[ 2012-01-12 comments | 234 views ]
“An act of torture does not have only a physical but also a psychological side, and therefore both must be attested and documented by the specialists. Thus, it is necessary to amend the legislation that should provide clear criteria in this regard,” the director of the Forensic Medicine Center Ion Cuvºinov said on Thursday, 12 January, at the meeting of the Investigative Journalists Club. The meeting had the topic “Quality of Court Expert Examinations As A Key Tool in Proving Cases of Torture” and was held as part of the media campaign “Journalists For Elimination of Torture and Protection of Victims of Torture and Ill Treatments,” carried out by the Center for Investigative Journalism, with the support of UNDP Moldova.
According to Ion Cuvºinov, the Center for Forensic Medicine has not yet had all the necessary tools for providing convincing expert examination reports. “It is one thing to describe a bodily injury and it is a totally different thing to document the fact using photo tables or other elements. When you make a photograph and put it on the table of the court you almost do not need other evidence. The situation will change starting with this year, 2012, thanks to a project carried out together with UNDP, for strengthening the Forensic Medicine Center in regard to the documentation of the acts of torture. Thus, we will put on the judges table not only a transcript describing the injuries but also the documentary evidence – the photograph. This is very important,” Ion Cuvºinov added.
Another participant in the discussions, the judge of the Supreme Court of Justice Tudor Popovici urged the journalists to treat the cases of torture carefully and in a balanced manner, to verify and document well the facts, taking into account their complexity. This opinion was supported by other meeting participants who emphasized the need for trainings for journalists in accurate writing of items on topics related to violations of human rights and torture. The director of the National Court Expert Examination Center of the Ministry of Justice Gheorghe Creþu had the same opinion. He specified that the subjects related to the court expert examination must be tackled in complexity and very carefully because it is a difficult topic and requires good documenting. In this regard, the official noted that his institution is open to the press and willing to offer more information so that the journalists report accurately on topics related to court expert examinations.
“The phenomenon of torture is tackled by the press very carefully and in detail, starting from the roots, reasons, consequences and up to finding solutions. It is very important that all actors involved in combating torture have a joint approach of this phenomenon or, in other words, speak the same language,” the director of the Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture “Memoria” Ludmila Popovici said. However, the quality of the forensic expert examinations leaves to be desired, the lawyer Victor Panþiru said. He specified that many cases are lost in court exactly for the reason that the court expert examination was not solidly made. “Many times, judges cannot convict the tormentors because the examination does not provide enough evidence,” Panþiru specified underlining that judges lately had been paying attention also to the reports prepared by the Center Memoria that are based on broad and lengthy research of the health and emotional conditions of the victims of torture.The first report on the monitoring of print media “Media Coverage of Cases of Torture and Ill Treatments in the State Institutions,” prepared by the Center for Investigative Journalism, was launched during the meeting. The report covered the period from October to December 2011 and observed the quantitative and qualitative presence of the items on torture in the press. The conclusions of the study showed that journalists remain largely dependent on the releases of the General Prosecutor’s Office on the acts of torture, do not verify the facts and, most of the times, do not follow the finalization of the investigation of such cases by the authorities.
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Moldovan newspapers and televisions committed to respect the children’s human rights in news stories and features
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