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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits the Netherlands

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 16-day-visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 10 to 25 May 2022. The visit concerned the European part of the Kingdom, as well as Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. It was the Committee's seventh periodic visit to the Kingdom.
31/05/2022
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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits the Netherlands

In the course of the visit, the delegation assessed the treatment and safeguards afforded to persons deprived of their liberty by the police and it examined the treatment of persons in prison and their conditions of detention. The delegation also visited the extra-security facility (EBI) at Vught Prison and two departments holding persons on terrorist offences (TA). Further, several immigration detention facilities were visited to examine the situation of persons deprived of their liberty under aliens legislation. Particular attention was paid during the visit to the measures taken by the competent authorities to implement recommendations made by the Committee after its previous visits.

During the visit, the CPT’s delegation held consultations with Dick Schoof, Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice and Security (The Hague), Rocco G. Tjon, Minister of Justice and Social Affairs of Aruba, Shalten Hato, Minister of Justice of Curaçao and Anna E. Richardson, Minister of Justice of Sint Maarten, as well as senior officials from relevant ministries and services.

The delegation also met Reinier van Zutphen, the National Ombudsman, as well as representatives of the National Preventive Mechanism, the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, the Law Enforcement Council, the Netherlands Bar Association and non-governmental organisations active in areas of concern to the CPT.

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

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

  • Hans Wolff, 1st Vice-President of the CPT (Head of Delegation)
  • Judith Öhri
  • Helena Papa
  • Arman Tatoyan
  • Gunda Wössner.

They were supported by Petr Hnátík and Sebastian Rietz of the Committee's Secretariat, and assisted by three experts: Hindpal Singh Bhui, Team Leader (immigration detention) at HM Inspectorate of Prisons for England and Wales (United Kingdom), James Jesse Hard, General Practitioner working in prisons in Wales (United Kingdom), and Tinatin Uplisashvili, Lawyer (Georgia).

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

The Kingdom in Europe:

  • Amsterdam City Police Station (Elandsgracht)
  • Amsterdam South Police Station (Flierbosdreef)
  • Dordrecht Police Station
  • ‘s-Hertogenbosch Police Station
     
  • Dordrecht Prison
  • Vught Prison
  • Zwolle Prison (targeted visit to the Terrorist department (TA))
     
  • Closed Family Facility (GGV) at Zeist Immigration Detention Centre
  • Schiphol Immigration Detention Centre (Amsterdam)
  • Rotterdam Immigration Detention Centre

Aruba:

  • Aruba Correctional Institution (KIA)
  • Noord (Shaba), San Nicolas and Santa Cruz Police Stations
  • Dakota Immigration Detention Facility

Curaçao:

  • Centre for Detention and Correction Curaçao (SDKK)
  • Barber and Rio Canario Police Stations, as well as the police detention facility located at SDKK premises
  • “Illegalen Barakken” Immigration Detention Facility

Sint Maarten:

  • "Point Blanche" Prison
  • Philipsburg Police Station
  • Simpson Bay Immigration Detention Facility.

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Preventing torture in Europe
www.cpt.coe.int

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