Activities and relevant events: „Advancing Human Rights-Based Policing in Republic of Moldova”, project funded by European Union, co-funded and implemented by Soros Foundation-Moldova (2018-2021). 

Name of the event: Joint meeting of working groups for discussing the concept Practice-Based Handbook for Police „Human Rights in a Nutshell”

Date and place: 9th of October 2019, Chişinău, Republic of Moldova

On the 9th of October 2019, the Justice and Human Rights Department of the Soros Foundation-Moldova organized a meeting to discuss the concept of the practice-based handbook “Human Rights in a Nutshell” for the police.

The event brought together representatives of the General Police Inspectorate (GPI), the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, as well as lawyers and representatives of the academia. These participants form part of the working groups within the project Advancing Human Rights-Based Policing in Moldova.

Within the project, several inter-institutional working groups were created that elaborate the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on medical assistance and on translation and interpretation for detained persons, the Needs Assessment on the Interaction Between Criminal Investigators and Prosecutors and its Major Impacts on Human Rights during the Pre-trial Stage, as well as the Guidelines for Monitoring Police Detention Facilities of the GPI.

The lawyer Vadim Vieru, one of the authors of the practice-based handbook, presented the preliminary concept of the handbook. The practical content of the practice-based handbook „Human Rights in a Nutshell” will assist police officers in taking action from the moment when they decide to apprehend a person until the release of the apprehended person. The handbook will include the departmental, national, and international normative frameworks currently in force, as well as the ECtHR jurisprudence. Following the discussion during the joint meeting, the author emphasized that the handbook will also provide answers regarding the de facto and lawful detention and that it will refer to the procedure for identifying a detained person.

Name of the event: Training sessions on „Monitoring Police Custody Rights Observance”

Date and place: September-November 2019, Chişinău, Republic of Moldova

Between September and November 2019, the Soros Foundation-Moldova organized 4 training seminars for groups comprising lawyers as well as representatives of the People’s Advocate and NGOs active in the field of human rights monitoring.

The trainings were organized as part of the project “Advancing Human Rights-Based Policing in Moldova” and aimed at providing human rights defenders with effective tools for data collection and the monitoring of the observance of rights of people in police custody.

The seminars, each of which took place on two days, were based on interactive training methods. The training methodology had been developed by practising lawyers experienced in the field of the criminal procedure code with the help of a trainer specialized in the elaboration of training methodologies for adults. The training methodology comprises models of practical activities and exercises, as well as examples, data collection tools and writing techniques required to elaborate the reports on how to ensure the observance of the procedural rights of persons detained by the police at the pre-trial stage.

“During the last two days, I could share and exchange my knowledge and experiences with colleagues and lawyers and I was able to consolidate my knowledge on the rights of detained persons,” commented Alexandru Terziman, a lawyer who provides state-guaranteed legal aid within the Chisinau Territorial Office of the National Council for State Guaranteed Legal Aid.

The training was conducted by practising lawyers with extensive experience in the field of national and international human rights standards and the provision of legal assistance at the pre-trial stage. 

Name of the event: Roundtable on the Standard Operating Procedure on Medical Assistance for Detained Persons

Date and place: 23 rd of October 2019, Chişinău, Republic of Moldova

On the 23rd of October, the Justice and Human Rights Department of the Soros Foundation-Moldova organized a roundtable to discuss the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on medical assistance for detained persons. Lawyers, representatives of civil society, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the General Police Inspectorate (GPI), and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection as well as the chiefs of the country’s prevention detention centers attended the event.

It had been a premiere for the Republic of Moldova that the public health system cooperated with the police to create a mechanism ensuring the right to medical assistance of detained persons in state custody. The SOP had been elaborated by an institutional group comprising representatives of the GPI as well as the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. The document sets out the conditions guaranteeing the right to health of detained persons and describes step by step how to provide medical assistance at the time of detention.

Chiefs of the preventive detention centers who attended the event welcomed the elaboration of the SOP as it will become a guideline for police officers during detention. The SOP was sent to the above mentioned institutions for its final approval.

Mrs. Rodica Gramma, representative of the Republic of Moldova at the Office of the Bioethics Committee of the Council of Europe and one of the authors of the SOP, presented the international standards for ensuring the right to health. At the same time, Ms. Gramma highlighted the importance of the cooperation between the representatives of the police and the health system in order to unify the national normative framework with regard to the rights of detained persons.

Name of the event: Roundtable on the Standard Operating Procedure on the Right to Translation and Interpretation of Detained Persons

Date and place: 22 nd of November 2019, Chişinău, Republic of Moldova

On the 22nd of November, the Justice and Human Rights Department of the Soros Foundation-Moldova organized a roundtable to discuss the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) guaranteeing the right of apprehended persons to an interpreter or translator during their detention, guarding, and escorting.

The document had been elaborated by representatives of the General Police Inspectorate (GPI) and the Ministry of Justice. It describes a mechanism which will guarantee that detained persons are provided with an interpreter/translator by the administrative subdivisions and institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs from the moment of their detention until being placed under preventive detention isolation.

The roundtable brought together the chiefs of the country’s preventive detention centers, lawyers, prosecutors, authorized translators, representatives of the Deaf Association of Moldova and the National Legal Aid Council. During the event, the participants discussed the importance of the signing agreements with the translation offices subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in order to contact an interpreter as soon as possible if required.

The participants of the event addressed the problem of providing an interpreter in cases of flagrant crimes, including at night, as well as the lack of interpreters/translators especially in rural areas. An important aspect, included in the SOP, is to provide people with speech and hearing difficulties with interpreters.

Aurica Postica, Head of the Directorate for the Analysis, Planning, and Training of the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation of the GPI, pointed out that the SOP represents a solution to cover some existing gaps in the legislation, that it is a useful tool for the cooperation with the police and at the same time a guarantee mechanism for detained persons.