Following the suspension of the Medical Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims (MRCT) in 2008, METAdrasi has led the process of identifying and certifying torture victims within Greece.
Since 2011, an interdisciplinary team consisting of social workers, doctors, psychologists, and lawyers has operated this programme. All members of METAdrasi’s team are former members of MRCT, with over 30 years of experience in the field.
METAdrasi bases its torture certification procedure on the Istanbul Protocol, a set of international guidelines which outline the procedures and processes needed to conduct effective investigations and documentation of torture allegations.
Between 2011 and February 2020, 1,350 individuals benefited from this service.
The steps of this procedure include:
• An initial interview conducted by a social worker, during which the history and basic background of the victim (marital status, educational level, political views, occupation, etc.) is recorded
• A clinical examination and assessment by a specialised doctor, who uses their findings to evaluate the victim’s claims of physical torture
• A structured interview with the team’s psychologist, where the victim’s current psychological state is recorded alongside their need for further psychological support
• A final interview by an expert lawyer, who then investigates the specific facts described by the victim during the previous interviews. The lawyer evaluates the victim’s claims to see whether they align with the social/political conditions prevailing in their country of origin during the reported period of torture.
All interviews are conducted with the help of a trained interpreter, unless the parties can communicate directly with the experts in English or French.
Each specialist then conducts a final review of the findings and assesses the likelihood of the individual having been tortured, according to the scale provided by the Istanbul Protocol. Finally, with the consent of all experts, the relevant certificate (Total Expert Report) is issued and is received in-person by the applicant. In addition, the applicant is referred to other specialized entities for further support.
Only the applicant can decide whether or not to use the certificate in order to support his / her asylum application in accordance with international law and practice.
The activity is being implemented by METAdrasi with the valuable support of UNHCR and the European Commission’s Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations Department (ECHO).
Tel.: (+30) 214 100 8700
7, 25 Martiou Street, 17778 Tavros, (1st floor) – Metro “Kallithea Station”,
Monday to Friday, 9:00-17:00