Mauritania makes progress in torture prevention

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mauritania will create a National Preventive Mechanism consisting of a team of national experts, who will regularly visit all places of detention.

Ms. Aichettou Mint Me Hayham, Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Wednesday that such an independent mechanism will be established by law and in accordance with international standards. She said that the members of the mechanism will be selected, through a participatory process, from  NGOs, the National Bar Association, the National Medical Association and independent personalities.

The government is planning to hold a series of consultation sessions about the draft law, before it's submitted to Parliament in November 2014.

The creation of this mechanism is a result of Mauritania’s ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT) in October 2012.

APT's Secretary General, Mark Thomson, said: "If the Mauritanian torture prevention mechanism effectively improves the protection of human dignity in places of deprivation of liberty in the country, this will inspire other African countries to also make advanced towards the total eradication of the scourge of torture."

The APT has supported the process of ratification and implementation of OPCAT in Mauritania since 2011, in collaboration with the National Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa and local associations, such as the NGO "SOS immigration".

Address by HE Ms. Aichettou Mint Me Hayham Commissioner for Human Rights, Humanitarian Action and Relations with Civil Society, at Nouakchott on 08/20/2014 (in French).