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COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE CONSIDERS THE REPORT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

8 November 2017

The Committee against Torture this afternoon concluded its consideration of the third periodic report of the Republic of Moldova on its implementation of the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Presenting the report, Dorin Purice, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, noted that his country was committed to ensure the total prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Unfortunately, practices inherited from the Soviet system had still not been overcome and there were still systemic problems manifested from time to time through serious visible events confirming the weaknesses of the system. Mr. Purice presented the main actions taken by the Government to combat torture and ill-treatment, including the establishment of the Council on Prevention of Torture in October 2016, and the drafting of the methodological recommendations for prosecutors to investigate cases of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, comprising both the norms for criminal investigation and court inquiry. The Government had amended the Criminal Procedure Code on the investigation of torture cases, establishing the Prosecutor’s Office on Combatting Organized Crime and Special Causes.

In the ensuing discussion, Experts noted positive developments in the legal framework, such as amendments to the Criminal Code to increase penalties for acts of torture, and assurances that neither amnesty nor any statute of limitations were applicable to the crime of torture. Other improvements included the adoption of the joint order and regulation on identification and reporting of cases of alleged torture, and the establishment of the new national torture prevention mechanism. Experts raised concerns about the application of the Convention in Transnistria, the lack of statistics on cases of torture, the high level of impunity for alleged cases of torture, the applicability of the Convention, torture and ill treatment in police detention facilities, the national torture prevention mechanism, and fundamental legal safeguards for persons deprived of their liberty. Questions were also raised on the independence of the judiciary and the problem of corruption, the use of excessive force and possible torture in connection with the April 2009 events, trafficking in persons and child trafficking, domestic violence and rape, asylum seekers, hazing in the military, management of temporary detention centres, detention conditions, prison overcrowding and the use of solitary confinement, forced chemical castration, compensation for victims, training of medical personnel, law enforcement officers and judges, the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, and discrimination against the Roma community.

In concluding remarks, Mr. Purice thanked the Committee Experts for the constructive dialogue. The provided comments were highly valuable for the Government, which recognized serious deficiencies in a difficult economic, political and geopolitical context. The Government would remain a transparent, accountable and proactive partner in the very important field of human rights.

Jens Modvig, Committee Chairperson, reminded the delegation of the deadline for the submission of written replies. He commended the delegation’s very well organized and comprehensive replies.

The delegation of the Republic of Moldova included representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection, and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee will next meet in public on Thursday, 9 November 2017, at 3 p.m. to continue the consideration of the fifth periodic report of Cameroon (CAT/C/CMR/5).

Report

The third periodic report of the Republic of Moldova can be read here: CAT/C/MDA/3.

Presentation of the Report

DORIN PURICE, Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, noted that his country was committed to ensure the total prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Unfortunately, practices inherited from the Soviet system had not been overcome and there were still systemic problems manifested from time to time through serious visible events confirming the weaknesses of the system. One such case was that of Andrei Braguta, who had been detained for having exceeded the legal speed limit, and who due to the existing systemic deficiencies had died in the penitentiary. That case, which had involved seven persons, including three police officers, had been sent to court and would most probably put the entire system to test. Mr. Purice presented the main actions taken by the Government to combat torture and ill-treatment. In October 2016, the Government had established the Council on Prevention of Torture, which had been operationalized under the Law on Ombudsman adopted in 2014. In 2013, the Republic of Moldova had ratified the Second Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, and the European Convention on the Supervision of Conditionally Sentenced or Conditionally Released Offenders. In the same year, the Government had drafted the methodological recommendations for prosecutors to investigate cases of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, comprising both the norms for criminal investigation and court inquiry.

In July 2015, the regulation on the organization and functioning of the Ombudsman Office had been approved, decreasing the number of Ombudsmen, ensuring transparency and engagement of civil society, and establishing the conformity criteria. In December 2016, the Government had also ratified the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime concerning the criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems, as well as the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism.

The Government had amended the Criminal Procedure Code on the investigation of torture cases, establishing the Prosecutor’s Office on Combatting Organized Crime and Special Causes. The Prosecutor’s Office held the competence to conduct criminal investigation of torture offences. The Strategy on developing the penitentiary system for 2016-2020 had been adopted in December 2016, aimed at improving detention conditions, eliminating prison overcrowding, and addressing violence. In June 2017, the Republic of Moldova had adopted the Law on Preventing and Combatting Terrorism, which provided a considerably revised mechanism of activity with a focus on prevention activities.

Regarding the events of 7 April 2009 which had resulted in a major infringement of human rights, the competent authorities had adopted measures to investigate the 108 complaints of alleged police torture, resulting in 71 criminal cases which had been initiated. In order to identify persons and law enforcement officers who had been victims during the events, a special Government commission had been established, and 273 persons had been compensated. Specific actions to promote “zero tolerance to torture” had been undertaken, namely training programmes for penitentiary staff, as well as workshops on preventing torture and ill-treatment. Turning to the rights of detainees, Mr. Purice informed that in September 2012 the Penitentiary Institutions Department had drafted the action on plan on combating torture and ill treatment in the penitentiary system. As for child protection, the Republic of Moldova had approved the Child Protection Strategy 2014-2020. With respect to cooperation with civil society, cooperation memoranda had been concluded with several organizations. Finally, with respect to the transfer of temporary detention facilities from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the Ministry of Justice, negotiations with the Council of Europe Development Bank had been conducted in order to launch the construction of a new penitentiary “Arrest House” in Chisinau, meeting European standards, Mr. Purice concluded.

Questions by Country Co-Rapporteurs

FELICE GAER, Committee Expert and Co-Rapporteur for the Republic of Moldova, noted some positive developments in the legal framework, such as the amendment to the Criminal Code to increase penalties for acts of torture, and assurances that neither amnesty nor any statute of limitations was applicable to the crime of torture. Another improvement was the adoption of the joint order and regulation on identification and reporting of cases of alleged torture. How well did the joint order function, especially in the case of Andrei Braguta?

Another development was the establishment of the new national torture prevention mechanism at the end of 2016. As for the transfer of responsibility for temporary detention facilities, had those responsibilities indeed been transferred?

Ms. Gaer raised the issue of statistics and asked about the number of cases brought under new article 166 and the results of those cases. How many had been investigated, prosecuted and with what outcome? There was no disaggregated data by sex, age, ethnicity, disability and region or any other relevant factor.

As for the applicability of the Convention, Ms. Gaer inquired about the implementation of the Convention in Transnistria. There were allegations of Moldovan police cooperation regarding prisons there and of the transfer of persons to those facilities.

Turning to torture and ill treatment in police detention facilities, the Committee had previously expressed concern that persons apprehended by police could be detained for up to 72 hours prior to the issuance of an arrest warrant. During those hours individuals were kept in police custody and they were vulnerable to ill treatment and abuse. The case of Andrei Braguta provided such an example. Mr. Braguta had been stopped by road police for speeding and eventually he had died in police custody due to pneumonia on 26 August 2017. The case had shown a number of serious problems in the police custody system, namely the non-reporting of torture and ill-treatment, the lack of protocols in dealing with people with mental health issues and mental disabilities, ill-intended generation of violence among inmates by police officers to achieve desirable outcomes, inadequate mental health services in police custody, and the failure of the torture reporting mechanism established by the Joint Order in 2013 to serve its purpose. Had any official been held responsible with respect to that case? What investigations had taken place and had any officers been suspended? What measures were in place to ensure that the joint order was monitored? Had anyone been prosecuted for the failure to report?

As for the national torture prevention mechanism, what was behind the problems with that mechanism? Its status did not seem to be clearly prescribed in law. Had measures been taken to strengthen its independence from the Office of the Parliamentary Advocate? What were the measures to increase the financial resources for the mechanism? Had there been any cases when members of the mechanism had been denied prompt access to places of detention or detention registries?

Were all persons deprived of liberty promptly afforded in law and practice the fundamental legal safeguards from the outset of their deprivation of liberty? Were they provided with independent medical examinations? The State party’s report stated that individuals had the right to have a medical examination at their own expense. Did all detainees have the right to contact their family members? Did they have the right to challenge the legality of their detention through a habeas corpus procedure? Were all detentions recorded at the place of detention? Was audio-visual recording available in all areas of custodial facilities? Were all detainees informed orally and in writing in a language they understood of their fundamental rights and required to sign a paper confirming that they had understood that information? Had there been any cases of officials disciplined or sanctioned for failing to permit the right to a lawyer, medical examination or contact with a family member?

With respect to the independence of the judiciary, Ms. Gaer said concerns had been raised that efforts to create an independent, impartial and effective justice system had been hampered by an inadequate budget and undue political pressure on judges. Judicial corruption remained one of the foremost human rights problems in the Republic of Moldova. What measures had the State party taken to ensure that justice sector reforms were adequately implemented and monitored? What other measures had the State party taken to ensure that judges were supported and would not be influenced to supplement their income through bribery or other illegal means?

Those concerns were more relevant in light of the results of the inquiry concerning the allegations of excessive force and possible torture in connection with the April 2009 events. Why had there been so few cases that had remained and had judicial corruption played a role in producing what could have been an example of impunity? What measures had the State party taken to address the culture of impunity for ill treatment and torture by law enforcement officials? According to the Moldovan Legal Resource Centre, the issues of impunity and corruption had created little trust in the judiciary and 89.6 per cent of the population had reported that they did not trust the judiciary. How was the State party ensuring that the appointment and promotion of judges followed a set of criteria based on merits?

Turning to human trafficking, there were concerns that the relevant legislation was not properly enforced or implemented. What efforts were being made to amend the legislation to ensure that legal entities faced criminal consequences under article 165 of the Criminal Code? What were the State party’s reasons for prescribing a lesser penalty for slavery and conditions similar to slavery, compared to forced labour and slavery within the article 165 of trafficking in human beings?

How many persons had been convicted of child trafficking? How many child sex trafficking victims had been charged with prostitution or similar offences? Had there been any criminal corruption proceedings against officers assigned to the Ministry of Internal Affairs investigatory Centre for Combatting Trafficking in Persons, including the Deputy Director?

Domestic violence and rape remained a pervasive problem in the country. What measures was the State party taking to rectify complaints of police mishandling of rape cases and poor investigative techniques? Had there been any other cases where police officers were perpetrators? In what cases was it appropriate to resort to administrative sanctions and in others criminal sanctions, and why was there a distinction?

On what basis were asylum applications rejected as “unfounded”? What was the status of the 115 asylum applicants that had been rejected since 2016? How had the State party safeguarded against the refoulement of Tajik political refugees and asylum seekers? What measures had been taken to ensure that those repatriated had not been at risk of torture?

As for hazing in the military, how many had been convicted of that offence and with what punishment? How many had been officers and at what rank? Did they return to service or did they retire from the service?

Turning to human rights monitoring, Ms. Gaer inquired about the situation of human rights defenders in Transnistria. How did the State party supervise and protect children in boarding schools?

Was there any monitoring of inter-prisoner violence and to what extent did it include sexual violence?

CLAUDE HELLER ROUSSANT, Committee Expert and Co-Rapporteur for the Republic of Moldova, noted that victims of torture and ill-treatment had few resources for compensation at their disposal. There were also problems of addressing the structural causes of corruption with respect to cases of torture and ill-treatment.

The status of the Council for Prevention of Torture and its relationship with the Office of the Ombudsman and the National Torture Prevention Mechanism was ambiguous. What human and financial resources were available to the Council? What had been the result of the Council’s work since February 2017? There was uncertainty about the Council’s powers and possible duplication of work.

Turning to detention conditions, Mr. Roussant highlighted the lack of independence of the medical staff in detention centres, the lack of medical staff trained in identifying cases of torture, the use of excessive force, insufficient medical services, lack of services for women and youth, and the situation of those on death row. There were no procedures for medical staff in cases of homicide among detainees. The great majority of complaints referred to inappropriate conditions of detention.

According to a study carried out by the Council of Europe, torture and ill-treatment were not necessarily a widespread practice in the criminal justice system in the Republic of Moldova. However, it seemed that priority had been given to a purely legalistic approach to torture and ill-treatment, which had not led to a cultural shift in actual practice. It was important to have inspections and monitoring by the National Preventive Mechanism, and to transfer from the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Health the medical staff responsible for examining detainees.

It was striking that Moldovan authorities had not heeded complaints of torture and ill-treatment committed by law enforcement officers. The percentage of criminal investigation of alleged cases of torture and ill-treatment was lower than 20 per cent, which meant that the State party had to consider the high level of impunity. There had been a failure to investigate high-ranking officials in relation to the events of April 2009. The impartiality of prosecutors was problematic. The information about the prosecution of law enforcement officers provided in the State party’s periodic report and in its Universal Periodic Review report was different.

As for compensation for victims, the relevant law did not comply with Convention provisions on the scope and length of services provided. With respect to measures adopted to ensure that information obtained under duress could not be used in any legal proceedings, had there been any new complaints in that regard?

With respect to juveniles in detention, UNICEF had highlighted the need to modify the legal framework of sentences and protection for young offenders who had submitted complaints. There was a need for the training of personnel to identify possible cases of torture and ill-treatment of juveniles in detention. A high number of cases of physical violence and corporal punishment had been reported, Mr. Roussant emphasised.

What was the legal basis for the use of solitary confinement? There were worrying reports of the use of psychiatric treatment without the consent of the concerned person, as well as serious abuse and mistreatment by medical staff in psychiatric institutions, such as forced use of contraceptives for detainees with mental disabilities. Forced hospitalization of detainees with tuberculosis had been recorded. What was the current status of the use of forced chemical castration?

As for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, in 2016 Parliament had approved a law to prohibit propaganda on non-traditional sexual relationships. Was this being implemented? With respect to discrimination against the Roma community, what was the state of play to implement the plan to protect their rights?

On training of medical personnel, law enforcement officers and judges, what was the status of the Torture Atlas project? How were training activities monitored? What body was responsible for monitoring the implementation of the National Action Plan on Human Rights 2017-2021?

Questions by Committee Experts

With respect to safeguards for arrested persons, was the State party considering instituting mandatory audio and video recording of all police interrogations, including the names of all those present? Was the lawyer of the arrested person authorized to be present during the whole interrogation?

As for asylum seekers, what was the number of accepted asylum applications due to the risk of torture upon return to the home country? What was the reason behind the drastic reduction in the rate of accepted asylum applications?

In 2017, the prison population in the Republic of Moldova was much higher than the European average. At least six out 17 penitentiary units held more inmates than their capacities allowed. The obsolete infrastructure did not allow the separation of prisoners, leading to violence among inmates. What was the duration of solitary confinement and for what reasons was it used?

With respect to penal policies, many elements remained from the pre-1991 system. Who bore the burden of proof? The competences for pre-trial detention were under the purview of the Ministry of Internal Affairs rather than the Ministry of Justice. In Transnistria detainees suffered from the lack of access to legal safeguards.

There were no measures to monitor psychiatric institutions. What was the number of persons with disabilities deprived of their liberty and what measures were taken to ensure their rights? Experts also highlighted the mistreatment of institutionalized autistic children.

Had the State party done anything to reduce judicial corruption and to reduce its influence on the negative outcome of torture complaints?

JENS MODVIG, Committee Chairperson, inquired about the exact rules that governed the medical examination of detainees. What was the medical qualification of criminal prosecution officers who performed the examination? How many cases of injuries had been handed to the Prosecutor’s office based on findings of injuries either by medical doctors or prosecution officers? Victims of torture only received guidelines on where to find specific services, which was not in line with their right to rehabilitation, restitution, compensation, and guarantees of non-repetition. How did the State party intend to implement victims’ right to rehabilitation?

Replies by the Delegation

DORIN PURICE, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, explained that Transnistria remained a ghost country, a self-proclaimed region with a foreign army illegally deployed there. It was a 26-year long frozen conflict that had brought suffering, poverty and inequality. The Republic of Moldova would continue its efforts in order to apply its national legislation throughout its entire territory. It was absolutely necessary to develop civil society in Transnistria, and to inform the inhabitants of that region of their rights under national laws.

The Law on Rehabilitation of Victims of Crime regulated the right to financial compensation and it would enter into force in January 2018. As for corruption in the justice system, there were no cases of corruption among judges related to cases of torture and discrimination. The National Integrity and Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-2020 was in place. In 2017, a decrease of 14 per cent of detected offences had been registered. Some 211 persons in the public sector had been charged with corruption. The Republic of Moldova was facing many challenges in the field of corruption, but it was also registering some good results.

As for the case of Andrei Braguta, an investigation for torture, ill-treatment and injuries had begun, as well as an investigation of abuse of power. The Government would investigate medical personnel and penitentiary staff. The preliminary session of the case had recently finished. Ten police officers were currently being investigated. That was not the first case of torture in the country perpetrated through silent approval. The Government was considering introducing video recording of all police interrogations. The delegation said that there were still some mentalities among the police that were difficult to change overnight, as well as problems of communicating with mentally ill persons. The Prosecutor General had issued methodological guidelines for the prosecution of such cases.

As for the lack of statistical data on torture, all criminal investigations and decisions were analysed according to different categories. The authorities had opened new cases regarding the events of 7 April 2009 and complaints of alleged police torture, and 31 cases had been sent to trial. With respect to the practice of hazing in the military, in the past two years, the Ministry of Justice had investigated about 50 military personnel, including officers. It was possible to punish the perpetrators of the least serious forms of ill-treatment with only fines, albeit very high ones. The Government was currently studying a draft law in order to exclude the possibility of sanctioning such offences with just fines.

In order to prevent the excessive use of force by the police upon arrest, a task force had been set up to manage the use of force and firearms. There were constant reforms of the laws regulating the appointment of prosecutors. The Atlas of Torture was highly beneficial for the country and its purpose was to implement the recommendations of the former United Nations Special Rapporteur for torture, Manfred Nowak.

As for the implementation of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, all those decisions were compulsory for the Moldovan justice system. It seemed that Moldovan citizens lacked trust in national institutions, which could explain the high number of complaints from the country in front of the European Court of Human Rights.

The Braguta case was a unique one in that the Prosecutor General had not been informed about possible torture. It was the Prosecutor General that ordered forensic medical examination. Psychological examination was performed to assess the extent of psychological damage. The Government was currently elaborating a memorandum of cooperation between the non-governmental organization Memoria and the Prosecutor General.

The arrest registry documented information about the medical and general state of the arrested person, as well as the charges brought. The arrested person had to be informed about the content of that document, as well as about his or her rights in writing. Pre-trial arrest was only applicable to charged persons, and not suspected persons. The arrest warrant could not exceed 30 days, but it could be renewed for another 30 days.

Audio-video recording of police interrogations could be carried out upon request, or if criminal investigation officers decided so. However, that procedure would become mandatory. As for chemical castration, it had been found to be unconstitutional. With respect to the drop in the number of child victims of trafficking, it was due to the activities of the police carried out with the prosecution for combatting organised crime.

The authorities had acknowledged the danger of domestic violence and actions taken by civil society had been critical in that respect. In 2016, the Government had amended the Criminal Code to punish violence leading to less severe injury of the victim. At the same time, protection measures had been set up for victims of domestic violence, such as emergency restriction and immediate removal of the perpetrator from the family.
As for sexual offences, training for trainers’ sessions had been organized for criminal investigation prosecutors, lawyers and judges.

The National Association of Women from the Internal Affairs System had been set up in November 2015 to promote a positive image of women, the principle of gender equality, and to help carry out women’s professional, intellectual, social and practical opportunities. Overall women’s participation in the police force stood at 15.2 per cent. Preventive measures and training sessions on hate speech had been organized.

As for asylum seekers, the increase in asylum requests in the period between 2014 and 2015 was the result of the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as about 75 per cent of requests came from citizens of those countries. With the stabilization of the conflicts in those countries, the number of asylum requests had decreased. No asylum seeker could be expelled from the border or from the territory of the Republic of Moldova, and no beneficiary of a form of protection would be returned or expelled to the country or territory where his or her life or freedom could be threatened or where he or she could be subjected to torture. The Ministry of Justice verified every request for extradition of the person coming from third countries. There were no Tajik citizens that had applied for asylum.

With respect to the transfer of power to impose solitary confinement to the Ministry of Justice, the delegation explained that in 2012 Parliament had adopted a law regulating solitary confinement. The penitentiary institutions detained only persons who had been convicted. Only 50 per cent of non-standard cells were still operational. By 2020 the Government would open 15 regional detention centres.

In October 2016, the Government had established the Council on the Prevention of Torture, which was tasked with ensuring the protection of persons from torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The financing of the State budget to the Ombudsman Office had recently increased, which confirmed the Government’s commitment to strengthen that body. The Council on Prevention of Torture had conducted visits to places of detention and there were no cases where its representatives had not been able to carry out visits.

In 2016 a new strategy for the organization of the penitentiary system had been approved, in order to increase its efficiency and human resources, to improve the safety of detainees, to increase its capacity and adapt the existing units, and to improve medical services for detainees. The causes of prison overcrowding included lengthy sentences, high recidivism, and the low number of releases from the penitentiary. The Government was getting ready to implement the Amnesty Law.

As for medical services in the penitentiary system, several young medical doctors would be sent to work in the penitentiary system. Counselling services were provided to victims of domestic violence. With respect to the Roma community, two action plans had been approved with seven priority fields, including welfare, health, education, mass media, public order, administration and documentation.

Follow-up Questions by Country Co-Rapporteurs

FELICE GAER, Committee Expert and Co-Rapporteur for the Republic of Moldova, wondered whether the Republic of Moldova could be doing more to protect the rights of the people of Transnistria.

Ms. Gaer reminded that civil society representatives maintained that the investigation of torture cases was slow and that victims’ access to justice was limited. It was not clear which courts and prosecutors had the authority to prosecute cases of torture. How was the independence of prosecutors undermined? How did the State party ensure impartial investigations? What measures had been taken to strengthen lawyers? How did the State party plan to address the problem of insensitivity across the system, which was evident in the Braguta case, and the lack of public trust in the justice system?

CLAUDE HELLER ROUSSANT, Committee Expert and Co-Rapporteur for the Republic of Moldova, asked about the authorities that supervised the implementation of the joint order and regulation on the identification and reporting of cases of alleged torture. As for the training for police forces, prison staff and medical personnel, priority should be given the Istanbul Protocol. What measures did the Government plan to adopt in order to address the deplorable conditions in police detention facilities?

On the national torture prevention mechanism, Mr. Heller Roussant drew attention to the duplication of work. A criminal sub-culture controlled what happened in prisons, which was why training for penitentiary personnel was crucial.

Follow-up Questions by Committee Experts

Was the transfer of the management of temporary detention centres to the Ministry of Justice in process? Did the Government consider alternative measures to detention for asylum seekers, as well as solutions for long prison sentences?

What was the impact of corruption on the low rate of torture complaints, and what measures had been taken in that regard?

JENS MODVIG, Committee Chairperson, asked about the range of compensation amounts that victims of torture could receive. How did torture cases reach the relevant unit in the Prosecutor’s Office? Where in the chain was that decision taken? Would the State party provide financial support to rehabilitation centres for victims of torture?

Replies by the Delegation

DORIN PURICE, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, said that the Government was doing a lot to resolve the problem of Transnistria. The problem of political corruption had been solved and the Government was likely to find solutions in that respect. The so-called state of Transnistria was a totalitarian one. The Government could not exchange information with an unrecognized State. Every constructive proposal had been rejected by Transnistrian counterparts. The Government could only encourage those living in Transnistria to start fighting for their rights, and it could only ask its international partners to put an end to the conflict.

The delegation explained that the principle of impartiality in investigations of torture and ill-treatment was safeguarded through the rule that prosecutors could report only to the Prosecutor General. Their level of professionalism and responsibility was quite high. The Braguta case was indeed an extraordinary case.

As for the transfer of the management of temporary detention centres to the Ministry of Justice from the Ministry of the Interior, the present conditions were not favourable to perform the transfer. The decriminalization of 13 offences would lead to a decrease in the prison population.

Any individual could benefit from emergency access to mental healthcare. Since 2013, 34 centres for mental health had opened. The complete independence of medical staff would be assured by a new structure in the penitentiary system, which would not be under control of the penitentiary management. Potential cases of torture were reported to the Prosecutor General by a special structure within the penitentiary system.

As for compensation, the Government could pay five euros for each day spent in inappropriate detention conditions, and by deducting days of detention from the overall sentence.

The Moldovan legislation did not restrict the right of foreign citizens to apply for asylum, and it guaranteed non-discrimination of asylum seekers. Asylum requests could be submitted in the penitentiary system, and each request was assessed individually. Foreigners could be removed only on the basis of readmission protocols signed with the European Union. Removal orders could be contested in front of courts.

Concluding Remarks

DORIN PURICE, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, thanked the Committee Experts for the constructive dialogue. The provided comments were highly valuable for the Government, which recognized serious deficiencies in a difficult economic, political and geopolitical context. The Government would remain transparent, accountable and a proactive partner in the very important field of human rights.

JENS MODVIG, Committee Chairperson, reminded the delegation of the deadline for the submission of written replies. He commended the delegation’s very well organized and comprehensive replies.



For use of the information media; not an official record

CAT/17/23E