Training on police monitoring with Senegal’s NPM

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Senegalese NPM – the National Observer of Places of Deprivation of Liberty – continues the effort to strengthen its detention monitoring capacity. In February, the APT assisted the NPM with a training focused on monitoring police and gendarmerie detention.

Senegal’s National Observer of Places of Deprivation of Liberty is so far the only operational NPM in Africa. The APT has given it substantial support, hoping that a well-functioning, effective institution in Senegal will serve as inspiration and encouragement for emerging NPMs in the region. In March 2013 we held a first detention monitoring training in Dakar, which included a practical training visit to a prison. Since then, the NPM has conducted regular visits to prisons and other place of detention, but expressed a need for more training on the specificities of monitoring police and gendarmerie detention.

This time the training, held on 23-26 February, aimed at enhancing knowledge and skills to analysing the situation is this particular detention context, identifying possible risks of torture and ill-treatment and making relevant recommendations for improvement of conditions of detention. The training also included a particular focus on groups which might be specifically vulnerable to abuses.

The training was also a response to the recommendations given by the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, following its visit to Senegal. The SPT stated that “the Observatory should prepare methodologies for visits to places of deprivation of liberty of other kinds covered by the mandate of the national preventive mechanism, such as police and gendarmerie stations and health institutions. As regards visits to police and gendarmerie stations, the main points to look out for are the procedures for questioning and record-keeping and the handling of arrests and arrival at the place of detention”.