More about Torture and Cruel Treatment

Section 95 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia
Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Articles 7, 10 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
UN Standard Minimum Rules of 1957 for Treatment of Prisoners
Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

International and national regulatory acts prohibit cruel treatment and torture. The said prohibition is absolute, that is, no exceptions and deviations are permissible. In the real life, application of the said norms is the most problematic at closed-type facilities where individuals have limited right to protect themselves.

There are different forms of inhuman treatment, depending on the type and methods of execution; the nature and context of sentence; pre-mediation and systematic organization; age; duration; effect on human health; health condition at the time of execution; social meaning of the sentence; whether or not there have been other options available to public authorities, and the exigence and proportionality of the means applied for sake of security.

European Court of Human Rights has pointed out that cruel treatment, punishment or abasement is related to causing intensive or regular physical or moral sufferings to an individual, even if it does not lead to actual bodily injuries. Such actions make the victims feel fear, humiliation and inferiority that can abase them and break their physical and moral resistance. Similar opinion has been issued by the UN Human Rights Committee: qualification of the prohibited treatment or punishment depends on the nature, purpose and severity of treatment. In addition, each of the above-mentioned forms of treatment includes not only physical but also moral sufferings.