The main objective of the talks was to discuss the action being taken by the recently elected Greek Government to address the long-standing concerns of the Committee regarding prison, police and immigration detention issues. In particular, the need to tackle the crisis in the prison system and to improve the treatment of persons detained by the police, including as regards investigating allegations of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials, was discussed. In this context, the delegation was keen to learn about the measures already taken or being considered by the new Government to tackle the serious problems encountered by the CPT in the course of its most recent visits in 2018 and 2019. The talks were carried out in a spirit of openness and all parties expressed their desire to improve the current situation of persons deprived of their liberty.
The main meeting took place with representatives from the Ministry of Citizen’s Protection, where the delegation met Deputy Minister Eleftherios Economou, together with the Secretary General of Public Order, Konstantinos Tsouvalas, the Secretary General for Crime Policy, Sophia Nikolaou, and the Chief of the Hellenic Police, Michail Karamalakis, as well as other senior officials from the Ministries of Citizen’s Protection and Health and from the Hellenic Police. Further, meetings were held with the Minister of Justice, Konstantinos Tsiaras, and his team, as well as with the Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Panagiotis Brakoumatsos, and with the Office of the Ombudsman.
The delegation also held an exchange with the President and Deputy President of the Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice of the Hellenic Parliament, Maximos Charakopoulos and Sofia Voultepsi, and with the Chair of the Special Permanent Committee on the Penitentiary system of the Hellenic Parliament, Konstantinos Karagkounis.
The CPT’s delegation comprised two members of the Committee, Mykola Gnatovskyy (President of the CPT) and Alan Mitchell as well as Hugh Chetwynd of the CPT’s Secretariat.