Fight against corruption in detention places does not make progress

pitkiThe fight against corruption in detention places didn’t make notable progress in the course of 2017. On the country, in some regards the situation even worsened, especially as regards the detention conditions and access to health services, says an activity report for 2017 presented by the Council for the Prevention of Torture in a public event on June 25. Nevertheless, the Council approves of state institutions’ efforts aimed at ensuring the observance of the rights of persons in detention, IPN reports.

The report says police employees often use force against persons held in detention places managed by institutions of the Ministry of the Interior. The detainees witness deficient treatment while they are transported to the temporary detention place. In this connection, the Council insists on clear procedures for treating persons in police custody, by establishing a continuous mechanism for training personnel of the Ministry of the Interior in this regard.

In detention places of the National Anticorruption Center, the rights of detained persons are generally respected, while the detention conditions are relatively good. However, the practice of limiting the right to a lawyer and to meetings with a lawyer and the lack of communication accessible to detainees about their rights and obligations persist.

As to the detention places of the Department of Penitentiary Institutions managed by the Ministry of Justice, the Council established that abusive practices against the detainees are applied there, including verbal abuses against held women. The Council is also concerned about the fact that the phenomenon of suicide attempts and self-mutilation persists in the penitentiary system. It recommended the personnel to equally and impartially treat all the held persons and to review the procedures for examining cases of death in detention.

At the detention places of the institutions managed by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection (psycho-neurological clinics), there were identified situations of insulting attitude and even use of violence by personnel or other patients and the lack of an effective mechanism for filing complaints. Also, the personnel are not sufficiently trained for professionally documenting cases of causing of bodily injuries.

Attending the event, People’s Ombudsman Mihail Cotorobai noted the legislation concerning the punishment of those who do not obey human rights and ban the access of members of the Council for the Prevention of Torture to penitentiaries is imperfect.

Ombudswoman for Children’s Rights Maia Banarescu said the use of violence in detention places, especially when it is about children, should be on the authorities’ agenda so that it is dealt with as soon as possible. The children are always a victim, regardless of their status in criminal cases, and the organisms involved in this process should create all the conditions needed to ensure the respect for the rights and dignity of children.

The Council for the Prevention of Torture in December 2016 – December 2017 paid 26 visits to 24 detention institutions, 20 of which were surprise visits.