Jürgen Böttcher, Prison Director at the JVA des Offenen Vollzuges (open prison) in Berlin; Michael Weise, Head of General Law Enforcement at the JVA Tegel prison; Antje Gade, Head of the Legal and Consulate department at the German Embassy; Ellen Hahne, IRZ; Abderrahim Rahouti, Director of the Training Centre at the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) (from left to right)
Jürgen Böttcher, Prison Director at the JVA des Offenen Vollzuges (open prison) in Berlin; Michael Weise, Head of General Law Enforcement at the JVA Tegel prison; Antje Gade, Head of the Legal and Consulate department at the German Embassy; Ellen Hahne, IRZ; Abderrahim Rahouti, Director of the Training Centre at the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) (from left to right)

On 17 and 18 April 2018, the IRZ together with the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) organised a seminar on “The humane treatment of prisoners” in Rabat, Morocco. The event took place as part of the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on Prison Management” project. This project, which is financed by the German Foreign Office as part of the Transformation partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East, is coordinated by the IRZ between 2017 and 2019.

The seminar was aimed at training participants in the implementation of human rights standards, as well as discussing the further training of staff in this area as a basis for the success of integration and social reintegration strategies. As well as the humane treatment of prisoners, aspects such as accommodation fit for human habitation and the granting of outside contact were also discussed.

The German experts taking part on behalf of the IRZ were Michael Weise, Head of General Law Enforcement at the JVA Tegel prison, and Jürgen Böttcher, Deputy Prison Director at the JVA des Offenen Vollzuges (open prison) in Berlin. The German Foreign Office was represented by Antje Gade, Head of the Legal and Consulate department at the German Embassy.

In Morocco, the authorities have been reacting to the challenges facing the prison system for several years and have carried out some serious reforms. The main problem continues to be overcrowding in prisons. The objective is to guarantee the humane treatment of prisoners by staff even under these circumstances.

The participants showed a great deal of interest in the discussions, which was reflected in the large number of questions and feedback on the situation in Morocco. The project will be continued with another seminar on a further aspect of the subject to be held in Rabat in May 2018.