Within the framework of the EU-funded project “Let All of Us Say NO to Torture in Moldova: Civil Society against Torture”, the conference Civil Society against Torture was held in Chișinău on 20 November 2020. One of the key goals is to prevent torture and develop intolerant attitude towards it in the Republic of Moldova.The conference was organised by the Institute for Democracy and Constantin Stere University of European Political and Economic Studies in partnership with Comrat State University, the Institute for Legal, Political, and Sociological Research, National Institute of Women of Moldova “Equality”, the Media Centre, and the American University of Moldova with financial support from the European Union.

At the opening of the conference, the representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova and the representatives of the Embassy of Romania delivered their speeches. It was also attended by H.E. Daniel Ioniţă, the Ambassador of Romania to the Republic of Moldova.

The conference was attended by Academician Ion Tighineanu, President of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova (ASM), Dr. Diana Sarcu, Director of the National Institute of Justice, Acting Director of the National Administration of Penitentiary Institutions of the Republic of M oldova, Vladimir Cojocaru, Prof. Dr. Cătălin Bordeianu, Deputy Director of Romanian Cultural Institute “Mihai Eminescu”, Dr. Andrei Chiciuc, President of the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Research (ANACEC), Alexandru Zubco, Head of the Department for Combating Torture of the Ombudsman’s Office, the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the General Prosecutor’s Office, penitentiary institutions, judiciary authorities, etc.

The conference was also attended by human rights experts and specialists in the Republic of Moldova, lawyers, NGO representatives, the staff of the Ombudsman’s Office, university professors, and directors of institutions. The host of the event, Gheorghe Avornic, Rector of “Constantin Stere” University of European Political and Economic Studies, PhD, Professor, welcomed the participants, highly appreciating the intention of those who accepted to say “NO” to torture. The event was also attended by international participants from the USA, the EU, and other countries, representing the world’s leading universities and lawyers’ important international organisations, including the International Association of Lawyers, the European Public Law Organization based in Athens, etc.

The conference participants discussed the phenomenon of torture, as well as its consequences. In addition, they talked about national, regional, and international legislation on preventing and combating torture, a wide range of issues related to providing primary legal and psychological assistance to victims of torture and their rehabilitation, raising public awareness of inadmissibility of torture, recommendations of the UN Committee against Torture. Moreover, the conference participants learned more about the ways of professional development of anti-torture organisations, raising awareness of liability for using torture among the police, penitentiary institution, and psychiatric hospital staff, and law students from Moldovan universities (future police officers, prosecutors, and judges), examined methods of preventing torture and increasing intolerance towards it, etc.

The conference has concluded with suggestions for torture prevention made by the participants.