On Monday, 25 April 2016, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights held a workshop entitled “Torture and Protection Mechanisms” within the Center’s combating torture and ill-treatment project. Attendance was made up of 37 fishermen, patients and ex-detainees who were subjected to or are at risk of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The workshop was held in Al Laterna restaurant in Gaza City.
Samir Al Mana’ma, Al Mezan’s lawyer on the combatting torture project, opened the workshop by welcoming the participants and introducing the program. During the first session, Al Mana’ma detailed the legal basis and definition of the crime of torture and the acts that amount to torture, including the practices most prevalent in Palestine and Israel. Al Mana’ma detailed the prominent instruments and conventions that work to combat torture internationally. Al Mana’ma gave an overview of the legal initiatives pursued by the Centre once an instance of torture has been reported and the mechanisms available for victims of torture and ill-treatment.
The second session was presented by Mr. Hassan Ziyada from the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP). He discussed the rehabilitation of victims of torture and ill-treatment and identified the services and tools the staff of the program provide in order to cope with the physical and psychological effects resulting from torture, especially the long-term effects. He reviewed the increase of those effects extensively and talked about the importance of rehabilitation as it contributes to the reintegration of victims into society and enables them to live a normal life.
Al Mana’ma discussed the work of the Center and its role in promoting human rights and combatting violations carried out within the context of the ongoing closure/blockade of Gaza and occupation of Palestine. Al Mana’ma emphasized the importance of continuing to seek access to basic, fundamental and inalienable human rights, including the right to live free from torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Al Mana’ma concluded with the importance of raising community awareness and encouraging interaction with the Center.
Project funded by the European Union - Joint project of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Adalah, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, in cooperation with the Treatment & Rehabilitation Center and Gaza Community Mental Health Programme. The contents of this workshop are the sole responsibility of Al Mezan and Gaza Community Mental Health Programme and under no circumstances should be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.