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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Kosovo*

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 visit to Kosovo* from 6 to 16 October 2020.
20/10/2020
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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Kosovo*

It was the CPT’s fourth visit on the basis of an agreement signed in 2004 between the Council of Europe and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

In the course of the visit, the delegation examined the treatment and conditions of detention of persons held in several police establishments and prisons, as well as the treatment, living conditions and legal safeguards offered to civil and forensic psychiatric patients and residents in a social care institution. In this connection, it reviewed the measures taken by the relevant authorities to implement various recommendations made by the Committee after the previous visit carried out in 2015.

The delegation held consultations with Mr Christopher Coleman, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Kosovo, Mr Jan Braathu, Head of the OSCE Mission, Mr Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Head of the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), as well as with Mr Agim Veliu, Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr Selim Selimi, Minister of Justice, Mr Armend Zemaj, Minister of Health, Mr Skender Reçica, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Nehat Thaqi, Director General of the prison administration (KCS), and other senior officials of the relevant ministries.

Further, the delegation met Mr Tomáš Szunyog, Head of the European Union Office/European Union Special Representative, Mr Naim Qelaj, Ombudsperson, and representatives of non-governmental organisations.

At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary findings to the relevant authorities.

The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:

  • Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the CPT (Head of the delegation)
  • Nico Hirsch
  • Marie Lukasová
  • Aleksandar Tomcuk
  • Hans Wolff.

They were supported by Natacha De Roeck and Petr Hnátík 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:

Police stations
  • Drenas Police Station
  • Istog/Istok Police Station
  • Klinë/Klinavac Police Station
  • Mitrovicë/Mitrovica South Police Station
  • Pejë/Peć Police Station
  • Prishtinë/Priština Regional Police Station
Immigration detention facilities
  • Vranidoll Detention Centre for Foreigners
Penitentiary establishments
  • Dubrava Prison
  • High Security Prison at Gërdoc-Podujeva/Grdovac-Podujevo
  • Mitrovica/Mitrovicë Detention Centre
  • Prishtinë/Priština Detention Centre

The delegation also carried out a targeted visit to Lipjan/Lipljan Correctional Centre for Juveniles and Lipjan/Lipljan Correctional Centre for Women to interview newly-admitted juvenile remand prisoners, juveniles held under an educational measure and female remand prisoners.

Psychiatric institutions
  • Psychiatric Clinic of Prishtinë/Priština University Hospital
  • Forensic Psychiatric Institute at Prishtinë/Priština University Hospital
Social welfare establishments
  • Special Institution in Shtime/Štimlje.

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* All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.


Preventing torture in Europe
www.cpt.coe.int

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