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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Greece

Strasbourg, 03.02.2011 - 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 Greece from 20 to 27 January 2011.

The visit was carried out to assess the concrete steps taken by the Greek authorities to implement long-standing recommendations, in particular those contained in the reports on the CPT’s visits of September 2005, February 2007, September 2008 and September 2009.

In the course of the visit, the CPT’s delegation examined the treatment and conditions of detention of migrants held in aliens detention centres and in police and border guard stations, particularly in the Attica and Evros regions. The delegation also examined the situation in several prison establishments, including the provision of health care and the regime offered to inmates. In addition, the visit offered the opportunity to review the treatment of detained persons suspected of criminal offences and the safeguards in place for them.

In the course of the visit, the delegation met the Special Secretary for Correctional Policy and Forensic Services, Marinos SKANDAMIS, General Director of Penitentiary Policy, Christina PETROU and Brigadier General Vasileios KOUSOUTIS, Director of the Aliens Division of the Hellenic Police, as well as other senior officials from the Greek Police Force and representatives from the Ministries of Citizen’s Protection, Foreign Affairs and Justice. The delegation also met the Deputy Ombudsman for human rights and for children, representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and members of several non-governmental organisations, including Médecins sans Frontières.

The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:
-     Mauro PALMA, Head of delegation and President of the CPT (Italian)
-     Marija DEFINIS-GOJANOVIĆ (Croatian)
-     Mario FELICE (Maltese)
-     Ilvija PŪCE (Latvian)
-     Jean-Pierre RESTELLINI (Swiss)
-     George TUGUSHI (Georgian).

They were supported by Hugh CHETWYND, Head of Division, and Marco LEIDEKKER of the CPT's Secretariat.

The report on the visit will be transmitted to the Greek authorities in March 2011.

The delegation visited the following establishments:

Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Citizen’s Protection

Attica Region

Agio Pantaleimons Police Station, Athens
Akropolis Police Station, Athens
Alexander Street Police Headquarters, Athens
Aspropyrgos Holding Facility for Irregular Migrants, Athens
Athens Airport Holding Areas
Elefsinas Police Station, Athens
Omonia Police Station, Athens
Holding Facility for Irregular Migrants

Central Greece Region

Amfissa Police Transfer Centre
Lamia Police Transfer Centre

Evros Region

Alexandroupoli Police Station
Feres Border Guard Station
Filakio Special holding facility for illegal immigrants
Neo Himonio Border Guard Station
Orestiada Police Station
Soufli Police and Border Guard Station
Tychero Border Guard Station 

Macedonia Region

Dodecanesis Street Police Station, Thessaloniki
Monasterou Police Station, Thessaloniki
Menemene Police Station, Thessaloniki

Peloponnesus Region

Argos Police Station
Sparta Police Station
Sparta Special Holding Facility for irregular migrants
Tripoli Police Station

Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Justice

Amfissa Prison
Domokos Prison
Korydallos Men’s Prison (targeted follow up visit)
Korydallos Women’s Remand Prison (targeted follow up visit)
Thessaloniki Prison (to interview inmates on remand)
Thiva Women’s Prison (targeted follow up visit)
Tripoli Prison (to interview inmates on remand)

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