CAT/OP/SEN/CNPMRO/1

I. Introduction
1.
In accordance with its mandate under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Subcommittee
on Prevention of Torture carried out its second visit to Senegal from 5 to 16 May 2019.
During its visit, the Subcommittee held meetings and conducted visits to three places of
deprivation of liberty with members of the National Observatory of Places of Deprivation of
Liberty. This allowed the Subcommittee to examine the mandate and working methods of
the Observatory, to understand how it works in practice and to consider how best to improve
its effectiveness.
2.
Following its visit, the Subcommittee prepared a report (CAT/OP/SEN/RONPM/R.1)
dated 30 September 2020 containing its observations and recommendations, which it
submitted to the National Observatory of Places of Deprivation of Liberty.
3.
The National Observatory of Places of Deprivation of Liberty warmly thanks the
Subcommittee for its support and assistance and is pleased to provide the following replies.
The Subcommittee recommends that the National Observatory of Places of Deprivation
of Liberty request the publication of the present report in accordance with article 16 (2)
of the Optional Protocol.
4.
Reply: The National Observatory of Places of Deprivation of Liberty takes note of
this recommendation and undertakes to have the present report published.
The Subcommittee recommends that the Observatory focus on the preventive
component of its mandate and refer individual complaints received during its visits to
places of deprivation of liberty to the competent specialized authorities, thus freeing up
resources for the exercise of its specific mandate under the Optional Protocol.
Nevertheless, the Observatory should follow up on the complaints it receives to ensure
that they are being appropriately addressed.
5.
Reply: As noted by the Subcommittee, the National Observatory of Places of
Deprivation of Liberty has received individual complaints containing allegations that could,
upon investigation, reveal instances of ill-treatment; however, the Observatory did not at any
point undertake to process or resolve these complaints itself. Rather, it referred the cases in
question to the competent judicial authorities and regularly requested information on their
outcomes. This prompted the judicial authorities to take action that resulted in the resolution
of the complaints received.
The Subcommittee reiterates its recommendations contained in paragraph 17 of its
2012 visit report that the Observatory should urge the legislative branch to amend the
act establishing the Observatory. The recommendations concern:
(a)
branch;

The structural independence of the Observatory from the executive

(b)
The appointment process for the Director of the Observatory, which
should be open, transparent, inclusive and participatory;
(c)

The possibility for the Observatory to select and recruit its own personnel;

(d)

The relationship between the Observatory and the Subcommittee.

6.
Reply: The points raised in this recommendation strike at the heart of the issues
undermining the Observatory’s ability to fulfil its mandate effectively. The Director of the
Observatory shares the Subcommittee’s concerns and has been taking steps since her
appointment to raise the authorities’ awareness of the Observatory, to sensitize them to its
mission and mandate and to encourage them to review many aspects of the legislation that
governs it, in particular the provisions on its institutional framework, its budget and the
recruitment of its personnel, whose limitations have become clear in recent years. At various
meetings with three successive Ministers of Justice during her term of office, the Director
has repeatedly underlined that a legislative amendment in the areas highlighted is necessary
in order to allow the mechanism to fulfil the obligations incumbent on it pursuant to the
ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture on 18 October 2006.
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GE.21-03421

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