Statement On the continuing human rights violations in Penitentiary No.13
In its first periodic report the Freedom Moldova Foundation called attention that the activity of the Penitentiary No.13 is marked by a large number of complaints and scandals related to cruel treatment of arrestees and convicted inmates by the penitentiary administration, and related to limitation of their basic rights. Many different detainees in the Penitentiary No.13, their lawyers, non-governmental organizations and the People’s Advocate (ombudsman) repeatedly reported that the detention conditions in the Penitentiary No.13 fail to meet the minimum requirements, and the Penitentiary No.13 administration establishes in fact the orders toughening the existing instructions of the Code of Corrections and other regulations.

The biggest human rights violation, which on can imagine, is tortures, and the Penitentiary No.13 was also repeatedly accused that it applies different types of tortures (including physical) to prisoners. So, earlier it was reported about deprivation of the prisoner of drinking water , about confining them in basement cells in brutal conditions, about their deprivation of elementary essentials . Some employees of Penitentiary No.13 were accused by Military prosecutor's office and were tried for torturing prisoners.

Flagrant confirmation to the fact that the situation in the Penitentiary No.13 continues to worsen has been received the other day. It is about the most cruel, dangerous and brutal form of torture – beating of detainees.

Mass media reported on 05.06.2017 that there were searches in the Penitentiary No.13 on 03.06.2017, in the result of which several forbidden objects were found, in the consequence of that the unspecified number (according to our data more than twenty people) of allegedly guilty persons from among inmates were beaten by the Ministry of Justice’s Pantera SWAT officers. A part of beaten detainees were underaged.

Information on the fact of use of physical force to underaged detainees was confirmed by the employees of the Ombudsman for Children, who had personally visited Penitentiary No.13.

The Freedom Moldova Foundation deems it absolutely inadmissible that the administration of penitentiary institutions, which already have sufficient leverage on detainees whose rights are already significantly limited, resorted to violence, SWAT and tortures. What happened has become possible only under the passive eye of all institutions responsible for the state of affairs in law enforcement and penitentiaries, first of all, the Ministry of Justice and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Pantera SWAT is even more often used for intimidation, brute force applied not only towards prisoners, but also towards media representatives, civic activists, lawyers during high-profile trials (Platon’s case, Filat’s case, earlier case of the so-called “Petrenco's group”).

It is revealing that nobody has voiced the position of the Penitentiary No.13 administration on this outrageous example, and we learn about it only from the reports of the third parties. The latest news in the website section “The Chisinau Penitentiary No.13” was posted in October 2016 (!). The Ministry of Justice has disregarded the event. In the news section on its website, the Department of Penitentiaries made the only one (!) remark “The Department of Penitentiaries informs that several cases of disobedience by detainees, including the underaged inmates, of legal and reasonable demands of the penitentiary personnel have been registered during security procedures”.

The Freedom Moldova Foundation resolutely condemns use of physical force against detainees by representatives of the Department of Penitentiaries and the Pantera SWAT, and insists on the fastest investigation of such facts.

June 7, 2017.

Published at 12-06-2017, 15:22