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Sao Tomé and Principe

São Tomé and Príncipe has dedicated counterterrorism provisions in its Criminal Code. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

The Criminal Code defines "terrorism" as follows:

Whoever commits any of the crimes referred to in paragraphs a) to d) or with the use of the means referred to in paragraph e), all of paragraph 2 of the previous article, acting with the intention of harming national integrity and independence, or destroying, alter or subvert the functioning of the State institutions provided for in the Constitution or to force the public authority to practice an act, to refrain from practicing it, or to tolerate its being practiced or to intimidate certain persons, groups of persons or the population.Art. 360(1), Codigo Penal de São Tomé and Príncipe.

The relevant predicate offences are as follows:

a) Against the life, physical integrity or freedom of persons;

b) Against the security of transport and communications, including telegraphic, telephone, broadcasting or television;

c) Wilful production of common danger, through fire, release of radioactive substances or toxic or asphyxiating gases, flood or avalanche, collapse of construction, contamination of food and water intended for human consumption, or dissemination of epizootic disease;

d) Sabotage;

e) Which involve the use of bombs, grenades, firearms, substances or devices explosives, incendiary means of any kind, parcels or booby-trapped letters.Art. 359(2), Codigo Penal de São Tomé and Príncipe.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


São Tomé and Príncipe is a State Party to most of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention Signatory


São Tomé and Príncipe has signed but not ratified the two regional treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1999 Algiers Convention Signatory
2004 Protocol to the Algiers Convention Signatory

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The penalty for terrorist offences is imprisonment for between three and fifteen years or an increase in the penalty for the predicate crime by one third (minimum and maximum limited).Art. 360(1), Codigo Penal de São Tomé and Príncipe.Promoting or creating a terrorist group carries a prison sentence of between five years and twenty years.Art. 359(1), Codigo Penal de São Tomé and Príncipe. 

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

There is no dedicated counterterrorism unit in the Public Security Police. An attempted coup took place in 2022.


Código Penal de São Tomé and Príncipe