Publication of Report on the Work of Public Verdict Foundation in 2010

posted 3 May 2011, 14:10 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 5 May 2011, 00:06 ]
Source: (info), 27/04/11
Natalya Taubina, director of the Public Verdict Foundation:
“This report outlines our organization’s main achievements in 2010. The programmes presented are part of the organization’s three-year strategy established in 2008.
As the report sets out, the organization’s strategic objectives for the next three years are as follows:
  • To further develop and strengthen effective mechanisms of civilian oversight over the law enforcement agencies;
  • To create an attitude of zero tolerance in society towards the arbitrary practice of law enforcement agencies and to motivate society to participate in combating such practices;
  • Lobbying for all-round and systematic reform of law enforcement agencies in Russia, based on human rights principles and standards. The reforms must include mutually compatible and reinforcing steps to change the principles of management, personnel selection, professional training and work assessment;
  • The introduction and dissemination of all-round systems of rehabilitation (restoration) for the victims of human rights violations by law enforcement agencies. These should include recognition of the human rights violations, punishment of the perpetrators and payments of compensation to victims and provision for their psychological rehabilitation.
We can say with confidence that 2010 was the year that saw the launch of the reform of law enforcement agencies in Russia. In the past year there has been a series of changes to the way police bodies are run, a new law ‘On the Police’ has been passed, the Investigative Committee has been completely separated from the Public Prosecutor’s Office to become an independent structure, and talks are underway to merge police investigation departments with it. These are just some of the more noteworthy changes.
Quite naturally, the reforms taking place have had an impact on the development and strengthening of the programmes of the Public Verdict Foundation that in one way or another are linked to the reform of the law enforcement agencies. In 2010, the most significant events in our work related to the reform of the law enforcement agencies were as follows:
  • The launch of two comprehensive studies, the first devoted to the evaluation criteria for police work, and the second to the quality of investigations of crimes by officers, in the first instance reports of torture and cruel treatment;
  • The development of a programme of training seminars on the standards for effective investigations for investigators of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation;
  • The development and dissemination of monitoring maps to show degrees of compliance with the standards laid down by the European Court of Human Rights for conditions in places of detention.
The past year has been a year of progress and much activity for the Working Group of Human Rights Organizations on Police Reform. Public Verdict Foundation not only continued to act as the main coordinator of the Working Group, but also actively participated in its work. In particular, the Foundation participated in the writing of the Strategy for Reform of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in the development of computer software, in statements by the Group, and in organizing and conducting round table discussions with representatives of law enforcement agencies, government, legislative bodies, journalists, experts and members of the public.
In 2010 the organization continued to provide legal, informational and psychological support to victims of human rights violations by law enforcement agencies, as well as undertaking analytical work, preparing reviews, reports and recommendations and subsequently submitting them to the relevant Russian and international bodies.
Public Verdict Foundation actively worked both at the domestic and international levels. The Foundation’s key focus with regard to international cooperation was its programme to improve implementation of the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on Russian cases. In 2010 Public Verdict Foundation, together with partnering NGOs, prepared a memorandum on the enforcement of the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, and participated in consultations with judges from the European Court on Court reform. Public Verdict Foundation became a participant in the group of Russian and European NGOs who initiated the founding of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. The preparatory meeting was held in Berlin in November 2010. Today the Foundation is taking part in the development of the fundamental documents of the Forum.
Further information about the above listed activities and much more can be found on the pages of the 2010 report.
It is evident that reform of the law enforcement agencies will be a long process. In 2011 Public Verdict Foundation will continue to work on programmes aimed at promoting the all-round reform of law enforcement agencies in Russia, and bringing the standards and principles of their work into line with international human rights standards and modern approaches to the work of law enforcement bodies.
We shall certainly continue to protect victims of human rights violations, based on the belief that it is through combining two approaches - helping individuals and promoting systemic change – that the human rights situation in Russia can be improved.”
(pdf, 6.1 МБ )
Rights in Russia,
5 May 2011, 00:06