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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Germany

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 Germany from 25 November to 7 December 2015. This was the CPT’s sixth periodic visit to this country.
11/12/2015
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The main objective of the visit was to review the measures taken by the relevant authorities to implement recommendations made by the Committee after its previous visits. To this end, the CPT’s delegation visited several police establishments, prisons and civil/forensic psychiatric hospitals in different Länder. Particular attention was also paid to the situation of detained persons held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods in prisons and to the use of other special security measures (including mechanical restraint – Fixierung) in various types of establishment.
 
In the course of the visit, the delegation held consultations with Ms Stefanie Hubig, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Mr Winfried Bausback, Minister of Justice (Bavaria), Mr Michael Höhenberger, Head of Office (Amtschef) of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Family and Integration (Bavaria), Mr Mario Czaja, Senator for Health and Social Affairs (Berlin), Ms Antje Niewisch-Lennartz, Minister of Justice (Lower Saxony), Ms Angela Kolb, Minister of Justice and Gender Equality (Saxony-Anhalt), Mr Norbert Bischoff, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs (Saxony-Anhalt), Ms Anja Naumann, State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Saxony-Anhalt), and Ms Silke Albin, State Secretary of the Ministry of Migration, Justice and Consumer Protection (Thuringia). The delegation also met senior officials from the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and from relevant ministries of different Länder.
 
Moreover, the delegation had meetings with the Heads of the Federal Agency for the Prevention of Torture and the Joint Länder Commission for the Prevention of Torture (both of which form part of the National Preventive Mechanism established under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture), with representatives of the Berlin Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and non-governmental organisations active in areas of concern to the CPT.
 
At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the German authorities.
 
The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:
 

  • Anton VAN KALMTHOUT (Head of Delegation)
  • Per GRANSTRÖM
  • Julia KOZMA
  • Marzena KSEL
  • Ömer MÜSLÜMANOĞLU
  • Hans WOLFF.

They were supported by Michael NEURAUTER (Head of Division) and Sebastian RIETZ of the CPT’s Secretariat and assisted by an expert, Veronica PIMENOFF, psychiatrist, former Head of Department at Helsinki University Psychiatric Hospital (Finland).
 
The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Bavaria
  • Donauwörth Police Station (Polizeiinspektion)
  • Munich Police Headquarters (Polizeipräsidium, Polizeiinspektion ED 6)
  • Kaisheim Prison
  • Wasserburg am Inn Forensic Psychiatric Clinic
Berlin
  • Berlin South-West Police Station (Gewahrsam Südwest)
  • Moabit Prison (targeted visit focusing on remand detention)
  • Plötzensee Prison Hospital (targeted visit focusing on special security measures)
  • St Joseph Psychiatric Hospital, Berlin-Weißensee
Brandenburg
  • Brandenburg an der Havel Forensic Psychiatric Clinic
Lower Saxony
  • Hannover-Schützenplatz Police Headquarters (Polizeikommissariat)
  • Hannover-Mitte Police Station (Polizeiinspektion)
  • Celle Prison
  • Rosdorf Prison (targeted visit to interview inmates held in preventive detention)
Saxony-Anhalt
  • Magdeburg Police Headquarters (Polizeidirektion Sachsen-Anhalt Nord)
Thuringia
  • Tonna Prison.