The July 2002 visit focussed on the treatment of persons detained by the State's law enforcement agencies (Ministry of the Interior). From the facts found, the CPT concluded that the physical ill-treatment of such persons is a serious problem, affecting ordinary criminal suspects as well as those suspected of crimes against the State. Moreover, the information gathered by the Committee revealed that there is no guarantee that an effective investigation will be carried out when it comes to the attention of judges and prosecutors that a person may have sustained injuries while in police custody.
The CPT called upon the national authorities to ensure that a formal statement from the highest political level is delivered to law enforcement officials, making clear to them that the ill-treatment of detained persons will not be tolerated. The Committee also identified specific measures to be applied by various authorities - judges and prosecutors, as well as the police and prison services - to prevent police ill-treatment and combat impunity.
In the response to the report on the July 2002 visit, it is highlighted that during a recent session of the Government (10 February 2003) a number of conclusions were reached in line with the CPT's recommendations. Most importantly, the Government stressed that ill-treatment by law enforcement officials is contrary to the fundamental values of a democratic society, to the respect of human rights and to the rule of law, and that those who perpetrate such acts would be made subject to severe sanctions.
One specific measure under consideration in the Ministry of the Interior is the introduction of a custody officer system in police stations. For its part, the Ministry of Justice point outs that formal instructions have been issued to all public prosecutors to ensure that allegations of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials are properly investigated and pursued.
Both the visit report (published on 16 January 2003) and the response of the national authorities are available on the CPT's website (http://www.cpt.coe.int)