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There have been many legal and institutional reforms in recent years, attempting to turn the dark pages of the previously widespread use of torture and ill-treatment. The 2005 demise of former president Gnassingbé Eyadema was followed by violence, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, as well as many incidences of rape, torture and ill-treatment.
The OMCT has been working in Togo since 2010, with the Collectif des Organisations Contre l'Impunité au Togo (CACIT) and other members of the SOS-Torture Network, such as ACAT Togo. Our advocacy support has enabled many legislative advances, including the adoption of a new Penal Code defining and criminalising torture in full compliance with the Convention against Torture, the adoption of a Code on judicial organisation, the creation of a national mechanism for the prevention of torture as well as numerous training courses for the security forces, the judiciary, and the penitentiary administration.
However, impunity for acts of torture remains a major challenge in Togo. After more than 15 years of democratic transition, there have been no legal proceedings and convictions for acts of torture. CACIT has submitted 116 complaints to national courts, which have never been investigated. Togo ratified the Convention against Torture in 1987 and submitted three reports. During the last review session, in July 2019, the OMCT facilitated the participation of 10 journalists, thus allowing a greater dissemination of the recommendations by the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) among the Togolese population. In particular, the CAT recommended to close the civil prison in Lome, where the overcrowding, poor infrastructure and living conditions – typical of the prison situation in the country - do not meet international standards.