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UN State Liaison Functions organizes Workshop for GoS Prison Officers in North Darfur State on Strengthening of Legal Aid Desks in Prisons

On 06 July 2019, UN State Liaison Functions (SLFs), in partnership with the North Darfur State Prisons Administration and Reform and Legal Administration, launched a two-day training workshop on Strengthening of Legal Aid Desks in Prisons for Sixty Prison Officers in North Darfur, including seven women. The workshop, held at Labor Training Hall in El Fasher, is  aimed at strengthening legal aid desks in prisons in north Darfur through building the capacity of prison officers in an effort to facilitate provision of legal aid to prison detainees, during investigations, while awaiting trial, during trial, pendency of appeal and service of sentence for those who do not have the financial capacity to engage the service of lawyers because of isolation.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Rosemary Mokaya of UNAMID-UNDP SLFs North Darfur Rule of Law Office, expressed her appreciation to the North Darfur State Prisons Administration and Reform and Legal Administration, for facilitating this workshop meant to build the capacity of prison Officers to enable them to understand the international standards and norms on prisons management and the fundamental rights of prisoners as well.  “Prison institutions are rehabilitation institutions not punition. We must help to reconcile the prisoners, reform them to facilitate their return home and reintegration into the society, Ms. Mokaya added.

Representing the UNDP in North Darfur at the workshop, Mr. Mubarak Musa, appreciated the support of North Darfur government for the partnership it has developed with all humanitarian and development actors, especially with UNDP. He commended the partnership with the department of legal administration in undertaking serval training workshops in the State. Mr. Musa pointed out to key projects run by his organization, stressing the keenness of UNDP to ensure access to justice, provision of legal awareness and legal aid to the society. “UNDP and UNAMID, through the joint program for Rule of Law (JPROL), has supported the government of North Darfur in strengthening the delivery of legal aid worked closely with the government, civil society and local communities to strengthen the institutional capacity of the justice, corrections and police institutions in upholding the rule of law,” Mr. Musa said.

In his key note address at the opening ceremony the Director of the North Darfur State Prisons Administration and Reform and Legal Administration, Colonel Ayub El Amin Abdallah Ali, expressed his gratitude to UNAMID-UNDP SLFs for organizing such and important training workshop intended to consolidate the concept of provision of legal aid to inmates. “We emphasize the critical importance of provision of legal aid to prisoners.  This is a fundamental right which every prisoner should enjoy. We are all responsible for observing the rights of inmates and to rehabilitate them, “Colonel Ali added.

Among the topics covered by the facilitators, Overview and legal framework of the  criminal justice process, Rights of the suspect/accused, Legal framework on detention, period of detention and review of detention, besides the Role of prison and prison  officers in the administration of justice and in strengthening legal aid, Referral of cases and coordination between prison officers and legal assistants Record and case management in prison as a tool  in strengthening legal aid in prison.