Alert Bangladesh: Prominent defenders receive two-year prison sentences

Romania: Limited protection for people deprived of liberty

During its 77th session on July 19th and 20th, 2023, the Committee against Torture (CAT) examined Romania's 3rd periodic report. The country rapporteurs were Mr. Sébastien Touzé and Mr. Abderrazak Rouwane.

The country's delegation was led by Mr. Dan Halchin, Chief of the Romanian Penitentiary Administration.

The CAT experts appreciated Romania's regular submission of reports and its continuous cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms, including treaty bodies and special procedures.

Main points discussed:

The Committee expressed concern about the recurring lack of fundamental legal safeguards for detainees, particularly regarding access to a lawyer and an interpreter. The experts called for educating law enforcement personnel on these guarantees and establishing a focal point in every administrative center to address violations.

The experts raised concerns about the abuses suffered by people placed in mental health institutions, including beatings, prolonged isolation, and excessive use of restraints. It also appeared that cases of death registered in these institutions are not systematically reported.

The experts also expressed concerns about detention conditions and measures adopted in prisons during the Covid-19 state of emergency. They were found disproportional.

Finally, the Committee highlighted the significant stigma against the Romani population, which remains a recurrent issue for Romania before various treaty bodies. Despite the legal framework in place to address discrimination and violence against ethnic minorities in line with international requirements, the rate of prosecutions for Romani victims remains notably low.

The CAT's recommendations are available here.

Follow-up Recommendations:

The State party should provide information on the implementation of the Convention regarding:

  • the improvement of conditions in psychiatric institutions and social care facilities ;
  • the methods by which strip searches are conducted ;
  • and the halt of the use of special intervention units in penitentiary facilities

The State party should provide this information by July 28, 2024.

Watch here (Part 1) and here (Part 2) with the CAT.

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