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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.
From 4 to 7 December 2017, the IRZ welcomed ten judges and public prosecutors to a working visit on "fighting organised crime" in Frankfurt am Main. The visit took place as part of the Transformation Partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East funded by the German Foreign Office.
The main focus of the study visit was on strategies for fighting terrorism and combating the financing of terrorism and money laundering.
Against this background, the Moroccan guests were invited to expert talks at the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation and the Office of Criminal Investigation of Hesse in Wiesbaden.
After the cooperation of the police in the fight against terrorism in Germany had been outlined, the focus was on international agreements in this field. Especially the return of potential fighters from war zones such as Syria and the question of how to deal with them confronts both Germany and Morocco with similar challenges and problems.
In a meeting with the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt am Main the Moroccan delegation learnt about the legal basis for fighting money laundering and tax fraud in Germany, with a focus on the new anti-money laundering legislation adopted in 2016.
Since the issue is a pressing one and the problems are of a transnational nature, it certainly makes sense to work together more closely in this field. Within this context, the IRZ will continue to work with the Moroccan justice system and to support regional exchange.
On 7 and 8 November 2017, the IRZ organised its third successive multilateral conference in Rabat on “Fighting organised crime”. The event was held in partnership with the Moroccan Ministry of Justice and supported by the German Foreign Office as part of the Transformation partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East.
As well as judges and public prosecutors from Morocco, representatives of the Tunisian and Jordanian justice systems also took part.
In addition to combating money laundering, the main focus of the conference was on human trafficking and the international and national legal framework for fighting terrorism.
Hans-Dieter Hilken, former Head of Criminal Investigations, and Jürgen Maurer, a former Vice-President of the Bundeskriminalamt (German Federal Criminal Office) represented the IRZ as German experts.
The participants in the conference were able to learn details about international and regional agreements and strategies for combating money laundering and tax fraud and discuss their respective national experiences of the fight against terrorism. It became clear that all countries are facing similar challenges.
Since all three phenomena present transnational difficulties, which do not stop at national borders, international cooperation and joint efforts are required to deal with them effectively. The coordination of the various parties involved and the secure exchange of information within a country and between countries constitute one of the greatest challenges in this respect.
Since the issue is a pressing one, it certainly makes sense to work more closely together in this field. Within this context, the IRZ will continue to work with the Moroccan justice system and to support regional discussions.