The Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee published a new report today following its visit to police, penitentiary, psychiatric establishments and social care establishments in Bulgaria in September – October 2017.
The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) said that there might have been a slight improvement in the treatment of persons in police custody since 2015, especially as regards the severity of alleged ill-treatment. However, the delegation still received many allegations of physical ill-treatment from persons (including juveniles) who had been detained by the police. CPT also regrets the absence of any real progress in the application of safeguards against ill-treatment, such as the right of access to a lawyer and to a doctor.
The delegation visited the Special Home for Accommodation of Foreigners in Lyubimets and received a few allegations of physical ill-treatment, as well as many complaints of disrespectful and unresponsive attitude by custodial staff to detained foreign nationals. Material conditions in Lyubimets were very poor, with large-capacity dormitories being dilapidated, filthy, and crammed with bunk beds. There was insufficient access to health care, absence of interpretation arrangement, and total lack of adapted food, clothes or toys for more than 40 minors accompanying their parents.