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2009 MONITORING REPORT On the im

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2009 MONITORING REPORT On the im Powered By Docstoc
					The European Institute of Tirana
  Tirana, 28 December 2009
 Timing: 2-year  Project (2009-2010)
 Funded: Open Society Institute
 Implementers: European Institute of
  Tirana (IET) and Tirana Legal Aid Society
  (TLAS)
 Partners: General Directorate of Prisons
  and Ombudsman Office (2 Cooperation
  Agreements)
 3 Components: Awareness, Litigation,
  Monitoring
   Drini ÇANO: Legal Expert, Master in Comparative Constitutional Law at
    the University of Budapest (Hungary), 3 years of professional experience
    in the legal sector;
   Emiliano GJIKA: Human Rights Expert, Master in Law (UK), 3 years of
    professional experience in the Human Rights field;
   Marine KETA: Educational Expert, PhD in Social Anthropology at the
    University “La Sorbonne” in Paris (France), 15 years of professional
    experience in the Education field;
   Sadik LALA: Medical Expert, Psychiatrist;
   Marta ONORATO: Project Manager, Lawyer, Master in Human Rights and
    Democratization at the University of Padua (Italy), 11 years of professional
    experience in the Human Rights field at international level;
   Sokol PASHO: Legal Expert, Master in Penal Law at the Tirana University,
    15 years of experience in the legal Sector;
   Igli TOTOZANI: Legal Expert, Master in Political Science, Master in
    European Affairs at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), PhD in Law
    ongoing in Strasbourg (France), around 14 years of professional
    experience;
 Foreword (by the Ombudsman)
 1. Introduction
 2. Methodology
 3. Brief History on the Master plan for the Pre-
  trial detention System and new GDP Strategy
 4. Current situation and overall analysis
 5. Specific monitoring visit reports
 6. Specific Analysis on each measure
 6.1 Legal Aspects
 6.2 Institutional and Organizational Aspects
 6.3 Infrastructure
 6.4 Staff Policy
 7. Final recommendations
   Purpose: the monitoring and assessment of the
    implementation of the Master Plan for the Albanian Pre-trial
    Detention System
   Specific objective: verify the degree to which the measures
    contained in this strategic document were implemented and
    applied
   Period: January - December 2009
   Survey sample: government employees, mainly from the
    MoJ, the GDP, and the various PTD Institutions, in addition to
    individuals deprived of liberty;
   From April to November 2009, monitoring visits to:
   Tirana (302, 313, Prison Hospital)
   Durres, Rrogozhina, FusheKruja, Lezha, Korça, Peqin,
    Kukes, Tropoja, Burrel, Berat, Vlora, Saranda and
    Tepelene
 Two  study methods were defined to be
  more rational and efficient: the desk review
  method and the research approach.
 - Bi-lateral Meetings with: GDP Staff,
  Prisons Directors and staff, Pre -detainees,
  representatives of the MoJ, representatives
  of the EC Delegation, EURALIUS, OSCE,
  USAID.
 - 2 Workshops with stakeholders (IOs,
  NGOs, GDP, GDPo, Ombudsman,
  International Community, Media)
 Strategic  document (CARDS 2001
  Twinning Project between Albanian MoJ
  and GDP and the Austrian MoJ & Slovack
  Republic)
 Aim: improvement of the Penitentiary
  System in Albania
 Four areas: 1) Legal aspects; 2) Institutional
  and organisational questions; 3)
  Infrastructure; and 4) Staff policy
 51 measures to be implemented within
  February 2008
       Master Plan - Status of Implementation



              Partially implemented
                         11
                        21%




Not Implemented 10                      Implemented 30
       20%                                   59%
     Legal Aspects - Status of Implementation



             Partially implemented 3
                        17%




Not Implemented 2
       25%                                 Implemented 7
                                                58%
Institutional and Organizational Aspects




Partially Implemented 5
           29%                  Implemented 7
                                     42%




      Not Implemented 5
             29%
    Infrastructure - Status of implementation




Partially Implemented 4               Implemented 4
           50%                             50%
Staff Policy - Status of implementation


      Not implemented 2
             14%




                            Implemented 12
                                 86%
 Treatment  of Pre-detainees.
 Protection Measures.
 Material Conditions.
 Regimes and activities
 Medical services.
 Prison Staff.
 Legal Issues.
   - No cases of torture have been reported in the Pre-trial Detention System. However,
    several allegations of deliberate physical and psychological ill-treatment were
    received by IET staff ; in the pre-trial detention institutions in Lezha, Korça and Tepelena
    it appears that psychological and physical violence is frequently used, while in Peqin
    and Vlora only isolated cases have been identified.

   - Particular attention has been paid to the pre-detainees held in solitary confinement
    as a disciplinary measure: this measure is not applied only for serious reasons (as an
    exceptional measure), as it should be according to international standards, but also for
    light infringements and often for the maximum time allowed by the law (e.g. Lezha,
    Korça, Tepelene). The treatment reserved to pre-detainees in isolation cells is sometimes
    inadequate and not respectful of human dignity (Lezha). In some of the institutions, pre-
    detainees held in isolation do not have any access to the outside world, making the
    reporting of possible violations of their rights difficult.

