Council of Europe anti-torture Committee holds talks in Greece

A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has just returned from two days of talks in Athens, Greece (18-19 January 2010).
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The main objective of the talks was to gauge the commitment of the Greek authorities to combating impunity within the police, to improving the conditions of detention of irregular migrants and to addressing long-standing problems in the prison system. In this context, the delegation was keen to learn about the measures already taken or being considered by the new Government to tackle the problems found by the CPT in the course of its visits in recent years. The talks were carried out in a spirit of openness and all parties expressed their desire to improve cooperation.

In the course of the visit, the delegation had meetings with the Minister of Citizen’s Protection, Mihalis CHRYSOCHOIDIS, the Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dimitrios DROUTSAS, the Deputy Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, Aspostolos KATSIFARAS, and the Deputy Minister of Citizen’s Protection, Spyros VOUGIAS. Further, it met the Secretary Generals of the Ministries of Citizen’s Protection, Foreign Affairs and Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, as well as the Special Secretary for Correctional Policy and the Chief of Police, and other senior officials. The delegation also met the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Ioannis TENTES and the Ombudsman, Yorgos KAMINIS.

The CPT’s delegation was composed of Mauro PALMA, President of the CPT, Mario FELICE, the Head of the delegation which carried out the CPT’s 2009 visit, and Hugh CHETWYND, Head of Division in the CPT's Secretariat.