Targeting Military Intelligence officers, ICHR organises a workshop on the Code of Conduct on the Use of Force and Firearms

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Ramallah - On 11 May 2016, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) organised a workshop on the Code of Conduct on the Use of Force and Firearms by Palestinian Security Personnel. The workshop brought together 15 Military Intelligence officers from various Palestinian districts.

This activity is part of the ICHR Strategy Plan for promotion of human rights concepts among law enforcement officers. The event was launched by Dr. Ammar Dwaik, ICHR Director General, Dr. Wahid al Qaddoumi, Director General of the Planning Department at the Ministry of Interior (MoI), and Colonel Emad Abu Arqoub, Director of the Training Department at the Military Intelligence agency.

Dr. Dwaik stated that the Military Intelligence is an important security agency, which plays a pivotal role in protecting citizens and maintaining justice. Serving as the Judicial Police in military affairs, the Military Intelligence is responsible for monitoring security agencies’ adherence to open-fire rules. Dr. Dwaik expressed the ICHR’s appreciation of the MoI’s attention to training and providing capacity building to security personnel in various areas, particularly in relation to protection of human rights and public freedoms.

Highlighting the significant partnership between security agencies and the Commission, Dr. Al Qaddoumi asserted that “the ICHR is the constitutional body concerned with control of security agencies.” According to Dr. Al Qaddoumi, security agencies have been granted powers “in the name of our people to use force and restrict freedoms in line with the provisions of the law.” Therefore, security agencies are answerable to the people and civil society organisations.

Colonel Abu Arqoub stated that commitment to human rights should be a culture that is embraced by all security personnel. “Before training is delivered, we derive this concept from our own culture and religion.” Abu Arqoub made clear that the Military Intelligence has always sought to develop capacity of relevant personnel, particularly in law and human rights.

Islam al Tamimi, Director of the ICHR Training, Awareness and Advocacy Department, explained that the workshop aimed to provide expertise and raise awareness of by Military Intelligence personnel about the basic principles and standards on the use of forces and firearms. Participants would be introduced to the importance of incorporating these standards within the Military Intelligence policies and scope of work, including monitoring, control and accountability. Al Tamimi stated that this workshop would be ensued by orientation sessions to target Military Intelligence personnel throughout Palestinian districts.

The workshop covered several topics, including an introduction to the MoI-issued Code of Conduct on the Use of Force and Firearms and basic principles on the use of force. In addition to exploring the need for such a code of conduct and relation with human rights, trainers addressed the responsibility associated with the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officers as well as the processes and mechanisms of accountability for violating relevant directives and rules. Stressing the need for effective and efficient continuing training, trainers also elaborated on the integration of the Code of Conduct for the Use of Force and Firearms within training and education curricula designed for Palestinian security forces. The training was delivered by Judge Nu’man Fannoun from Military Pension Agency, Advocate Khadijah Hussein, and Islam al Tamimi, human rights expert and Director of the ICHR Training, Awareness and Advocacy Department.

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