During the seminar
During the seminar

On 11 and 12 September 2018, the IRZ together with the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) organised a second seminar on the “Humane treatment of prisoners in Moroccan prisons” in Rabat, Morocco. The event was held as part of the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on Prison Management” project, which is being supported by the German Foreign Office and împlemented by the IRZ between 2017 and 2019.

Two employees of the Berlin prison system provided the IRZ with expert support in the organisation of the seminar:

  • Stefan Tydecks, a psychologist in the admissions department at the Moabit penal institution, and
  • Michael Weise, Head of General Law Enforcement at the Tegel prison.

To welcome the participants, talks were given by the Deputy Director of the DGAPR, Hassan Hamina, and Antje Gade, Head of the Legal and Consulate department at the German Embassy in Morocco. Hassan Hamina described the legal foundations for the humane treatment of prisoners applicable in Morocco. The Moroccan speakers emphasised the importance of human rights as a fundamental component of the DGAPR’s strategy for safeguarding the humane treatment of prisoners. The Nelson Mandela Rules in the revised 2015 version are a fundamental part of this strategy.

The German experts also referred to the Nelson Mandela Rules as the basis of treatment in accordance with human rights. In Germany, these rules also govern the process for dealing with groups of prisoners, which present a particular challenge for prison staff.

The main role of the prison system in Germany is to prepare prisoners for their release by providing reintegration measures. During their training, prison officers should learn about the humane treatment of prisoners. Current examples of violations of human rights should be presented, allowing the officers to reflect on their own self-image, their expectations and their profession. The DGAPR training programmes also have the humane treatment of prisoners as their objective. In this respect, the training centre works with educational programmes on the basic principles of human rights.

The discussions following on from the presentations focussed primarily on the potential for prisoners to oppose enforcement plans and on their fundamental right to appeal.

With the help of these components of the project named above, the following objectives should be achieved:

  • a better understanding of breaches of the rules by prisoners and officers,
  • potential sanctions in prisons for enforcement officers,
  • better explanations for prisoners and their relatives of their rights and obligations and
  • closer cooperation with human rights institutions and organisations.