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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Poland

Strasbourg, 10.12.2009 – 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 Poland from 26 November to 8 December 2009. The visit was carried out within the framework of the CPT's programme of periodic visits for 2009 and was the Committee's fourth periodic visit to Poland.

The CPT’s delegation assessed progress made since the previous visit in 2004 and the extent to which the Committee’s recommendations have been implemented, in particular in the areas of police custody, imprisonment (with a focus on prisoners classified as "dangerous") and the detention of foreign nationals under aliens legislation. It also visited for the first time in Poland a social care home.

In the course of the visit, the delegation met Krysztof KWIATKOWSKI, Minister of Justice, as well as senior officials from the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Administration, Justice, Health, and Labour and Social Policy. Meetings were also held with representatives of the Office of the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection, the Head of the UNHCR Office in Warsaw and members 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 Polish authorities.

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

- Andres LEHTMETS (Estonian), Head of delegation
- Celso DAS NEVES MANATA (Portuguese)
- Birgit LIE (Norwegian)
- Dajena POLLO (Albanian)
- Tatiana RĂDUCANU (Moldovan)

They were supported by Michael NEURAUTER (Head of Division) and Isabelle SERVOZ-GALLUCCI of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by two experts: Eric DURAND, medical doctor, France, and James McMANUS, Professor of Criminal Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University, United Kingdom.

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Establishments under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration

- Municipal Police Department, Biała Podlaska
- Municipal Police Department, Jaworzno
- Municipal Police Department, Katowice
- Municipal Police Department, Leszno
- Police Department Nowe Miasto, Poznań
- Police Department Stare Miasto, Poznań
- District Police Department, Racibórz
- District Police Department, Rawicz
- Municipal Police Department, Rybnik
- District VI Police Department, Warsaw

- Police establishment for children, Będzin
- Police establishment for children, Katowice
- Police establishment for children, Poznań

- Border Guard Centre for Aliens, Biała Podlaska
- Border Guard Deportation Arrest Centre, Biała Podlaska
- Border Guard Centre for Aliens, Lesznowola
- Border Guard Deporation Arrest Centre at Warsaw International Airport
- Holding facilities for foreign nationals at Warsaw International Airport (transit zone)

Establishments under the Ministry of Justice

- Poznań Remand Prison and Prison Hospital
- Racibórz Prison
- Rawicz Prison

The delegation also paid brief visits to Warsaw-Białołęka and Katowice Remand Prisons in order to interview recently-arrived remand prisoners.

Establishment under the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

- Bytom Social Care Home for Adults with mental chronic illnesses

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