Human Rights Report on Moldova: Health Care in Penitentiaries | Lawyer Moldova

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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Human Rights Report on Moldova: Health Care in Penitentiaries



What regards medical assistance to persons in police custody, the situation remains the same as in the previous years. In most Police Commissariats medical assistants work part time, necessary medical care is not offered in an appropriate amount and the examination of persons placed in isolation is carried out only during working hours. Usually, the working hours last from 08.00 - 17.00, and of the medical assistants who work part time, even less.

Medical assistants do not work in the majority of Police Commissariats in which the functioning of isolators was stopped. The situation is alarming in Comrat Police Commissariat, for which a medical worker cannot be employed for several years. This is because of the unattractiveness of the medical service within the Police Commissariat, fact confirmed by most medical assistants.

The situation concerning medical assistance to persons in police custody can be considered as one that does not fully comply with the requirements. However, the liquidation of drugs, whose term of validity expires or expired, is necessary. 

The European Court of Human Rights noted that, although article 3 of the Convention may be interpreted as imposing an obligation to release detainees on health grounds, however, it imposes an obligation on state authorities to protect the physical and mental integrity of the person taken into custody, and lack of appropriate medical care is interpreted as a violation of article 3 of the Convention.  In this context, in places where people are deprived of the freedom, the police are obliged to take measures for providing effective and appropriate health care, to avoid the current situation only when the diagnosis is set without offering qualitative medical assistance.

The modification of Order No. 5 of the MIA of 05/01/2004  that stipulates the provision of medical care in isolators is welcomed. Thus, mandatory medical examination in all aspects is required, in confidential circumstances without the participation of police officers, not to intimidate the detainee, as well as, medical examination in 2 cases and in two phases at checking in and out of the detention place, indicating thorough data on the health status of the detainees. The same Order covers the issue of free medical treatment and personal hygiene benefit.

In relation with compulsory medical examination at checking in or out of the detention place, a positive practice will be established that would make possible the reduction of cases of torture by police officers.

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