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BRIEFING on the activities carried out by the Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman) to identify and prevent cases of torturein the first half of 2023
In the first half of 2023, 348 monitoring visits were made by the Ombudsman and the Public groups under his authority to places where persons with limited freedom of movement are kept. In the first half of 2022, this figure was 156 times.

During the reporting period, 113 high-security colonies, 81 remand prisons, 43 temporary detention facilities, 31 branches of narcological dispensaries, 27 special reception facilities, 16 Houses of Mercy, 15 rehabilitation centers and 10 psychoneurological dispensaries were visited.

International and local NGOs, media, bloggers, psychologists, educators and medical professionals participated in monitoring visits led by the Ombudsman.

During monitoring visits, about 7,000 convicts and prisoners were collectively interviewed, and 2,417 convicts (prisoners) were interviewed individually, which is 66.6% more than in the same reporting period last year.

In the course of monitoring visits, the quality of living conditions, nutrition, work and medical care of persons held in these institutions, spiritual and educational activities carried out for the detainees, compliance with sanitary and hygienic requirements were studied.

In addition, during monitoring visits by regional representatives to places of detention for persons with limited freedom of movement, appointments, medical examinations and other activities are conducted jointly with representatives of local authorities and organizations. In particular, the regional representative of the Ombudsman in the Republic of Karakalpakstan organized a medical examination of convicts and prisoners serving sentences in penal colonyNo. 27 in the Kungirot district.

The regional representative of the Ombudsman in Namangan region, in cooperation with the Namangan region administration of the "Hunarmand" Association, organized a 2-month training course in the direction of "metalwork making" of crafts  based on the" master-apprentice tradition " for convicts serving their sentences in the penal colony No. 6 in the Pop district of the region. 56 convicts who completed this training course were awarded certificates.

On the initiative of the regional representative of the Authorized Person for Human Rights in Navoiregion, intellectual competitions were also held among young inmates serving sentences in the region's colonies.

In the first six months of the current year, the Ombudsman sent 5 appeals, 3 submissions, 3 conclusions and 3 analytical information to official ministries and departments, and 2 analytical reports to the chambers of the Oliy Majlis on the shortcomings identified by the Ombudsman and public groups during monitoring visits to closed institutions.

In the first six months of 2023, the Ombudsman received a total of 1,522 appeals from persons held in closed institutions with restricted freedom of movement, as well as their close relatives and lawyers. Compared to the same period in 2022, this figure decreased by 69 or 4.3 percent.

In the course of consideration of appeals, about 10 convicts were transferred to penitentiary institutions at their place of residence. Material assistance was provided to family members of 57 inmates and medical assistance was provided to close relatives of 17 inmates. Practical assistance was also provided in obtaining identity cards for some 50 persons held in theHouse of mercy, convicts and prisoners and their children.

The Authorized Person for Human Rights received 125 complaints of psychological, physical or other pressure on persons held in closed institutions with restricted freedom of movement by law enforcement officers. Of these, 19 were received at individual receptions during direct monitoring visits, 18 from the Ombudsman's box, 40 by the administration of penitentiary institutions and close relatives of inmates through the mail, 21 at personal receptions conducted by the Ombudsman and his responsible staff, 22 electronically and 5 through the Ombudsman's hotline.

64 percent of these complaints were not confirmed by the results of the verification conducted by the prosecutor's office and the investigation of the actions of the staff.

Based on the letter of the Ombudsman, the decision to refuse to open a criminal case based on Article 83 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Uzbekistan regarding 8 of the complaints was canceled by high-ranking prosecutors.

In addition, investigations on 37 complaints are continuing.

It should be noted that some 20 messages of similar content published by the Ombudsman on social media were immediately examined and the Ombudsman's appeals were forwarded to the Office of the General Procurator.

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