In October 2018, a group of experts from “the Central Asian Alliance Against Dependence” Public Association, with the support of the Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan, presented the results of unique and the only study in the Central Asia on the legal, medical and social effects of torture. The researchers have calculated the amount of money that both victims and the state have to spend as a result of the practice of torture.
Opening the results of the study, we can say that to date the state spends on the prevention of torture less than 1% of the amounts which it loses as a result of this phenomenon.
One can calculate the cost of the effect of torture for the country with high accuracy and produce exact figures but the question on how to calculate physical and moral suffering of the victim remains unanswered.
During the in-depth interviews, the team of researchers looked into the life stories of people that had been faced with torture, learned about their experience, psychological trauma and fears. It became clear that the figures obtained as a result of the study will remain a relative and very minor value compared to the real experience of the victims.
According to the head of the study, psychiatrist Aida Parpiyeva, 1 900 citizens applied to the Prosecutor’s office for torture support over the past six years. According to the study, it is only 60% of those who have experienced various tortures in their lives.
“When the state ignores human rights, this results in long-term negative effects: the level of trust in state institutions and economic activity of the population decrease, anxiety in the society increases” Parpiyeva said.
One of the authors of the study, an expert economist Arsen Imankulov reported that the cost that the effects of the torture place on the state and the victim. He says, a total of 27 cases of torture were analyzed, their victims told the experts in detail what kind of costs — medical, rehabilitation, temporary, financial — they had to face. The calculations were made provided that the victim goes through all the stages of interaction with the state bodies and achieves justice.
The experts divided all cases into three groups depending on the severity of the effects for the victims and calculated their cost for each of the groups.
To summarize and present the average economic impact of torture on the victim and the state, the working group of the project decided to build on the average cost of one case of torture. The value of almost all types of costs increases as the severity of socio-biological effects on victims increases.
The expenses of the victim can be retraced with a fairly high degree of confidence, as well as the number and types of public services for which they applied.
The scales of losses the victim bears are in KGS:
relatively easy degree – people were able to return to their daily activities quickly enough and recover their income. – 323 thousand KGS;
medium – victims suffered partial losses (they may have had to change their place of residence, spend a long time returning to full life) – 1 million 54 thousand KGS;
critical severity – torture entailed total losses: divorce, relocation, loss of workplace and/or resulted in disability – 4 million KGS.
To estimate state expenditures, standard costs or cost of services provided by the relevant government departments were used. The project working group chose the so-called “mirror” method of recording medical services provided by the state when expenses are retraced based on information on victim of torture applying to one or other state-funded medical institutions.
State financial loss per person, in KGS: relatively mild – 1 million 300 KGS;
average – 1 million 400 thousand KGS;
critical – 2 million 600 thousand KGS.
The results of the study attracted great attention in society. A debate on torture in the media and social networks coincided with the court decision on the payment of moral compensation to the relatives of Turdubek Akmatov who «died in May 2005 as a result of torture by policemen». The amount of compensation to the relatives of the deceased made up 200 thousand KGS.