The Follow-up Committee on the implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines

Thursday, February 28, 2008

During its 35th ordinary session, the ACHPR designated members of a Follow-up Committee on the implementation of the RIG. The Committee has the mandate, among others, to promote and facilitate the implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines within Member States and to develop and propose to the African Commission strategies for the effective prohibition and prevention of torture in Africa through the promotion and the implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines at the national and regional levels.

The following Experts were nominated as first Members of the Follow-up Committee: Commissioner Ms. Sanji Monageng as Chairperson Commissioner Mr. Mumba Malila- Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa; Mr. Jean-Baptiste Niyizurugero as Vice-Chairperson - Programme Officer for Africa, Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT); Mrs. Hannah Forster – African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS); Mrs. Leila Zerrougui – Magistrate and Professor of Law at the National Institute of Magistracy in Algiers and Chairperson of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Advocate Ms. Karen McKenzie – Director of the Independent Complaints Directorate of South Africa; Mr. Malick Sow- Coordinator of the Senegalese Committee of Human Rights.

The first session of this Committee was held in Bristol (UK) from 18 to 19 February 2005.  The Meeting came out with recommendations for further promotion and implementation of the RIG. The Committee also adopted its internal rules of procedures as well as a Plan of Action.  

During its 42nd session held in Brazzaville, Congo, from 15 to 28 November 2007, Commissioner Catherine Dupe Atoki was appointed as new Chairperson of the Follow-up Committee on the Implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines. She replaced Commissioner Sanji Monageng, who was elected as Chairperson of the African Commission. The following persons were also appointed as members or had their membership renewed in the Follow-up Committee: Mr Jean-Baptiste Niyizurugero - Vice-Chairperson (Membership renewed) Mrs. Hannah Forster – Member (Membership renewed) Ms. Leila Zerrougui – Member (Membership renewed) Ms. Karen McKenzie – Member (Membership renewed) Mr. Malick Sow - Member (Membership renewed)   On the 02 April 2008, the RIG Committee held a working session in Cape-Town. The Committee was able to assess its work and came up with a strategic plan of activities for the next two years. The RIG Committee also took the opportunity to meet with SPT members attending the regional OPCAT conference organised by Bristol University.