Cross-regional exchange on the relevance of the “Guidelines on investigative interviewing and associated safeguards” to the Arab and African countries

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), together with the Committee on the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA), organised a cross-regional exchange on “Regional and International standards during the early hours of detention”. The side-event took place on the margins of the 64th session of the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 24th April to 14th May 2019.

The side-event presented the initiative to elaborate upon the “Guidelines on investigative interviewing and associated safeguards”, which builds on existing regional and international standards on fundamental safeguards and their relevance as a preventive tool in the early hours of detention.

At the event, experts deliberated on the current standards on fundamental safeguards provided by the Arab Charter on Human Rights and the African charter for Human and Peoples’ rights and complementary practical guidelines such as the Luanda guidelines on arrest, police custody and pretrial detention. Furthermore, the rational of the ”Guidelines” and how they relate to States’ obligations under the UN Convention against torture was also discussed, notably article 11 to “…keep under systematic review interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices as well as arrangements for the custody and treatment of persons subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment in any territory under its jurisdiction, with a view to preventing any cases of torture.”

Challenges related to the implementation of safeguards while countering terrorism and the role of civil society organisations were also discussed.

This exchange was a part of the APT’s engagement with the CPTA and the ongoing dialogue and cooperation with the Arab Human Rights Committee of the League of Arab States.  

Panelists included:

• Commissioner Hatem ESSAIEM - President of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA)

• Mr. Juan MENDEZ (via video message) – the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee

• Ambassador Nadia GOFOUN - Member of the Arab Human Rights Committee of the League of Arab States

• Mr. Abdel Wahab HANI - Member of the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT)

• Ms. Yasmine SHAMS - Regional Programme Officer for MENA at the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT).

  • Staff Members

    Yasmine Shams
    Middle East and North Africa Programme Officer
    +41 22 919 21 74
    yshams@apt.ch -