States have the obligation to protect individuals from infringements by other private persons and to guarantee public security. In order to fulfill this task they have a comprehensive set of tools at hand, including the monopoly on the use of force, the police, and the penitentiary system through which States may restrict certain rights and freedoms of the individual for the purpose of protecting the public. As is the case in nearly all areas of societal coexistence, this raises questions regarding the legitimacy and proportionality of the mutual relations between individual freedoms and collective needs.
While interferences with freedoms and rights might be legitimate and necessary in the light of public security, they can in some cases directly touch upon human dignity of the individual. Therefore, such measures can only be applied in specifically regulated and exceptional situations or – in some cases - not at all; and they have to be continuously monitored. In the context of these considerations, the BIM team “Human Dignity and Public Security” (HuDi) works on combating and preventing torture and the protection of human rights of persons in detention.
Based on a long standing practical experience in monitoring places of detention world wide, as well as on extensive theoretical knowledge about the international and national legal frameworks governing the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment in the broadest sense, the HuDi team is mainly concerned with the following questions:
The HuDi team regards the complex phenomenon of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, which primarily but not exclusively concerns persons who are deprived of personal liberty, from a holistic and interdisciplinary point of view in order to tackle it effectively. These approaches entail, inter alia, effective investigations into allegations of ill-treatment based on sound legal provisions criminalising torture, the gathering of forensic evidence of torture, procedural safeguards for detained persons, such as the right to a lawyer or to inform family members of arrest, as well as the establishment and functioning of internal and independent external monitoring mechanisms as foreseen by the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture (OPCAT); furthermore, the right of torture survivors to rehabilitation constitutes another important element in this context.
The crucial training phase of the EU Twinning project between Austria, Germany and Turkey started on 6 May 2013. The project aims at enhancing the implementation capacity of the Turkish National Police to prevent disproportionate use of force. For this end standard operating procedures will have to be amended.
Hilde F. Johnson, Special Representative of the SG and Head of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan will talk on a side event for 57th Commission on the Status of Women - Panel Series on Women, Peace and Security about Women's Empowerment in South Sudan. She will take a look at Gender-Responsive Peacekeeping in Practice. Opening remarks by Dr. Aurelia Frick, Foreign Minister of Liechtenstein. Please see more information here.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
This panel will be co-organized by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.
The ART-IP Project has published its first newsletter (attached). This project aims at creating an online platform for professionals interested in the Istanbul Protocol (UN Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment), and provides them with information material and training.
On 11 January 2002 the first suspected terrorists were brought to the
legal blackhole of Guantánamo Bay. Ten years later, there are still 171
persons detained at the camp, without any perspective to ever being
granted the right to a fair trial. 89 of these individuals have been
"cleared" by the US American Government of any terrorist suspicion.
However, no country in the world wants to give these men a second chance.
Michel Kapteijns / The Netherlands / 2010 / 56 mins / Norwegian with English subtitles.
Sebastian J.F. / Austria / 2011 / 90 mins / English with German subtitles