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CPT/CNDH: Training on prevention of torture for CNDH members and staff

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) and the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) held a training session on the prevention of torture, on the 8th and 9th of September 2014 at the Council in Rabat. The CPT said it’s willing to support the CNDH in its efforts to improve conditions for detainees and to cooperate with the Moroccan authorities to fight against torture.

CPT Chairman Latif Hüseynov stressed at the opening session that torture is universally recognized as one of the most serious violations to human dignity. He encouraged the Moroccan authorities to establish a national mechanism for the prevention of torture, as provided for in the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). “This is an important step towards the implementation of the international and constitutional commitments of Morocco to protect people against torture and other ill-treatment” has said.

CNDH Secretary General Mohamed Essabbar pointed out the fact that the Moroccan Constitution prohibits and criminalizes all forms of torture and degrading treatment or punishment. Morocco has already ratified the OPCAT and now in the process of depositing the instruments of its ratification of the Protocol to the United Nations Secretariat.

Mr. Essabbar added that the role of the CNDH and its regional commissions is vital to the national system against torture. This system must be strengthened to prevent torture, as recommended by the CNDH in its report on prison conditions and by Special Rapporteur on torture Juan Mendes.

Mr. Raul De Luzenberger, Minister-Counsellor, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation in Morocco took part in the opening session of this training session. He welcomed Morocco’s commitment to human rights and saluted in particular the role of the CNDH in fight against torture.

This training session was held for the members and staff of the of the CNDH and its regional human rights commissions, mainly those working in the human rights protection departments and working groups (at CNDH and the regional commissions). The sessions provided the participants of the tools and techniques they need to monitor places of deprivation of liberty and handle and follow-up cases of torture. The participants had the opportunity to learn closely about the CPT and its activities, its working methods, mandate etc.

A panel discussion was held at the end of the training to reflect about the national preventive mechanism against torture. CNDH Chairman Driss El Yazami took the opportunity to reiterate hwo important and significant good training and capacity building are for the Council.

The training was held within the framework of the Strengthening Democratic Reform in the Southern Neighbourhood Programme (South Programme) funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.