Identifying priorities for the Senegalese NPM

Friday, December 21, 2012

Overcrowding in prison, overuse of pre-trial detention and health concerns should be some of the priority issues for the newly established national preventive mechanism of Senegal, the ONLPL.

This was the conclusion of a national consultation on the functioning of the new National Observatory of places of deprivation of liberty, held in Dakar on 5 December 2012. The meeting gathered more than 50 participants, among them Government ministries, lawyers, judges, prosecutors and representatives of the police, penitentiary services, gendarmerie and civil society organisations.

Another area of concern, identifed at the meeting, was the conditions in some specific places of detention such as military facilities and cellars of tribunals where detainees are held while awaiting for the hearing of their cases.

The national consultation was also an occasion to raise awareness around the role and the functioning of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) and, in particular, around its visit to Senegal from 10 to 13 December 2012. The main objective of the visit was to provide advice and technical assistance to the NPM. The SPT visit was particularly useful for the NPM as it allowed it to undertake its ever first visits to places of detention, carried out jointly with the SPT delegation to a prison and two police stations in Dakar.