Back Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Latvia

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 Latvia from 12 to 22 April 2016.
The main objective of the visit was to review the measures taken by the Latvian authorities to implement recommendations made by the Committee after its previous visits. In this context, the CPT’s delegation paid particular attention to the treatment and safeguards afforded to persons deprived of their liberty by the police and examined the conditions of detention in a number of police detention facilities. The delegation also looked into various issues related to prisons, including the provision of health care and the situation of juveniles and life-sentenced prisoners. In addition, the delegation visited a psychiatric hospital and a social care home.

In the course of the visit, the delegation had consultations with Dzintars RASNAČS, Minister of Justice, Raivis KRONBERGS, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Ilona SPURE, Head of the Prison Administration, Ints ĶUZIS, Head of the State Police, and Ieva JAUNZEME, State Secretary of the Ministry of Welfare, as well as with senior officials from the Ministries of Justice, the Interior, Health and Welfare. Discussions were also held with Juris JANSONS, Ombudsman of Latvia, and representatives of NGOs active in areas of concern to the CPT.

At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the Latvian authorities.

The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:
  •  George TUGUSHI, Head of delegation
  •  Marzena KSEL, 1st Vice-President of the CPT
  •  Nico HIRSCH
  •  Alexander MINCHEV
  •  Therese Maria RYTTER.

They were supported by Michael NEURAUTER (Head of Division) and Elvin ALIYEV of the CPT’s Secretariat and assisted by an expert, Pétur HAUKSSON, former Head of the Psychiatric Department at Reykjalundur Rehabilitation Centre (Iceland).

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Police establishments
  • Detention Facility of the Central Public Order Police, Riga
  • Aizkraukle Police Station
  • Cesis Police Station
  • Daugavpils Police Station
  • Gulbene Police Station
  • Gulbene Municipal Police Station
  • Limbazi Police Station
  • Valmiera Police Station
Prison establishments
  •  Cesis Correctional Institution for Juveniles
  •  Daugavgriva Prison
  •  Jelgava Prison
  •  Riga Central Prison
  •  Olaine Prison Hospital (psychiatric unit)
Psychiatric/social welfare establishments
  •    Strenči Psychiatric Hospital
  •    Litene Social Care Institution.
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