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Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee publishes report on Greece

The Greek government has requested the publication of the report of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) on its 4th periodic visit to Greece in August/ September 2005, together with the authorities’ response.
20/12/2006
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In the course of the 2005 visit, the CPT reviewed the treatment of persons detained by law enforcement officials and examined the conditions of detention in police and border guard stations, coast guard posts and in special facilities for illegal migrants. It also looked at the situation in a number of prisons, notably Korydallos, focusing on the issues of overcrowding, health care and the regime for prisoners. A psychiatric hospital on the island of Corfu was also visited.

The CPT has recommended various measures to stamp out ill-treatment by law enforcement officials; they include investigating allegations of ill-treatment thoroughly and, where appropriate, imposing disciplinary and/or criminal sanctions on the officers concerned, as well as rigorous recruitment and professional training programmes and the establishment of an independent police inspectorate.

The conditions in the detention facilities for illegal migrants in Athens, in the Evros region and on the islands of Chios and Mytilini were of particular concern to the Committee. Most of the facilities visited were in a poor state of repair, unhygienic and lacking in basic amenities.

The CPT noted that prisons in Greece remain overcrowded and offer only an impoverished regime for prisoners. Prison health care services also require further investment. Few cases of physical ill treatment of prisoners by staff were brought to the attention of the CPT; however, inter-prisoner violence appeared to be on the rise.

No major shortcomings were observed in the psychiatric hospital visited.

In their response, the Greek authorities provide information on the measures being taken to address the concerns raised in the CPT’s report.

The report and response are available in English on the CPT’s website: http://www.cpt.coe.int