Thomas Hammarberg Announced Report on Human Rights Situation in Pridnestrovie

Thomas Hammarberg Announced Report on Human Rights Situation in Pridnestrovie

Report of Thomas Hammarberg, the UN Senior Expert on Human Rights in Pridnestrovie summarizing results of study concerning protection of human rights and freedoms in the PMR was presented today in Tiraspol. 

As previously reported, Thomas Hammarberg visited Pridnestrovie three times in the course of particular missions – in May, September and November 2012. During his visits he met the government of the Republic, officials, officers of judiciary, criminal prosecution, law enforcement agencies, education, social security and public health systems. The expert visited also places of detention, places for individuals with disabilities and children deprived of parental care or from vulnerable families. He held several meetings with representatives of civil society.

“We proceeded from the fact that human rights should be available for all people in the world despite of their position and residence. If there are any political circumstances that injure human rights in any way and hinder their exact exercise we are obliged to do our best to remove these obstacles,” Thomas Hammarberg said opening his speech. According to him, this position was voiced by Navanethem Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights during her visit to Pridnestrovie in autumn 2012. Proceeding from this position, rights of Pridnestrovians should be ensured in full conformity with general human rights.

Thomas Hammarberg highly appreciated transparency of Pridnestrovian leadership within the cooperation on observation of human rights in the Republic. In particular, requests filed by Thomas Hammarberg concerning meetings with different persons were acceded. After visiting of targeted institutions, the expert held meetings followed by prior reviews. “Not long after such meetings authorities have taken positive measures including several releases or commutation,” Thomas Hammarberg says.

While travelling around PMR the expert emphasized that “the new government has fostered anticipation of building more transparent society with duly operating legal system, reduction of corruption and better care of vulnerable groups of population.”

“Constitution of Pridnestrovie contains list of internationally recognized human rights,” is reported. Pridnestrovie unilaterally pledged to observe some of the key international agreements including two UN Covenants on Human Rights (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) and the European Convention on Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. At the same time, people should be aware of the rights granted to them by international instruments and national legislation. 

Thomas Hammarberg's report contains thirty-eight recommendations for improvement in the treatment of prisoners, prevention of corruption, public health, social protection of children and adults with disabilities, the situation of minorities, and freedom of religion. 

Speaking about such sensitive issues as nostrification of Pridnestrovian education certificates and the situation with regard to schools teaching in Latin script, the expert noted that these issues should be solved “for the benefit of the rights of the related people, i.e. pupils and students.”

“People should be protected as much as possible from the adverse effects of the current political situation,” he stressed.

Answering the question about civil society in Pridnestrovie, the UN expert marked that there are obstacles and there are positive opportunities. “I have a positive impression of the dialogue with civil society. These are professionals who do not exaggerate the situation and do not politicize it. We stand for further development of civil society and strengthening dialogue between the authorities and representatives of civil society,” said the guest.

The expert made a number of specific proposals. In particular, he proposed to strengthen the role of the Ombudsman in Pridnestrovie who has sufficient resources to effect the legal situation in the country, to arrange a baseline study for detecting the key issues as a first step to develop a comprehensive road map in the area of human rights, to provide systematic monitoring of the reforming in the sphere of human rights. He also announced the recommendation for closer cooperation with international agencies such as WHO, UNICEF, the UN Population Fund.

Thomas Hammarberg believes that his final report can not be regarded as “closing remarks relating to all issues connected with human rights in Pridnestrovie.” “When writing this report it is impossible to get it right sidewise. It will be probably adjusted. That's why I would like to get your response whatsoever,” the guest told the journalists.