Although there is no systematic torture against PDLs in institutions of closed type in Serbia, certain procedures of officials contain elements of degrading treatment and punishment, warns ombudsman Zoran Pašalić on the occasion of June 26, the International Day for the Support of Victims of Torture.

Representatives of NPM Obs. Nick Harwick, the former head of the Probation Service of Great Britain and Petur Hauksson, a psychiatrist, who was also the vice-president of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), followed the work of the Serbian NPM from 18 to 22 June 2018. On that occasion, NPM visited the Special Psychiatric Hospital "Kovin", the Penal Correctional Institution Belgrade - Padinska Skela, as well as the Zemun Police Station.

Observers of National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Torture (NPM Obs.) are established in 2016 in Grenoble with the purpose of strengthening the protection of persons deprived of their liberty from torture in the countries in which the NPM is established. Objective of NPM Obs. is to evaluate the capacity of the NPM to efficiently fulfill their duties. Members of NPM Obs. are persons with many years of experience working in various national and international organizations dealing with protection from torture.

20180426SporazumNPMThe Protector of Citizens today concluded agreements on cooperation with four associations for the protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms in the performance of the NPM, which were elected by the procedure of election under the Public Invitation of the Protector of Citizens as of March 30 this year.

The Ombudsman concluded individual agreements with the Belgrade Center for Human Rights, the Committee of Lawyers for Human Rights, the MDRI-S Initiative for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Aid Network - IAN. These associations will participate in visits to places where people are deprived of liberty, making reports, recommendations, opinions and other acts, as well as in performing other NPM activities.

The Protector of Citizens passed the Decision on the choice of associations for cooperation in performing the duties of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), which states that the Protector of Citizens will cooperate with the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, the Mental Disability Rights Initiative of Serbia MDRI-S and International Aid Network I.A.N.

The procedure for choosing the associations was conducted by the Public Invitation published in the "Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 25 dated March 30, 2018.

Representatives of the Secretariat of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) attended the Training for Forced-Return Monitors, held in Belgrade for ombudsmen/npm institutions officers from the region.

During the training, the FRONTEX procedure of return operations and the role of the monitor in it were presented to NPM officers. They were acquainted with the activities of the monitors in all stages of forced-return and the way of compiling reports, as well as the duties of the escorts. At the same time, they had the opportunity to exchange experiences in this field with their colleagues.

The new Law on Foreigners, which will begin to be applied in the second half of this year, stipulates that the Protector of Citizens, in accordance with the competencies of the Law on the Protector of Citizens and the Law on the Ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, supervise the forced removal of foreigners.