luni, 13 aprilie 2009

Edwin Berry, Human Rights Adviser to the UN in Moldova, about mass arrests

Edwin Berry, Human Rights Adviser to the UN in Moldova has managed to visit the prison nr.13 on Saturday and talk to at least 40 of the young people arrested during the protests. «I have never seen anything like this», said Berry.

UN adviser claims he has seen at least 40 youngsters who are detained in various cells. «They all have traces of beatings and injuries,» Berry said, adding that practically all the prisoners are aged between 18 and 24.

The prisoners complained they were beaten in the different police sections or at the headquarters of the Commissioner General of Police. They claimed that between 25 and 28 people were held in small cells of 8 square meters. They were given very little water, and virtually no food. Also, most of them complained about the fact that they were not allowed to see a lawyer.

«I have seen doctors in the Penitentiary, but the prisoners say they do not receive all appropriate medical assistance», said the UN representative. He told the press that he had taken photographs of the signs of torture which these young people bear on their bodies. He also requested to set up a meeting with the Moldovan Ministry of Interior Affairs. Also, the data that he collected during his visit will be used to document the cases and to inform the international community about what is happening.

«From what I saw and heard from those 40 young people, I can say that there are serious human rights violations, namely the practices of inhuman and degrading treatment and preventing the right to legal advice, fair court proceedings and appropriate conditions of detention, «said the UN official.

Berry believes it is important there is the "Committee for complaints" in Moldova, which made it possible for him to visit the prison.


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