Press conference in Madrid: “Incommunicado Detention and Torture: Assessments using the Istambul Protocol”
In September 2014 I participated in the presentation, in Madrid, of the report titled “Incomunicado Detention and Torture”, the Spanish version of which can be consulted here and the version in Basque here. This report was a long-lasting project carried out by the following organizations: Argituz, AEN, Ekimen Elkartea, GAC, Jaiki-Hadi, OME and OSALDE.
To address the global prevalence of torture and the common denial of the existence of that torture by those responsible, in 1996, several organizations came together and began what would become a three-year process to develop the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (The Istanbul Protocol). This process involved more than seventy-five health, legal and human rights experts representing over forty organizations, including the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). The result of this process was the first set of international guidelines for the investigation and documentation of torture and ill-treatment. Its overarching Principles on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (The Istanbul Principles) were adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2000.The Istanbul Protocol and its Principles have since been applied in international and national courts and endorsed by the UN and other key human rights bodies.
The amount of work put into this report was quite extraordinary. Over 30 professionals, including physicians, forensic experts, psychiatrists and psychologists intervened in this work together with human rights experts and activists. Once the draft report was completed there was also an enormous amount of work involved in obtaining the funds for the publication and translation into Basque and English, and then carrying out that publication and translation.
This is how the following media reflected the press conference: