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The Seimas Ombudsman has introduced activity of the national prevention of torture in Seimas

17 June 2015

XI-100-S20150617-4On 17 June 2015 the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas introduced the activity of the national prevention of torture (the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office was assigned to at the beginning of 2014) to the members of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Introducing the activity of national prevention of torture, the Seimas Ombudsman drew attention of the committee members to a high number of places of detention in Lithuania.

"There are more than 400 institutions that may be considered to be places of detention andalmost 30 thousand people are kept there," he said at the meeting.

The Optional Protocol stipulates that all places of detention should be monitored. Moreover, in the opinion of NGO experts, who contributed to the preparation of the Protocol, places of detention should be monitored once every three years.

"Taking into consideration a number of places of detention in Lithuania and pursuing to monitor them once every three years, more than 110 inspections should be carried out a year," stated the Seimas Ombudsman.

In 2014 the officials of the Seimas Ombudsmen' Office visited 41 institution; 26 institutions have been visited this year. In accordance with the provisions of the Law on the Seimas Ombudsmen, correctional institutions, remand prisons, arrest houses, mental health facilities, nursing homes, border crossing points, and Foreign Registration Centre shall be regarded as places of detention.

The members of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs expressed satisfaction with results of the work of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office that have been achieved over a short period of time since the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office was designated as National Preventive Mechanism.

"We appreciate the preventive work of the Seimas Ombudsmen in establishing human rights violations in Foreign Registration Centre, Foreign Reception Centre, frontier stations and other institutions," stated members of the Seimas Committee.

Following the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, representatives of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office have been regularly monitoring different places of detention pursuing to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment therein.

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