Middle East and North Africa

Torture and other forms of ill-treatment are still widespread in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Some countries have, however, taken important steps towards combating and preventing torture and ill-treatment, including by ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

Our priority therefore is to support and strengthen the capacity of the newly established National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs), in order to have strong and effective detention monitoring bodies in the region. In close cooperation with our national partners, we provide technical advice, facilitate exchanges and train monitors along with other relevant governmental actors.

Through our work in the region we have contributed to the implementation processes of the OPCAT in Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania and Lebanon. We are now focusing on supporting the new NPMs to effectively fulfil their preventive mandate. With a wider perspective on torture prevention, we are also working closely with authorities to support training of law enforcement on preventive measures and on cooperation and dialogue with monitoring bodies.

APT launched its MENA programme in 2007, to support changes in the political will to increase transparency in places of detention.

Examples of our work in the MENA region:

Tunisia: Long-term engagement to strengthen the monitoring capacity of the NPM, the National Body for the Prevention of Torture (INPT).

Morocco: Long-term engagement to strengthen the monitoring capacity of the NPM team within the CNDH and contributing to efforts to sensitise the relevant authorities on the preventive mandate.

Mauritania: Long-term engagement to strengthen the monitoring capacity of the NPM.