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Police should improve interviewing practices to prevent ill-treatment, says anti-torture committee

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) Strasbourg 26 April 2019
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Police should improve interviewing practices to prevent ill-treatment, says anti-torture committee

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) today stressed the need for police forces in Europe to improve the way suspects are interviewed when carrying out criminal investigations.

In its annual report, the CPT indicates that in some countries police interviewing is still aimed at obtaining confessions, thus increasing the risk of ill-treatment, whereas it should be focused on obtaining accurate and reliable information about matters under investigation.

The Committee notes that, in the majority of Council of Europe member states, most detained persons with whom CPT delegations spoke had not suffered any kind of police abuse. It also welcomes significant improvements across the continent in preventing police ill-treatment.

However, the CPT underlines that the infliction of ill-treatment during police interviews remains a very serious problem in a significant number of countries. Within the last ten years, in almost one third of Council of Europe member states the Committee received allegations of police ill-treatment that could be qualified as torture.


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