Tilbage Council of Europe anti-torture Committee carries out visit to North Macedonia

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 periodic visit to North Macedonia from 2 to 12 December 2019. This was the 13th visit to the country.
Council of Europe anti-torture Committee carries out visit to North Macedonia

During the visit, the delegation assessed the treatment and safeguards afforded to persons deprived of their liberty by the police and examined the situation of prisoners (including juveniles) in five prison establishments. In this regard, particular attention was paid to the measures taken by the relevant authorities in order to address the long-standing recommendations of the Committee concerning conditions of detention in prisons in the light of the commitments given in October 2017 by the Prime Minister during high-level talks held in Skopje with the President of the CPT. Further, the delegation visited two psychiatric establishments and a social care home.

In the course of the visit, the delegation held consultations with Renata Deskoska, Minister of Justice, Armend Arslani, Deputy Minister of Health, Gönül Bajraktar, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Dejan Andonov, Assistant Minister of the Interior, Jovica Stojanovikj, Director for the Execution of Sanctions, Besir Deari, Deputy Director of the Bureau for Public Security of the Ministry of the Interior, as well as with other senior officials of the aforementioned Ministries.

The delegation also met Idzet Memeti, Ombudsman, in his capacity as Head of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) set up under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture (OPCAT), and representatives of non-governmental organisations active in areas of concern to the CPT.

The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:

  • Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the CPT (Head of Delegation)
  • Dagmar Breznoščàkovà
  • Thomas Feltes
  • Slava Novak
  • Vytautas Raškauškas
  • Davor Strinović
  • Olivera Vulić.

They were supported by Michael Neurauter (Deputy Executive Secretary), Ardita Abdiu (Head of Division) and Christian Loda of the CPT’s Secretariat and assisted by an expert, Birgit Völlm, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry, Medical Director of the forensic psychiatric hospital at the University of Rostock, Germany.

At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary findings to the national authorities.

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Police establishments:
  • Bitola Police Station
  • Gevgelija Police Station
  • Gostivar Police Station
  • Negotino Police Station
  • Ohrid Police Station
  • Gazi Baba Police Station, Skopje
  • Strumica Police Station
  • Tetovo Police Station
Prison establishments:
  • Gevgelija Prison
  • Idrizovo Prison
  • Kumanovo Prison
  • Ohrid Prison
  • Skopje Prison
  • Štip Prison (targeted visit to the closed section)
Psychiatric establishments:
  • Demir Hisar Psychiatric Hospital
  • Negorci Psychiatric Hospital
Social care establishments:
  • Demir Kapija Special Institution for Mentally Disabled Persons
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