Morocco and Tunisia: Mastering the investigation of ill-treatment in prisons

Rabat, Morocco 4-8 December 2017
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Morocco and Tunisia: Mastering the investigation of ill-treatment in prisons

The Council of Europe delivered the fifth week-long training module, for the year 2017, on practical work of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPM) to Moroccan and Tunisian experts on 4-8 December. The training session was attended by 23 members of the Moroccan National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) and two invitees of the Tunisian National Authority for the Prevention of Torture (INPT).

As a comprehensive recap and practical application of competencies acquired in the course of the four preceding sessions, this module comprised three-day monitoring visits to two prisons in Meknes under conditions that were close to real conditions of NPM visits, while no NPM is established yet in Morocco. The Council of Europe team of trainers from France, Belgium and Switzerland - all very experienced detention monitors themselves - said they were impressed with their Moroccan colleagues’ skills and working methods.

As concerns the prevention of ill-treatment in prison settings, this ends the second cycle of the three-phase comprehensive training programme that is being delivered jointly by the Association of the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the Council of Europe to members and staff of the future Moroccan NPM. The latter is expected to be set up shortly by a law that will give new attributions to the CNDH.

Building on the trustful, close working and human relations that have been established between the Moroccan monitors and their foreign counterparts and on the dynamism thus created the cooperation programme for 2018 is presently being discussed between the parties in order to cover other areas of NPM work.

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A flagship programme supporting democratic governance in the Southern Mediterranean

Since its start in 2012, the South Programme has been a strategic European Union-Council of Europe initiative supporting democratic reforms in the Southern Mediterranean based on the demand from the partners from the region. From legislative expertise to the strengthening of institutions' capacities, through peer-to-peer exchanges and networks, the South Programme has contributed to the establishment of a common legal area between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

The second phase of this ambitious three-year European Union-Council of Europe joint programme started in January 2015. It is namely contributing to the establishment of new legislative and constitutional frameworks and democratic governance structures in the region as well as institutions deriving from them. Besides, the Programme aims to contribute to the establishment of a common legal area through a progressive accession of countries from the Southern Mediterranean region to key Council of Europe conventions, which constitute the foundations for legal cooperation between countries who share common values of respect for human rights, the rule of law and democracy in the 47 Council of Europe member states and beyond.

Through the Council of Europe various intergovernmental and interparliamentary networks, the South Programme II aims to foster better regional cooperation between Europe and the Southern Mediterranean partners, as well as among them, in the fields related to human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

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