   - Use of the means of restraints: in the Prisons’ Hospital (June 2009), two inmates were
    found tied to their beds with chains (on one hand and one foot) for around twenty days,
    during the whole night and most of the day. According to the Albanian Ombudsman, the
    same situation was continuing in September 2009. Such a practice has been classified as
    inhumane and degrading treatment by the Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
   - An internal inspection mechanism is in place within the General Directorate of Prisons, which is
    currently working on the enhancement of the internal monitoring and inspection system. Various
    NGO-s, international bodies, and the Ombudsman are allowed to carry out external inspections;

   - The new General Regulation of Prisons guarantees the right of pre-detainees to present requests and
    complaints to the personnel of the penitentiary institution, as well as to any other institution and to
    receive a reply within the legal time limit. However, the concrete use of the complaint procedures
    and the effective enjoyment of this right still encounter implementation problems
   - Sometimes there is an abuse of disciplinary measures, as they are not always based on the principle
    of proportionality. There is little awareness of the pre-detainees on the acts constituting breaches of
    discipline and the related disciplinary measures.
   - In general, essential information is recorded at entry and during the stay of the pre-detainees.
    However, a concern was raised in Korça, where the alleged sexual abuse of a juvenile by an adult was
    not recorded at all in any register.
   -A separation of categories of detainees is generally in force. Notably juveniles, women, 18-21 year
    old pre-detainees, and adult males are usually kept in different sectors. The division between men and
    women is strictly enforced in Tirana. The division between juveniles and adults is strictly enforced in
    all pre-trial detention units accommodating juveniles with the exception of the one in Korça. The
    division between pre-trial and sentenced detainees is also respected, with the exception of the
    institution in Burrel.
   Quality of food has improved and the number of daily calories is three times higher than in the past. Generally inmates are satisfied
    with both the quantity and quality of food. However, some complaints regarding implementation have been received in the Korça,
    Rrogozhina and Tepelena units.

   In several of the pre-trial detention facilities ventilation is not adequate and there is often little access to natural light (Tirana (302),
    Berat, Kukës, Saranda, and Tropoja). In almost all pre-trial detention units, the heating system was either inexistent, or not put into
    use, making the temperature inadequate during winter time.

   There is a general lack of running water and/or hot water (Tirana 313, Durrës, Prisons’ Hospital, Lezha, Korça, Berati, Kukësi,
    Saranda, Tepelena, and Tropoja). Often bathing facilities are in very poor conditions. No item of hygiene is distributed by the
    authorities.

   Only half of the institutions have in-cell toilets. The common sanitary facilities are generally below minimum hygienic standards
    and are not properly screened off to ensure a certain degree of privacy. Concerns have been often raised by the pre-detainees,
    which cannot reach sanitary facilities without delay.

   Clothing and bedding still remains a matter of concern, as in some cases pre-detainees were obliged to share beds or to sleep on
    the floor (Tirana 313 and 302, Berat, Kukës, Tepelena, and Tropoja). Moreover, sheets are often not provided and/or changed by the
    detaining institutions, and in most cases there is no access to laundry facilities.

   Overcrowding and accommodation are still a major problem, even though improvements have been made compared to the past.
    The worst cases have been reported from pre-detention units 313 and 302, and the Prisons’ Hospital in Tirana, and also from Peqin,
    Berat, Tepelena, Tropoja and Vlora. The infrastructure in pre-detention units is often old and unhealthy.

   Furniture: generally all the cells have a cupboard, a table, one chair per inmate and beds. The only exceptions were in Tropoja,
    furniture was completely lacking, and in Kukës, where there were no beds. It is an often occurrence that due to overcrowding many
    inmates are left with no bed and chair.
   The right to maintain contacts with family and friends is in general properly implemented. Meetings can take place averagely 4
    times a month, and pre-detainees are also allowed to make phone calls of 10 minutes 8 times a month (telephone calls were a
    problem only in Tepelena, where the telephone line is out of order most of the time). Concerns have been raised with reference to
    the mentally-ill patients at the Prisons’ Hospital, for which the number of visits seems to be inadequate in consideration of their
    particular condition. Pre-detainees are often deprived of both visits and communication when placed in isolation rooms as a
    disciplinary measure. Premises for meetings with relatives are often inadequate (e.g. 313 in Tirana).

   Contacts with the outside world are also allowed. Communication with legal advisers is always permitted. Televisions and radios
    are allowed in all pre-detention institutions. The right to vote was guaranteed during the latest elections. In Tepelene, pre-detainees
    complained about phone calls being allegedly cut off by the guards when inmates sought to contact the Ombudsman or other human
    rights organizations.

   The right to outdoor exercise, it is in general properly implemented. However, serious problems still remains in the Pre-detention
    Institutions 313 (men section) and 302 in Tirana, in Berat, Kukës, Saranda, and Tropoja.

