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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Germany


Strasbourg, 13.12.2010 – A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out a periodic visit to Germany from 25 November to 7 December 2010.

During the visit, the CPT’s delegation reviewed the measures taken by the German authorities following the recommendations made by the Committee after its previous visits. In this connection, particular attention was paid to the fundamental safeguards against ill-treatment offered to persons deprived of their liberty by the police and the conditions of detention in units for immigration detainees in various prisons. The delegation also examined in detail the situation of persons subject to preventive detention (Sicherungsverwahrung) and of juvenile offenders held in penitentiary establishments. Further, for the first time in Germany, the delegation visited a prison for women.

In one of the Länder visited, namely Berlin, the delegation collected information on the surgical castration of sexual offenders who are deprived of their liberty, under the Law on Voluntary Castration and Other Treatment Methods.

The delegation had fruitful consultations with Ms Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Federal Minister of Justice, Ms Birgit Grundmann, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Jürgen Martens, Minister of Justice of Saxony, Mr Wilfried Bernhardt, State Secretary of Justice of Saxony, Ms Brigitte Mandt, State Secretary of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Mr Michael Steindorfner, Permanent Representative of the Minister of Justice of Baden-Württemberg, as well as with senior officials from the Federal Ministries of Justice and the Interior and various ministries of the Länder visited. It also met the Heads of the Federal Agency for the Prevention of Torture and the Joint Länder Commission for the Prevention of Torture, both of which form part of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) established under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture (OPCAT). Moreover, the delegation held meetings with representatives of the German Institute of Human Rights and 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 German authorities.

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

- Timothy DALTON (Irish) (Head of delegation)
- Yakin ERTÜRK (Turkish)
- Julia KOZMA (Austrian)
- Stefan WEINBERG-KRAKOWSKI (Swedish)
- Anna ŠABATOVÁ (Czech)
- Antonius-Maria VAN KALMTHOUT (Dutch).

They were supported by Michael NEURAUTER, Head of Division, and Stephanie MEGIES of the CPT’s Secretariat, and assisted by Veronica PIMENOFF, psychiatrist, Head of Department of Helsinki University Psychiatric Hospital (Finland).

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Baden-Württemberg

- Freiburg North Police Station (Polizeirevier), Bertoldstrasse 43a
- Stuttgart Police Headquarters (Polizeipräsidium), Hahnemannstrasse 1
-
Freiburg Prison (Unit for preventive detention)
- Schwäbisch Gmünd Prison for women (including the detached unit for male prisoners in Ellwangen)

Bavaria

- Munich-Perlach Police Station 24 (Polizeiinspektion), Adenauerring 31
-
Munich-Stadelheim Prison (Unit for immigration detainees)

Berlin

- Federal Police Station (Bundespolizeiinspektion), Central Railway Station, Europaplatz 1
- District Police Headquarters 3 (Polizeidirektion 3), Section 34, Alt-Moabit 145

- Lichtenrade Juvenile Detention Centre (Jugendarrestanstalt)

North-Rhine Westphalia

- Düsseldorf Airport Federal Police Station (Bundespolizeiinspektion), transit zone
-
Cologne Police Headquarters (Polizeipräsidium), Walter-Pauli Ring 2 - 4
- Cologne-Center Police Station (Polizeiinspektion), Stolkgasse 47
-
Cologne Prison (Units for juveniles and high-security unit)
- Herford Juvenile Prison
- Rheine Forensic Psychiatric Clinic

Saxony

- Leipzig Police Headquarters (Polizeidirektion), Dimitrowstrasse 1
- Leipzig Prison

Saxony-Anhalt

- Burg Prison (Unit for preventive detention).



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