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Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee publishes report on Moldova

A report issued today by the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) assesses the treatment of people held in police establishments, prisons and other places of detention in Moldova.
26/06/2002
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The CPT's main concerns are the situation of people deprived of their liberty by the police as well as poor conditions in prisons; however, there have been notable improvements in the latter establishments.

The CPT's delegation received widespread allegations of physical ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty by operational police departments, mainly during interrogations. In their response, the Moldovan authorities indicate that police activities are under constant supervision and that every instance of abuse is severely sanctioned. Concerning the remand centres of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the CPT requests that people detained are guaranteed conditions which respect the basic necessities of life (access to drinking water, sufficient food, adequate level of hygiene, etc.). The Moldovan authorities highlight their efforts in this field, but at the same time underline that due to the economic situation, it is not possible to grant the necessary financial resources.

The CPT welcomes the positive changes observed at Chişinău Prison No. 3 and in particular the removal of the shutters covering cell windows; as a result, there was better access to natural light and fresh air. In their response, the Moldovan authorities also set out the measures taken at Prison No. 2 and Colony No. 8 for prisoners suffering from tuberculosis in Bender and at Pruncul Prison Hospital, to implement the CPT's recommendations. Moreover, they indicate that, following a Government decision of 12 March 2002, the prison system has benefited from an increase in the provision of food and medication. Nevertheless, the supply of medication remains problematic.

The material conditions of detention of life-sentenced prisoners, who had recently been transferred to a special unit at Rezina Prison No. 17, had significantly improved. As recommended by the Committee, a new instruction aimed at defining the regime for such prisoners was to be drawn up.

The CPT's report is published with the agreement of the Moldovan authorities, together with their response. It covers the Committee's second periodic visit to the Republic of Moldova, which took place in June 2001.

The report is available in French at: www.cpt.coe.int