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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Greece

Strasbourg, 05.10.2009 - 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 Greece from 17 to 29 September 2009. It was the Committee’s fifth periodic visit to Greece.

The visit provided the opportunity to assess progress made since the previous periodic visit in September 2005 and the ad hoc visits of February 2007 and September 2008. In the course of the visit, the CPT’s delegation examined the treatment and conditions of detention of persons held in a number of prisons and in aliens detention centres, including in the eastern Aegean and the Evros region.

The delegation also visited police and border guard establishments with a view to examining the conditions of detention and the safeguards in place, both in relation to persons suspected of a criminal offence and those held under Aliens legislation.

In the course of the visit, the delegation met the Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Athanasios ANDREOULAKOS, Head of Penitentiary Policy, Christina PETROU, and the Chief Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation, Ioannis TENTES, as well as senior officials from the Greek Police Force and representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, Interior and Justice. The delegation also met the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman, representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Greek National Commission for Human Rights, and several members of non-governmental organisations.

The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:
    -     Mario FELICE, Head of delegation (Maltese),
    -     Anna GAVRILOVA-ANCHEVA (Bulgarian)
    -     Emilio GINES SANTIDRIÁN (Spanish)
    -     Marija DEFINIS-GOJANOVIC (Croatian)
    -     Stefan WEINBERG-KRAKOWSKI (Swedish)

They were supported by Hugh CHETWYND, Head of Division, and Marco LEIDEKKER of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by two experts, Martin LOMAS, Team leader at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for England and Wales, United Kingdom, and Alan MITCHELL, Former Head of the Scottish Prison Health Care Service, United Kingdom.

The delegation visited the following establishments:

Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Interior

Achaea Prefecture
Patras Police Stations (1st, 2nd , 4th and 5th precincts)
Patras Transfer Centre

Athens Prefecture
Omonia Police Station
Petrou Rali Alien holding facility
Holding Areas at Athens Airport
Moschatou Police Station
Piraeus Alien holding facility

Alexandroupolis Prefecture
Alexandroupolis Police Station
Feres Border Guard Station
Soufli Police and Border Guard Station

Chios Prefecture
Chios Town Police Station

Kavala Prefecture
Kavala Police Station
Neo Karvali Border Guard Station

Lesbos Prefecture
Mytilini Police Headquarters
Pagani Special holding facility for illegal immigrants

Orestiada Prefecture
Filakio Special holding facility for illegal immigrants
Neo Himonio Border Guard Station
Orestiada Police Station

Phocis Prefecture
Amfissa Police Transfer Centre

Rodophi Prefecture
Venna Special Holding facility for illegal immigrants

Serres Prefecture
Serres Police Station
Siderokastro Police Station

Thessaloniki Prefecture
Thessaloniki Airport Holding facilities
Dodecanesis Street Police Station
Kordello Border Guard Station
Monasterou Police Station

Xanthi Prefecture
Xanthi Police and Border guard Station

Ministry of Merchant Marine

Chios Port detention facility
Mytilini Port detention facility
Patras Port detention facility

Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Justice

Amfissa Prison
Chios Judicial Prison
Korydallos Men’s Prison (for a targeted follow up visit)
Korydallos Women’s Remand Prison (for a targeted follow up visit)
Malandrino Prison
Patras Prison
Thessaloniki Prison
Thiva Women’s Prison

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