“Stop Torture in Moldova”


Project objectives will be achieved through the establishment and maintenance of a specialized website, which should become a comprehensive informational resource for wider Moldovan public (on both banks of the Dniester river), as well as for victims of human rights violations in terms of rights and effective tools for the defense of victims of torture and other degrading treatment at the national, regional or international levels.

We look forward to establishing a helpful informational resource for victims and/or potential victims of human rights violations, as well as for legal professionals working on torture, other ill-treatment and unlawful detention cases, who will be guided towards efficient combat of torture and prevention of that in Moldova. The site will not only state the existence of and describe the problem of torture and other forms of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in Moldova, but also provide solutions for solving this systemic phenomenon.

The site will assist the public in identifying torture, discerning the concept of torture from other forms of degrading treatment or punishment; it will also provide practical advice for victims of torture, degrading treatment and unlawful detentions for the defense of their rights. The site will contain information about national, regional and international mechanisms that permit rights defense of victims of torture and degrading treatment; institutions that should be addressed to defend victims of torture; how to protect your rights in Moldova and exhaust the effective ways of defense; how to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human rights or the UN Committee for Human Rights.

Nonetheless important is information about methods of documenting torture cases, the correct usage of medical check-ups, reports and other medical documents in national and international courts. The site will accumulate all necessary information about organizations that deal with the problem of torture; results of their work; information about lawyers who work on torture cases, etc. Finally, the site will let users know what the recommendations international organizations have addressed to the Government for torture to be ended, and follow-ups on government action for implementation of the recommendations.

During the project implementation period a group of experts (lawyers / defence lawyers) will lead extensive practice in legal aid providing pro-bono consultations and writing applications for project beneficiaries for their defense before national courts. All these cases and experts work / consultations / practical advice and applications will be placed on the website (without confidential information and personal data of the victim).

Relevance of Project

Torture and other ill-treatment by the police remains widespread and conditions in police detention facilities and prisons are still serious sources of concern. This was confirmed by launching of a second round (follow-up) of at least two key international projects in Moldova – "Atlas of Torture" project (funded by the European Commission) and "Reinforcing the fight against ill-treatment and impunity" project (joint program funded by Council of Europe and European Union).

Amnesty International 2012 Report "Unfinished Business: Combating torture and ill-treatment in Moldova" reiterates problems exposed by the traumatic events of 7 April 2009: excessively long preliminary detentions, poor detention conditions, failure of prosecutors to examine complaints about police behaviour promptly and effectively, failure to suspend police officers under investigation, who keep their jobs even after being convicted, a practice of lenient sentences for police officers.

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) is urging the Moldovan authorities to "continue to implement anti-torture measures with determination, reinforcing the mechanisms for the investigation of alleged ill-treatment."

General causes of torture infliction: imperfection of the national legislation, impunity of torturers, insufficiency of Moldovan lawyers' knowledge on effective legal ways for their clients' protection against torture, disbelief in possibility to protect victims of torture effectively, as well as low awareness of general public and victims of human rights violations on their rights and protection mechanisms for victims of torture and arbitrary detention.

Strategic goal of the project: To contribute to the practical implementation of the right to physical and mental integrity in Moldova (including Transnistrian region).

Operational goal of the project: To raise legal awareness and consultancy on protection mechanisms for victims of torture and unlawful detention among general public and individuals suffered from human rights violation.

The main expected results of the Project are:

Short-term results

- the level of public legal awareness and consultancy on protection mechanisms for victims of torture and unlawful detention raised;

- the level of torture and unlawful detention victims' legal awareness and consultancy on protection mechanisms for the defense of their rights raised;

- the motivation (and skills) of torture victims on defending their rights raised;

- the level of torture and unlawful detention victims' protection raised.

Long-term results

- the level of torture and unlawful detention victims' protection effectiveness in Moldova raised;

- the impunity level for torture infliction in Moldova decreased and it should consequently lead to the decrease of the level of torture infliction in Moldova;

- the respect of the right to liberty and security increased.

Project target groups

Target audience: since the overwhelming majority of the citizens does not know the ways of effective protection against torture infliction the project target group and direct beneficiaries are general public and torture victims, detained persons, suspects and accused (potentially, any individual on the territory of Moldova, including Transnistrian region).

The indirect beneficiaries are: defence lawyers (on 3 October 2011 "Human Rights Embassy" signed the Agreement with the Bar Association of the Republic of Moldova on cooperation for raising lawyers' skills in human rights sphere and mechanisms of human rights protection). After participation in the training course selected defence lawyers will multiply their knowledge and expertise by offering on-line consultations to the projects' direct beneficiaries.

Since one of the working languages of the created website will be Russian, which is common language for all post soviet countries, the indirect beneficiaries can also be general public and torture victims, detained persons, suspects and accused on the territory of CIS region and other post soviet countries.

Project sustainability

For site's activity after the end of the project, the site will be attributed a sub domain with an independent, autonomous access to it, and also with access from the organization's webpage. For example, if website of the organization "Human Rights Embassy" is called www.humanrightsembassy.org, then website of project "Stop Torture in Moldova" – www.stoptorture.humanrightsembassy.org. This will give beneficiaries the possibility to reach the specialized project site directly, or through the organization's site. Moreover, after the end of the project the site will continue its existence indefinitely and will be periodically updated within the organization's site, the fact which will insure the sustainability of the project.

The Project "Stop Torture in Moldova" is implemented by Human Rights Embassy with generous support from the "Atlas of Torture" projects' small grants program, funded by the European Commission.

About Human Rights Embassy

Human Rights Embassy is an international human rights nongovernmental organization established on the basis of voluntary membership, community of interests and the principles of the international community in preventing and ending grave abuses of human rights worldwide.

The goal of the Human Rights Embassy is to contribute to the promotion and respect for human rights worldwide. To achieve this goal, the task of the Human Rights Embassy is taking measures to combat and prevent human rights violations through effective action for the individual victim, development of a democratic society and to provide support and promote the rule of law and human rights.

Human Rights Embassy was registered in March 2011 by longstanding human rights lawyers and activists who have from 5 to 20 years of human rights experience. Human Rights Embassy is not affiliated with but is a national partner from Moldova for the Human Rights House Network (Oslo), Front Line Defenders (Dublin), Ukrainian office of the Council of Europe (Kiev), the Norwegian Mission of Rule of Law Advisors to Moldova (Chisinau), and Bar Association of the Republic of Moldova (Chisinau).

We cooperated with UNICEF Representative in the creation of the didactic documentary film "Psycho-social necessities of families adopting children in Moldova". With UNDP we conducted professional development event for lawyers on "International practices on the mechanisms of ensuring the quality of publicly funded legal services". Relevant UN staff members in Moldova are subscribed to our human rights mailing list "EmbassyLawyer". We participated in the 2012 UNDP Partners Survey as UNDP's partner.

We have 5 implemented and 2 ongoing projects focused on professional development trainings on human rights standards and mechanisms for legal professionals, NGOs and Mass-Media, legal aid, litigation of human rights violation cases and raising awareness on human rights protection mechanisms. All our projects are nationwide and one project is regional.