Torture and ill-treatment are yet widely used in Moldova, report

The number of persons who are subject to maltreatment continues to rise. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the number of reported cases of ill-treatment increased from 569 in 2017 to 833 in 2019. The number of acts to notify cases of torture decreased considerably, from 48 in 2017 to 13 in 2019, shows a report entitled “Torture and maltreatment situation in the Republic of Moldova” that covers the period during which the situation in the Republic of Moldova was monitored (2019–2020) and that was presented in a news conference, IPN reports.

The report was produced in the framework of the project “Say NO to Torture in Moldova All Together: Civil Society against Torture” that is implemented by the Institute for Democracy in partnership with the National Institute for Women of Moldova and the Media Center (Tiraspol), with support from the EU.

According to the report, only eight criminal cases were started over the 13 notifications of torture in 2019. As a result, there appeared 833 complaints about inhuman attitude and degrading punishment, with only 51 criminal cases being started. Also in 2019, only two persons were given jail terms, nine were given suspended sentences, four were fined, while the cases against seven persons were dropped. Eight persons were acquitted.

Within the monitoring, it was noted that crowdedness in jails is one of Moldova’s problems. Of the 6,700 detainees, 4,100 stay in places smaller than four square meters. Three are also many cases of suicide and attempted suicide in prisons. Three cases of suicide were recorded in the first half of 2020 (four in the same period of 2019). There were also logged seven suicide attempts (nine in the first half of 2019) and 320 cases of self-injury (283 in the first half of 2019). This indicator rose by 11.56%.

In the second half of 2020, the National Administration of Penitentiaries of Moldova recorded 199 cases of use of force (2019 - 178) and 153 (2019 - 144) cases of use of special means in relation to detainee. The indicator is by 5.88% higher than in the corresponding period last year.

In 2019, the Ombudsman received 851 statements from detainees about the inhuman detention conditions, as opposed to over 450 similar statements in 2020. Also, four cases of use of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment by the police were reported in the first half of 2020. Employees of the Ombudsman’s Office during visits to three police inspectorates identified nine cases of complaints of street violence, aggression and maltreatment on the part of police officers in the first half of 2020. This shows the General Police Inspectorate hides the real data about the situation or do not have relevant statistics.

In Moldova, there are 13 rehabilitation social assistance institutions. In its report for 2020, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture said it received alterative reports on inappropriate alimentation and hygiene conditions, holding in closed areas and other departures.

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