Benin in the dock at the United Nations in Geneva

HRWF full report

HRWF (27.01.2022) – – On 26 January, a few weeks after the controversial parliamentary elections in Benin the result of which was rejected by the opposition, the human rights situation in the country was examined at the United Nations in Geneva in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism (UPR).

A number of NGOs focused on the appalling human rights situation and the political oppression in Benin.

Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) contributed to the UPR with an 18-page report, available on the U.N. website, in which it focused on several topics of particular concern, and primarily the grip of President Talon on all the state institutions to the benefit of his party.

Other issues were also investigated by the report, such as

  • The massive arrests of peaceful demonstrators, political opponents and party leaders in 2021
  • The loss of independence of the judiciary
  • The creation of a special court for the prosecution of economic crimes and terrorism (CRIET) instrumentalized by President Talon to prosecute political rivals on fabricated charges
  • The sentencing of two candidates of the 2021 presidential election, Reckya Madougou and Joël Aivo, respectively sentenced to 20 and 10 years in prison
  • The general detention conditions in Benin, also denounced in the 2021 of the US State Department on Human Rights Practices in Benin
  • The abuse of pretrial detention and the use of torture, already denounced in 2019 by the UN Committee Against Torture
  • The lack of freedom of the media, journalists and bloggers
  • The breaches of freedom of assembly and police violence

In a previous oral statement at the UN, HRWF recalled that in May 2021, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a Resolution in which it declared to be deeply concerned by the restrictions on civic space and the crackdown on demonstrations by the army resulting in loss of lives, abuses and violations.

Last but not least, HRWF report also mentioned a call of the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs to the US at the end of a 73-page study to recommend the nomination of President Talon and his supporting associates for sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act.

On the same lines, HRWF also recommends the nomination of President Talon and his associates for sanctions under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.

HRWF is urging the international community to obtain from President Talon the release of Reckya Madougou and Joël Aivo, respectively sentenced to 20 and 10 years in prison

For more information, visit the website of HRWF or write to