Madagascar: APT expands efforts to uphold safeguards in police custody
Building on our three-year project to strengthen the implementation of key safeguards in in the first hours of police custody, the APT has begun a new phase to provide training and resources to police across Madagascar.
In partnership with the Ministry of Internal Security, the APT has developed two tools that address protection gaps for people in police custody: a standardised custody register and a letter of rights.
Custody registers and letters of right have now been distributed in five police stations in Antananarivo and 35 police stations in the Tamatave region, the country’s second largest region.
While the pandemic has slowed the roll-out to police stations in other regions, the APT has developed a guide on the use of the custody registers and letter of rights. We also conducted a WhatsApp training course for 50 police officers to facilitate their use.
Following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the country, an APT team visited Madagascar from 4-14 December 2021 to conduct a training-of-trainers programme with 14 senior police officers on the use of the registers and letters of rights. The training included a focus on practical measures to respond to the needs of vulnerable persons in police custody.
To further strengthen respect for detention safeguards in Madagascar, the APT organised a roundtable with key national stakeholders to introduce the Méndez Principles on effective interviewing in investigations and information gathering.
Held on 10 December, Human Rights Day, the roundtable was an opportunity to explain how the Méndez Principles support investigators, prevent torture and ill-treatment and strengthen the broader justice system.
Following the roundtable, the APT launched a photography exhibition to showcase the progress made in Madagascar to uphold safeguards in police custody. The exhibition will tour the country, combining photos and captions to share information with a wider audience about these new safeguards.