ASHGABAT, 22 November 2010 -Protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms in countering terrorism is the focus of an OSCE-organized training course for police students in Turkmenistan that started in Ashgabat today.
Thirty-one student and eight instructors of the Police Academy of Turkmenistan are participating in the three-day event organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat and Turkmenistan's Interior Ministry.
The course includes lectures on international human rights standards, in particular the right to life, the absolute prohibition of torture, the right to liberty, and the right to a fair trial. Other standards covered by the course include the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and assembly, freedom of religion and belief, and the right to private life. Through interactive case studies participants will gain a practical understanding of standards that must be adhered to when combating terrorism.
Lucile Sengler, ODIHR Human Rights Officer on Anti-Terrorism Issues, said that this course is a key element of ODIHR's efforts to provide technical assistance and support to participating States in developing and implementing effective counter-terrorism strategies.
"In pursuing the legitimate objective of combating terrorism, it is essential that states abide by their international obligations to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. Counter-terrorism policies which violate international human rights standards are self-defeating because they undermine the rule of law and the credibility and ability of the authorities to address terrorist threats," she said.
"In light of the rise in terrorist and extremist attacks seen at the beginning of the 21st century, States across the OSCE area have intensified anti-terrorism efforts by developing and implementing relevant strategies. While doing so, the States must comply with internationally recognized fundamental human rights standards," said Begoña Piñeiro Costas, the Human Dimension Officer at the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat. "This course is meant to deepen the knowledge of future police officers from Turkmenistan about international human rights standards they would be obliged to respect when countering terrorism."