Conference „Prevention of Torture on the Balkan, Exchange of the Best Practice and Experience" took place in Tirana, on 23 and 24 June 2016. The Conference organized Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR MNE), member of Civic Alliance, Albanian Rehabilitation Center for the Victims of Torture and Trauma (ARCT), YIHR from Serbia and International Rehabilitation Center for the Victims of Torture (IRCT) from Denmark. The Conference is the part of the project "Building Free of Torture and Impunity Societies in Western Balkan", supported by the European Union.
Ministers of Justice of Montenegro and Albania, Mr Zoran Pažin and Jli Manjani participated at the Conference and representatives of the Institution of the Protector of Human Rights, judiciary, prosecution, and other national institutions, and civil society.
Mr Zoran Pažin, Minister of Justice said that the prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment and punishing was the measure of humanity of the society and democracy. He said that according to categorization of human rights and freedoms that implements the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment and punishing are absolute rights. "In international and legal sense, there are the rights that cannot be derogated, not only in peace conditions but under extraordinary circumstances and during the war." Mr Pažin explained that this means that the country cannot justify with the fact that it did not sign the Convention on Prohibition of Torture of the United Nations or the Optional Protocol. "There is no excuse for the countries that did not do this, because this is the right, which is so important that it overcomes the national legal framework and is contained in international and legal standards of the first range." Pažin indicated on obligation of the country to protect persons deprived of liberty in comparison with violations that may occur from other prisoners.
Jlli Manjani, Minister of Justice of Albania, said that there were no doubts that the topic about conditions of detainees was very important. He said that the society where poverty was dominant, torture occurred every day. Manjani concluded that the new instruments were needed, which would improve cooperation with civil society and public administration, for the purpose of establishment of better regional cooperation and contribution to elimination of torture. Manjani indicated on importance of regional cooperation among countries, so that torture and violation could be stopped.
Civil society representatives indicated on existence of torture and violation in closed institutions, overcrowded prisons, and other closed institutions, material conditions in prisons in the region countries that are still poor, and inadequate number of activities for prisoners. They also indicated on inadequate health care, inadequate number of security employees and health care employees, and insufficient number of trainings. Resocialization process is not adequate, so we have high percent of prisoners in all countries.
Film "Roads of Torture", directed by Nikola Vukčević, was presented at the Conference.