APAP HOLDS WORKSHOP ON THE PROVISION OF LEGAL AID TO PRISONERS

APAP held two one-day workshops on the right to housing and security of tenure at Dire Dawa and Bahir Dar—on December 04, 2008 at the former, and on December 27, 2008 at the latter.

In collaboration with the NGOs known as ActionAid Ethiopia and Prison Fellowship Ethiopia, APAP held a half-day workshop on the provision of legal aid to the prisoners in Ethiopia in the Global Hotel, Addis Ababa, August 28, 2008. A total of 17 prison officials drawn from various parts of Ethiopia participated in the workshop.

The workshop was aimed at raising the awareness of the prison officials about their obligations to the people who are behind bars—one of which is seeing to it that they have access to legal aid. At the workshop, APAP made a presentation of the papers it had prepared so that they would serve as points of departure for the discussion that followed. It is to be recalled that, for the first time in the history of Ethiopia, APAP had established legal aid centers in the Kality, Dire Dawa, and Hawassa prisons and that it has since been providing them with the technical support they need—besides stationery and books.

Just before the workshop was officially closed, the representatives of APAP and the prison officials were able to reach an agreement—to do everything in their power to make sure that prisoners have been given access to legal aid and to jointly do follow-up on the manner in which they are provided with the legal aid, with a view to ensuring its sustainability.

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