OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

11/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/14/2019 09:14

Criminal justice responses to terrorism focus of OSCE seminar in Albania

Strengthening rule of law-compliant criminal justice responses to terrorism was the aim of a two-day seminar which concluded on 14 November 2019 in Tirana. Over 40 Albanian practitioners from relevant government agencies, the Bar Association and civil society representatives attended the seminar.

Organized by the OSCE Presence in Albania jointly with the Action against Terrorism Unit of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department, the seminar focused on good practices detailed in the Global Counterterrorism Forum's Rabat Memorandum, listing effective terrorism prevention and prosecution measures, while emphasizing respect for human rights and other applicable international law.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Bernd Borchardt, Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, recalled the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015, stating that such a sad anniversary 'emphasized the need for a comprehensive international response to the terrorist threat on all levels.' He added: 'Compliance with human rights standards at all times and unwavering commitment to national and international laws is an essential part of countering terrorism effectively.'

Experts and participants discussed effective co-ordination mechanisms among domestic government agencies other national actors, and the importance of international co-operation in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases in particular. The seminar also highlighted the need to ensure the protection of all parties involved in terrorism cases, as well as for the development of policies for the effective incarceration, rehabilitation, and reintegration of convicted terrorists back into society.

The OSCE Presence in Albania considers countering violent extremism to be a crucial aspect of ensuring regional security. It works closely with state actors, civil society and youth, as well as other national and international experts, on issues such as returning foreign terrorist fighters or violent extremism in the prison system and among youth. The Presence is also engaging civil society organizations to join forces with Local Safety Councils in addressing violent extremism.

The event in Tirana was the twelfth of a series organized by the Action against Terrorism Unit, with previous seminars having taken place in Nicosia (2014), Skopje, Sofia, Tashkent (2015), Sarajevo (2016), Pristina, Nur-Sultan (2017), Issyk-Kul, Budva (2018), Ashgabat and Dushanbe (2019).