The main objective of the visit was to review the progress made as regards the implementation of the CPT’s long-standing recommendation that all forensic psychiatric patients be transferred to a proper forensic psychiatric facility. To this end, the CPT’s delegation visited Zaharia Special Facility for Ill Inmates in Kruja (male patients) and the Prison Hospital in Tirana (female patients). In addition, it examined the arrangements made in two separate detention blocks at Lezhe Prison to accommodate and care for the patients concerned on a temporary basis, pending the setting-up of a special forensic establishment under the authority of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. It also discussed with the Director General of Prisons the modalities of the upcoming transfer of patients from Kruja (Zaharia) to Lezhe.
During the visit, the delegation had a joint meeting with Mr Ulsi Manja, Minister of Justice, on behalf of H.E. Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania, and Ms Ogerta Manastirliu, Minister of Health and Social Protection, as well as with Mr Klajd Karameta, Deputy Minister of Justice, Ms Mira Rakacolli, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection, and senior officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On 23 November 2021, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Health and Social Protection signed a Memorandum of Understanding (including a joint Action Plan) to implement recommendations of the CPT and judgments of the European Court of Human Rights related to the situation of forensic psychiatric patients and prisoners with a mental disorder.
The CPT’s delegation consisted of Mykola Gnatovskyy, former President of the CPT and Head of Delegation, Marie Lukasová and Vytautas Raškauskas. They were supported by Michael Neurauter, Deputy Executive Secretary of the CPT.