Video pointing at alleged ill-treatment of prisoners

Statement on torture in Bureau for enforcement of penal sanctions (ZIKS)

Youth Initiative for Human Rights Montenegro (YIHR MNE) invites once again competent institutions to investigate statements on torture and conditions of life of sentenced persons in Bureau for enforcement of penal sanctions (ZIKS). The need for conduction of investigation by competent institutions confirms video record from the surveillance cameras in one of corridors in ZIKS, from October 27, 2009, which you may view on Youtube, on website  www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcdJjed1aAc.

This record confirms statements of two persons who reported torture they had faced with, to YIHR, after which YIHR submitted criminal charges to competent Prosecution Office which rejected them. The video clearly shows how officers of ZIKS used force towards persons who did not show resistance, and who had been beaten severely by officers. Mother of one of the sentenced persons who were beaten by officers in ZIKS, told YIHR researchers that she had visited her son three days after the incident happened, when she recognize her son only by his clothes. She said his eyes were closed because of swells and blood. The Prosecution Office estimated that there was no basis for official prosecution in this case!

As the same persons told YIHR lawyer that officers in ZIKS still torture them, requiring giving up from the first reports of torture, we require from competent institutions fast, efficient, and effective investigations on statements on torture that would lead to sanctioning of all committers of torture. We have reasons to believe that there were more of these cases. We also require competent institutions to deliver names that can be seen on the video as well as their functions, because there is suspicious that they were not employed in ZIKS in accordance with law.

YIHR requires Ministry of Justice to examine all previous statements urgently, and to remove the Administration of ZIKS which did not show readiness to deal with introduction of normal state in this institution.

YIHR calls all international organizations to put the pressure on competent institutions in Montenegro in a view of sanctioning responsible persons and to in order of improving conditions of life for sentenced persons in ZIKS.

YIHR also warns its colleagues from the civil sector to be careful in communication with Administration of ZIKS, in order to avoid the situation where they might be misused with the aim of creating unreal image of ZIKS.

YIHR calls for all media to inform public on this video.

Podgorica, February 24, 2010 Boris Raonic
Programme Director

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Civil Rights Defenders previously sent a letter on this subject to the Prime Minister of Montenegro. Read the letter here.

Categories: News.
Tags: Prisons, Torture, and Youth Initiative for Human Rights.
Regions: Montenegro.