Strasbourg, 24.05.2007 - 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 visit to Estonia from 9 to 18 May 2007. It was the Committee's fourth visit to this country.
The visit provided an opportunity to review the progress made since the previous visit in 2003. Particular attention was paid to the treatment of persons detained by the police (including during the disturbances that took place in Tallinn at the end of April 2007), as well as to the conditions of detention in police arrest houses and prisons. The situation of life-sentenced and juvenile prisoners was explored in depth. The delegation also examined the treatment and living conditions of patients/residents in a psychiatric hospital and a social care home.
In the course of the visit, the delegation met Rein LANG, Minister of Justice, and had discussions with Marek HELM, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Priit KAMA, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Riho RAHUOJA, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Social Affairs, as well as with other senior officials of the ministries concerned. It also held consultations with Allar JÕKS, Chancellor of Justice, and representatives of the Estonian Patient Advocacy Association and the “Legal Information Centre for Human Rights”. At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the Estonian authorities.
The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:
BUTALA, Head of delegation (Slovenian)
- Eugenijus GEFENAS (Lithuanian)
- Zbigniew HOŁDA (Polish)
- Tatiana RĂDUCANU (Moldovan)
- Elena SEREDA (Russian).
They were supported by Elvin ALIYEV and Muriel ISELI of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by two experts: Gérard LAURENCIN, psychiatrist, Regional Medical and Psychological Service, Toulouse (France), and Cyrille ORIZET, psychiatrist, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, Paris (France).
The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:
Establishments under the Ministry of Internal Affairs
Kohtla-Järve Arrest House
- Narva Arrest House
- Rakvere Arrest House
- Rapla Arrest House
- Tallinn Arrest House
- Viljandi Arrest House
- Kohtla-Järve Police Station
- Narva Police Department
- Rakvere Police Department
- Repatriation Centre of the Citizenship and Migration Board.
Establishments under the Ministry of Justice
- Tallinn Prison
- Viljandi Prison
The delegation also went to Tartu Prison, in order to interview newly arrived remand prisoners.
Establishments under the Ministry of Social Affairs
- Võisiku Care Home.