Representatives of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) have recently returned from high-level talks in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The main objective of the talks, which took place on 31 May and 1 June 2022, was to discuss the follow-up to the public statement issued by the CPT in November 2021, which had addressed the persistent lack of implementation of long-standing recommendations of the CPT concerning the situation of persons placed in social care institutions and psychiatric hospitals in Bulgaria. Discussions were also held on the subject of other CPT’s recommendations (concerning the police and prisons) made in the report on the October 2021 periodic visit to Bulgaria, adopted by the CPT in March 2022. The talks took place in an open and positive atmosphere, in the spirit of the principle of co-operation.
The CPT’s representatives were Alan Mitchell (the President of the Committee) and Elsa Bára Traustadóttir (member of the CPT in respect of Iceland), accompanied by Régis Brillat (Executive Secretary of the CPT) and Borys Wódz (Head of Division at the CPT’s Secretariat). The delegation met Kiril Petkov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, Boyko Rashkov, Minister of the Interior, Nadejda Iordanova, Minister of Justice, Asena Serbezova, Minister of Health, Georgi Gyokov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy, and several other senior officials from the above-mentioned ministries.