Support us

Fighting Against Abusive Pre-trial Detention

Pre-trial detention means imprisoning someone before a final judgement has been pronounced following a trial.  It runs counter to the presumption of innocence and is considered to be wrongful when the rules governing such custody are infringed. On the basis of their visits to those whom justice has "forgotten", the ACATs which are partners in this project, along with FIACAT, decided in 2014 to campaign against this phenomenon of wrongful detention, a practice which contributes to prison overcrowding, has an impact on conditions under which inmates are held and has socio-economic repercussions for them and their families and friends.

FIACAT and the ACAT partners are aiming to reduce prison overcrowding by training staff in the judicial and prison systems and civil society. During prison visits, the ACATs identify cases of abusive pre-trial detention. These files are followed up by lawyers providing legal support to ACAT members in the field, until those awaiting trial are provisionally or finally released.

FIACAT and the ACATs work with the authorities to implement the recommendations of regional and international organisations and raise public awareness of detainees' rights.

Since 2014, the programme has been implemented in Benin, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar.


dpa illustration en


Publications produced in the framework of these programmes

Prisoners' Legal Safeguards Guides: developed within the framework of these programmes:


Study :



Testimonies :

  • Noël, former detainee beneficiary of the project in Congo Brazaville who has become a volunteer for ACAT Congo.



  • Eugène Kangah Bilé, former president of ACAT Côte d'Ivoire




Projects per country