary skills in the investigation and documentation of torture. We know that victims of torture are also identified thanks to symptoms including anxiety, fear, shame, memory loss, insomnia, depression, lack of self-esteem, neurosis ...