Madam Sessi Mélé v. State of the Togolese Republic (Application No. ECW/CCJ/APP/48/19)
A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgement.JUD-ECW-CCJ-JUD-29-21-Madam-Sessi-Mélé-vs.-State-of-the-Togolese-Republic-09_07_213630
101. From the above and following the definition of the concept of Torture given by the aforementioned Convention, it is possible to extract 3 essential elements for an act to be qualified as torture: 1- Infliction of quick mental or physical pain or suffering; 2 – By or with the consent or acquiescence of State authorities; 3 – For a specific purpose, such as obtaining information, punishment or intimidation.
115. Based on an objective analysis of the facts described above, it appears that it is possible to extract from them the three essential elements for an act to be qualified as torture:
- Infliction of quick mental or physical pain or suffering
- By or with the consent or acquiescence of state authorities
- For a specific purpose, such as obtaining information, punishment, or intimidation
116. Since, in the instant case, the violent beating inflicted mental, physical pain and suffering on the Applicant; it was committed by agents of the Respondent’s law enforcement and security forces.
117. There is no doubt that such facts, as described in detail, qualify as Torture in light of article 1 of the aforementioned convention (CAT).
118. As seen, the Respondent limited its defense, placing the burden of proof on the Applicant, alleging that it is up to the Applicant to prove the facts alleged by her.
119. Therefore, the question that arises here is whether the Applicant was subjected to the facts described above and who is responsible for the burden of proof, in the case of the alleged violations of human rights.