A delegation of Lebanese institutions visits Spain to learn first-hand about the work being done to guarantee human rights for persons deprived of their liberty
This visit, organised by the FIIAPP with the National Police, is part of the European project “Support to community policing in Lebanon“, which aims to promote community policing that respects human rights and the rule of law in the country.
The first stage of this study visit began yesterday and will conclude on Thursday with a round table to exchange good practices between professionals from public entities related to the promotion of human rights and the prevention of torture. Representatives of the Lebanese security forces, judicial institutions and civil society will learn first-hand about the experience of their counterparts in Spain.
More than 8,000 people are currently incarcerated in the country’s 25 official prisons, suffering the consequences of the crisis and the paralysis sweeping the country: less than 15% are serving sentences, the rest are awaiting trial. Many of the prison facilities are overcrowded and under-resourced. There has also been an increase in prison crime due to rising poverty.
Eight representatives (four from the Internal Security Forces, the director of the prisons department of the Ministry of Justice and three civil society organisations) have been invited to this activity, which aims to contribute to improving the technical and coordination capacity of Lebanese organisations and institutions involved in prison reform. The aim is to enable them to properly carry out, in accordance with international standards, each of their functions in the field of torture prevention and the promotion of human rights in Lebanon’s prisons.
The visit will also provide an opportunity to learn about the community policing model currently being implemented in Spain through the national police’s citizen participation programme. The week will include meetings with the office of the Inspection of Personnel and Security Services (IPSS) of the Ministry of the Interior, the National Office for the Guarantee of Human Rights (ONGADH) of the Directorate General for Coordination and Studies (DGCE) and the Spanish Ombudsman and Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture.
They will also visit the prison of Estremera and the police station of Alcalá de Henares, a police station where municipal police and national police coexist, where they have been received by the commissioner Vicente García. They were told about the structure of the police station and, above all, they emphasised the citizen security police unit, which is comparable to the community police. The commissioner stressed the importance of having a police force that works with citizens and that they feel that the police are there to defend their rights and freedoms.