   Education: very limited educational activities are offered to pre-detainees, despite of the recent Agreement between the Ministry of
    Education and the GDP. Even juveniles do not always have access to education activities. Educational facilities are in general
    inadequate to provide activities for all the inmates, and there is no direct access to internal libraries .

   In general, there are very limited leisure activities and the facilities for leisure time are often in poor conditions or sometimes
    inexistent (e.g. Tirana 313 and 302, Burrel, Kukës, Saranda, Tropoja). In some cases, no specific leisure activities are planned even
    for juveniles (Lezha, Korça).

   The right to religion is in general respected and several institutions, notably the new ones, have rooms for different religious
    activities for the three main religions in the country. Problems still remain in Tirana (313), Berat, Burrel, Saranda, Kukës and Tropoja.

   Even though the possibility to work is foreseen by the new General Regulation, there are not many opportunities to work inside the
    place of pre-detention and there is no vocational training offered (with the exception of the pilot experience in Fushë Kruja).

   The effective access to medical care is not always ensured to all pre-detainees without
    delay, notably because of the low number of medical staff (major problems in Berat,
    Kukës, Tepelenë, and Rrogozhina).

   Specialised treatment is also not always guaranteed. There is a spread lack of
    psychiatrists. Drugs are in general limited in quantity and variety. Most of the institutions
    were lacking a proper ambulance for the transportation of pre-detainees to hospitals in
    case of need. There is no specific care and/or infrastructure for people with disabilities.

   Specific health care for mentally ill pre-detainees is extremely deficient. In general,
    they do not receive adequate treatment and care, as there is no specific institution to
    receive them, and the general medical staff in the pre-detention institutions is not
    specialised to deal with this vulnerable category. In the pre-detention institution in Vlora,
    for instance, the situation was quite problematic, considering that there were around 12
    pre-detainees mentally-ill or with mental disorders and no psychiatrist to treat them. At
    the Prisons’ Hospital in Tirana, 90% of the patients were mentally-ill and they received
    care only by one psychiatrist and only one of the nurses has a certain experience in a
    psychiatric hospital.

   Medical staff employed in the pre-trial detention system is in general insufficient to
    take care of the high number of pre-detainees, notably in those institutions having both
    detainees and pre-detainees.
   As a general remark, from the monitoring visits it
    seems that there is a general lack of civil staff. In
    particular, psychiatrists, psychologists and
    lawyers are very few in number.

   Training is currently regularly provided by the
    Training Centre within the General Directorate of
    Prisons, both as basic training and specialised
    continuous training. However, the Training Centre
    still lacks specialised trainers, sufficient financial
    resources and adequate infrastructure.

   One of the challenges of the system sill remains the duration of pre-detention period. According to the law, in case the duration
    limits for pre-detention expire, the pre-detention measure looses force, but this fact does not entail an automatic release of the pre-
    detainee, who has to address the Court for the verification of this fact.

   Problems also exist in relation to particular situations related to juveniles. Often the courts apply the measure of arrest in prison for
    juveniles even for a light crime (around 80% of the juveniles under criminal proceeding are in the situation of arrest in prison).

   In contradiction, with what is stipulated by article 230 of the CrPC, which provides that “arrest in prison can be decided only when
    all the other measures are not adequate”, the arrest in prison continues to be, based on the statistics, the main measure
    applied to persons under criminal proceeding (even for juveniles).

   The criminal procedure law has taken steps behind with reference to guarantees for persons deprived of their liberty. Reference
    is here made to both of the changes to article 264/2 of the CrPC. One of the changes leaves way for potential disregard of the above-
    mentioned time limits when “important reasons of security” exist, and the other one abrogates the provisions foreseeing the
    possibility to present an appeal directly to the Supreme Court as a means of complaint for the decisions of the Court of first instance
    for the personal security measures.

   The lack of predisposition of the courts to decide for the freedom of persons for which the maximum time of pre-detention has
    expired still remains a serious problem of the justice system.

   The delays in the transmission of the decisions of the courts to the institutions of pre-detention entail also an artificial prolongation
    of the stay in pre-detention of the persons deprived of their liberty. According to article 261/c of the CrPC, the security measure
    expires “when the duration of pre-detention experienced is longer than the measure of conviction decided”.
   A legal gap exists in cases when in a proceeding with different defendants, the detention measure given by the court of first
    instance expires for one of the defendants, while that decision has not been declared final (cannot be executed) because of the
    appeal submitted by the other defendants.

   There is a lack of effective control by the Courts on the decisions of arrest because of the legal competences are not exercised.
    According to Article 246/6 of the CrPC, “the Court which has issued the decision has to be informed by the prosecutor about the
    arrested... if it is the case, the Court can repeal or replace the security measure”.

   There is a general indifference of the institutions of control, of the Prosecutor and the Courts to verify and proceed with
    disciplinary measures in case of violation of the provisions related to the maximum time limits of pre-detention and to the freedoms
    and rights of the pre-detainees.
 Despite  of the improvements compared
 to the past, the Albanian Pre-trial
 Detention System still needs further
 efforts to achieve adequate international
 standard for the treatment of persons
 deprived of their liberty.
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