Council of Europe's Anti-Torture Committee publishes two reports on visits to Spain

The Council of Europe's Committee for the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CPT) has published today the reports on its visits to Spain in July-August 2003 and December 2005, together with the responses by the Government of Spain. These documents have been made public at the request of the Spanish authorities.
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Both reports highlight the Committee’s concerns about the practical safeguards in place to prevent ill-treatment by law enforcement officials. In the report on the 2005 visit, the CPT concluded, following a detailed analysis of a number of individual cases, that the safeguards in place for persons deprived of their liberty by law enforcement agencies do not provide adequate protection from ill-treatment. Consequently, the CPT called upon the Spanish authorities to review the existing legal framework and operation of safeguards against ill-treatment for persons deprived of their liberty.

The treatment of foreigners detained under aliens legislation is examined in both reports. The CPT visited Melilla in 2005 in order to examine the procedures for the interception and treatment of foreign nationals by the Civil Guard at Spain’s border with Morocco. The CPT recommended that the authorities take appropriate measures to ensure that the temporary holding centre for immigrants (CETI) in Melilla is able to cope with the great numbers of arrivals at the centre.

The report on the 2003 visit contains a series of recommendations concerning the treatment of inmates placed in special units because they are considered to be “dangerous” or “unsuited to an ordinary prison regime”. The situation of patients and prisoners in penitentiary psychiatric hospitals and of children in detention facilities is also examined.

In their responses, the Spanish authorities indicate the measures that they have taken or intend to take in order to implement the CPT’s recommendations.

The CPT reports and the responses of the Spanish authorities are available on the CPT’s website (