Monitoring Human Rights Violations
The practice areas of the International Collegium of Lawyers include the monitoring of human rights violations in post-Soviet countries.
The experts of the Collegium pay special attention to violations in relation to:
- detained persons and persons serving a sentence;
- persons extradited from the EU countries to the former USSR countries under extradition requests.
Monitoring includes, inter alia, the facts of torture applied against extradited persons and is carried out in cooperation with the Non-Profit Organization “Committee Against Torture”, the Human Rights Advocacy Center “Legal Initiative” and others.
In the former USSR countries, the penitentiary system and the common practice of serving a sentence are far away from the human rights standards adopted in European countries and are utterly closed to the general public. Only a minor amount of information is publicly available and, as a rule, does not contain any references to the source of information, which casts doubt on its reliability.
For example, the prosecutor’s supervision over the execution of sentences is actually limited to recording only those violations that cannot be hidden – for instance, exceeding the permissible number of persons per unit of area.
For several years, the International Collegium of Lawyers has been systematizing the violations of the right of defense, the acts of cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment, corporal punishment and torture in correctional institutions in the post-Soviet states.
These facts can be included in expert opinions and reports on the observance of human rights in relation to detained persons and persons serving a sentence in one of the post-Soviet states / in a certain city / in a particular institution.