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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Bulgaria

Strasbourg, 22.12.2008 - A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out an ad hoc visit to Bulgaria from 15 to 19 December 2008.

The main objective of the visit was to review progress made as regards the implementation of previous CPT recommendations, in particular those contained in the report on the 2006 periodic visit to Bulgaria. The visit focused on the treatment of persons detained by the police, the situation of foreign nationals deprived of their liberty, and conditions of detention in investigation detention facilities and prisons.

In the course of the visit, the delegation held consultations with Roumen ANDREEV, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Boyko RASHKOV, Deputy Minister of Justice, and Petar VASSILEV, Director of the Main Directorate for Execution of Sentences, as well as with senior officials from the Ministries concerned and from the State Agency for Refugees. The delegation also met Ginyo GANEV, Ombudsman of Bulgaria, and representatives of civil society.

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

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

    -     Silvia CASALE (British), Head of delegation
    -     Haritini DIPLA (Greek)
    -     Roland MARQUET (Monégasque).

They were supported by Petya NESTOROVA, Head of Division in the Committee’s Secretariat, and assisted by Derrick POUNDER, Professor of Forensic Medicine, University of Dundee, United Kingdom (expert).

The delegation visited the following places:

Establishments under the Ministry of Internal Affairs

    -     Pernik Regional Directorate of Internal Affairs
    -     Slivnitsa District Police Directorate
    -     Sofia City Directorate of Internal Affairs
    -     1st District Police Directorate, Sofia
    -     5th District Police Directorate, Sofia

- Special Home for temporary placement of foreign nationals, Busmantsi

Establishments under the Ministry of Justice

    -     Pernik Investigation Detention Facility
    -     Slivnitsa Investigation Detention Facility
    -     Sofia Prison.

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