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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Portugal


Strasbourg, 11.10.2016 – 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 an eleven day visit to Portugal. The visit, which began on 27 September 2016, was the CPT’s tenth visit to the country.

The visit was an opportunity for the delegation to assess the progress made since the previous CPT visits to Portugal in 2012 and 2013. To this end, the delegation reviewed the treatment of persons detained by law enforcement agencies, notably the Judicial Police, Public Security Police and Republican National Guard. Particular attention was given to the application in practice of safeguards against ill-treatment. The delegation also visited a number of prisons, focusing on the conditions of detention and the treatment of various categories of prisoners notably those held on remand and in disciplinary segregation as well as juveniles and vulnerable prisoners. It also examined the situation of patients held in two forensic psychiatric units. Further, the delegation held a series of meetings with the Inspectorate General of Home Affairs (IGAI) and looked into several files concerning complaints about ill-treatment by law enforcement officials.

In the course of the visit, the delegation met Constança Urbano de Sousa, Minister of Internal Administration and Francisca Van Dunem, Minister of Justice. It also held consultations with Isabel Oneto, Deputy Minister of Internal Administration and Helena Mesquita Ribeiro, Deputy Minister of Justice, as well as with Celso das Neves Manata, Director General of Reintegration and Prison Services, Luis Peça Farinha, National Director of the Public Security Police (PSP), Luís Botelho Miguel, Second Commander of the Republican National Guard (GNR), and senior officials from the Ministries of Internal Administration, Justice and Foreign Affairs.  Discussions were also held with Margarida Blasco, Inspector-General of Home Affairs (IGAI).

The delegation also met representatives of the Office of the Ombudsman responsible for the operation of the National Preventive Mechanism, set up under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

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

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

- Julia Kozma, Head of delegation
- Maria José García Galán San Miguel
- Georg Høyer
- Dubravka Salčić
- Anton Van Kalmthout
- Elisabetta Zamparutti.

They were supported by Hugh Chetwynd, Head of Division, and Almut Schröder of the Secretariat of the CPT, and assisted by Alan Mitchell, medical doctor and Chair of the Independent Prisons Monitoring Advisory Group, Scotland, United Kingdom.

The delegation visited the following places:

Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior

Public Security Police

-           Amadora, 60th Police Station, Av. Movimento das Forças Armada
-           Leiria, Command Headquarters, St. Pedro Square
-           Lisbon, Command Headquarters, Moscavide Avenue
-           Lisbon, 3rd Police Division, Benfica/André de Resende Street
-           Pontinha-Loures, 73rd Police Division, Rua Infante D. Henrique
-           Porto, Agostinho José Freire Street
-           Sintra, 86th Police Station, Casal de Cambra/Moçambique Street
-           Sintra, 69th Police Station, Algueirão-Mem Martins/Capitães de Abril Avenue
 
Republican National Guard   

-           Vialonga, Calouste Gulbenkian Street
 
Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Justice

-           Caxias Prison
-           Caxias Prison Hospital
-           Leiria Juvenile Prison
-           Lisbon Central Prison
-           Lisbon Judicial Police Prison*
-           Monsanto Prison
-           Montijo Regional Prison*
-           Porto Judicial Police Prison*
-           Santa Cruz do Bispo Prison (Psychiatric Clinic)
-           Setúbal Prison*          
-           Tires Prison*
 

 
* Targeted visit primarily to interview remand prisoners


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