Benin in the dock at the UN Human Rights Council
Launch of an 18-page report
HRWF (27.09.2022) – https://hrwf.eu – On Tuesday 27 September, the appalling human rights situation and the political oppression in Benin were raised at the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, composed of 47 member states, in which Benin is occupying a seat until 2024.
An oral statement co-sponsored by two NGOs, CAP/ Liberté de Conscience (France) and Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) expressed their deep concerns about the ongoing backsliding of democracy and human rights in Benin since President Patrice Talon came to power in 2016.
On the same day, HRWF launched its report about the situation in Benin in which the Brussels-based NGO 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 are 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 their oral statement, the two NGOs 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 mentions 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.
For more information, visit the website of HRWF or write to firstname.lastname@example.org