While the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM) conducted a monitoring of psychiatric and psycho-neurological institutions regarding the observance of the rights of persons with psychosocial and intellectual impairments as well as during its litigations, it found that psycho-neurological institutions included a significant number of residents whose freedom was limited inside ‘closed-type’ sections (rigorous surveillance sections).

The UN Committee Against Torture (CAT), in its third periodic report, recommended to the Republic of Moldova in pt. 32 letter c) “to make sure that nobody is placed involuntarily in such institution for non-medical reasons, including by securing that patients are entitled to be heard personally by the judge who orders their admission, that the judge asks the opinion of a psychiatrist, and that such decisions may be challenged.” The UN mechanism allows involuntary placement only with the observance of the safeguards mentioned supra. In the national context, it refers to the admissibility of limitation of individual freedom in psychiatric hospitals, not in psycho-neurological boarding houses.

At the same time, according to article 14 para.1 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (liberty and security of person) “1. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others: (a) Enjoy the right to liberty and security of person; b) Are not deprived of their liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily, and that any deprivation of liberty is in conformity with the law, and that the existence of a disability shall in no case justify a deprivation of liberty.”

In this connection, restricting the freedom of these persons by isolating them in ‘closed-type’ sections may fall under the jurisdiction of article 166 of the Criminal Code “Illegal Deprivation of Freedom of a Person”, or if one pursues punishing a person in the sense of CAT[1], this may entail their liability in the sense of article 1661 of the Criminal Code “Torture, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.” Hence, IDOM finds it empirical to eliminate the practices of placing the persons kept in psycho-neurological boarding houses in ‘closed-type’ sections and, as a result, to secure the respect for their freedom.

Bearing in mind the above, IDOM sent a letter to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection (MHLSP) in April inst. and requested to be informed about the terms and actions to be taken to secure the observance of the norms set forth and for observing the provisions of articles 3 (the right to not be subject to ill-treatments) and 5 (the right to freedom and safety) of the ECHR.

MHLSP has recently examined IDOM’s approach and informed us that it would take measures to close the rigorous surveillance sections in neurological boarding houses. At the same time, the Ministry informed us that it had requested the management of psycho-neurological boarding houses to take measures in view of remedying the situation and close down rigorous surveillance sections, including to re-assess the beneficiaries placed in such sections.

[1] Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Demers IDOM catre MSMPS

Raspunsul MSMPS


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