The Ombudsperson urges repeatedly the competent authorities to close Penitentiary No 13 or take urgent and definite measures to improve the conditions of detention there.
This request is included in the Notification sent to Acting Prime Minister Gheorghe Brega, Minister of Justice Vladimir Cebotari, Director of the Department of Penitentiary Institutions Alexandru Pinzari, Director of Penitentiary No 13 Valeriu Starii, requesting to change the behavior towards the persons deprived of freedom and improve the conditions of detention in Penitentiary No 13. (Notification on the basis of Article 24 (2) of the Law of the Ombudsperson requesting to change the behavior towards persons deprived from freedom and improve the condition of detention in Penitentiary No 13 of Chisinau)
The Ombudsperson's Office has monitored permanently the conditions in the respective penitentiary and submitted periodically Ombudsperson’s requests to improve the conditions of detention. The Ombudsperson believes that detention in the cells of Penitentiary No 13 can be perceived as inhuman and degrading treatment.
During the last visit on 3 December of this year, the representatives of the Ombudsperson's Office reached the same opinion related to improper conditions of detention: overpopulation; improper hygienic and sanitary conditions in cells; failure to observe the prohibition on smoking; insanitary conditions of the cells; failure to ensure appropriate lighting of the cells (See annexed photos). The disciplinary solitary confinement cell from the penitentiary does not meet minimum detention standards.
Based on the complexity of the situation in Penitentiary No 13 of Chisinau municipality, the Ombudsperson urges the Government, Ministry of Justice and Department of Penitentiary Institutions to examine as matters of priority the recommendations made by the Ombudsperson to improve the situation of persons who are in the penitentiary’s custody.
The Ombudsperson recommends:
- To close Penitentiary No 13. “The continuation of its activity and placement of arrested or convicted persons in this penitentiary lead to the violation of the right to physical and/or mental integrity, thus, causing physical or mental suffering which represent inhuman or degrading treatment”.
- To undertake urgent measures and build a new penitentiary building.
- If the penitentiary cannot be close, the Ombudsperson recommends to undertake urgent measures to improve the conditions of detention in cells.
As per Article 24 (3) of the Law No 52 of 03.04.2014 on the Ombudsperson, the mentioned authorities shall inform in writing, within one month, about the measures undertaken to improve the treatment and conditions of detention of persons deprived of their freedom, who are in the custody of Penitentiary No 13 of Chisinau, as well as about the measures undertaken to build a new penitentiary building.
Penitentiary No 13 was visited periodically by members of NPMT and Ombudsperson’s Institution as part of the Torture Prevention Mechanism. Thus, 4 visits were paid in 2008, in 2011 – 19 visits; in 2012 – 5 visits; in 2013 – 4 visits; in 2014 – 8 visits; in 2015 – over 10 visits.
The Ombudsperson’s Institution recommended repeatedly to the competent authorities the closure of Penitentiary No 13.
The Ombudsperson's Office received this year 95 complaints submitted by the persons detained in the respective penitentiary institution. The petitioners are complying on poor conditions of detention and express their disagreement with the judgment issued by court of law.
The European Court of Human Rights convicted the Republic of Moldova 19 times for the violation of Article 3 of ECHR for the inhuman conditions of detention in Penitentiary No 13. IN three cases, the Court referred to the reports of the National Human Rights Institution from Moldova:
MITROFAN v. THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA (Application No 50054/07), JUDGMENT of 15 January 2013;
SILVESTRU v. THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA (Application No 28173/10), of 13 January 2015;
PISAROGLU v. the Republic of Moldova (Application 21061/11) of 3 March 2015.