Serious violation of the law at Police Commissariat No.1, Tirana
On 16.05.2014, the Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC) verified respect for the rights and treatment of detained/arrested persons at Police Commissariat No. 1, of the Tirana District Police Directory. 8 persons, 7 of whom have been remanded to ‘arrest in prison’ and awaiting a security measure from the court, were being held for days in very inappropriate conditions, while, according to the law, 7 of them should have been transferred to a pre-trial detention institution. Article 6 of the “General Rules of Prisons” establishes that the admittance of detainees in pre-trial detention institutions is done on every day of the week, upon issuance by the court of the security measure ‘arrest in prison.”
AHC hereby makes known, with concern, that the conditions of the premises and treatment of these persons were in serious violation of the law, particularly for the two minors E.B. and M.M., who, among others, were kept in the same premises with adults, which is expressly forbidden by article 107/3 of the law “On State Police.”
The overcrowding that we found was way beyond the standards established by law, the premises were not equipped with sleeping items (arrestees/detainees slept on the concrete floor, which was covered by a thin cover) and the arrested/detained persons complained about lack of food supply during their stay in the Commissariat. AHC is especially concerned about the lack of appropriate interest and the unclear ways and routes of communication, enforced by Commissariat officers to communicate with pre-trial detention institutions, which left no documented record of pursued procedures. This causes not only delays in the transfer of persons remanded to “arrest in prison” toward pre-trial detention institutions, but also obstructs the finding of responsibilities for the created situation.
AHC deems it necessary to specify that in this concrete case, actions were in violation of Law no. 8331, dated 21.04.1998, “On the execution of penal decisions.”
We are of the opinion that the way arrested/detained persons were treated in Commissariat no. 1, of the Tiranë District Police Directory, is not humane; it seriously violates rights guaranteed by law, and could lead to repercussions for the health of arrested/detained persons. This situation is a recurring one, encountered and referred before, but in spite of commitments made to improve the situation, it has not changed.
While we feel good-willed toward investments to improve the façades of State Police institutions in Tirana, we remain very concerned about the serious situation, beyond any human standards, of the premises where arrested/detained persons are kept in these institutions.
In these conditions, AHC suggests to the Ministry of Interior, the General Directory of State Police, and the prosecutor’s office to verify the situation of compliance with not just the mentioned legislation, but also with judicial rulings issued on the security measures on the persons being kept at Commissariat no. 1. They should take measures to improve immediately the situation, clarify the routes of institutional coordination and alignment between them and the General Directory of Prisons, and to identify individual responsibilities of relevant personnel that have allowed or influenced the creation of this serious and recurring situation by applying disciplinary measures or penal prosecution, accordingly.
Human rights and respect for them is an issue of great value to citizens, but also an important public interest; therefore, nobody should be allowed to violate or harm them.