Torture combating situation hasn’t improved, conclusions

The UN standards on the prevention of torture and other ill-treatment are not applied in the Republic of Moldova. Even if the Moldovan authorities in 2017 received recommendations from the UN Committee against Torture concerning the combating of torture, so far the situation hasn’t improved and remains worrisome. The conclusions were formulated in a news conference held by a number of NGOs working in the field, IPN reports.

Programs director of the UN Office for Human Rights in Moldova Olesea Perean said a year ago the UN Committee ascertained torture, inhuman and degrading treatment in the penitentiaries and remand prisons of Moldova and formulated recommendations for improving the situation. The Committee will analyze the way in which the Government implemented these recommendations in a review.

Lawyer of Promo-LEX Association Vadim Vieru said that since November 2017 until now, the situation concerning the fighting of torture and other ill-treatment hasn’t improved. There are individual cases and statistical data showing that the state of affairs is rather worrisome, especially in the field of medical assistance provided in the penitentiary system. It has been recommended to transfer Penitentiary No. 16 to the Ministry of Health and the measure was included in the justice sector reform strategy, but this wasn’t done.

According to Vadim Vieru, owing to the low quality of medical assistance in jails, people die and this is a reason for concern. A new penitentiary was to be built in 2018 to improve the detention conditions, but it is not known if it will be yet erected. Not even the foundations were laid. The used torture is not the classical form when the police make use of force. The detainees are tortured by other detainees with the tacit agreement of the penitentiary administration.

Amnesty International Moldova executive director Cristina Pereteatcu said no progress has been made. The monitored cases reveal a newer tendency – the use of selective torture, against a detainee who holds special interest. “The people are beaten intentionally,” stated Cristina Pereteatcu.

According to Alexandru Zuko, head of the Torture Prevention Division of the People’s Ombudsman, said that last year they received 800 applications from detainees who complained about poor detention conditions, lack or insufficiency of medical assistance. Over 400 such complaints were received in the first half of this year alone. This reveals worrisome tendencies.

Head of the Torture Combating Section of the Prosecutor General’s Office Ion Caracuian said that 42 criminal cases were started based on the 332 complaints about use of torture and other ill-treatment submitted in the first six months of this year. The courts of law in the period passed four conviction sentences against eight persons. Over 50% of the complaints refer to the actions of the police, use of force during arrest or later and intimidation.

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