On
Saturday, 18 February 2012, the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) and
the Palestinian Centre for Human on Rights (PCHR) opened a training course
titled "Martyr Ahmed Said Habboush" on human rights and justice mechanisms
for activists of the Syrian civil society.  The training aims at preparing activists to confront
violations of human rights and at building their capacity in the area of
justice mechanism.

 

The
4-day training course (29 training hours) is taking place in Cairo between 18
and 21 February 2012, with 28 Syrian human rights activists and lawyers
representing 10 organizations in attendance.

 

In
an opening session, Mr. Alaa Shalabi, AOHR’s Secretary General, welcomed the
participants and expressed thanks to the participants for the efforts they
exerted to participate in the training.  Shalabi said that what is going
on in the Arab world now constitutes a practical manifestation of what human
rights organizations have called over years. He made a brief presentation of
AOHR, its establishment and its role.

 

Mr.
Raji Sourani, PCHR’s Director and President of AOHR’s Board of Trustees,
stressed that this is the second training course of its kind this year.
 He noted that this course is part of a program implemented by PCHR and
AOHR in the Arab world, which aims at building the capacities of the Arab civil
society in the area of human rights.  He said that these courses are of
special importance because they coincide with the developments taking place in
the Arab world and the crimes committed against civilians.  He further
said that this training is held to prepare participants to face crimes that are
committed and enure holding the perpetrators accountable.

 

Sourani
added that the revolution of the Syrian people is a unique and distinguished
example that has been based on the strong motion of resistance against
repression, oppression and tyranny accumulated over dozens of years.
 Sourani explained that this is not the first course of its kind and it would
not be the last one, adding that it aims at building the capacities of the
participating Syrian activists in the area of justice mechanisms.  Sourani
expressed hopes for the stability of the situation in Syria to be more
beautiful and wonderful, and for building a Syrian society governed by the
values of equality, justice, the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.

 

Mr.
Rassem al-Atasi, Member of AOHR’s Board of Trustees and AOHR’s former Director
in Syria, appreciated the role played by PCHR and AOHR in the dissemination of
the culture of prosecution of war criminals and holding them accountable in the
Arab world.  He explained that this
training coincides with an active Arab era on the way of the restoration of
dignity, equality and freedom to the Arab citizens. "This training is on
due time because the documented violations against Syrian civilians represent less
than 5% of the violations actually committed," al-Atasi added.

 

Bassam
al-Aqra’a, Director of PCHR’s Training Unit, explained that the course is
addressing several topics: Introduction to human rights; the International Bill
of Rights; domestic mechanisms of human rights; the Human Rights Council; the
UN contractual mechanisms, the UN non-contractual mechanisms; the Rome Statute
and the International Criminal Court; transitional justice; prosecution of war
criminals (universal jurisdiction); importance of fact-finding missions and how
to deal with these missions; monitoring and documentation of human rights
violations; building legal files; practical application of monitoring and
documentation of human rights violations and building legal files; writing
reports on human rights; and facing pressures.

 

The
training is provided by distinguished trainers and experts: Mr. Raji Sourani,
Director of PCHR and President of AOHR’s Board of Trustees; Bassam al-Aqra,
Director of PCHR Training Unit; Mr. Islam Abu al-Ainainm, a researcher and
trainer at AOHR; Mutaz Bellah Uthman, Director of AOHR’ Legal Department; Ahmed
Ragheb, Director of Hisham Mubarak Center; Mr. Iyad Alami, PCHR’s Deputy Director
for Legal and Administrative Affair and Director of PCHR’s Legal Unit; Ibtissam
al-Aydi, Director of PCHR’s Fieldwork Unit; Mr. Mahmoud Qandil, a researcher
and trainer at AOHR; and Mr. Adel Madani, professor of psychology at al-Azhar
University.

 

It
should be noted that PCHR, AOHR and FIDH concluded the first course of the
ongoing training program this year on 15 February 2012.  The course took place in Cairo with 34
participants in attendance.