Training Manual on Human Rights Monitoring - Appendix III to Chapter IX: Guidelines for coordination in the field between International Committee of the Red Cross delegates and field officers of the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda with regard to visits to persons deprived of their freedom in Rwanda
1.1. The present guidelines are intended to avoid duplication of activities and to place the complementarity of the respective tasks of the field teams of the two organisations on a systematic basis in order to optimise their effects for the benefit of detained persons.
1.2. These guidelines set out practical methods of coordination designed to avoid the counter-productive effects of mutually contradictory actions or representations which might be prejudicial to the ultimate aim of work in places of detention, namely securing proper and humane treatment of detainees and respect for their rights.
1.3. They shall have the authority of instructions issued by the heads of mission of the two organisations to their respective teams in the field.
II. COMPLEMENTARITY OF ACTION IN PLACES OF DETENTION
A. Prisons and penitentiaries
2.1. The ICRC delegates shall visit detainees in prisons in order to ascertain their material and psychological conditions of detention and their treatment, with particular attention given to any matters concerning inhuman, cruel or degrading treatment. They shall register the identity of the detainees in order to follow their movements throughout the detention places until confirmation of the end of their detention time. They shall ensure that contacts are maintained between the detainees and their families by means of Red Cross Messages. In general, they shall look into the application of basic judicial guarantees.
The ICRC delegates shall be informed by the Human Rights field officers before any initiative is taken to provide material assistance to detainees.
2.2. The Human Rights field officers shall monitor respect for judicial guarantees with regard to detainees in prisons and pursue other investigations regarding possible human rights violations. They shall announce their presence to detainees in the prisons so that those who wish to communicate with them may do so. As far as possible, they shall interview detainees in a private place.
2.3. Should cases of ill-treatment of detainees be brought to the attention of the Human Rights field officers during these visits, the ICRC delegates shall be notified immediately. If the Human Rights field officers decide to investigate such cases, they shall continue to keep the ICRC delegates informed of their findings and shall consult the ICRC delegates before making representations.
2.4. In the event of ill-treatment occurring in the presence of Human Rights field officers or extreme conditions of detention observed, immediate action will be taken and the Human Rights field officers shall inform the ICRC delegates accordingly, to enable the latter to follow up on any action taken.
2.5. In order to record their own observations regarding the respect for international human rights standards, the Human Rights field officers shall carry out fact-finding missions in prisons once a month or at such other interval as the Chief of HRFOR may decide, after consultation with the Head of delegation of the ICRC. The Human Rights field officers shall notify the ICRC delegates of the schedule of all such missions, including any additional missions which the Chief of HRFOR may decide should be carried out in exceptional circumstances. The Human Rights field officers shall consult the ICRC delegates before making representations to the authorities regarding concerns about conditions of detention arising from these fact-finding missions.
B. Places of temporary detention : sector and communal lockups, gendarmery brigade cells and others
2.6. ICRC delegates and Human Rights field officers shall visit detainees in places of temporary detention in accordance with agreed priorities : the ICRC delegates shall deal as a matter of priority with conditions of detention from the point of view of physical and psychological treatment and material conditions until confirmation of the end of their detention time; the Human Rights field officers shall give priority to ensuring respect for judicial guarantees with regard to the detainees, including the circumstances of arrest, the duration of temporary detention, the establishment of individual legal files, the release of arbitrarily detained persons and the confirmation of release.
2.7. The Human Rights field officers shall inform the ICRC delegates of those places of temporary detention where they have identified acute problems relating to detention conditions and ill-treatment so that these can be followed closely; the ICRC delegates shall inform the Human Rights field officers of places where serious problems of a judicial nature have been identified.
2.8. With regard to places of temporary detention, oral representations in the priority areas defined under point 2.6 as falling within the purview of the other institution shall be subject to prior consultations between ICRC delegates and human rights field officers in order to avoid the application of different standards vis-à-vis the authority which might place the detainees at risk. The same applies to initiatives taken to provide material assistance.
2.9. The immediate action required in the event of ill-treatment occurring in the presence of Human Rights field officers or extreme conditions of detention observed, shall not be subject to prior consultation. The Human Rights field officers shall inform the ICRC delegates accordingly, to enable the latter to follow up on any action taken. In cases where such immediate action is not required and the Human Rights field officers decide to investigate cases of ill-treatment which have been observed, they shall continue to keep the ICRC delegates informed of their findings and shall consult the ICRC delegates before making representations.
2.10. In the cases referred to in points 2.6 to 2.9, ICRC delegates and Human Rights field officers shall not visit any place of temporary detention at the same time : such a simultaneous presence must be avoided by the exchange of weekly schedules of visits to places of temporary detention and, if necessary, by prior notification of any change.
III. TRAINING ACTIVITIES
3.1. The Human Rights field officers shall provide support for the prison administration, police investigators, courts and public prosecutor's office by organising, inter alia, training courses and seminars designed to promote respect for human rights.
3.2. In so far as these training courses relate to aspects of detention, the ICRC delegates should be invited to contribute to them by giving talks on international humanitarian law, on the mandate and activities of the ICRC with respect to visits to persons deprived of their freedom.
IV. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION
4.1. The reports drawn up by ICRC delegates are confidential and are addressed exclusively to the detaining authorities. The Human Rights field officers shall base their various reports on their own findings and assessments, and when making use of information made publicly available by the ICRC, they shall mention the source of such references.
4.2. For the purpose of the application of these guidelines, the two heads of mission agree to exchange information as follows.
- The ICRC delegates may only communicate to the Human Rights field officers:
- the total number of detainees and of places visited;
- the places of detention where the judicial situation of the detainees gives rise to particular concern;
- individual requests by detainees -- regularly visited by the two teams -- concerning their judicial situation.
- The Human Rights field officers shall inform the ICRC delegates of places of temporary detention where there are acute problems relating to conditions of detention and treatment.
4.3. Regular meetings, at least once a week, between representatives of the two organisations shall be held in the prefectures where they are present, in order to coordinate their activities as outlined above.
Monthly meetings, and any other such meetings as deemed necessary, between the
representatives of the two organisations shall be held in Kigali with a view
to ensuring effective implementation of the present guidelines.
Kigali, 21st March 1996
Ian Martin Philippe Lazzarini
Chief of Mission HRFOR Head of Delegation
ICRC in Rwanda