European anti-torture investigators say FYROM should stop chaining up prison inmates and do more to fight corruption and inhuman conditions in its jails.
Human rights watchdog the Council of Europe sent FYROM a copy of its most recent report into torture in the former Yugoslav republic, and asked its government in a letter to comply with its recommendations.
FYROM should “provide within one month confirmation that chains are no longer used as a means of restraint in prisons”, and comply with other recommendations to improve the criminal justice system within three months.
Mauro Palma, head of the Council’s European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, said officials had revisited the same sites in 2008 as they had previously but conditions had not changed.
“In 2007, conditions were deplorable – prisons lacked management and real structures to investigate abuse,” he said.
“Since then the situation is unchanged. . . the government needs to commit itself and come up with a real project, and not change prison authorities with every new government.”
FYROM’s new government, which hopes to join Nato, came to power in July promising to focus on European Union membership, but Brussels said last week the Balkan nation needed to clean up its politics first.
The 47-member Council of Europe seeks to promote democratic principles throughout the continent, based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other statutes on the protection of individuals.
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