Oct 24, 2008 The torture due to the torture will be ended on November 4, 2008 in Bucharest
On February 20, 2007, the president of the „LIGA for the Renaissance of Moral Standing” in Romania, Father Don Demidoff ICCC, has taken legal action against the torture of detainees in Romanian prisons. His appeals to the European Parliament, the European High Commissioners and the European Council were fobbed off with meaningless statements. The Romanian representatives and senators did not even answer the interventions of the LIGA. Even the representatives of the German Bundestag did not budge, neither did Mrs. Merkel. Neither the Romanian minister of justice, neither the prime minister nor the president of the Romanian state. On June 24, 2008, the lawyer of the LIGA, Aneta Vovca, submitted the claims to the public prosecutor’s offices and the courts. The nomenclature, the politicians, the organs of jurisdiction and the torturers themselves (who did not even have to appear on the court hearings) covered up for each other and all cases were dismissed. The investigations did not even take place in the prisons and Demidoff was banned from continuing his pastoral work in prison. Although hundreds of prisoners had personally signed a petition for religious assistance, actually guaranteed by the European Convention, although an agreement on his work had been reached with the management of the prison and although hundreds of detainees from prisons all over the country had described their misery and pains in letters to Father Don Demidoff, everything has been ignored.
Notarial declaration of a tortured
The prisoner Sandor Hinyi, 26, delivered a written description of his torture to a notary on February 20, 2007. He was sentenced to 4 years of prison, because he had stolen a manhole cover and broken into a hairdresser’s shop due to hunger. He had been living in a children’s home since the age of 2, because his father had hanged himself. In the prison of Codlea he was cooped up with 25 other detainees, two in one bed. In other cells 50 prisoners were locked in. Every day they got hard beans with stinking cabbage, which was not eatable. In the children’s home Hinyi grew up without any care, he never heard a word of love.
Hunger is stronger than law
Hunger is stronger than law. He did not find a job. In prison he became mentally ill. He was raped by other prisoners. They had a bit of soap only, no paper for letters. The guards beat the prisoners, kick them and use sticks. Complaints to the prison warden are not answered; on the contrary they are punished with torture. He was even brought to the so called section V, chained to a bed by 5 guards and beaten brutally. The bed is in a cage. He had to stay there for a week without any food and he was not allowed to use the toilet.
Due to his direct claims to the court he was threatened by a judge as follows:
If you do not stop your claims, we are going to extend your imprisonment. The hearings at the prosecutor’s office in Brasov were a complete farce. The prisoners were intimidated and thus did not dare to confirm their statements concerning torture anymore. There is no chance for help or even for being brought to the hospital, if they are beaten up in prison after ten o’clock at night. The prison warden of the high security prison in Codlea, Dumitrache, is characterized by a particularly perverse rigor. He is always protected by his seniors. In every Romanian prison hundreds of prisoners are suffering from bestial torture.
Prisoner Sandor does not live anymore
Prisoner Sandor Hinyi does not live anymore. He was tortured to death in Codlea this year, prior to him Sorin Crivat, prior to him a number of other young prisoners at the age of 25 to 33. The prison doctor always states “heart attack” as cause of death of the young men. Medicine, which the LIGA sent the prisoners, was collected and sold, money and letters were not delivered.
During the time of the campaigns and protests of Father Don Demidoff the director general of the central prison administration was replaced four times. The first one had employed all his relatives in the prisons. The second did not even once answer the letters of the LIGA, the third, Gheorghe Spaiuc, to whom hundreds of statements of tortured prisons were presented, tried to lead a discussion with Father Don Demidoff, even invited him to Bucharest to a symposium and finally offered a cooperation with the LIGA, allowing the right of continuing his work in Codlea and of access to all Romanian prisons. Then Spaiuc was replaced, too. The new director general of penitentiary, Joan Bala, does not even bother to answer the petitions and letters of the LIGA either.
The supreme court of Romania will hear the case of torture
Finally, on November 4, 2008, after all levels of jurisdiction the supreme court in Bucharest (J.C.C.J Dosar Nr. 87/64/2008) will hear the appeal of the LIGA. Although the seven defendants have got a public defender, because „the possible sentences might come to more than 10 years”, the LIGA does not have hope for fair proceedings nor the conviction of the torture animals due to its experiences.
Since in February 2007 Father Don Demidoff has been denouncing Romanian authorities, he of course has to pay for it. Defamatory newspaper articles have been published against him, his line has been tapped permanently and there have been threats on his life. Proceedings against the false newspaper articles are adjourned permanently and even other lawsuits, even for the abandoned children of his foundation SF Don Bosco against justice and law, are decided against him, even if the legal situation is absolutely evident.
After the ultimate resort in Romania for the LIGA and Demidoff now opens the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. There they have filed the highest number of lawsuits against Romania compared to any other European country. Now we can only hope that at least the Anti-Torture-Commission of the European Council will not keep its eyes closed anymore and not only visit and control such harmless countries like Italy, Greece or England, like they did in October this year.
The LIGA asks all its friends and readers to send a letter of protest to:
Secretaria of CPT
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 72
Telefon: +33 3 88 41 20 00
After you have sent your protest to the above mentioned address, please directly send an E-Mail to Don Demidoff: email@example.com