By Kebba Jeffang The Committee for Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) in a panel discussion at the ongoing 56th Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul expressed concerns over the continued practices of torture on the continent.Commissioner Muteh, the Chairman of the committee informed the delegates that his committee was established by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) with a view to preventing torture and other inhumane and degrading punishment. He said the African Charter has prohibited torture practice for the interest of human rights. He however indicated that they have much to do in ensuring that torture is eradicated in Africa. He intimated that his committee will embark on engaging the state parties to better understand certain aspects in Article 5 as they have noticed a major gap that needs to be filled. Mr. Mute urged the state parties to bear in mind that it is their obligation to end impunity in their respective countries. He said torture has lots of impact and can easily cause disability to the victim. Madam Anna Moyo, also a member of CPTA said Article 5 is the most violated article after Article 7 of the African Charter. She said the general comments on Article 5 serve as guidelines to states as a yardstick to the victims. She said there are many forms of torture prevailing in Africa and one of the frequent forms comes in the form of sexual violence against women which, she added, can cause miscarriage of pregnancy. She revealed that inspite of the fact that there are regional and international human rights instruments, torture is still prevailing rampantly in Africa. Honourable Kayitesi Zainabo Sylvie, the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) said torture and death penalty are linked at some point because the inmate is psychologically tortured. “They are always thinking about death, day in day out. Another form of torture comes during the execution. Family members and even prison officers who carry out their documentation suffer from psychological torture,” said ACHPR Chairperson. ]]>

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