Combating Torture: Experience and Achievements": The Republican Center for Forensic Medical Examination in Sughd Region

Director of the Republican Center for Forensic Medical Examination in Sughd region, Furkat Ganiev focused the attention of the participants of the conference "Combating Torture: Experience and Achievements" held on October 25 in Dushanbe on the work being conducted in the area of medical examination on implementation of the Istanbul Protocol recommendations.

"The Tajik authorities have taken several important steps to address the issues of torture and ill-treatment. For example, in November 2014, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Tajikistan approved medical forms reflecting the principles of the Istanbul Protocol for use by medical personnel of the Ministry when conducting medical examinations of detainees and recording signs of torture and ill-treatment," stated Furkat Ganiev.

According to him, to prove torture, it is necessary to carry out a lot of activities and come to a conclusion about whether there was torture or not. "During the initial appeal to the forensic service, we have no right to judge whether the injuries were caused by torture or not, we are medical professionals, not lawyers. We keep statistics on injuries regardless of the cause. We have such statistics - about 9-10 thousand appeals a year», - said the interlocutor.

According to him, it is impossible to eradicate the problem without talking about its causes - and the causes are a weak evidence base in the case, the lack of real technical possibilities to acquire alternative evidence based on science and technology, and in some cases incompetence of persons connected with the investigation and forensic examination.   

The conference was organized by the Civil Society Coalition against Torture and Impunity in Tajikistan together with the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Tajikistan with the assistance of the OSCE Program Office in Dushanbe, International Commission of Jurists and Sigrid Rausing Trust.

The main purpose of the conference was to discuss pressing issues in the area of combating torture and ill-treatment in Tajikistan.

The conference was attended by international experts, representatives of state bodies, law enforcement agencies, courts, the prosecutor's office, the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Tajikistan, international organizations and embassies, as well as public organizations, members of the Civil Society Coalition against Torture and Impunity in Tajikistan, and the mass media.