Doha, November 15
The Doha-based Arab Network for National Human Rights Institutions organized today a conference on introducing Mendez Principles, in cooperation with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT).
The conference aimed to train members and cadres of national human rights institutions to raise their capacities in educational programs with the police and detention monitoring with the aim of publishing the principles document and exploring how to monitor, and use the principles in monitoring and in the dialogue with authorities, as well as promoting constructive dialogue with national human rights institutions on the principles, especially regarding the role of these institutions in disseminating and raising awareness of the document.
In this regard, the Executive Director of the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions Sultan bin Hassan Al Jamali, explained that the issue of receiving complaints, monitoring and visiting places of detention is one of the first priorities of the national human rights institutions that are members of the Arab Network.
He pointed out that the network in its training activities worked to raise the capacities of member institutions in the areas that enable them to carry out their role in combating and preventing torture.
He added that the network worked to clarify concepts, the most important of which is the approach to security and human rights, and the challenges of achieving security within the framework of protecting human rights, indicating that the network participated in organizing more than one international conference and event in this regard.
He stressed that all conferences organized by the network emphasized the right not to be subjected to torture, suggesting steps and making recommendations, plans to prevent torture and to obtain a fair trial, and to enhance public freedoms in the Arab region, saying, that these principles provide a new vision on effective interviews for investigations and information gathering, which it gives states solutions to move away from criminal justice systems based on confessions, thereby reducing the risks of coercion, and torture.
Al Jamali also mentioned that the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions will place among its priorities for the coming years the issue of raising the capacities of national institutions in preventing and monitoring torture, visiting places of detention, cooperating with conventional and non-conventional mechanisms in this regard, and submitting reports to them.
At the same time, he expressed the network’s openness to cooperation with the Association for the Prevention of Torture, its partners, and all stakeholders regarding this issue and all areas of human rights, which contributes to the promotion and protection of human rights and the preservation of human dignity.
The conference, which was held remotely, dealt with a number of themes, including the main characteristics and elements of the principles, the main elements of the principles and its added value for law enforcement officials, and the role of national human rights institutions with regard to the principles.