The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights concluded the third workshop of building the capacity of Egyptian students, activists, and journalists to fight the crime of torture, on Wednesday, September 11. This workshop aimed at building a network of those who are interested in combating the crime of torture; as torture violates the human rights of mere Egyptian citizens.
Dr. Noha Shehata, Political Researcher at EOHR, initiated the second day of the workshop with the topic of “Media and Journalism Role in Combating the Crime of Torture”. Dr. Noha asserted that scientific and technological advancement that has swept the world in recent years led to several developments; advancement in means of communication and the emergence of satellite channels lay in the forefront of those developments. These developments have led to progress on political, social, and cultural scales, more importantly is that state’s monopoly over the media has transferred to the possession of private companies with the developments happened to satellite channels; also those channels have headed towards specialization by the emergence of news and entertainment channels.
Dr. Shehata added that satellite channels played a vital role that can’t be denied in supporting various cases, as well as forming points of view and objections concerning particular cases to be presented to the public opinion and decision makers; hence media means through satellite channels were considered to be double edged weapons at the start, in order to expose public opinion trends towards a certain case, and on the other hand those media means were used as tools in the hands of decision makers to promote a certain issue.
Afterwards, Mr. Moahmed Al-Badawy, Head of the Field Work Unit at EOHR, has discussed the topic of “The Role of the Civil Society in Combating the Crime of Torture”, as he asserted that civil society organizations are considered to be the main stakeholder in political participation, also these organizations, especially NGOs, play a vital role in the process of spreading a positive political culture within the society, and in defending public rights and freedoms inside the state as well as combating human rights violations.
At the end of the day, Mr. Tarek Zaghlol, Executive Director at EOHR, presented the certificates of the work shop to the trainees. Finally, he asserted that lawyers and journalists are human rights defenders in accordance with international agreements and conventions; therefore they must be familiar with dealing with the crime of torture to defend the rights of victims, as well as facing this crime by any means.