ARCT and Assistance to Police

 

ARCT submits torture case to European Court of Human Rights

Albania’s mechanisms to hold accountable those responsible for torture and ill-treatment or violations of prisoners’ rights are insufficient either to provide redress to victims of abuse or to deter perpetrators. The justice system does not effectively hold officials accountable for torture or ill-treatment, creating a climate of impunity. Pre-trial detention has been identified as a core concern by CPT. The number of the pre-trial detainees remains high. Excessive use of pre-trial detention constitutes a serious problem in the target countries. A common pattern is that court decisions to impose pre-trial detention tend to lack individual reasoning and to disregard the presumption of innocence. Although gaps in the legislative framework contribute to the excessive use of pre-trial detention, the key problem is often an inadequate implementation of the existing legal standards. The duration of pre-trial detention is another common problem. Moreover, although alternative measures to pre-trial detention have been recommended by civil society and European and International bodies, judges have failed to consider the use of such alternatives. Further, despite some progress, state authorities fail to ensure proper treatment of pre-trial detainees. By way of example, the risk of torture during pre-trial detention is high.

Furthermore, penitentiary centers continue operating permanently above capacity and overall conditions remain below standards, especially in some of the older prisons, pre-trial detention centers and police stations. Also, the excessive use and length of pre-trial detention is worrying, especially in the case of juvenile offenders under 14, 14-18 and in cases of adults over 65 years of age. 

Since early 2009 up to date, Albanian Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma and Torture has provided legal aid and court representation to over 85 clients, of whom 36 were successfully closed, 43 were administratively been address, other 2 cases were brought before the European Court of Human Rights concerning violations of Article 3 (torture), Article 2 (right to life) and article 6 (fair trial).

(last update: February 2016)

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