Head of state and government
Thomas Boni Yayi
Death penalty
abolitionist in practice
9.2 million
Life expectancy
62.3 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f)
123/118 per 1,000
Adult literacy
40.8 per cent

Freedom of expression and assembly was restricted. At least one person was sentenced to death. Prison conditions remained poor due to overcrowding.

Freedom of expression and assembly

In October, the Ministry of Interior banned all demonstrations calling for information on the whereabouts of Pierre Urbain Dangnivo, a Ministry of Finance official who disappeared in August. Suspicions about the possible involvement of government officials in his disappearance provoked protests from the press, civil society and opposition political parties. An official inquiry failed to clarify his fate by the end of the year. Many civil society groups, including trade unions, denounced restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly.

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Death penalty

In May, Susanne Lanmanchion was sentenced to death in her absence by the Assize Court of Abomey (in the centre of the country) for killing her mother.

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Prison conditions

Prisons remained overcrowded. The prison of Cotonou (the main city) held six times its capacity, resulting in harsh conditions. Of the 2,500 inmates held, 80 per cent were in pre-trial detention.

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Human rights by region

World regions Midde East and North Africa Asia Pacific Europe and Central Asia Africa Americas


A number of countries in Africa celebrated the 50th anniversary of their independence during the year while others prep ...


In the Americas many human rights have been recognized in law, if not always in practice, over the past 50 years. Whi ...

Asia Pacific

In a region with almost two thirds of the world’s population, stretching a third of the way around the planet, ...

Europe & Central Asia

The right to truth and justice, and the determination of victims and their relatives to achieve this how ...

Middle East and North Africa

2010 dawned with Yemen an unusual focus of international attention following an alleged terrorist ...

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