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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Iceland

Strasbourg, 02.10.2012 - A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) recently carried out a seven day visit to Iceland. The visit, which began on 18 September, was the CPT’s fourth visit to the country.

The visit provided an opportunity to assess the extent to which the recommendations made after previous CPT visits have been implemented. Particular attention was paid to the treatment of persons in police custody, prison conditions and the situation of patients in psychiatric institutions.

In the course of the visit, the CPT’s delegation held talks with the Minister of the Interior, Mr Ögmundur JÓNASSON, the Deputy National Commissioner of Police, Mr Björn HALLDÓRSSON, the Director of Immigration, Ms Kristín VÖLUNDARDÓTTIR, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Sigriđur FRIĐJÓNSDÓTTIR, the Director of the Prison and Probation Administration, Mr Páll WINKEL, and the Director of Health, Mr Geir GUNNLAUGSSON. It also met with the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Mr Tryggvi GUNNARSSON and held discussions with representatives of 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 Icelandic authorities.

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

- Haritini DIPLA (Greek), Acting 1st Vice-President of the CPT, Head of delegation
- Seán AYLWARD (Irish)
- Isolde KIEBER (Liechtensteiner)
- Stefan KRAKOWSKI (Swedish)
- Costakis PARASKEVA (Cypriot).

They were supported by Borys WŇDZ (Head of Division) and Patrick MÜLLER of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by Veronica PIMENOFF, psychiatrist, Head of Department at the Helsinki University Psychiatric Hospital (Finland).

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Police establishments

- Akureyri Police Station
- Hafnarfjörđur Police Station
- Keflavik Airport Police Station
- Kópavogur Police Station
- Reykjavik Police Headquarters
- Selfoss Police Station


- Akureyri Prison
- Kópavogur Prison
- Litla-Hraun Prison
- Reykjavik (Skólavörđustígur) Prison

Psychiatric establishments

- Psychiatric ward of Akureyri Hospital
- Forensic and secure wards of the Psychiatric Department of Reykjavik National University Hospital, Kleppur.

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