This week, the IRCT and two members of the Independent Forensic Expert Group (IFEG) participated in a seminar on the implementation of the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – commonly known as the Istanbul Protocol.
The seminar, which was hosted by IRCT member, Instituto de Terapia y Investigacion (ITEI), discussed key elements in effective documentation of torture. It also highlighted a specific need for improved implementation of medical ethics and the obligations of health professionals to document and report cases of torture independently.
During the seminar, IFEG members Dr Maximo Alberto Duque Piedrahita and Dr Ana Deutsch elaborated on the importance of taking a full medical history, conducting both physical and psychological examinations and providing clear conclusions in medico-legal reports.
Emma Bolshia, Director of ITEI, opened the event by stressing the importance of combatting impunity using the Istanbul Protocol. “We have been working for many years for the implementation of the Istanbul Protocol in Bolivia and we hope that the participation of key national stakeholders and international experts signals a renewed commitment to ensuring that torture victims in Bolivia can have their cases effectively investigated,” said Ms Bolshia.
The workshop was organised by IRCT member ITEI at the Faculty of Forensic Sciences of the Universidad Mayor de San Andres in La Paz, Bolivia and comprised an audience of civil servants, members of the armed forces, civil society organisations, students and medical professionals.