PERSONS DEPRIVED OF THEIR LIBERTY AND
PERFORMANCE OF ACTIVITIES OF THE NATIONAL
PREVENTIVE MECHANISM

Activities of the Ombudswoman with regard to persons deprived of their liberty, that is,
persons who have been ordered into any form of detention, imprisonment or placement in a
public custodial setting which they are not permitted to leave at will, include both preventive
and reactive actions. Pursuant to the Ombudsman's Act, the Ombudswoman takes reactive
actions and protects the rights of persons deprived of their liberty by examining individual
complaints. Conversely, under the Act on the National Preventive Mechanisms against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OG 18/11,
hereinafter: ANPM), the Ombudswoman takes preventive actions in order to strengthen the
protection of persons deprived of their liberty from such treatment.
Although this seems like a dual role with apparently different objectives, preventive and
reactive actions constitute a single, indivisible whole aimed at strengthening the protection
and respect of the rights and freedoms of persons deprived of their liberty, laid down in the
Constitution, laws and international legal acts on human rights and freedoms accepted by the
Republic of Croatia. Consequently, the regulatory framework is very extensive and, in
addition to the Constitution and national legislation, includes a number of international legal
acts relating to freedoms and rights of persons deprived of their liberty, irrespective of their
legal power. In order to successfully perform our tasks, we are regularly monitoring case law
of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia, the European Court of Human Rights
and other relevant European and international case law as well as the views, annual and
individual reports of the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT) and the
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment (CPT) and other mechanisms for the protection of the rights of persons deprived
of their liberty.

1. Actions taken on complaints from persons deprived of their liberty
In the course of 2013, we have taken actions on complaints received from persons deprived of
their liberty and, as part of investigative procedures, visited Bjelovar County Prison, Požega
State Prison and Turopolje State Prison. In addition, we have inspected the facilities for the
accommodation of persons deprived of their liberty at Pazin Police Station. As we are visiting
establishments where persons deprived of their liberty are placed, as part of preventive actions
within the performance of activities of the National Preventive Mechanism against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter: NPM), we are
generally not performing inspections of prisons and penitentiaries under the powers laid down
in the Ombudsman's Act, but those inspections are carried out as part of investigative
procedures conducted on the basis of individual complaints.

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