Strasbourg, 06.09.2007 – The Council of Europe's Committee for the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CPT) has published today its report on the ad hoc visit to Albania in March 2006, together with the Albanian authorities’ response. Both documents have been made public at the request of the Albanian Government.
The main objective of the visit was to examine the steps taken by the Albanian authorities to implement various recommendations made by the CPT after its previous visits to Albania. Particular attention was paid to the treatment of persons detained by the police and the conditions under which persons were being held in police pre-trial detention facilities. The delegation also explored whether the 1996 Mental Health Act, which includes a number of guarantees intended to safeguard the fundamental rights of psychiatric patients, was being effectively implemented.
The CPT’s delegation found that only little progress had been made in implementing long-standing recommendations. For instance, in the pre-trial detention facilities at Durres and Fier, material conditions of detention still left a great deal to be desired (e.g. severely overcrowded cells, no mattresses/blankets, very poor hygienic conditions), and inmates were still not allowed any in-cell activities (such as reading books, playing board games or listening to the radio). In addition, the 1996 Mental Health Act was apparently still not being implemented in practice.
In their response, the Albanian authorities provide detailed information on the steps taken in the light of the recommendations made by the Committee in the visit report. In particular, the state of repair and conditions of hygiene in pre-trial detention facilities have been improved, and inmates are now allowed to engage in various activities inside their cell. The authorities also confirm that all involuntary admissions to psychiatric hospitals are now systematically notified to the competent courts.
The CPT’s visit report and the response of the Albanian Government are available on the CPT’s website: http://www.cpt.coe.int