In 2011...

In 2011...

•             Albanian rehabilitation Centre for Trauma and Torture Albanian ARCT contributed in developing access to places of detention through implementation of more than 80 monitoring visits in places of detention, medical examinations, forensic expertise, and psychological assistance for both prison population and former political prisoners.

(We have documented more than 30 thousands stories, photographs, and historical information since early ‘90s, which will be advocated under the slogan “Historical Memories” in the country, and organize a Unique Exhibition at the premises of the President of the Republic)

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Calendar of activities

Dialogue with EU and Albanian Government for the process of integration

16.04.2011 Meeting of CSOs with Mr. Stefano Sannino, Deputy Director of the DG-Enlargement on the progress and fulfillments of the action plan on 12 Priorities
22.04.2011 Consultative Meeting for 12 Key Priorities in the process of EU integration, with participation of the CSO, state authorities and EU
16. 05. 2011 Consultative Meeting with EUD and representatives of CSOs on the priorities for 2011-2013
16.05.2011 Meeting with Mr. Jonathan Stonestreet, Head of the ODIHR Observation Mission for local elections to Albania
24.05.2011 Consultation Meeting at the EUD on Expert Peer Assessment Mission on pre-trial detention, police custody, prevention of torture, ill-treatment and fight against impunity, with the participation of the independent EU expert and the respective officer from the Directorate General for Enlargement of the European Commission, within the framework of the 2011 Progress Report
04.10.2011 ARCT Meeting with EUD representatives, MERIDIA from Italy.
26.10.2011 ARCT Meeting with EUD program managers, and RCT, Denmark

ARCT contribution to Historical Memories….


Meeting of ARCT staff with the President of Republic after the Exhibition dedicated to Historical Memories and Former political prisoners.
02.11.2011 ARCT Meeting Mrs. Fiorentina Azizi, Head of Rule of Law/ Human Rights Department, OSCE Presence, Tirana.

Engaged with Former Political Persecuted:


Meeting of ARCT staff with Ambassador Ettore Sequi, Head of EU Delegation to Tirana.


Meeting of ARCT with Mrs. Fiorentina Azizi, Head of Rule of Law/ Human Rights Department, OSCE


Meeting with Mr. Willibold Frehner, representative of Konrad Adenaur Foundation in Albania

14.06.2011 ARCT Meeting with Mr. Karsten Jansen Aspersen, the Danish Ambasador,
14.06.2011 ARCT Meeting with Mr. Patrick Svenson the Swedish Charge-d-Affaire, in Albania
16.06.2011 ARCT Meeting with Mrs. Carola Muller, the German Ambassador
16.06.2011 ARCT meeting with Mr. Eugen Wollfarth, Head of OSCE Presence in Albania
26.06.2011 Commemorating the International Day Against Torture , as part of the international Campaign against torture by IRCT

Advocacy and Lobbying 



Meeting with Mrs. Martha Bacile Findlay, Training Advisor to Albanian State Police - International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP)


Meeting with Mr. Alan MacDonald, Resident Twinning Adviser, EURALIUS Program to the Ministry of Justice


Consultative Meeting on draft law on Mental Health, organized by WHO and the Ministry of Health (ARCT introduced a position paper with respective recommendations)


Joint Press Declaration of the International Secretariat of the OMCT in the framework of the International Campaign for the Absolute Prohibition of Torture and Ill-treatment ‘Nothing can justify torture under any circumstances’ with the support of the Mairie of Geneva (see


Meeting with Mr. Marco Leidekker, Head of Office, Council of Europe, former CPT Member


    Mission of Open Society Institute, Budapest to Albania
27.06.2011 Joint Activity with the Albanian Helsinki Committee at the Jordan Misja Prisons and Women Prison
19- 21.10.2011 Annual meeting of the IRCT Alliance NGOs, on the strategic developments and priorities for 2013-2020, Brussels

ARCT Participation in the Regional Conference on Research and Rehabilitation , organized by IAN, Belgrade, Serbia.

16.11.2011 Kosovo People’s Advocate and KRCT representatives, OSCE- Kosovo have visited ARCT
13-16.12.2011 ARCT Participation in the International Conference on Mental Health and OPCAT, Poland

Reports and presentations, invitations


08.03. 2011

Participation in the ceremony on International Women day, activity organized by the Head of EU delegation in Tirana.


