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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee carries out an 11-day visit to Switzerland

A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out a visit to Switzerland from 22 March to 1 April 2021. It was the CPT’s seventh periodic visit to the country.
06/04/2021
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Aux Lechaires

Aux Lechaires

The aim of the visit was to examine the treatment and conditions of detention of persons deprived of their liberty in seven cantons of the Swiss Confederation. Particular attention was paid to the situation of persons deprived of their liberty by the police, persons held in remand detention or serving sentences or those subject to institutional therapeutic measures or internment in preventive detention (including minors and young adults) as well as persons subject to restrictive measures under immigration legislation. Finally, the delegation was able to observe the impact of the measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the establishments visited.

In the context of the visit, the CPT's delegation met Mr Martin Dumermuth, Director of the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), and the following State Councillors: Ms Karin Kayser-Frutschi, Director of Justice and Security (Canton of Nidwalden), Ms Jacqueline Fehr, Director of Justice and Home Affairs (Canton of Zurich), Ms Nathalie Barthoulot, President of the Jura Government and Minister for Social Cohesion, Justice and Police (Canton of Jura), and Ms Béatrix Métraux, Head of the Department of the Environment and Security (Canton of Vaud). It also met senior officials representing the cantonal and federal institutions responsible for areas relevant to the CPT’s work.

In the run-up to the visit, consultations were held with Ms Regula Mader, President of the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture (CNPT), as well as with representatives of non-governmental organisations active in areas related to the CPT's mandate.

At the end of its visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the federal and cantonal authorities in Bern.

The visit was carried out by the following CPT members:

  • Vincent Delbos (Head of Delegation)
  • Vanessa Durich
  • Nico Hirsch
  • Julia Kozma
  • Philippe Mary
  • Vytautas Raškauskas.

They were supported by Natacha De Roeck and Sebastian Rietz of the CPT's Secretariat and assisted by two experts, Anne Galinier, medical doctor, and Cyrille Orizet, psychiatrist.

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Canton of Aargau
  • Forensic Psychiatric Clinic, Königsfelden, Windisch
Canton of Bern
  • Bern Police Station (Waisenhausplatz 32), Bern
  • Thorberg Prison, Krauchthal (targeted visit)
Republic and Canton of Geneva
  • Police Headquarters (boulevard Carl-Vogt 17-19), Geneva
  • Pâquis Police Station (rue de Berne 6), Geneva
  • Champ-Dollon Prison, Puplinge
  • Curabilis closed facility, Puplinge
  • “La Clairière”, Educational Detention and Observation Centre for Minors, Vernier
Canton of Neuchâtel
  • Federal Centre for Asylum-seekers, Boudry, Perreux (targeted visit)
Canton of Solothurn
  • Regional Police Station (Werkhofstrasse 33), Solothurn
  • Remand Prison, Solothurn (targeted visit)
  • Solothurn Prison, Deitingen (targeted visit)
Canton of Vaud
  • Cantonal Police Headquarters, Centre de la Blécherette, Lausanne
  • Municipal Police Headquarters, rue Saint-Martin, Lausanne
  • Bois-Mermet Prison, Lausanne
  • "Aux Lechaires" Juvenile Detention Facility, Palézieux
Canton of Zurich
  • Cantonal Police Detention Unit (Kantonales Polizeigefängnis) (Kasernenstrasse 29 and 49 and Zeughausstrasse 11), Zurich
  • Zurich Sobering-up and Calming-down Centre
  • Aussersiehl Regional Police Station, (Regionalwache) (Militärstrasse 105), Zurich
  • Industrie Regional Police Station (Regionalwache) (Fabrikstrasse 1), Zurich
  • Airport Police Station and transit zone (Kantonaler Polizeiposten Flughafen), Kloten
  • Limmattal Prison (targeted visit)
  • Airport Prison - Administrative Detention Centre for Foreigners, Kloten (targeted visit)
  • Centre for minors and young adults (Massnahmenzentrum) Uitikon, Uitikon-Waldegg.

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