Supporting human rights and torture prevention activities

May 10, 2017

On April 10, 2017 a launching event was held for the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) and National Preventive Mechanism against Torture (NPM) at the Internal Security Force (ISF) directorate. The event was organized by the UNDP Community Security and Access to Justice Project, in partnership with the ISF directorate and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and under the funding of the Embassy of the Netherlands.

This event targeted the ISF unit commanders and ISF regional commanders on the central level, while company commanders, ISF regional leaders, judicial detachment commanders and officers, information branch and prison company commanders on the Governorate Level.

The event was organized with the goal of praising the ISF on their constant reform and support to human rights and torture prevention activities and initiatives, and highlighting the direct linkages of the ISF’s work and the new NHRI and NPM law.

The event began with opening remarks by Dr. Nidal Al-Jurdi, Deputy Regional Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “A key feature of the Optional Protocol is that States establish binding national independent mechanisms to consider the treatment of detained persons, make recommendations to government authorities to strengthen protection against torture, and provide comments on existing and proposed legislation. The Subcommittee provides assistance and consultation to national preventive mechanisms on ways to strengthen safeguards relating to detention and to strengthen the powers and independence of such mechanisms” he stated.

Following Dr. Al-Jurdi’s opening remarks was a speech by UNDP Country Director Mr. Luca Renda. “UNDP is committed to accompany you in these efforts. In these turbulent times, there is no doubt that security continues to be one of the main concerns for the Lebanese people. But I am sure that we share the same conviction: that security and respect for human rights can and must go hand in hand, and reinforce each other,” stated Mr. Renda.

Following Mr. Renda’s speech, H.E Han-Maurits Schaapveld Ambassador of Netherlands went on to state “The Parliament passed the law that sets up the National Human Rights Commission and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture. This mechanism should be instrumental for victims of abuses to raise violations such as torture, and demand redress. The members are being selected as we speak.

General Director of Internal Security Forces Major General Imad Othman also attended the ceremony. He praised the prestigious institution he belongs to, stating that the Directorate General of Internal Security Forces has been responsible of protecting the rights and freedoms and maintaining law and order for over 50 years now.  

The event highlighted the UNDP’s continued commitment to addressing Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies) and emphasized the full support of UNDP in promoting the NHRI and NPM.

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