IRCT Addresses Lack of Torture Documentation and Investigation in Armenia
The IRCT and OSF-Armenia in cooperation with Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor, Armenia and the Human Rights House Tbilisi with the support of Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Tbilisi conducted a training session on effective medico-legal documentation for victims of torture and ill-treatment on 18-22 December, 2014 in Aghveran, Armenia.

The five-day workshop aimed at strengthening capacities of Armenian NGOs, health and legal specialists and psychologists in the area of medical and psychological documentation of victims of torture and severe trauma in accordance with the Istanbul Protocol. 

The training addressed the need in Armenia for more expertise on how to properly document and investigate torture, and will benefit more than 30 of the country’s lawyers, doctors and mental health experts.

“While the Istanbul Protocol is vastly used by experts in Georgia in the region of South Caucasus, our consultations with the representatives of Armenian civil society, showed that the tool is not very well known in Armenia,” said IRCT Director of Advocacy Miriam Reventlow.

“With this initiative we want to strengthen the pool of health and legal professionals working on issues of torture in Armenia but also to sensitise key government stakeholders for the importance of including torture documentation and rehabilitation in government policies and practices,” she continued.

The trainers included the director of GCRT Lela Tsiskarishvili, the head of the rehabilitation unit at RESTART Sana Hamzeh, and one expert from the Independent Forensic Expert Group, Rusudan Beriashvili who will deliver the health aspects of the training.

“It is important to initiate a discussion on the inclusion of the Istanbul Protocol in the higher education curriculum in the country and to enhance torture documentation in Armenia,” concluded Ms Reventlow.

The Istanbul Protocol is the internationally recognised standard for torture documentation and investigation. The protocol provides comprehensive, practical guidelines for the assessment of persons who allege torture and ill treatment, for investigating cases of alleged torture, and for reporting the findings to the relevant authorities.


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