On 12 and 13 October 2020, Deputy Ombudsman Ivan Šelih and Robert Gačnik, spec., participated in the online workshop of national preventive mechanisms (NPMs), who are members of the SEE NPM Network, on the topic of enhancing torture prevention in South-East Europe. The workshop was organised by NPM Croatia as chair of the network with the support of the Council of Europe, the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) of Geneva and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute.
The event was aimed at a detailed exchange of challenges and good practices of NPMs in monitoring the exercise of the rights of detained persons during the first hours of police detention. When detained, each person has the right to a lawyer, the right to inform relatives or a third party about the apprehension, and the right to medical assistance. The effectiveness of torture prevention also depends on the implementation of these fundamental guarantees from the very beginning of police detention and on appropriate familiarisation with these rights, as there are high levels of risk of ill-treatment of detained persons.
The findings of the online workshop, which relate to planning and collecting information before visits to police stations or prisons, monitoring the exercise of the rights of detained persons (particularly access to a lawyer and access to a physician), triangulating information collected during visits to police stations, retrospective interviewing and sample analysis, will be presented in the report, which will be a useful tool for the work of each NPM.