27 November 2009, 20:00

SE Committee Against Torture points to cases of violence against prisoners in Azerbaijan

On Thursday, November 26, the Committee of the Council of Europe Against Torture and Inhuman Treatment, promulgated a report on the outcomes of the visit of its special mission to Azerbaijan in December 2008. The document deals with the cases of violence applied by the prison personnel against life-long prisoners.

The statement of the press service of the Council of Europe (CE), now at the disposal of the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent, that in the course of the visit the delegation got acquainted with the situation in the Gobustan prison and "received a number of reliable evidences that the life-long prisoners were exposed to deliberately cruel treatment by the prison wardens."

"Life of convicts in this prison remains hard; they spend 23 hours a day in their cells," the statement further says.

In the course of the visit, the delegation also visited the Central Penitentiary Hospital in Baku. It was established that the staff of nurses is insufficient; and after 4 in the afternoon there was no medical people in the rooms. Besides, the visitors got an impression that the conditions for treating internal diseases, drug addiction and mental disorders left much to be desired.

At Psychiatric Hospital No. 1 in Mashtaga village, the delegation received a number of complaints from patients of cruel physical treatment by hospital attendants and even nurses. Conditions in hospital rooms also leave much to be desired.

As to the Regional Psycho-Neurological Dispensary in the city of Sheki, the delegation noted a number of positive changes. Nevertheless, the rooms are overcrowded and in bad condition. The authorities promise to move the dispensary into in new hospital, which is still to be built.

Let us note here that this is the second time when the Azerbaijani government agreed to promulgate the report of the Committee Against Tortures on the situation in the country within the whole time after Azerbaijan's accession to the Council of Europe in 2001. For the first time it happened seven years ago - in 2002.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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