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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Iceland

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 periodic visit to Iceland from 17 to 24 May 2019. It was the Committee's fifth periodic visit to this country.
29/05/2019
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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Iceland

The main objective of the visit was to review the measures taken by the Icelandic authorities in response to the recommendations made by the Committee after previous visits. In this connection, particular attention was paid to the treatment and conditions of detention of persons in police custody and penitentiary establishments. The delegation also examined the treatment, conditions and legal safeguards offered to psychiatric patients.

In the course of the visit, the delegation had consultations with Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir, Minister of Justice, Páll Winkel, Director General of the Prison and Probation Administration, Helga Björg Ragnarsdóttir, Political Advisor to the Minister of Health, as well as with senior officials from the Ministries of Justice, Health, and the Offices of the National Commissioner of Police and Public Prosecutor. In addition, talks were held with the NPM team of the Althing Ombudsman’s Office. The delegation also met representatives of 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 Icelandic authorities.

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

  • Marzena Ksel, Head of delegation
  • Per Granström
  • Inga Harutyunyan
  • Marie Lukasová
  • Vincent Micallef.

They were supported by Borys Wódz (Head of Division) and Dalia Žukauskienė of the CPT’s Secretariat, and assisted by an expert Andres Lehtmets, Head of the Centre of Psychiatry, West Tallinn Central Hospital, Estonia.

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Police establishments
  • Reykjavík Police Headquarters
  • Akureyri Police Station
  • Búðardalur Police Station
  • Keflavík International Airport Police Station
  • Keflavík Police Station
  • Kópavogur Police Station
  • Ólafsvík Police Station
  • Selfoss Police Station
  • Stykkishólmur Police Station
Prisons
  • Akureyri Prison
  • Hólmsheið Prison
  • Kvíabryggja Prison
  • Litla-Hraun Prison
Psychiatric establishments
  • Psychiatric unit of Reykjavík University Hospital (Landspítali)
  • Forensic and secure wards of the Psychiatric Department of Reykjavík University Hospital (the Kleppur campus)
  • Psychiatric ward of Akureyri Hospital.

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Preventing torture in Europe
www.cpt.coe.int

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