The training which is now going on in the city of Alma-Ata is intended to instruct lawyers from Central Asia how to work effectively and provide qualified legal aid for victims of torture. Similar trainings were organized in 2005 and 2006. This event maintains the good tradition and this year the NN Committee Against Torture joined it. The training was organized by the Justice Initiative – a program of the Open Society Institute which creates favorable conditions for legal reforms, accumulation of legal knowledge and reinforcement of human rights community throughout the world.
Like in Russia, torture is widespread in countries of Central Asia, in particular for obtaining information or confessions. Unlawful cruel treatment is widely used in violation of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which were ratified by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
In the framework of this training special attention is given to the Istanbul Protocol, work in domestic courts, public investigation into allegations of torture, interaction with supranational bodies in the sphere of prevention and eradication of torture in Central Asia. Besides, participants of the training will get information how to file individual complaints to specialized bodies of the United Nations Organization. The chairman of the NN Committee Against Torture will share his experience with the participants concerning independent public investigations, preparation of torture cases for trials and work in the course of trials. This is not the first training when experts of the NN Committee Against Torture share its unique methods of work with allegations of torture. This experience is now in great demand in counties of Central Asia, such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.