Anti-torture investigators want Moldova to do more to stop inter-prisoner violence and intimidation.
The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) published its report on Moldova today following a 21 to 27 July 2010 visit to the country. The response of the Moldovan Government has also been made available.
The aim of the visit was to re-examine the situation in prison and police establishments in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova. However, the delegation was not allowed to speak to remand prisoners in private – a restriction which contradicts one of the fundamental characteristics of the preventive mechanism embodied by the CPT.
The CPT indicates in the report that it is prepared to resume the visit as soon as the power to interview all categories of detained persons in private is again guaranteed.
In their response, the Moldovan authorities state that they are ready to take action to ensure that any future visits to the region take place without restrictions.
The delegation visited Penitentiary establishments Nos. 8 and 12 in Bender, which both operate under the authority of the Moldovan Ministry of Justice but are located in an area controlled by the Transnistrian de facto authorities.
In its report, the CPT recommends that the Moldovan authorities pursue their strategy to combat inter-prisoner violence and intimidation, in particular at Penitentiary establishment No. 12 where the delegation found that prison staff had been exploiting the informal prisoner hierarchy to impose order.
The CPT delegation also re-examined the treatment of persons detained by the police. Several detained persons met indicated that the behaviour of police officers had considerably improved as compared with only a few years ago. Moreover, the dismissal of a number of police officers and related criminal investigations following the events of April 2009 had a major deterrent effect.
However, the delegation did gather information about a number of cases of alleged police ill-treatment, some of a very serious nature.