In January and March 2015 PCATI held a training course for staff and volunteers of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel. The subject of the course was identification and documentation of torture among survivors of the torture camps in the Sinai Peninsula. The goal was to train physicians and caretakers to identify and sort out torture victims from among the patients (mostly asylum seekers) at the clinic; refer patients for a medical, legal or medico-legal assessments when needed (to identify patient needs); and to deal with torture in a healthy manner by providing global context and building a local support group.
Twenty physicians, psychologists and other medical personnel from hospitals across the country took part in the training course, as did the staff of the PHR-Israel’s Open Clinic. The course consisted of three meetings: two in January and one in March. The medical professionals were presented with tools for identifying and working with torture victims, including preparation of expert medical affidavits for court in accordance with the Istanbul Protocol – which is meant to provide international guidelines for the investigation of cases of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and for reporting these findings to investigatory bodies.