The National Preventive Mechanism made an unannounced visit to the Penal-Correctional Facility in Niš on December 24 and 25. In addition to the checks related to the use of video surveillance and the practice of having confidential conversations with the warden, special attention was paid during this visit to the treatment of psychoactive substance addicts.

The existence of psychoactive substances in prisons is controlled and monitored by the NPM from the safety, health and treatment aspects, and particular attention will be given to this issue in the coming year in order to comprehensively review the situation and produce a thematic report.

Specialized experts will be included in the visits that will be carried out in 2020, which will address the problem of existence of drugs in prisons, and with the planned research we intend to primarily determine the degree of presence of psychoactive substances in prisons and the response of penal-correctional facilities to this problem.

During its stay in Niš, the NPM also made an unannounced visit to the Niš border police station - Airport and the Constantine the Great Airport. The NPM was there for the first time, and the topic was the treatment of foreigners who were not allowed to enter the country. The NPM representatives visited a special room that was provided for accommodation of those who were forbidden from entering the country, and they accessed the required records and interviewed police officers and airport security officers. The NPM will draw up a report on the visit and send it to the competent authorities.

The National Preventive Mechanism supervised the forced removal procedure of a citizen of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria.

At the beginning of November this year, he was issued a decision to return with a ban on entry into the Republic of Serbia and at the same time his stay at the Shelter for foreigners was determined, where he stayed until his departure.

He left the country via the Nikola Tesla Airport, to which he was escorted by police officers of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior. During the removal procedure of this citizen of Algeria, the NPM did not note any irregularities.

On Thursday, 28 November, the National Preventive Mechanism monitored two procedures for the forced removal of foreigners from the country.

The NPM representatives monitored the removal of an Afghan national, who was extradited to Bulgaria under the Readmission Agreement. He was transported from the Shelter for Foreigners to the Gradina Border Crossing and handed over to Bulgarian authorities there.

Also, the NPM monitored the removal of an Algerian national who was also staying at the Shelter for Foreigners. He was flown back to Algeria via Rome, accompanied by our police officers. Due to delayed information from the Ministry of the Interior, the NPM failed to follow the complete procedure, and only monitored the removal of the Algerian citizen from the Shelter for Foreigners until he boarded the plane.

By visiting the “Ratko Pavlovic – Cicko” barracks in Prokuplje on Friday, 25 October 2019, the National Preventive Mechanism completed the visits to military facilities planned for this year. Visits to the barracks were conducted to monitor the manner in which the disciplinary measures – the ban on leaving a military facility and the ban on leaving special premises in a military facility are enforced, and they were introduced in August as a new, regular activity of the NPM.

Over the past three months, the NPM visited 16 barracks, and the military personnel in the visited barracks have fully cooperated with the NPM and provided all requested and required information. On the basis of the visits, the NPM will produce a thematic, comprehensive report presenting its findings on the position of persons subject to a disciplinary measure and the conditions found in the premises where the measure is enforced.

On Thursday and Friday, the NPM conducted the first, systematic control of the District Prison in Prokuplje, during which the situation in the institution was monitored in respect of the rights of persons deprived of their liberty. The visit was previously announced, with representatives of the Protector of Citizens, the Committee of Lawyers for Human Rights and the International Aid Network on the team. During the visit, NPM team members interviewed almost all detained persons, about 50 of them, inspected the documentation and visited all the premises for the detained persons, as well as the prison economy, which is located several kilometers away and where the convicts are engaged in agriculture.

The cooperation with the Institution and the officials was exceptional and the findings and facts identified during the NPM visit will be presented in a report, which will be published and sent to the controlled institution.