Strasbourg, 20.03.2012 – The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) today published the report on its visit to Albania in May 2010, together with the response of the Albanian authorities.
The majority of the persons interviewed by the CPT delegation stated that they had been correctly treated by the police. However, a significant number of persons (including many juveniles) claimed that they had been subjected to ill-treatment (e.g. slaps, punches, kicks or truncheon blows) at the time of their apprehension or during questioning by police officers.
Material conditions of detention were poor in most of the police establishments visited (dilapidated cells, very limited or no access to natural light, dim artificial lighting and poor ventilation). In their response, the Albanian authorities indicate that various police detention facilities were being renovated or completely reconstructed.
In prisons, staff-prisoner relations appeared on the whole to be quite relaxed and inter-prisoner violence did not seem to be a major problem. At Korca Prison, Tirana Prison No. 313 and the Durres Pre-Trial Detention Centre, some prisoners claimed that they had been ill-treated by members of the establishments’ special intervention groups.
Conditions were appalling at the Kukes Pre-Trial Detention Centre (damp and filthy cells in a poor state of repair, with limited access to natural light and inadequately ventilated). Some units at Prison No. 313 in Tirana were severely overcrowded. In their response, the authorities said that a new pre-trial detention centre in Kukes and a new remand prison in Tirana would soon be built. Material conditions in many cells at Burrel Prison and at the Shkodra Psychiatric Hospital were also generally poor.
In contrast, the CPT found satisfactory material conditions of juveniles at the newly-constructed Kavaja Juvenile Reintegration Centre and at the recently opened Fushe Kruja and Korca Prisons, the Durres Pre-Trial Detention Centre and the Supported Homes for psychiatric patients in Elbasan and Shkodra.
At the Prison Hospital in Tirana conditions have clearly improved. However, the CPT expressed concern about the use of metal chains to restrain suicidal or agitated patients to their beds. In their response, the Albanian authorities state that in future leather belts would be used.
The CPT’s visit report and the response of the Albanian Government, which has requested their publication, are available in English on: www.cpt.coe.int