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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Spain


Strasbourg, 13.10.2016 - A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) recently carried out a two-week visit to Spain. The visit, which began on 27 September, was the CPT’s seventh periodic visit to that country.

During the visit, the CPT’s delegation reviewed the treatment of persons detained by various police services (in particular the Policía Nacional and the Guardia Civil). Particular attention was given to the application in practice of safeguards against ill-treatment in the light of the recent reform of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The delegation also visited a number of prisons, focusing on various categories of inmates, notably those in special departments and subject to a closed regime. Further, a particular focus was again placed on the continued use of mechanical restraints in prisons. The CPT’s delegation also reviewed the treatment of juveniles deprived of their liberty under criminal legislation in two different establishments under the responsibility of the autonomous communities.

In the course of the visit, the CPT’s delegation held consultations with Mr Francisco Martínez Vázquez, State Secretary for Security at the Ministry of Interior, Mr Ángel Yuste Castillejo, Secretary General of the Penitentiary Administration, and Mr Carlos Abella y de Arístegui, Director General for International Relations and Migration of the Ministry of Interior. It also met with other senior officials of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality.  

The delegation also met with Ms Soledad Becerril, Ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo), who is performing the task of national preventive mechanism (NPM). Further, it held discussions with 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 Spanish authorities.

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

- Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the CPT and Head of delegation
- Vassilis Karydis
- Therese Rytter
- Ivona Todorovska
- Olivera Vulić
- Hans Wolff.

They were supported by Petr Hnátík and Christian Loda of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by Mauro Palma, Head of the Italian NPM and former President of the CPT (expert).
The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Establishments under the Ministry of Interior of Spain
 
National Police
 
    -    National Police Station, La Coruña (Calle Médico Devesa Núñez)
    -    National Police Station, Cádiz
    -    National Police Station, Madrid (Calle de Leganitos)
    -    National Police Station, Madrid (Ronda de Toledo)
    -    National Police Station, Oviedo (Calle General Yagüe)
    -    National Police Station, Oviedo (Avenida Buenavista)
    -    National Police Station, San Fernando
    -    National Police Station, Sevilla (Avenida Blas Infante)
  
Prison establishments
 
    -    León Prison
    -    Puerto I Prison
    -    Puerto III Prison
    -    Sevilla II Prison
    -    Teixeiro Prison
    -    Villabona Prison
 
In addition, the delegation carried out targeted visits to Madrid V Prison (Soto del Real) and Puerto II Prison to interview newly arrived remand prisoners.
 
Establishments under the authority of the autonomous communities
 
    -    Tierras de Oria Juvenile Institution
    -    Sograndio Juvenile Institution.


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