UN expert for human rights in Moldova's Transnistria recommends revising criminal justice system

The UN expert in human rights in the Transnistrian region, Thomas Hammarberg, has recommended revising the criminal justice system in the region. The official made the statement today at a news conference held at the end of his second fact-collecting mission to Transnistria.

Thomas Hammarberg said that during the visit he had paid special attention to the situation in the region's penitentiary system. According to him, the prisons in the Transnistrian region are overcrowded and the overwhelming majority of inmates have long-term sentences and are rarely acquitted.

The official pointed out the poor living conditions in jails, because of which the detainees have serious health problems. The expert added that he had already appealed to the international community to get aid to fight the spread of TB.

Hammarberg specified that many of the problems existing in jails are caused by their overpopulation and recommended to look for alternative punishments that do not deprive of freedom, mainly for less serious crimes.

Thomas Hammarberg was on the second fact-collection mission to Transnistria on 16-25 September. The official will pay another visit to the region by the end of October. The final conclusions and recommendations regarding the protection of human rights in Transnistria will be made public by late 2012.

Adapted from Moldpres