Înapoi The Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Portugal

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 12-day visit to Portugal from 23 May to 3 June 2022. It was the Committee's twelfth visit to the country.
The Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Portugal

The main objective of the visit was to examine the treatment and safeguards afforded to persons detained by law enforcement agencies as well as the treatment and conditions of detention of persons held in prisons following up on the recommendations made by the CPT in its report on the 2019 visit. To this end, the CPT’s delegation visited a number of Judicial Police, Public Security Police (PSP) and the National Republican Guard (GNR) facilities and several prisons. It also looked again into the effectiveness of investigations into allegations of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials. Particular attention was paid to women held in prisons and to persons held on remand. The CPT’s delegation also examined the situation of patients held at the Psychiatric Clinic of Santa Cruz do Bispo Prison and visited the Forensic Unit of Magalhães Lemos Hospital, Porto.

In the course of the visit, the CPT’s delegation met and held talks with José Luís Carneiro, Minister for Internal Administration, Catarina Sarmento e Castro, Minister for Justice, Jorge Alves Costa, Deputy Minister for Justice, Francisco André, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Maria de Fátima Fonseca, Secretary of State for Health. It also met Rómulo Augusto Mateus, Director General of Reintegration and Prison Services, Luís Neves, National Director of the Judiciary Police (PJ), Lieutenant-General Rui Clero, General-Commander of Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR), Chief-Superintendent Manuel Magina da Silva, National Director of Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP), José Luís Rosário Barão, Deputy National Director of Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF), Gonçalo da Cunha Pires, General Inspector of Justice Services, and Teresa Anjinho, Deputy Ombudsperson with responsibility for Portugal’s National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), as well as senior officials from relevant ministries and services.

The delegation further held exchanges on the effectiveness of investigations into allegations of ill-treatment by police officers with Joana Gomes Ferreira, Deputy Prosecutor General, and with Anabela Cabral Ferreira, Inspector General for Internal Affairs, as well as with senior officials from both services.

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

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

  • Mark Kelly, Head of Delegation
  • Vanessa Durich
  • Therese Rytter
  • Elisabetta Zamparutti
  • Marius Caruana
  • Juan Carlos da Silva Ochoa

They were supported by Aurèlie Pasquier and Almut Schröder of the CPT’s Secretariat and assisted by Olivera Vulić, psychiatrist, former Chief of the Centre for Mental Health in Podgorica, Montenegro.

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Internal Administration

  • PSP Metropolitan Command Headquarters, Moscavide Avenue, Lisbon
  • PSP District Command Coimbra, Rua Elísio de Moura, Coimbra
  • PSP 3rd Police Division, Rua André de Resende, Lisbon (Benfica)
  • PSP Police Division Loures, Rua José Dias Coelho, São João da Talha
  • PSP Police Station Cruz de Pau, Rua Binta, Amora
  • PSP 3rd District Police Station, Travessa da Água da Flor, Lisbon (Bairro Alto)
  • PSP 4th District Police Station, Rua da Palma 169, Lisbon (Palaçio da Folgosa)
  • PSP 63rd District Police Station, Rua Bernardino Machado 4, Lisbon (Damaia)
  • PSP Metropolitan Command Headquarters, Rua Agostinho José Freire, Porto (Quinta da Bela Vista)
  • PSP 6th District Police Station, Rua de Naulila 206, Antas, Porto
  • GNR Police Station, Rua João de Deus, Sintra
  • GNR Police Station, Bairro Nicolau Chanterenne, Ançã
  • GNR Police Station, Rua da Eirinha, Penacova
  • GNR Police Station, Rua Armindo Moreira, Sao Pedro de Avioso Maia (Porto)

Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Justice

  • Aveiro Prison*
  • Coimbra Judicial Police Detention Zone
  • Lisbon Central Prison
  • Lisbon Judicial Police Prison*
  • Porto Custóias Prison*
  • Porto Judicial Police Prison*
  • Tires Prison
  • Santa Cruz do Bispo Women’s Prison
  • Psychiatric Clinic of Santa Cruz do Bispo Prison
  • Campus de Justiça, Court Detention Area (Block B), Alameda dos Oceanos, Lisbon*

Establishment under the authority of the Ministry of Health

  • Forensic Unit of Magalhães Lemos Hospital, Porto


* Targeted visit primarily to interview remand prisoners.

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