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Briefing by the Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman) on monitoring visits in 2021 under the National Preventive Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture
In accordance with the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated June 26, 2021 “On additional measures to improve the system for detecting and preventing cases of torture”, in 2021 the Ombudsman and public groups conducted 177 monitoring visits to places of deprivation of liberty. In 2020, this figure was 76.

For the first time, media and bloggers took part in the visits.

During the monitoring visits, collective meetings were held with more than 4.5 thousand people and individual interviews with 758 people.

During monitoring visits to places of detention of persons with limited freedom of movement, the conditions of living and food, work, the state and quality of medical care, spiritual and educational work, compliance with sanitary and hygienic requirements during the coronavirus pandemic, education and other issues were studied. This serves as a preventive measure to prevent cases of physical, mental and psychological pressure against detainees, defendants, and convicts.

On the shortcomings identified during the monitoring visits, relevant information, analytical data were prepared on a quarterly basis and sent to the relevant ministries and departments.

The competent authorities have taken disciplinary action against a number of staff members for deficiencies identified during monitoring visits.

On the recommendation of the Ombudsman, in order to protect the rights of prisoners to safe work, a number of correctional colonies in the Bukhara and Tashkent regions purchased special clothing, protective equipment and sanitation in the amount of about 12 billion 159 million soums. 700.0 million soums were allocated for the repair and equipping of the kitchen of correctional colony No. 7 of the Tashkent region.

A waiting area for citizens outside the administrative territory of Correctional Colony No. 1 of the Bukhara region was built and put into operation.

Along with this, on the recommendation of the Ombudsman, female prisoners will be treated at Specialized Hospital No. 23 in Tashkent, where only male prisoners could be treated before. It should be noted that the hospital has 2 laboratories and 20 departments, in particular, departments of therapy, neurology, surgery, dentistry, diagnostics, tuberculosis, as well as complex surgical operations.

Appropriate measures have been taken against persons who did not provide outsourcing services for the delivery of food to patients of the Samarkand Regional Hospital for Mental and Neurological Diseases and the Department of Compulsory Medical Care of the Republican Specialized Scientific and Practical Medical Center of the Surkhandarya Region.

Based on the recommendations given in the analytical information of the Authorized Person, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, together with the relevant ministries and departments, developed a draft regulatory document to improve medical preventive activities in the penitentiary system.

In addition, on the basis of recommendations to the relevant ministries and departments on equipping special vehicles for monitoring and protecting detainees, repairing temporary detention facilities for defendants, accused and suspects in regional, district (city) criminal courts, the Supreme Court, together with the National Guard, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Construction developed "Departmental construction standards for the construction of court buildings (DCS-21)" and adopted a special decision of the Presidium.

Also, the Ministry of the Internal Affairs adopted Order No. 445 “On Approval of the Procedure for the Application of Norms for Providing Convicts Serving Their Sentences in Penal Institutions and Persons Detained in Detention Facility with Food, Clothing, Soap and Detergents.”

During the reporting year, the Ombudsman received 6,104 applications from detainees and convicts, their close relatives and lawyers. Of these, 2119 appeals from persons contained in closed institutions.

According to the statements of the Authorized Person for Questions of Inquiry and Preliminary Investigation, relevant appeals were sent to the Prosecutor General's Office. On the basis of these acts, the Prosecutor General's Office carried out inspections and, based on their results, 32 decisions to refuse to initiate a criminal case were recognized as issued prematurely and canceled, an internal investigation was conducted in 16 cases.

On the recommendation of the Ombudsman, the Prosecutor's Office conducted pre-investigation investigations into the facts of physical and psychological impact. On the basis of the control letters of the Authorized Person on 11 complaints, the decision to refuse to initiate a criminal case under the relevant paragraphs of Article 83 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan was canceled by the higher prosecutor's office and additional investigations were carried out. As a result, in 4 cases, disciplinary sanctions were applied to 7 employees of the internal affairs bodies.

On the basis of a letter from the Authorized Person for appeals of convicts (prisoners) on the mitigation of punishment or preventive measures, the punishments imposed by the relevant courts on 59 convicts on 13 appeals were mitigated, and the preventive measures for 2 convicts were also mitigated.

Economic and social assistance was provided to the families of 11 convicts by the respective khokimiyats in response to requests for assistance. The Department for the Execution of Sentences, at the request of the Authorized Person for Human Rights, also transferred 13 convicts to places of deprivation of liberty in areas close to their place of residence.

It should be noted that quarterly analytical information and the annual report of the Authorized Person for monitoring visits to prevent cases of torture were presented to the chambers of the Oliy Majlis.

That's all for today, but for now, the full text of the Ombudsman's annual report on the prevention of torture can be found on the website ombudsman.uz.

Press Service of the Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman)

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