Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Finland

A delegation of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out a periodic visit to Finland from 7 to 18 September 2020. It was the Committee's sixth periodic visit to this country.
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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Finland

The objective of the visit was to examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty with a view to strengthening, if necessary, their protection from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In this context, the delegation reviewed the measures taken by the Finnish authorities in response to the recommendations made by the Committee after its previous visit in 2014. To this end, particular attention was paid to the situation of persons in police custody (including intoxicated persons), remand prisoners held in police establishments, foreign nationals held in immigration detention facilities, remand and sentenced prisoners as well as psychiatric patients. In addition, the delegation visited for the first time two juvenile establishments (residential schools).

In the course of the visit, the delegation had consultations with Maria Ohisalo, Minister of the Interior, Malin Brännkärr, State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice and Saila Ruuth, State Secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, as well as with other senior officials from the above-mentioned ministries.

Further, the delegation met Petri Jääskeläinen, Parliamentary Ombudsman and Pasi Pölönen, Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman in their capacity as the Finnish National Preventive Mechanism (NPM).

At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the Finnish authorities.

The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:

  • Marie Lukasová, Head of delegation
  • Kristina Pardalos
  • Arman Tatoyan
  • Marika Väli.

They were supported by Borys Wódz, Head of Division, and Almut Schröder of the CPT’s Secretariat, and assisted by two experts, Pétur Hauksson, psychiatrist, former Head of the Psychiatric Department at Reykjalundur Rehabilitation Centre (Iceland) and George Tugushi, lawyer and former Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia.

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Establishments under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior
  • Police detention facilities ("police prisons") in Espoo, Haukipudas, Helsinki (Pasila), Kemijärvi, Kuusamo, Mikkeli, Raahe, Turku, Vantaa and Ylivieska
  • Töölö Custodial Facility for Intoxicated Persons, Helsinki
  • Metsälä Detention Unit for Foreign Nationals, Helsinki
  • Border Guard detention facility at Kuusamo Border Crossing Point
Establishments under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice
  • Oulu Prison
  • Turku Prison
Establishments under the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
  • Sairila Residential School
  • Sippola Residential School
  • Kellokoski Hospital.

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