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Visits

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.

On 24 and 25 October 2019, the NPM team conducted a control visit of the Prokuplje Police Department, with the aim of monitoring the implementation of recommendations sent to it in 2015.

The police stations in Blace, Kursumlija, Zitoradja were visited, as well as the traffic police field office in Prokuplje, which the NPM visited during the night. All visits were unannounced and foreseen by the 2019 visit plan, and cooperation with the police officers was good, which is all the more significant from the NPM's point of view because the visits were not announced to the executives. The visits were carried out by the NPM employees, and during the night visit, a forensic specialist also participated, a representative of the International Aid Network – IAN.

During the visit, an interview was conducted with a person who was detained under the Criminal Procedure Code at the premises of the District Prison in Prokuplje. The detained citizen had no objection to the conduct of police officers towards him and he judged it as decent.

Yesterday, the NPM visited the institution for the accommodation of adults and the elderly with mental and intellectual disabilities in Tešica, as part of the visits dedicated to assessing the reproductive rights of women in social welfare homes. During the visit, after checking the quality of the accommodation, the NPM team paid special attention to the reproductive and sexual freedoms and rights of the female beneficiaries of the institution. NPM representatives spoke with beneficiaries, employees about the fulfillment and respect of their rights, and were given access to the required documentation regarding the sexual and reproductive freedoms and rights in the institution.

The staff at the Tesica institution cooperated fully with the NPM, thus enabling this independent mechanism to fulfill its mandate. The findings and conclusions of this visit with recommendations, if there is a need for them, will be presented by the NPM in its unique report on the position of female beneficiaries in social welfare homes in the area of protection and promotion of their reproductive rights, after carrying out all planned visits by the end of the year.

The NPM team conducted an announced visit to the Department of Psychiatry of the General Hospital in Jagodina yesterday, which has a mental health dispensary at its disposal, a day hospital with a capacity of up to 45 patients and a psychiatric ward with 16 beds.

In addition to the representatives of the Protector of Citizens, the NPM team consisted of a psychiatrist specialist, a representative of the International Aid Network – IAN.

The NPM assessed the cooperation of employees as excellent, and during the visit, apart from checking the material conditions of accommodation, due attention was also paid to the admission procedure, treatment of agitated patients and other issues of importance for the prevention of torture.

Although the NPM will prepare a detailed report on the conditions in the health care facility and the treatment that patients have in terms of protecting and respecting their rights, even on the basis of the visit itself, the NPM was able to preliminarily evaluate the accommodation conditions and collegial relations among employees as very good, while the interviewed patients indicated that they were satisfied with the way doctors and medical staff treated them in their work.