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Visits

On Thursday 30 April, National Preventive Mechanism visited Penitentiary-Correctional Institution in Sremska Mitrovica. The visit was carried out to check how the institutions implement measures to contain coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and how the exercise of fundamental rights of persons deprived of liberty is ensured in these circumstances. The management and the staff fully cooperated during the visit. At the same time, the NPM investigated if several allegations regarding violations of the rights of persons deprived of liberty, obtained via the designated hotline, were founded. In this regard, the NPM conducted unsupervised interviews with two convicted persons and reviewed relevant documentation.

We remind that the NPM number 066 800 70 13 is available every day during the state of emergency, from 8 am to 10 pm.

Today, the National Preventive Mechanism team visited the Reception Center in Obrenovac, to monitor the situation and conditions in the center, the treatment of migrants who were there and the measures taken by the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The team visited the accommodation facilities, the infirmary, the shop, interviewed dozens of migrants and employees on site, and gained insight into the records and other documentation kept in the center.
The Commissariat employees fully cooperated with the NPM and enabled it to fulfill its mandate.

On 24 April, the team of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) visited both penitentiary-correctional institutions situated in Padinska Skela, Belgrade: a closed type institution with special security - the Penitentiary-Correctional in Belgrade and an open type institution - the Penitentiary-Correctional in Belgrade - Padinska Skela. The visit was carried out to examine how the institutions implement measures to contain coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and how the exercise of fundamental rights of persons deprived of liberty is ensured in these circumstances.

The management and the staff fully cooperated during the visit. The NPM team was provided with all requested information and unsupervised interviews with persons deprived of liberty were enabled. The persons with whom unsupervised interviews were conducted had no objections regarding the prison staff’s conduct.

NPM team noted that all measures were followed to protect the health and safety of all persons deprived of liberty, which would in turn contribute to preserving the health and safety of the prison staff. The Institution was regularly supplied with protective equipment, the delivery of masks, gloves and disinfectants has been continuous. Intensified health monitoring measures were applied to persons at special risk of infection. There were more opportunities for persons deprived of liberty to use telephone and stay in fresh air.

On the same day, the NPM team also visited the Shelter for Foreigners in Padinska Skela. There were 9 persons in the Shelter. The conditions in the Shelter were satisfactory. All persons were provided with communication via telephone, stay in fresh air and for persons who needed health care, it was provided as well. The persons with whom unsupervised interview was conducted had no objections regarding the Shelter staff’s conduct.

Today, NPM representatives visited the District Prison in Belgrade to investigate how the management of the institution implements measures to contain coronavirus (COVID-19) and how the exercise of fundamental rights of persons deprived of liberty is ensured in these circumstances.

The visit was conducted with the full cooperation of the management and staff of the institution, all requested information was provided and unsupervised interviews with persons deprived of liberty were enabled. NPM representatives were assured that all measures were observed to protect the health and safety of all persons deprived of liberty, which would in turn contribute to preserving the health and safety of the staff.

The contact with the outside world of persons deprived of liberty was restricted, and they fully understood these restrictions.

The persons with whom unsupervised interview was conducted had no objections regarding the police officers’ conduct.

We reiterate that the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is absolute and that protective measures taken by the state to contain COVID-19 must never result in any form of ill-treatment of persons deprived of liberty.

On Wednesday 11 March 2020, a National Preventive Mechanism representative monitored two forced removals of foreign citizens from the territory of the Republic of Serbia. The citizen of Afghanistan was escorted from the Shelter for Foreigners to Nikola Tesla Airport in order to return to his home country by plane, whereas a citizen of Croatia, also from the Shelter, was escorted to Batrovci border crossing and handed over to Croatian authorities.

The monitoring was conducted with the full cooperation of the Shelter staff.