OSCE supports improvement of penitentiary system in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK (TCA) — A meeting of the Coordination Council for the Reform of the Criminal-Executive System of the Kyrgyz Republic entitled “Assessment of the Health Status of Convicts and Individuals held in Detention: Problems and Solutions” took place in Bishkek on 5 July. The Coordination Council aims to reform Kyrgyzstan’s penitentiary system.

The meeting provided a platform to promote open dialogue and co-operation between the state, non-governmental and international organizations that work in this field. It focused on reviewing the health screening results among convicts and detainees, the current state of the Central Hospital No. 47 administered by the State Service for the Execution of Punishment under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (SSEP), and finding ways to improve it. The issue of transferring the functions of medical care for convicts from the SSEP to the Health Ministry was also discussed, the OSCE Program Office in Bishkek reported.

Participants included officials of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, representatives of the Mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kyrgyzstan, non-governmental organizations, and independent experts.

The Chairman of the State Service for the Execution of Punishment under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic Zhaparov said, “For the first time in the history of the Kyrgyz Republic the SSEP carried out activities to examine every convict’s health and developed an electronic database containing this information.”

“Important steps are being taken by the Kyrgyz Government in reforming the state penitentiary system and I assure that the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek will continue to support the rehabilitation and resocialization programmes, improving living and working conditions of both prisoners and penitentiary staff, and extend capacity building activities,” concluded the Head of the OSCE Program Office in Bishkek, Ambassador von Arx.

Sergey Kwan