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Reports

The National Preventive Mechanism visited Stari Grad Police Station in June 2019, and based on the established facts, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and the police station were sent a Report on the visit with Recommendations. Not even by the early 2020 did the NPM receive the MOI’s response regarding the Recommendations issued, so the NPM paid a follow-up visit to PS Stari Grad on 30 January 2020. Following that visit, MOI submitted a response stating that all the NPM’s Recommendations were acted upon.

Acting upon a recommendation, Stari Grad Police Station designated two rooms where interrogations would be conducted, both were painted, and since they were not equipped and put into operation, PS Stari Grad sent a written request to the Sector for Material and Financial Affairs of the MOI. As reported by the police officers, in the MOI budget for 2020, funds were allocated for equipping special interrogation rooms with technical equipment and PS Stari grad should be the first one within the Belgrade Police Administration to have these rooms equipped with the necessary technical equipment for audio and video recording of the interrogation procedures.

In PS Stari grad, also in accordance with the recommendation by the NPM, a special room was designated for adequate storage of confiscated items related to a criminal offence. The NPM monitoring team visited the room and determined that inside, in a metal cabinet, confiscated items related to criminal offences were stored, properly labelled and they had the evidence number identifying the case to which they refer. Upon reviewing the register of confiscated items, it was determined that the unified record of confiscated items is kept properly.

Finally, the recommendation to keep videos from video surveillance in PS Stari grad for at least 30 days was accepted.

The Clinic for Psychiatry of the Clinical Center of Serbia has informed the Protector of Citizens about the activities it has undertaken in accordance with the recommendations of the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture, which it received in the Visit Report of October 30, 2019.

Regarding the recommendations concerning more detailed and orderly keeping of the medical history and an increase in the availability of physicians to the patients for interviewing, with the protection of privacy and confidentiality of personal information, the Clinic stated that compliance with these procedures will be subject to continuous internal quality review of professional work.

In addition, the Clinic has compiled a list of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that can be followed with even the least minimal risk to the health of the patient in order to create an appropriate form used at the Clinical Center of Serbia for informed consent of the patient to a subsequently introduced medical measure. The clinic has accepted the NPM's recommendation to expand the psycho-social rehabilitation plan by developing accessible and tailored psycho-social rehabilitation activities to suit patients' individual needs and capabilities.

In connection with NPM's recommendation that the Clinic develop a program of continuing specialist education for nursing staff, the Clinic submitted a 2019 Report and an Education Plan for 2020 and informed the Protector of Citizens that it has a long tradition of educating nurses, technicians and therapists, that the lectures accredited by the Health Council of Serbia are compulsory and necessary for the re-licensing of the work permit, and that the nurses-technicians from the nursing and treatment of psychiatric patients department are also educated by attending specialist meetings, symposia and conferences of professional associations.

The Clinical Center of Serbia and the Ministry of Health were requested information on the activities undertaken to procure the prescribed equipment for performing the health care activity and to carry out standard diagnostic procedures, investment maintenance of the building and installation of an external lift for the needs of the Psychiatry Clinic.

In August 2019, the National Preventive Mechanism, as part of its regular, planned activities, visited the Velika Plana Police Station, part of the Smederevo Police Administration. The visit was unannounced, and within it the NPM team visited two detention facilities, interviewed police officers and gained insight into individual detention cases and cases of use of coercive means. All police officers cooperated fully with the NPM by providing all the information requested, and by enabling the team to access and photograph the documentation, as well as to tour and photograph the premises. Based on the visits and the facts established, the NPM submitted a Report with recommendations to the supervised authority.

In accordance with the recommendations of the NPM, measures are being taken at the Velika Plana Police Station to ensure that surveillance videos are kept for a period of not less than 30 days, as well as to improve the accommodation capacities of the detention facilities. The response of the authorities also stated that a letter was sent to organizational units of the Police Administration of Smederevo saying that they should start using a special room for the purpose of identifying and hearing persons, if they have one. Bearing in mind that the NPM recommended the correct calculation of the beginning of detention under the Criminal Procedure Code, the heads of organizational units of the Police Administration of Smederevo were ordered to carry out controls of cases of detained persons in this regard.

The National Preventive Mechanism of the Protector of Citizens sent the Report with recommendations to the controlled authorities, following the control visit to the Jagodina Police Administration, which included visits to the headquarters of the Jagodina Police Administration and the Ćuprija Police Station, as well as visits to the Penal-Correctional Facility in Ćuprija, which were conducted in April 2019.

Acting on the recommendations of the NPM, the Jagodina Police Administration took the necessary measures in order to keep the surveillance videos for at least 30 days and provided a special room for the interrogation of persons, and the necessary measures were taken to equip this room with technical equipment for audio and video recording. Also, this administration informed the NPM that it will have its technical equipment set up for audio and video recording in the interrogation room in the Ćuprija Police Station.

Also, based on the visits performed by the representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the NPM received information that the detention facilities at the Paraćin, Ćuprija and Despotovac police stations will be renovated in the coming period.
At the Penal-Correctional Facility in Ćuprija, doctors have started acting in accordance with the recommendations of the NPM regarding medical examinations, meaning that in the future the first examination of detainees will include an examination of all body parts, that is, a patient will be examined without clothes. Also, during the first medical examination, the doctor will enter in the medical record all the information he/she has obtained, will photograph all injuries observed on the detained person during the first medical examination, and photographs of the injuries will be stored in the medical record of the person. The Penal-Correctional Facility in Ćuprija also installed a PVC curtain at the sanitary block, ensuring the privacy of detainees, while in the room intended for detention, sufficient supply of natural light was provided in such a way that the security of the institution was not endangered. In the room intended for detention, sanitary facilities have been renovated and clean bed sheets and personal hygiene products for detainees were provided.

In its Report on the visit to the Shelter for foreigners, the NPM states that the preparation of the translation of the reasons for placement in the Shelter into several languages has begun, which will be served to foreigners either with the decision on accommodation or during accommodation. The house rules have already been translated into several languages and are handed over to persons upon their placement at the Shelter, and the NPM recommendation was adopted that families with children, should they find themselves in such a place, since a case like that was not recorded in years, should not be separated in the future. The report also states that one of the two wings intended for housing foreigners in the Shelter has been renovated and is being used, while works on the other wing are in progress.

At the same time, the NPM indicates in its report that there are still deficiencies in terms of health care, which it had been pointing out for a long time, and problems with access to lawyers have also been identified. Concerning the hiring of translators, the competent authorities announced that they will seek funding for this purpose in 2020.

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In its replies to the NPM Report on the compulsory removal of Chinese nationals and the sent recommendations, the most important being the provision of translators, the Ministry of the Interior said that it did not have a uniform practice at the moment, but that the problem was being solved from situation to situation, and that for the year 2020, they sought the necessary funds for this purpose.