Anti-Torture Group Trains Libyan lawyers

On Monday, the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) brought to a close its series of five trainings (sic) for the Libyan legal community.

This series, held over the past two years, was designed to build the capacity of lawyers, judges, prosecutors, jurists, and activists to document cases of torture and ill-treatment in Libya.

The final workshop, held this weekend in Tunisia amid the uncertain security situation in Libya, has been designed to ensure the sustainability of civil society organizations that are fighting to end the systemic practice of torture in Libya.

The first workshop, held in Tripoli in June 2012, sought to sensitize legal professionals to the issue of torture and encourage them to accept and endorse international anti-torture standards. The second workshop, held in Tripoli in September 2012, began to equip lawyers with practical tools to document cases of torture, arbitrary detention, forced disappearance, and other grave crimes.

The third workshop, held in Tunis in October 2013, featured experience-sharing from Tunisian and Egyptian counterparts in how to construct national networks for legal aid. The fourth workshop, held in Tripoli earlier this month, refined participants’ knowledge of legal strategies to handle cases and increased their comfort with providing legal aid.

Gabriele Reiter, Regional Director for OMCT, gave the opening address of this fifth and final training:

Now our Libyan friends are fully prepared to document the most grotesque of crimes. But Libya is fast descending into a new spiral of violence, and the fight against torture is not exclusively a legal one.

"With this final workshop, we hope to inspire Libyan lawyers to take a step back and reflect on their efforts of the past two years, and to come up with a big-picture vision about how to carry on the fight against torture in a sustainable way.

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