Tilbage Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Denmark

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 Denmark from 3 to 12 April 2019. It was the Committee's sixth periodic visit to this country.
Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Denmark

The main objective of the visit was to review the measures taken by the Danish authorities in response to the recommendations made by the Committee after its previous visit in 2014. To this end, particular attention was paid to the legal safeguards against police ill-treatment as well as to the situation in prisons and establishments for detained migrants, notably in respect of treatment, material conditions and health care. In addition, the delegation visited for the first time the new Secure Department of Slagelse Psychiatric Hospital. It also paid a targeted visit to the hospital’s two intensive civil psychiatric wards in order to examine the legal procedures and safeguards in the context of involuntary hospitalisation.

In the course of the visit, the delegation had consultations with Hanne Stig Andersen, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Immigration and Integration, Dorthe Eberhardt Søndergaard, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, and Lykke Sørensen, Centre Director at the Ministry of Justice’s Prison and Probation Service, as well as with other senior officials from the above-mentioned ministries.

Further, the delegation held talks with Charlotte Storgaard, Director of the Danish Independent Police Complaints Authority, and with representatives from the Parliamentary Ombudsman in their capacity as the Danish National Preventive Mechanism (NPM). It also met representatives of the civil society and organisations active in areas of concern to the CPT.

At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the Danish authorities.

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

  • Hans Wolff, Head of delegation
  • Vincent Delbos
  • Gergely Fliegauf
  • Per Granström
  • Jari Pirjola
  • Chila van der Bas.

They were supported by Muriel Iseli and Almut Schröder of the CPT’s Secretariat, and assisted by an expert, Pétur Hauksson, psychiatrist, former Head of the Psychiatric Department at Reykjalundur Rehabilitation Centre, Iceland.

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Police establishments
  • City Police Station, Copenhagen
  • Nykøbing Falster Police Station
  • Odense Police Headquarters
  • Storstrøm Prison
  • Copenhagen Police Headquarters Prison (Politigårdens Fængsel)
  • Blegdamsvejens Remand Prison, Copenhagen
  • Odense Remand Prison
Psychiatric establishments
  • Secure Department of Slagelse Psychiatric Hospital (Sikringsafdelingen)
  • Intensive wards SL2 and SL3 of Slagelse Psychiatric Hospital
Establishments for detained migrants
  • Nykøbing Falster Arrest
  • Ellebæk Centre for Foreigners

The CPT and Denmark

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