The Istanbul Protocol
The Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in popular terms “the Istanbul Protocol”, contains internationally recognised standards and procedures on how to recognise and document symptoms of torture so the documentation may serve as valid evidence in court.
As such, the Istanbul Protocol provides useful guidance for doctors and lawyers who want to investigate whether or not a person has been tortured and report the findings to the judiciary and any other investigative bodies.
The Istanbul Protocol is a non-binding document. However, international law obliges governments to investigate and document incidents of torture and other forms of ill-treatment and to punish those responsible in a comprehensive, effective, prompt and impartial manner. The Istanbul Protocol is a tool for doing this.
The Istanbul Protocol was drafted by more than 75 experts in law, health and human rights during three years of collective effort involving more than 40 different organisations including the IRCT. The extensive work was initiated and coordinated by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) and the Physicians for Human Rights USA (PHR USA).