Medical personnel employed from among the police force encroach on rights of prisoners, report

The employment of medical personnel from among police employees in closed-type institutions increases the risk of situations of dual loyalty and, respectively, can lead to the insufficient protection of the rights of detainees. The medical workers should be independent from the administration of detention places, Svetlana Doltu, an expert in the management of public health and health in detention places, stated when presenting a report on ill-treatment in detention places produced by the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM).

In a news conference hosted by IPN, the expert said that when the medical personnel from among police employees should take a documentation decision, they often do it to the detriment of the patient. The doctors are loyal to the managers of penitentiaries, who can experience problems if bodily injuries are identified following the examination of prisoners. The recommendations addressed by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture to Moldova during the last 15 years refer to the ensuring of independence and transfer of responsibility for the health of detainees to the Ministry of Health.

IDOM executive director Vanu Jereghi said the number of cases of torture in closed-type institutions has decreased but there are situation at legislative level or as regards the communication between institutions that can lead to such cases.

Vanu Jereghi related a case that happened at the Clinical Psychiatric Hospital. The Ministry of Health refused to offer access to this hospital to the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights for assessing the situation of patients in this institution. But monitoring was yet conducted as part of a commission of the ombudsman. “In a ward, we found a person with multiple injuries resulting from torture. The person could not raise his hands and had rather visible injuries on the face, legs and the body. We immediately filed a complaint to the Prosecutor’s Office,” stated the IDOM director.

A medical examination was carried out and the medical examiner described only the face injuries. But the person had more than ten injuries on the body. Patients from that ward said the person was brought there with visible injuries and was then ill-treated by the sanitary personnel.

Alexandru Cebanaș, a lawyer and consultant for the IDOM monitoring and reporting program, said that legal action was taken in this case.

In accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights, no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The state should ensure and protect the physical and mental integrity of the persons who are in its custody.

The conference forms part of the series of conferences held as part of IPN News Agency’s project “Support for the Justice Reform through multimedia coverage of cases of alleged injustice”. The Agency does not bear responsibility for the public statements made in the public sphere by the organizers of news conferences. IPN News Agency gives the right of reply to persons who consider they were touched by the news items produced based on statements of the organizers of the given news conference, including by facilitating the organization of another news conference in similar conditions

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