Torture is still used in Moldova


Torture and cruel treatment are still used in the Republic of Moldova, and according to international reports, in detention and psychiatric institutions this phenomenon is frequently encountered.

Most cases in psychiatric institutions are not properly examined and solved. The statements belong to the authors of a project condemning the phenomenon of torture and aiming at the rehabilitation of victims, that is implemented by Comrat Institute for Democracy, in partnership with the Media Center from Tiraspol and the National Institute for Women from Chisinau. Within the project, three centers of legal and psychological assistance and rehabilitation of victims of torture were opened in Chisinau, Comrat and Tiraspol, where the specialists help the victims.

The head of the Institute for Democracy, Andrei Bursevski, project director, mentioned at an IPN press conference that, in just half a year of activity, the centers received about 400 complaints from potential victims of torture, and almost half of them they were confirmed. Currently the data are processed for the two years of activity of the centers. Preliminary calculations show that the number of complaints is on the rise. Andrei Bursevski explains this increase by the fact that the activity of the centers is becoming more popular, including due to the seminars on the inadmissibility of applying torture and ill-treatment for the employees of the penitentiary system, but also for the convicts.

Present at the conference, Luiza Dorosenco, chairperson of the Media Center in Tiraspol, project coordinator for Transnistrian region, has specified that not all authorities recognize the phenomenon of torture, considering such projects, which also include training for certain persons, unseasonable. According to her, another problem is the distrust of the beneficiaries, who often do not apply for help because they are afraid or because they think they will not be helped. Another difficulty resides in the fact that that the specialists of the center cannot intervene or cannot verify a torture signal without the beneficiary’s consent.

The representative of the National Institute for Women, Nonna Mihalcean, project coordinator in Chisinau, says that in some cases it is possible to reach the prosecutor’s offices and initiate criminal proceedings. However, sometimes problems are solved at the institution level. In one case, a woman has addressed the Center complaining that her son is subjected to ill-treatment in a psychiatric institution where he is periodically admitted for treatment. As a result of the notification of the administration, an internal investigation was initiated and the situation improved.

Andrei Aladov, a lawyer at Comrat Assistance Center, has mentioned that in the first year of activity the center received ten complaints that were qualified as torture cases, while this year there are already 26 such requests. “People find out about our center. We are periodically called from penitentiary institutions, but also by our citizens from abroad,” the lawyer noted.

The three centers of legal, psychological assistance and rehabilitation for the victims of torture were opened under “Together we say NO to torture in Moldova: civil society against torture” project funded by the European Union.