Civil Society Coalition against Torture and impunity in Tajikistan
On the creation of the Working Group for monitoring the places of detention
The NGO Coalition against Torture in Tajikistan cooparation with the office of the Human Rights Commissioner in Tajikistan on the creation of the Working Group for monitoring the places of detention.
In December 2012 the Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Tajikistan had proposed the creation of a Working Group on monitoring the places of detention. The monitoring group could serve as a basis for the implementation of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which represents a mechanism of permanent monitoring of places of detention in order to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment.
Beginning of February 2013 the NGOs Coalition against torture in Tajikistan started the negotiations with the office of the Human Rights Commissioner in Tajikistan on inclusion of the Coalition members to the monitoring group.
The NGO Coalition against Torture in Tajikistan believes that the Monitoring Group’s activities must fully comply with the Paris Principles and the requirements of the Optional Protocol, such as independence, impartiality, participation of independent experts and specialists. Therefore it was advised not to include representatives of public authorities, whose activities will be monitored (representatives of the Main Directorate for Punishment Execution (GUIN) of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, etc.). Also there is a need for developing a separate Regulation that will regulate the activities of the Working Group clearly defining the scope of the powers of the monitoring group.
At the moment a preliminary Working Group is established, as well as the Regulation of the monitoring group activities is being developed. The working group will include representatives from office of the Human Rights Commissioner in Tajikistan, members of the Parliament, judges, academicians, individual experts, representatives of NGOs. The NGO Coalition will be represented by 3-4 members.
It should be noted that the Working Group has not yet started to work. We hope that the first monitoring can be carried out in the early autumn of 2013.
The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is an international instrument that provides for the establishment of a mechanism for continuous monitoring of places of detention. Tajikistan is not a member to the Optional Protocol. However, at the moment the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan studying the possibility of ratifying the document. More information about the Optional Protocol please refer to www.notabene.tj
The Paris Principles - relate to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, adopted resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993.