Ombudsman held “Open door” reception at the penitentiary facility

Protection of the rights of prisoners, including women, is an important part of the activity of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) Elmira Suleymanova. Thus, regular visits are carried out to penitentiary institutions, meetings are held with persons detained there, and their appeals are received for investigation.

The Ombudsman organized the next “Open door” reception at the penitentiary facility No.4 for women prisoners of the Ministry of Justice Penitentiary Service within the National Preventive Mechanism activity.

Before the reception the Commissioner held legal awareness meeting with participation of the administration of facility and convicts. She gave information about 65 pardoning and 11amnesty acts adopted and realized in compliance with humanism policy during the years of independence, underlined the essence and significance of the Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev “On improving work in the penitentiary system, humanization of the punishment policy and expansion of alternative punishments and procedural enforcement measures not associated with isolation from society” dated February 10, 2017, and provided broad information on legal reforms.

As a new practice being important in terms of getting awareness, a professor and masters students of Human Rights and Criminal Law specializations of Law Faculty of the Baku State University also took part at the event.

At the end of the awareness-raising event, the Ombudsman announced about “Open door” reception and invited interested persons to face-to-face meet with the Ombudsman on their own will. The Commissioner received numerous women prisoners in private, examined their applications and appeals; some were provided on spot.

Furthermore, issues raised by the convicts on investigation, decriminalization of crimes, other issues on property, social and family relations were answered, their rights, requirements about pardoning, competences of the Ombudsman were explained. The received applications and appeals will be investigated and addressed to relevant authorities, actions will be taken for their solution.

Women convicts expressed their satisfaction for the consideration of their rights, also the support and care by the Ombudsman for ensuring their appeals. The Commissioner also visited convicted women with children up to three years old, got familiar with their living conditions and presented gifts for children.

In the end, discussions were held with the administration, certain recommendations were given for effectively ensuring the rights of convicts and further improvement of detention conditions.