Central African Republic: Mission on Prisons and Conditions of Detention, 2000


Prof. E.V.O. Dankwa, Special Rapporteur on Prisons in Africa, visited the Central African Republic from 19 to 29 June 2000.


  1.  An interdepartmental task force whose members would come from bodies responsible for the administration of justice, policing, prisons and other related sectors should conduct a detailed study of solutions that can be made to the problems of prisons. The National Commission on Human Rights could take the lead in this work.
  2. Tthe work of prison guards and officials Should be monitored more. Representatives of local authorities should make themselves more often in prison or, if no visit has taken place, begin to go there.
  3. The possibilities of rebuilding prisons using local resources should be explored.
  4. The education in human rights for police officers, gendarmes and prison guards should be strengthened.
  5. Acts of torture and violence against detainees should be ended.
  6. Detainees should no longer wear chains.
  7. Measures should be taken to ensure that men and women are not held in the same cells.
  8. There should be no hindrances to those persons who, in compliance with prison rules, want to visit detainees.
  9. Detainees should not be threatened or punished for what they say to people acting in official capacity, such as the Special Rapporteur.
  10. The NGOs present in the CAR should work to improve conditions of detention. They should provide as much as possible humanitarian and material assistance.
  11. The state should take responsibility for health care for prisoners, even though families, religious organizations and others help to care for them.
  12. Feeding prisoners is the responsibility of the state and the government should respect this obligation. Civil society is encouraged to contribute to the fulfillment of this responsibility by the authorities.
  13. The housing of prisoners should be one of the main subjects of attention for an interdepartmental task force which we suggest to be established.