Public Defender Still Terms Work of General Inspectorates as Ineffective
The work of the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Monitoring Department of the Special Penitentiary Service continues with significant shortcomings. The above was proved as a result of the recent study of three specific cases by the Public Defender's Office.
The analysis of the cases showed that the Monitoring Department of the Special Penitentiary Service and the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs had not conducted an in-depth examination of alleged human rights violations, which prevented the investigation and detection of violations indicated by the applicants. The general inspectorates of the investigative agencies do not fully study citizens' complaints, do not obtain neutral evidence to identify alleged infringements, and in most cases are limited to questioning alleged infringers who clearly deny the violation of law.
I.K.’s case: The convict indicated that a lawyer of the Penitentiary Service had unlawfully acted against him in the court. The lawyer allegedly verbally abused and threatened the convict. According to the applicant, the employee of the Penitentiary Service had been asking the convict to stop complaining against the Ministry. For the purpose of examining the violation, the Monitoring Department of the Special Penitentiary Service only questioned the employees of the agency, although they did not even try to obtain neutral evidence. Neither video recordings nor relevant court staff members were questioned.
The case of I.J., L.Ch., K.M. and G.Kh.: Four former employees of one of the penitentiary establishments indicated illegal actions and psychological pressure by the director of the establishment and other representatives of the administration. The information was provided by the Public Defender's Office to the Monitoring Department. However, the Monitoring Department ignored the appeal of the Public Defender's Office and did not examine the issues provided. For the purpose of examining specific alleged violations, the Monitoring Department of the Special Penitentiary Service did not request explanations from any of the employees of the penitentiary establishment; did not question detainees placed in the establishment; did not question L.Ch. and G.Kh. in detail.
I.R.’s case: The citizen alleged that he had been verbally abused by officers of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and had been driven for about 8 hours without informing him of his rights, reason or grounds for the arrest. The citizen also stated that they stopped in the vicinity of a police building for a long time and then he was made sign a blank sheet of paper. Regarding the issue, the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs did not even interview the citizen whose rights were allegedly violated; did not question the relevant police officers; did not question individuals who might have significant information about the arrest of I.R.; did not obtain video recordings of the cameras, etc.
The obligation of the above-mentioned structural units is to check the quality of human rights protection, fulfillment of official duties and observance of requirements of legislation by the employees of the law enforcement agencies. In contrast, disciplinary proceedings are often still formal and agencies still do not respond adequately to citizens' complaints. It should be noted that the Public Defender also published a special report on the problems related to disciplinary proceedings years ago.