Round table on the role of NGOs contribution for guaranteeing of European standards

09.05.2011 ARCT participation in the commemoration of Europe’ Day, activity organized by the EU delegation in Tirana 
9-13.05.2011 ARCT Participation in European Network of Rehabilitation Center for Survivors of Torture, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Participation in Voluntarism Conference organized by the “Fondazione Falcone” Palermo-Italy

23.05.2011 ARCT Participation in the Round Table on “Networking in the EU and benefits for the western Balkans countries”, organized by Partners Albania.
25.05.2011 ARCT participation of launching ceremony of ADRF Program on Disabilities, supported by UNDP Albania
16.05.2011 ARCT participation in training session on Management and Operations, organized by TACSO.
31.05.2011 ARCT participation in the Regional Conference “Development of philanthropies in Albania”, organized by Partners Albania
8.06.2011 ARCT Participation in the workshop on social reintegration of juveniles in conflict with the law, organized by CRCA and UNICEF, Save the Children.
7-10.06.2011 ARCT participation in the Regional Conference on Human Trafficking, organized as part of the ARIADNE Network- against trafficking of human beings, Greece.
15.06.2011 ARCT Participation in the TASCO management and operational training.

ARCT Participation in the Conference on the Role of civil society organized by the Centre for Legal Initiatives, supported by USAID.

31.10.2011 ARCT Participation in meeting on the Fiscal system for the CSOs in Albania

Special Visit of the RCT Board and Executives to ARCT


9-12.11.2011 RCT Board Mission to Albania and visits
9.11.2011 ARCT & RCT Meeting with the Danish Ambassador
10.11.2011 ARCT & RCT Meeting with Mr. Florina Nuni, Acting People’s Advocate

ARCT & RCT Meeting with Prof. Dr. Bamir Topi, President of the Republic of Albania


ARCT & RCT Meeting with Mr. Gazment Dibra, General Prisons Director


ARCT & RCT Visit at the Prisons Hospital, Tirana

12.11.2011 ARCT & RCT Visit at Kruja Special Institute, Kruja

ARCT & RCT Meeting with the representatives of CSOs in Albania

  ARCT & RCT Interview with the Deutche Welle reporters. 

Monitoring and Documentation Torture in Prisons

DEALING WITH TORTURE /Monitoring and Documentation…

This component explains how human rights fact-finding and documentation can support sustainable development, reforms and policy change.

Human rights monitoring is at the heart of ARCT human rights work, helping uncover human rights violations and their causes. Human rights monitoring also has the potential to empower marginalized groups by providing a way to name their experiences as human rights violations and to identify solutions. Monitoring provided concrete, step-by-step examples for how human rights situation is being used to analyze sustainable developments in places of detention, based on ARCT’ experiences with an ongoing fact-finding projects. Intended for service providers, litigation lawyers, policy advocates, and grant makers who want to learn how human rights monitoring can be part of their organizing or policy work, the outcome of Monitoring helped various stakeholders understand how to better address the identified priorities as part of larger strategies.

What striking in case of human rights violations in places of detention?

  • Pressure to resolve criminal cases on conviction rates and/or cases
  • The non-existence of or failure to implement, legislative fair-trial safeguards, such as access to lawyers and doctors, limits on pre-trial detention periods and related guarantees
  • The absence of interrogation procedures that tend to safeguard against torture
  • The failure to investigate allegations of torture promptly and impartially
  • The failure of judiciary to punish adequately – or at all – those guilty of the criminal offence of torture
  • Immunity for certain officials from prosecution and courts for torture.
  • A lack of training and/or access to evidence-collection techniques, resulting in an excessive reliance on confessions as the main source of evidence

In full compliance with the Article 1 of UNCAT, the Article 3 of the ECHR, the ECPT, the article 86, 87 of the Criminal Code, the Law on Treatment of the detainees and institutionalized MoUs with People’s Advocate (2 January 2012); Albanian State Police (23 January 2012), General Prison Directorate (renewed on 20 March 2012), ARCT has exhausted the calendar for the monitoring visits throughout 2012.

