UN Committee Against Torture: CRJ answers questions on complaints mechanisms, deaths and involuntary commitment

Today, 17 July, our colleague Georgiana Pascu participated in a special hearing at the 77th meeting of the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) on the implementation in Romania of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The Committee was surprised that the CRJ was the only non-governmental human rights organisation to submit a report as part of the evaluation. Normally, the Committee would have received 5-6 other such reports.

During the open session, the CRJ developed topics such as:

  • In public or private social care centres for persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities, persons are arbitrarily deprived of their liberty, are victims of inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, and their fundamental rights are not respected;
  • Reprisals against the human rights watchdog – CRJ;
  • Persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities do not have adequate means of communication to complain about abuses and do not have effective access to justice;
  • Psychiatric wards and hospitals are still overcrowded, no legal solution has been identified for the discharge of patients who have been “living” in these institutions for years or decades; conditions of supervision and restraint measures are real instruments of torture;
  • The Committee’s questions focused in particular on the complaint mechanisms available to victims of inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in public or private residential centres and psychiatric hospitals and wards in Romania. The Committee also asked questions on how deaths in these institutions are investigated. Another topic addressed was the judicial review of involuntary admissions and placements in DGASPC centres.

The report* submitted by the CRJ to the Committee can be read in full HERE.

*photographs included in the annex cannot be published due to graphic content.