From 14 to 16 June 2016 a delegation from the Kyrgyz Republic visited Riga to learn about the Latvian experiences in strengthening human rights and the rule of law in the framework of criminal law. This visit was organized in the framework of the project supported by the European Union “Strengthening the Rule of Law in the Kyrgyz Republic” and implemented by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights. The delegation was comprised of prosecutors from Bishkek and Osh who, inter alia, work specifically with human rights issues in criminal proceedings. As the project also supports the General Prosecutor’s office to improve its communication activities, prosecutors dealing with communication and relations with society also were represented in the delegation as well as one representative from the civil society – NGO “Legal Prosperity Foundation”.
In Latvia the delegation was welcomed by the Prosecutor General of Latvia, met by the State Police, Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, and investigation judges, as well as Internal Security Bureau, Deputy Ombudsman and civil society. The delegation also visited a remand prison and a police custody detention facility to familiarize themselves with the operative work as well as detention conditions in Latvia and to discuss common concerns and experiences. A focus was also on the sharing of criminal justice reform experiences conducted during the transition period from 1991.
As for the Ombudsman’s mandate it was useful to discuss that the Kyrgyz Republic has ratified the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture, thus establishing a National Preventive Mechanism, while Latvia has not yet done so.