Human rights training for Palestinian prosecutors aimed at improving prison inspections

EUPOL COPPS financed a human rights training on 11 February 2020 for 16 Palestinian prosecutors on international standards for prison inspections. Inspecting detention facilities to ensure that they meet minimum standards is the responsibility of prosecutors and judges in Palestine and it is therefore extremely important that they have a thorough knowledge of the legislation governing prison inspections as well as international best practices in inspections.

The training was delivered by EUPOL COPPS advisers from Finland and Belgium as well as a representative of the UN Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territories.

It is encouraging that the Office of the Attorney General in Palestine has set up a human rights unit within the organisation and we are happy to be working with them to enhance their knowledge and skills, said Leen Swaegers, Penitentiary Adviser at EUPOL COPPS.

During the training, one of the things we did was to go over the ‘Mandela Rules’, which is a UN resolution setting out standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners. It governs issues such as restraints, solitary confinement, contact with the outside world and other important matters. We discussed the improvements that the prosecutors suggested should be made in Palestinian detention facilities it was a very productive session, she concluded.

The training on prison inspections follows up from a training on the right to a fair trial given to the same group of prosecutors on 23 January 2019. Further support for prosecutors specialising in human rights is planned in the coming months.

Source: European Union