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Mombasa, 3 October 2014 – IGAD Security Sector Program (ISSP) held a three days regional training workshop on “Human Rights and Counter Terrorism” from 30 September to 2 October 2014 in Mombasa, Kenya.  The training was conducted in collaboration with the United Nations on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC).  The meeting was officially opened by Commander Abebe Muluneh, the Head of ISSP, and co-presided by Mr. Ulrich Grams from UNODC.  Dr. Simon Nyambura, the Counter Terrorism Pillar Head chaired the meeting and senior officials from the IGAD Secretariat facilitated the meeting as moderators.

The objective of the regional training workshop was to:

• Familiarize senior counter-terrorism policy makers and practitioners with the fundamental human rights standards they are obliged to adhere to when devising and implementing counter- terrorism and extremism strategies.

• Explore the challenges that IGAD members states face in balancing counter-terrorism measures and respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

• Make an in-depth analysis of international frameworks that relates to human rights and counter-terrorism and compare it with the national and regional legal regimes in countering terrorism.

• Identify how acts of terrorism can be countered in ways that uphold human rights standards.

• Explore key elements of counter-terrorism strategies that make them compliant with human rights.

• Explore how the international human rights framework is applicable in dealing with the terrorist threat, from addressing its causes, to dealing with its perpetrators, to protecting its victims, to limiting its consequences.

The level of participation was excellent with a total of thirty one (31) participants representing all IGAD Member States. Officials from Institutions such as the National Intelligence Services, law enforcement agencies, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Immigration, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs were in attendance.  International expert from the UK’s Queen Council (QC), regional experts from Ethiopia, Kenya, and the IGAD Secretariat made presentations and shared their experiences with the participants to enrich the overall objective of the workshop.

Discussions, case studies and practical exercises on the following topics and more were carried out over the course of the three days to enable participants share experiences of their respective countries:

• Why respect human rights in counter-terrorism? Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Nexus

• How does Human Rights Law React to Public Emergencies Created by Terrorism?

• The Flexibility of Human Rights Law

• Human Rights Aspects of Witness Protection in Terrorism Cases

• International Good Practices-Human Rights Interrogations, Investigation and Prosecution of Terrorists

• Human Rights and Special Investigative Techniques in Terrorism Cases

• Human Rights and International Cooperation in Criminal Matters Against Terrorism

• The right to remain silent in the international law and experience

• Human rights aspects of cooperation between security services and criminal investigators

• Interrogation of terrorism suspects in compliance with human rights: international experience

• International norms and good practices regarding record keeping in places of detention

The workshop was officially closed by handing out certificate of participation preceded by remarks from Mr. Yufnalis Okubo and Mr. Nuur Mohamed Sheekh, the IGAD Legal Counsel and Senior Political Officer at the Peace and Security Division, respectively, with vote of thanks to the participants, the experts, the staff, and the Government of Kenya. (END)

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