Torture in  [Benin]  [other countries]
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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                                    

Republic of Benin

The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output has averaged around 5% in the past seven years, but rapid population growth has offset much of this increase. Inflation has subsided over the past several years.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


Description: Description: Benin

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Benin.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2012

[accessed 18 Jan 2014]

PRISON CONDITIONS - Prisons remained overcrowded. The prison in the city of Cotonou held six times its capacity, resulting in harsh conditions. Official detention figures showed that of the 2,300 inmates held, 99 per cent were in pre-trial detention.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/BEN/CO/2 (19 February 2008)

[accessed 23 February 2013]

8. The Committee is concerned about the existing provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure on legal proceedings whereby such proceedings may be instituted only at the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, following a complaint by the victim, which is clearly contrary to article 12 of the Convention (art. 12).

The State party should consider abrogating the system of discretionary prosecution in order to comply with article 12 of the Convention and to remove all doubt regarding the obligation of the competent authorities to institute, systematically and on their own initiative, without a prior complaint from the victim, objective and impartial inquiries wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed.

9. The Committee regrets that persons suspected of having committed acts of torture have reportedly been protected by Act No. 90-028 of 9 October 1990 granting amnesty for acts, other than those covered by ordinary law, committed between 26 October 1972 and the date of promulgation of the Act, and deplores the resulting impunity (art. 12).

The State party should ensure that all allegations of acts of torture and ill-treatment are investigated, including those committed between 1972 and 1990, set up a truth commission to shed light on the allegations, and consider abrogating the Amnesty Act of 1990 with a view to prosecuting and punishing the authors of those acts.

10. The Committee is concerned at the lack of appropriate legislation and of any effective, independent mechanism to enable victims of torture and ill-treatment to complain and have their case examined promptly and impartially. The Committee also deplores the lack of victim and witness protection legislation and mechanisms (arts. 13 and 14).

The State party should establish a fully independent complaints mechanism for victims of torture and ensure that measures are adopted to afford adequate protection to all persons who report acts of torture or ill-treatment. The State party should also enhance the capacity of the standing committee for the compensation of victims of injury caused by the State, established by Decree No. 98-23 of 29 January 1998.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 21 January 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices; however, there were credible reports during the year that police sometimes beat those in custody.

Police forcibly dispersed demonstrations during the year, resulting in one death and numerous injuries (see section 2.b.).

Police also entered homes without warrants and beat the occupants (see section 1.f.).

The government continued to make payments to victims of torture under the former military regime.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 2   Civil Liberties: 2   Status: Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 21 January 2013]

The judiciary is generally considered to be independent of and respected by the executive branch. Still, the majority of current Supreme Court judges were appointed either by Yayi or by the National Assembly when it was led by a pro-Yayi alliance. The judiciary as a whole is also considered to be inefficient, susceptible to corruption, and painfully slow. More than 90 percent of cases for overdue payments are never resolved in the courts, and there are now more pretrial detainees than convicts behind bars. Harsh prison conditions aggravate the situation; cells in Cotonou and Abomey prisons, for example, hold six times the intended number of inmates. Amnesty International included Benin in its annual State of the World’s Human Rights report for the first time in 2008, citing the country’s horrific prison conditions and police brutality.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Benin",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Benin]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Benin]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Benin]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Benin]  [other countries]