Fact-finding & Investigation
HRSS’s Fact-Finding and Investigation Department works to ensure transparency and accountability in public institutions. It investigates violence and human rights violations. HRSS fact-findings and investigations activities cover instances of extra judicial killing, enforced disappearance, domestic violence, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and abuse of some specific laws leading to human rights violations, repression against innocent people and application of unnecessary force by state authority law enforcement agencies(LEA).
HRSS identifies incidents of human rights violations, which are reported in the newspapers but need further enquiry and information to clearly establish the actual abuse faced by the victims, causes behind the abuse and the persons responsible. While the media focuses on human rights violations more from a journalistic perspective confined within reporting the incident only, HRSS fact-finding goes deep into the incidents from socio-legal perspective. HRSS also conducts fact-finding of incidents of human rights abuses, which are not reported in newspapers but are reported by HRSS.
The Investigative methods consist in site visits, direct observation, and extensive interviews with victims, their families, other witnesses, suspects, as well as the police or other government officials. The last category of witnesses is particularly important to ensuring credibility for the findings of the investigation, and for highlighting the ultimate responsibility that the government carries for ensuring human rights.
Some specific method of fact- findings and investigations are as follows:
Understanding the social, economic, and political context
Using national and international standards
Collecting information from reliable sources
Information collecting for purposes of clarifying HOW, WHY, WHEN, WHERE, and WHO
Evidence gathering, corroboration and assessment of evidence
Interviewing: preparation for conducting an interview
Preparing to conduct a fact- finding mission
Recording of information: the act, the victim and the perpetrator
Finally, the Investigation department is to mobilize and strengthen HRSC. It encourages the formation of Human Rights Defenders, among local activists and the like.