Asida Shakryl urges authorities to take appropriate counter epidemic measures, to ensure infection prevention and control during the COVID-19 outbreak in places of detention.
12 February 2021
Ombudsman’s Office received information that several inmates of the MIA Remand Center of the RA have acute symptoms of coronavirus disease. On 12 January 2021 Public Defender urged the Minister of Internal Affairs D.Dbar to make an inquiry to the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service, to ensure adequate testing, treatment, and care for the detained and employees.
These actions have not yet been taken. Meanwhile, on 04.02.2021 the information was received that there is a number of confirmed cases of infection with COVID-19 in the pre-trial detention facility. According to the Chief State Sanitary Inspector L. V. Skorik (ex. o. 52 of 08.02.21), the number of prisoners with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 infection is increasing.
According to Article 24 of the RA Law "On the detention of suspects and accused of committing crimes" medical-prophylactic and sanitation-hygiene measures, as well as anti-epidemic measures, are conducted in the Detention facilities in accordance with public health legislation.
According to Articles 13 and 19 of the Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia, the right to life is a fundamental human right. Everyone has the right to medical care.
United Nations Standard Minimum Rules For The Treatment Of Prisoners declare health care for prisoners to be a State responsibility. Prisoners should enjoy the same standards of health care that are available in the community and should have access to necessary health-care services free of charge without discrimination on the grounds of their legal status.
International human rights laws stress that the right to access health care should be guaranteed from the moment the detained or arrested individuals are accepted to the detention facility.
The Commissioner has recommended the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure additional means of providing access to medical care for the inmates.
If the health of a prisoner requires their transfer to the COVID hospital, they must be transported promptly following Article 49 of the Law of the Republic of Abkhazia "On Healthcare".
The Commissioner requested information on measures, implemented by the State to control the spread of coronavirus infection in places of detention.