Back Council of Europe's anti-torture Committee publishes report on Poland

A report issued today by the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) assesses the treatment of people held in police stations, prisons, psychiatric hospitals and centres for illegal aliens in Poland.

The report is published at the Polish authorities' request, together with their response. It covers the CPT's second visit to Poland, which took place in May 2000.

A number of persons interviewed by the CPT's delegation alleged that they had been physically ill-treated by the police. In their response, the Polish authorities indicate that they have reinforced the supervision of police activities and intensified human rights training of police officers.

At Przemyśl Prison, the CPT's delegation was inundated with allegations of ill-treatment of inmates by prison officers. The Polish authorities have subsequently imposed disciplinary sanctions on certain staff members and introduced measures to improve staff training and managerial control.

The CPT also expresses concern about the steady rise of the Polish prison population and recommends a range of measures to counter this trend. In their response, the Polish authorities refer to plans to send more prisoners to semi-open establishments and to provide 20,000 new prison places by the year 2012.

The CPT gained a generally positive impression of Starogard Gdański Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, which offered a range of therapeutic options to patients. The Polish authorities indicate that the refurbishment programme underway at the hospital will be completed by 2004.

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