Nazaj Council of Europe anti-torture Committee examines treatment of foreign nationals during a removal operation by air from Italy

A delegation of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has recently examined the treatment of foreign nationals during a removal operation by air from Italy, coordinated and co-financed by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX).

The monitoring took place in the context of an ad hoc visit to Italy from 16 to 18 December 2015 and involved the presence of a CPT delegation on a charter flight to Lagos (Nigeria). In addition to Italy, the organising state, the following states took part in the FRONTEX mission: Belgium and Switzerland.

On the eve of the flight, the delegation held consultations with representatives of the Ministry of the Interior and the State Police, as well as with a migration lawyer.

The visit was carried out by two members of the CPT, Wolfgang HEINZ, 2nd Vice-President, and Inga HARUTYUNIYAN, who were supported by Alan MITCHELL, former Head of the Scottish Prison Health Care Service (expert) and Marco LEIDEKKER and Christian LODA from the CPT’s Secretariat.

This is the third time the CPT has examined a removal operation by air. Previously, the CPT has monitored return flights from the United Kingdom in October 2012, and from the Netherlands in October 2013. The reports on these two removal operations have been published on the CPT’s website (

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