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The President of the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, Mr. Jean François Thony, signed a cooperation agreement with the President of the Naif Arab University of Security Studies (NAUSS), H.E. Dr. Abdulmajeed bin Abdullah Albanyan, on July 5, 2021 in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).

In his speech, President Thony stressed that the mission of the Institute is to promote the protection of fundamental rights in the administration of criminal justice and the fight against organized crime in all its forms. Moreover, he underlined that the cooperation between the two institutions, which was already very active in the past, has now a new impetus through the formalization of a cooperation agreement whose purpose is to cooperate in the provision of training law enforcement and judicial personnel at the regional level. The cooperation agreement will support these key objectives in the 22 Arab countries which are members of the University.

Discussions are being held as to the topics of future joint events that will take place in 2021 and 2022. Through this cooperation agreement with NAUSS – which is a regional university – the Siracusa International Institute has a formidable opportunity to reach out to countries of the Arab world, and to partner with one of the most reputable institutions committed to the fight against crime in the region.

The Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS) was established in 1978 as part of an Arab resolution to form the first Arab university specialized in graduate studies, research, and training in all areas of security in its most comprehensive sense. Its overall mission is to educate specialized security personnel by offering outstanding postgraduate programs, training, and research in the Arab world.

Since its early activities in 1978, this Arab academic institution has emerged to showcase a specialized academic security message to Arab security personnel and to contribute to meeting the needs of institutions and security agencies in the ministries of interior, criminal justice, and social welfare agencies in Arab countries. Within years, the University has risen to be among the ranks of prestigious universities and has even occupied a unique position closely related to the security of Arab society in its broader sense.

Established in 1972, The Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights is an independent legal centre in Sicily, (Italy) dedicated to education, training and research in the fields of international criminal justice and human rights. Its vision is two-fold: the protection of human rights through the rule of law and ending impunity for serious crimes affecting international security.

Its core work is: to provide technical assistance to national criminal justice systems and to deliver training and education; to facilitate strategic dialogue across governmental institutions, public and private sectors and to carry out research and analysis to address gaps and weaknesses in the global response to crimes that undermine the rule of law and threaten security. Throughout its history, the Siracusa Institute has organized over 720 conferences, training and educational seminars and meetings of experts attended by more than 61.000 jurists from 172 countries and 497 universities.

The Siracusa International Institute and the NAUSS University have already cooperated in the last years, as between September and October 2019 in the framework of the Pilot Program for Officers of the Prison Directorate of Saudi Arabia. The initiative was organized in cooperation also with the Italian Prison Administration Department withing the Italian Minister of Justice, the General Directorate of Prisons of Saudi Arabia and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the Gulf Region.

The program, which was aimed at providing participants with a deeper knowledge of international norms and standards as well as of Italian best practices in prison management and treatment of detainees, was structured in training sessions, held at the Institute’s headquarters in Siracusa and a study visit to the most important judicial institutions in Rome.

Participants were trained on several topics, including – amongst others – the UN standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners (Mandela Rules), the alternatives to imprisonment, the restorative justice measures and the principles inspiring the Italian penitentiary system. During their study visit in Rome, participants also met the operators of the treatment area within the Prison of Rebibbia and then visited visit the Italian Department of Penitentiary Administration.

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