Legal reforms implemented in the country expanded the rights of detainees

One of the directions of activity of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan is to protect the rights of detainees kept in facilities, which persons cannot leave on their own will.

When fulfilling the functions of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPMby the Ombudsman, planned and ad hoc visits are carried out in the temporary detention places (TDPs) of the district and city police departments and stations, Detention Center of Administratively Arrested Persons of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, TDP and investigation isolator of the State Security Service, pre-trial detention facilities and penitentiary facilities of the Ministry of Justice Penitentiary Service, detention centers for illegal migrants of the State Migration Service and other places under the NPM jurisdiction

During the visits of the Ombudsman or staff members instructed by her, the treatment of detainees, custody conditions, status of ensuring their rights related to food supply, rendering medical service and organization of leisure time, meetings, telephone calls and other rights have been investigated and ensured. For the purpose of increasing efficiency of the protection of the rights of persons detained in these facilities, the Ombudsman addressed the competent state bodies with proposals and appeals based on recommendations.

In her appeals, the Ombudsman proposed to arrange modern and effective psychological services in detention places, including penitentiary institutions and TDPs. The Commissioner’s proposals based on legal analysis of the outcome of
visits, applications and complaints, and submitted to the relevant state authorities or included in the annual reports, have been taken into consideration during the adoption process of normative legal acts, as well as in daily activities of state authorities.

This is commendable that the Decision #130 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated April 8, 2020, improved and expanded the rights of detainees in the places of detention and detention centers for illegal migrants to psychological assistance. According to the decision, the right to receive free psychological consultancy was included in internal disciplinary rules of investigation isolators, temporary detention centers and detention centers of illegal migrants in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Psychological Assistance

The Ombudsman Sabina Aliyeva keeps in focus the issues related to ensuring the rights of persons detained in facilities, which they cannot leave on their own will, also bearing in mind their psychological state in the period of widening of the pandemic, and she recommends the competent authorities controlling the issues on effectively ensuring their rights on the basis of recommendations of the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers, COVID-19 Guidance of the OHCHR, Recommendationof SPT and principles adopted by CPT.