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NEWS

Fair Trials and IJPP to create a new network to fight against torture in Mexico

admin - July 8, 2019 - Torture, REDD

 

On June 1, Fair Trials launched a new project called “Ending Evidence Torture in Mexico” in partnership with the Instituto de Justicia Procesal Penal (IJPP). The aim of the project is to create a network of experts composed of criminal defence lawyers, victims of torture, and legal representatives of victims. The project will also involve strategic litigation and public campaigning.

IJPP has been promoting human rights in Mexico for over a decade, particularly in the area of criminal justice. The organisation promotes access to justice for adults and adolescents in the framework of the (new) accusatory system in Mexico. IJPP also focuses on defending the presumption of innocence, the rational use of pre-trial detention, and the effective criminal defence. Similarly, IJPP follows on the correct implementation of the criminal reform in Mexico and promotes democratic language that centres on the protection of human rights in the accusatory system, and the elimination of trial by media and the perception of guilt.

Whilst there is a great deal of focus in the human rights community on ending impunity for perpetrators of torture, IJPP and Fair Trials want to reduce incentives for law enforcement officers to use torture in the first place, by focusing on the rights of torture victims subject to criminal proceedings. As a result, Fair Trials and IJPP, with the financial support of the Swedish Postcode Lottery, have joined forces to create REDD (“Red de Defensores/as Democraticos/as en Mexico”), a network of criminal defenders and victims of torture.

The network’s main purpose is to strengthen the procedural mechanisms that allow for the defence of victims against torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and to engage criminal defenders in the protection of human rights. We want to introduce and develop public understanding and scope of the new law, “Ley General para Prevenir, Investigar y Sancionar la Tortura y otros Tratos o Penas Crueles, Inhumanos o Degradantes,” which aims to serve as the main framework in the fight against torture in Mexico. The law was enacted after several recommendations from international human rights bodies and consistent pressure from civil society.

REDD aspires to become a solid network of experts with a unique voice in favour of criminal justice and the respect of human rights in Mexico. The general aim of REDD is to establish an organization of experts that empowers the community of Mexican criminal defence lawyers, with the purpose of implementing strategic litigation that allows for the implementation of best practices that guarantee the exclusion of evidence tainted by torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

In order to meet these aims, Fair Trials and IJPP have arranged, among other things, to host a kick-off meeting in Mexico and several training sessions for criminal defence lawyers in the fall. We will also produce quarterly e-bulletins with developments and updates on our advocacy efforts and the work of REDD, and we will set up bi-annual meetings with all the members of REDD, the advocacy action group and Mexican and international speakers to debate best approaches and practices in the fight against torture.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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