On 9 August 2020, Ewa Dawidziuk PhD, a representative of the Ombudsman and Director of the Team for the Execution of Punishments in the Ombudsman’s Office, performed on the spot examination in the Penitentiary Facility in Płock the respect for the rights of the temporarily arrested Margot.
On August 8, 2020, an attempt to meet the detainee in the Warsaw-Bialoleka Custody Centre failed because she was transported.
Article 13(1)(1) of the Act of 15 July 1987 on the Ombudsman entitles the Ombudsman to on the spot investigation. Moreover, pursuant to Article 8b § 1 of the Executive Penal Code, the Ombudsman or a person authorised by him or her shall have the right to enter at any time, without limitations, to prisons, detention centres, custody suites and other places where persons deprived of their liberty are staying, and to move around these premises, review documents and demand explanations from the administration of these facilities, as well as to conduct interviews with persons deprived of their liberty and, in the absence of other people, examine their applications, complaints and requests.
A temporarily detained person shall stay in a single temporary cell, where, in accordance with the provisions of the Executive Penal Code, he or she may be held for up to 14 days. The rules adopted in the era of the coronavirus pandemic also required a stay in such a cell. Newly detained persons are isolated to observe their health condition and thus prevent the possible spread of coronavirus.
The interview with the detainee took place in private in the trial room. She was informed about the temporary arrest rules, the need to apply to the facility director for, among other things, a vegan diet, a voucher for a packet of clothes, or the possibility to borrow books from the library and shopping in the prison canteen.
The administration of the penitentiary facility is responsible for ensuring the personal safety of the detained. After an interview with a counsellor and a psychologist, conducted on the day of admission to the penitentiary facility, the arrested feels fine. She is waiting for contact with her defence attorney. From the perspective of respecting the rights to defence, contact with lawyers, either in the form of a visit or via phone, is very important. However, this will only be possible once the authorising body has issued an order for the authorisation of a visit or telephone calls to a defence lawyer. It is to be expected that the authorising body will examine with lawyers’ requests without undue delay.
The verification of the respect of the rights of the detained Margot was concluded by a short conversation with Lt. Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, shift commander, deputy director of the facility on the day of the examination.
Photo: Przemysław Stefaniak
Original in Polish: https://www.rpo.gov.pl/pl/content/wizytacja-przedstawicielki-rpo-w-ZK-w-plocku-gdzie-przebywa-tymczasowo-aresztowana-margot
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