THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE PREVENTION OF TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT IN PLACES OF DETENTION – NPM “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment… not even in time of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation.” (Articles 3 and 15 (2) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) “The National Preventive Mechanisms are those who give the OPCAT strength, direction, momentum and hope to achieve its objectives” Elizabeth Odio Benito (Judge, President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights) Department on the Prevention of Torture - NPM By ratifying the Optional Protocol of 18 December 2002 to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), Romania has undertaken to set up the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture in Detention (NPM). Thus, in 2014, by GEO no. 48 it was established that the People's Advocate institution, through the Department for the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in places of detention, shall fulfill the specific duties of a national preventive mechanism. NPM exercises a preventive mandate, its role being to identify situations with potential risk of ill-treatment. The activity of the NPM consists mainly in: carrying out regular visits, announced or unannounced, in places of detention, formulating recommendations to the managements of the places visited and the hierarchically superior authorities and formulating proposals for legislative changes. The purpose of the monitoring activity is to strengthen the protection of persons deprived of their liberty against ill-treatment and ensure the non-discriminatory exercise of fundamental rights. Place of detention means any place where a person is or may be deprived of liberty, and deprivation of liberty means any form of detention or imprisonment or the placement of a person in a public or private custodial setting, from which this person is not permitted to leave at will, by order of any judicial, administrative or other public authority, including by decisions of legal persons managing social services. Also, Law no. 35/1997, republished (Art. 34 letter (j)) states that all places that are part of the social assistance system are subject to NPM monitoring. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictive measures adopted by the authorities, throughout the state of emergency and subsequently the state of alert, NPM made every effort to fulfill its mission to verify the observance of fundamental rights of the persons who are or could be deprived of their liberty and their protection against ill-treatment. For this purpose, NPM monitored all types of places of detention which, according to Art. 4 of the OPCAT fall within its sphere of competence, including institutionalized quarantine places and 1

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