Anti-torture Committee publishes Finnish response to 2003 visit report

In a response published on 8 November 2004 at its request, the Finnish Government provides information concerning issues raised by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) after its third periodic visit to Finland in September 2003.
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The response makes reference to several draft laws in the areas of police detention and imprisonment. These drafts, which will address many of the CPT's recommendations, are expected to enter into force in January 2006. In particular, the detention of remand prisoners in police establishments will be subject to strict criteria and limited in time. Further, restrictions on remand prisoners' contact with the outside world will be applied only in exceptional cases. The Finnish authorities also refer to concrete steps taken to prevent and combat inter-prisoner violence and to improve the situation of prisoners segregated for their own protection.

As regards the detention of persons under the Aliens Act, the Finnish authorities announce the opening in December 2004 of a new facility in Metsälä, said to offer better material conditions and activities to the foreign nationals held there. Reference is also made to plans to draw up detailed provisions concerning the enforcement of deportation decisions, including the use of force and means of restraint.

Concerning Niuvanniemi Psychiatric Hospital, the Finnish authorities inform the Committee of the opening of a new unit for juvenile patients, which will offer activities corresponding to their specific needs.

Both the visit report (published on 14 June 2004) and the response of the Finnish authorities are available on the CPT's website