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Regional conference “The Role Of Civil Society In The Prevention Of Torture”

Sixty NGO representatives from the Coalitions against Torture in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as well as international human rights groups and representatives from other countries of the former Soviet Union will participate in a regional conference to discuss the role of civil society institutions in the prevention of torture. The conference will be held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 31 May to 2 June 2016 and has been organized by the NGO Coalition against Torture in Tajikistan and other project partners.

Speakers will include: Ambassador Hidajet Biscevic, Head of the EU Delegation in Tajikistan; Ambassador Markus Mueller, Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan; well-known political analyst Parviz Mullodzhanov who will share his views on the political, economical and social processes which influence the development of civil society in Central Asia; and Ukrainian psychologist Elena Volochay who will lead discussions on compensation processes for victims of torture.

Conference participants will also discuss the achievements in the fight against torture in Central Asia as well as strategies for overcoming the remaining challenges, including the establishment of independent investigation mechanisms into allegations of torture, legal assistance and strategic litigation.

The conference is taking place in the framework of the EU funded project “Action for Freedom from Torture in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan” and is implemented jointly by the human rights groups Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Poland), International Partnership for Human Rights (Belgium), Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law and Nota Bene (Tajikistan). Open Society Foundations co-sponsor the project. Project co-ordinator Lenur Kerymov sums up some of the project achievements “The NGO coalitions have greater capacity to carry out torture-prevention work, such as effective monitoring and advocacy activities, and provide improved legal aid for torture victims. In addition, the NGO Coalitions are now more sustainable.”

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