Preliminary observations by Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee (CPT) after visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in March 2007

The CPT’s March 2007 visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina provided an opportunity to assess the progress made since the first periodic visit in April/May 2003 and the ad hoc visit in December 2004. The Committee’s delegation examined in detail various issues related to prisons, including the regime and treatment of remand prisoners and those prisoners placed in isolation. Particular concerns were expressed concerning the unsafe nature of some of the prisons visited, notably those in Zenica and Doboj, where it appeared that prison staff were not in complete control.
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The situation of forensic psychiatric patients was another focal point of the visit, the CPT’s delegation looking into the treatment of patients at Sokolac Psychiatric Hospital and Zenica Prison Forensic Psychiatric Annexe. The delegation encouraged the authorities to take a more multidisciplinary planning approach towards the establishment of a State-level forensic psychiatric hospital.

The situation of residents in two social care homes was examined for the first time, and the authorities were urged to improve the safeguards afforded to persons placed in such homes. The importance of developing a proper legal framework for social care homes in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was also stressed.

Particular attention was also paid to the treatment of persons detained by the police and to the practical operation of safeguards against ill-treatment.

By letter of 31 May 2007, the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina responded to the various matters raised in the preliminary observations made by the delegation at the end of the visit on 30 March 2007.

The preliminary observations and the response are published with the agreement of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.