RTCC Facilitates Crime Scene Investigations Training
“Information has been obtained about the abduction of four individuals having occurred in a village. Later, two dead bodies believed to be amongst the abductees have been discovered. A room believed to be the place where the victims were detained and tortured has been found. Two individuals have been rescued from captivity and are about to be interviewed.”
This brief was given to trainees in the Crime Scene Investigation Course hosted by the Regional Training and Conference Centre (RTCC) from February 28 to March 4, 2022.
The course that welcomed 20 Human Rights Officers from the UN Mission is South Sudan (UNMISS) was delivered by two consultants from the United Kingdom with considerable experience working with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The course covered the theoretical and practical aspects of Crime Scene Investigation such as crime scene photography, forensic search, chain of custody, recovery of human remains, etc., as well as victim and witness interviewing techniques. Careful and thorough application of these methods ensures that a potential physical evidence is not tainted or destroyed if processed properly.
The staff of the RTCC provided logistical support, including facilitating access to the UN Entebbe Support Base (ESB) for the participants, pick-up and drop to hotels, conference rooms, and course materials and equipment.
RTCC staff arranged the practical role-plays where trainees practiced under the supervision of the trainers. This involved realistic props like mannequins in simulating the deceased victims, fake blood, torture chambers, evidentiary material recovered from the holdout where victims were reportedly held and tortured, and grass to cover the ‘dead bodies’ at the crime scene. Centre staff also facilitated the participation of two actors to play the roles of the rescued kidnapped victims.
The course was supported by many sections of MONUSCO Entebbe Support Base, including the Office of the Head of Premises where the torture chambers were ultimately set, Transport and Engineering Units.
RTCC staff took an active interest in this event at the intersection of training and conferencing and took pride in making the trainees’ experience a realistic simulation of scrime scene investigation to better equip them in the performance of their duties as Human Rights Officers in the field. The training, surely will enhance their capacity to comply with their mandate to monitor, investigate and report human rights violations and abuses.
During the closing ceremony, the RTCC coordinator, Ms Rachel Lustin, said she was very proud of being a footnote in such an important story which will end with the triumph of justice.
Ms. Lustin added, “Your role as Human Rights Officers is to bring to light some of the darkest atrocities committed, and your interventions, correctly undertaken, will lead to many wrongs being righted.”