While Russia had established in 2008 a system of highly qualified specialists in prison matters and prison monitoring, the so-called “Public Monitoring Commissions”. This system is now on the verge of collapse, as a result of the replacement of human rights defenders by people without skills or affiliated to the prison administration. This state of affairs, denounced internally by the Presidential Council for Human Rights and internationally by the UN CAT, increases the risk of torture in Russian prisons.
In their Communication, the EPLN and several Russian NGOs called upon the Committee of Ministers to take a very firm position on this subject. The seriousness of the effects of the incapacitation of PMCs, and the risk that it entails of amplifying the type of violations found in the BUNTOV v. Russia (No. 27026/10) case, fully justifies the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of an interim resolution calling on the Russian authorities to take the necessary measures to reintegrate human rights defenders into the PMCs and provide them with the legal and practical means to operate effectively.