Ensuring the protection of human rights when conducting investigations in the counter-terrorism context was the topic of two training workshops for law enforcement officers held in Tirana on 22 and 23 November and in Madrid on 13 and 14 November 2018. The courses were jointly delivered by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Secretariat’s Transnational Threat Department/Strategic Police Matters Unit (TNTD/SPMU).
The participants were 24 male and six female officers engaged in investigating terrorism-related offences in their countries.
The participants analyzed a real-life case scenario of how human rights violations may de-legitimize and jeopardize the effectiveness of law enforcement actions in different phases of a counter-terrorism investigation. The courses provided the officers with tools for analysis and decision-making in conducting terrorism-related investigations in a human rights-compliant way. The discussion focused on international human rights standards in the counter-terrorism context, the adverse effects of implicit biases on counter-terrorism investigations and the formulation and analysis of competing hypotheses to mitigate human rights-related risks in such investigations.
Two law enforcement experts with a counter-terrorism background from the United Kingdom and the United States facilitated the courses together with OSCE staff. The training sessions were delivered on the basis of the OSCE’s manual Human Rights in Counter-Terrorism Investigations and built upon the outcomes of similar exercises previously organized by ODIHR and TNTD/SPMU in the two countries.