20 August 2023, Erbil, Iraq –The Director General of the Prison Service in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI) Mr. Abudlrahman BABAN officially reopened the Erbil correctional training center on 20 August 2023, following its renovation by UNODC with the generous support of the US Department of State.
The renovation took place as part of the Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) Detention programme, the first phase of which comes to an end in 2023.
Opening the center, Mr. Abudlrahman highlighted the importance of building the capacity of prison staff to manage FTF and terrorist prisoners: “The successful implementation of interventions to mitigate threats of FTFs is an indispensable factor to maintain safety and security in the region.”
He also emphasized the positive impact of a series of trainings conducted by UNODC, especially on dynamic security, stating that his staff is now better placed to detect signs of radicalization in prisons and to take preventive measures to mitigate the risk of radicalization towards violence inside prisons.
Participants of the inauguration event echoed the positive impact of the training facility. Among others Ms. Tavga OMAR (Board member of the Human Rights Council), Ms. Kharman MWOLOOD (Deputy Director of the Prison Service in KRI), Mr. Tib Abdul AZIZ (Director of the Erbil Prison), Mr, Payam Fatih Al-Rasul (Head of Planning), and Ms. Bahar Ali KORSHID (Coordinator and Project Liaison Officer) expressed their strong will to continue working with UNODC, and to use the training facility as a learning hub for the current and next generation of law enforcement officers in the Kurdish Region in Iraq.
The training center is now equipped with laptops and proper furniture, which will allow the prison service in KRI to offer frequent ongoing training to staff, which will help to master the many challenges associated with the management of FTFs and terrorist offenders.
The renovation and refurbishment of the training facility was possible due to the generous financial support of the US Department of State who financed the Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Detention programme.