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Court police safeguards human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Zenica 29-30 January 2019
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Court police safeguards human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Court police officers in Bosnia and Herzegovina are introducing improvements to the existing procedures for deprivation of liberty and treatment of apprehended persons in the series of ongoing peer training sessions on human rights. The overall training programme is delivered based on the Guidelines for dealing with persons deprived of liberty in closed environment, published earlier, following its harmonisation with the Council of Europe conventions and recommendations.

The tenth session is taking place on 29-30 January in Zenica with participation of 35 court police officers authorized to deprive suspect offenders of their liberty and hold them in custody.

The emphasis is placed on the three rights most prone to infringements, according to the Committee for the prevention of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment (CPT) reports to BiH authorities: access to medical doctor, access to lawyer and right to inform a close relative or third person of choice about the deprivation of liberty.

In preparation of this training session, one court police officer from Republika Srpska expected “to discuss concrete situations in practice in which human rights may be infringed upon. This ensures that peer training is adjusted to local circumstances’’. Her colleague from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina believes that ‘’each case of deprivation of liberty is specific and subject to analysis. Therefore, I would like to learn how to apply human rights standards and exchange experiences with colleagues’’.

This peer training, designed and delivered by local prison and police professionals, aligns BiH custodial practices with the best European practices and CPT standards. The activities are organised within the action "Enhancing human rights protection for detained and sentenced persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina", which is part of the joint programme “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey”, co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe.