Systematic practice of torture

Press release
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The FIDH takes note with satisfaction of the concluding observations of the United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT) issued on the initial report of Moldova, which was submitted to the Committee at its 30th session.

These conclusions, issued on 14 May 2003, take up several elements mentioned in the note submitted on this occasion by the FIDH and the Moldovan Human Rights League. Our organisations had denounced the obvious and systematic violations of the international and european convention against torture that take place in Moldova.

The Committee against Torture particularly mentioned « numerous and consistent allegations of acts of torture in police custody », the« lack of prompt and adequate access of persons in police custody to legal and medical assistance » and « poor material conditions prevailing in police detention facilities and prisons », and the absence of any inspection in the prisons. The CAT moreover expressed preoccupation about alleged detention of juveniles together with adults.

The CAT also insisted on the dysfunctional criminal justice system : the lack of judicial supervision on police custody, which depends of the Ministry of Interior, the lack of independence of the Procuracy and the Judiciary, the discriminative judicial system.

The CAT finally underlined the development of a culture of impunity and the lack of formation of the law enforcement personnel. Concerning all these points, the CAT expressed its disappointment that the answers given by the Moldovan authorities were not sufficient, and called upon the authorities to provide written responses by 31 August 2003. Although some cases of torture mentioned in the FIDH report were quoted by the members of the Committee, the authorities did not give any answer in that regard. The FIDH shall closely review the follow-up of those cases by the authorities.

The FIDH calls upon the Moldovan authorities to implement the recommendations of the CAT towards the eradication of the practice of torture, of the impunity for the authors of such acts, and to ensure the independence of justice.

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