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Protection of rights of persons detained in psychiatric institutions discussed at OSCE-supported training courses in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK, 17 June 2016 – To mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the OSCE Centre in Bishkek in co-operation with the Centre for the Support of International Protection today concluded training courses in Osh and Bishkek on the human rights of persons subjected to involuntary medical treatment in psychiatric institutions.

The two-day courses, delivered by an expert on mental health law from Russia Dmitri Bartenev, for practicing defence lawyers, prosecutors, psychiatrists, judges working on such cases and representatives of the civil society and the Ombudsman’s office from southern Kyrgyzstan and Bishkek, focused on fair trial standards in cases involving persons with mental disabilities, and ways to improve the efficiency of such proceedings.

“The right to freedom from torture does not admit derogations under any circumstance. It is the duty of the State to ensure that any individual, who is deprived of liberty and in custody of national institutions, remains effectively protected against any such human rights violation,” said Daniele Rumolo, Senior Human Dimension Officer at the OSCE Centre in Bishkek. “The OSCE Centre remains committed in assisting the Kyrgyz government in improving the human rights situation in closed institutions, including in psychiatric facilities.”

Akylbek Tashbulatov, director of the Centre for the Support of International Protection, said: “Rights of persons with mental disabilities are an important and overlooked subject in Kyrgyzstan. As in other countries in this region, Kyrgyzstan is still developing its practice in the field of compulsory medical treatment and discussions are needed to improve the protection of the rights of the concerned.”

The training courses were part of the OSCE Centre’s project on promoting a comprehensive approach to the rule of law, administration of justice, prevention of torture, and capacity building.