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Facts and Success Stories

Albanian Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma and Torture (ARCT) represent a small piece of the Albanian civil society organizations: it is a non-for-profit, non-political and non-governmental organization registered and operating in Albania since 1995, designing and implementing programs aiming to contribute in building a democratic society without use of torture in a country where strong political persecution has been seen for a long, almost 50 years period of the 20th century.

Lessons from the past is worth learning, especially if they call for a special attention towards respect for human rights and human dignity – this has been, and still is, one of the basic assumptions of ARCT engagement in offering Rehabilitation of torture victims services (combined with scrupulous documentation of violation practices and human suffering) as well as Prevention of Torture programs (reporting periodically to International agencies/ organizations on the situation of torture in the country, training for police and health staff in prison, pre-detention places, psychiatric hospitals, educational system), providing assistance and a window of opportunities for this target group.  These initiatives are made possible through support of donors such as the European Commission and Open Society Institute, etc.

For many, ARCT is the last hope of those victims of neglect.  Without us,

  Who will assist the hundreds of politically persecuted that have spent years in exile in providing medical, psychological and legal assistance?

   Who will orient entire families to knock on the right doors and raise the issue at first sight  and that are not always understood?

  who will put pressure on the issue of torture where mostly happens through neglect and silence?

The answer is, without us, they will be on their own.

For many years this population has faced a model of denial and neglect from state authorities, changing them into a large group of population practically representing Victims of a state organized torture and persecution. In such conditions we try to call for attention of the democratic international community.

Lobbying and advocating for social re-integration of a group of people counting more than 100,000 individuals (as well as their families) through jointly working with a Network of 6-8 organizations of former political persecuted remain a significant tool towards conflict prevention and mediation is a society moving with difficulty towards EU.

As a matter of fact we are speaking not only for a group of people and their families, but of consolidating within our society a model and message that:  “violations/ breaches of human rights should remain an important issue to deal with.

As a representative of the Albanian civil society, ARCT is an organization operating in a field where international support is yet vital for the sustainability and continuity of work, as state institutions are often indifferent or even against (openly or hidden ) human rights organizations.

National Campaing "Albania witout Torture"


 • Choosing the UNCAT and the OPCAT ensures an indisputable legal and political basis that helps achieving sustainable results: (a) promote sustainable changes in attitudes and practices in places of detention, (b) monitoring of places of detention (c) development of staff capacities and expertise, and (d) empower CSOs as monitors. 

We provide unified methodology in monitoring, documentation of torture and ill-treatment, focusing both on medical aspects; education, and individual representation to the most vulnerable people deprived of their liberty.

ARCT was the first organization in the country introducing the tailored-made format of Documentation of Torture in prisons, based on the implementation of the Istanbul Protocol. The format was introduced to all penitentiary system

 • We work together with prisons staff (health care, education and police) in promoting the proper standards in working with vulnerable Groups in prisons. Recently ARCT in cooperation with GPD has developed the Protocol of work for the medical staff in prisons.

We provide help for the victims of police brutality, violence in prison, lack of medical treatment, lack of court representation and legal aid, those suffering from chronic diseases and mental health.

We advocate and lobby for legislative and administrative changes that help to improve the humane conditions in places of detention, reduce the risk of violence, improve prisons’ services. A consistent pressure on the state authorities to adhere to national and international law and standards has been provided through many recommendations and issues raised.

The UN Convention of the rights of persons with disabilities remain a challenging instrument in the light of all measures, legal interventions, services provided to special categories of persons, their needs particularly when forgotten in prisons.  A Protocol for the health care staff in prisons is produced aiming at unification of the working methodology 

 • We empower hundreds of existing and new torture victims every year by informing them of their legal rights through direct services and refferals, as well as by developing and distributing information in print. More than 13 titles are annually published.

 • We provide prison staff training for the newly established and existing penitentiary institutions, through well developed and professional training materials and specific mechanisms in place for the legal, education, medical and police staff. More than 160 health care professionals (medical doctors, assistants, nurses and support staff, educators, police officers benefited from ARCT expertise and activities)

Po sikur Dosjet