Training course in Turkey on Medico-Legal Evaluations:
A five-day course was held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2014 for 15 legal, medical and mental health professionals.
Participants: three attorneys with experience in using medico-legal opinions in litigation processes, two women physicians, two psychiatrists, eight psychologists, one woman psychologist and the Director of the Medico-Legal Documentation Project, Dr. Rachel Stroumsa.
The goal of the training course was to build a group with expertise in medico-legal evaluations regarding torture which could pass on its knowledge so as to engrain the use of such evaluations in work with torture victims.
Throughout the five-day course the group sought to balance the international materials and the local context; they prepared lectures; and built a question and answer series for training sessions to be conducted in Israel and Palestine. The encounter with experienced international guides facilitated detailed discussions on the type of work being done, directions for the future, and the necessity of cooperation between the various professions.
Training Course on the Istanbul Protocol for Legal Professionals:
In May 2015 a three-day training course for 23 attorneys and legal professionals was held on the use of the Istanbul Protocol.
The Protocol deals with the investigation and documentation of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In the training course, legal professionals were familiarized with the Istanbul Protocol and learned about its implementation in local law and how to utilize it in work with torture victims. For each field – law, medicine and mental health – one international expert and one from Israel or Palestine gave a lecture.
The training course was jointly administered by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT).
Participants: a representative of the Inspector of Interrogee Complaints’ office under the Ministry of Justice, representatives from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, from the International Law and Human Trafficking Divisions at the Israeli Ministry of Justice. Representatives of human rights organizations also took part: Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants and Hamoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual. Private attorneys who represent asylum seekers and Palestinians also took part, as did the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (who are also officially-sanctioned observers at prisons in Palestine) and the staff of the Legal Department at PCATI.
Training course for staff members and volunteers of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel:
In January and February 2015 a three-day training course was held in identification and documentation of torture for 15 staff members and volunteers of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, of whom six were physicians of various backgrounds and experience. The course focused on asylum seekers and refugees, and included a lecture on torture at camps in the Sinai Peninsula, torture in the refugees’ countries of origins (primarily Eritrea), and the writing of expert medico-legal opinions to seek the release from custody of detained refugees.
Training for Palestinian physicians and Legal workers
On July 24-20 Palestinian attorneys and medical professionals took part in a training course held in Beit Jalla. The course included training in the documentation of torture in accordance with the Istanbul Protocol, and it was facilitated by Atty. Bana Shoughry-Badarne, Dr. Samah Jabr and Ms. Sherein Abdeen. The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) cooperated in organizing the course.
Also participating in the training course were representatives of MADAR – The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies, Doctors without Borders, Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (TRC), Al-Najah University and Al-Quds University and two official observers of the Palestinian Authority’s prisons.