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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Portugal

Strasbourg, 22.02.12 – 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 ten day visit to Portugal. The visit, which began on 7 February 2012, was the CPT’s sixth periodic visit to that country.

During the visit, the CPT’s delegation reviewed the treatment of persons detained by various police services (Judicial Police, Public Security Police and Republican National Guard). Particular attention was given to the application in practice of safeguards against ill-treatment. The delegation also visited a number of prisons, focusing on various categories of prisoners, notably those in disciplinary segregation and in high security units as well as juveniles and those held on remand. In addition, the delegation examined the treatment and legal safeguards afforded to patients in several psychiatric institutions. It also visited a social care home for children.

In the course of the visit, the delegation held consultations with Fernando Santo, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Juvenal Peneda, State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Leal da Costa, State Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Marco António Costa, Secretary of State for Solidarity and Social Security, and Rui SÁ GOMES, Head of the Portuguese Prison Service, as well as with other senior officials from the relevant Ministries. Discussions were also held with Mário Manuel Varges Gomes, Inspector-General of Internal Administration, and Manuel Eduardo Matos Santa, Inspector-General of Justice Services. The delegation also met Alfredo José de Sousa, Ombudsman, and 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 Portuguese authorities.

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

- Wolfgang HEINZ (German), Head of delegation
- Georg HØYER (Norwegian)
- Julia KOZMA (Austrian)
- Marzena KSEL (Polish)
- Anna MOLNAR (Hungarian)
- Vincent THEIS (Luxemburger).

They were supported by Hugh Chetwynd, Head of Division, Thobias Bergmann and Stephanie Megies of the Secretariat of the CPT, and assisted by Andres Lehtmets, Head of the Centre of Psychiatry, West-Tallinn Central Hospital, Estonia

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior

Public Security Police

Coimbra District

- District Headquarters, Avenida Elísio de Moura, Coimbra
- Rua Olímpio Nicolau Rui Fernandes Police Station, Coimbra

Lisbon Metropolitan Area

- Estrada de Alfragide Police Station, Amadora
- Estrada da Brandoa Police Station, Amadora
- Praca Felix Correia Police Station, Amadora
- Rua André Resende Police Station, Benfica
- Avenida Doutor Nuno Alvares Pereira Police Station, Cacém
- Rua Virgílio Ferreira Police Station, Caneças
- Bairro Alto Police Station, Lisbon
- Rua Capelo Holding facilities, Lisbon
- Avenida Capitães de Abril Police Station, Mem Martins
- Rua de St. Antonio Transporto Publica Police Station, Oeiras

Setúbal District

- Rua Direita do Pragal Police Station, Almada
- District Headquarters, Avenida Luisa Todi, Setúbal

Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Justice

- Judicial Police Headquarters, Lisbon
- Judicial Police Prison, Lisbon
- Judicial Police Prison, Oporto
- Linhó Prison
- Lisbon Central Prison
- Paços de Ferreira Prison
- Psychiatric unit at Santa Cruz do Bispo Prison

The delegation also interviewed remand prisoners at Setúbal Prison.

Establishments under the Ministry of Health

- Central Psychiatric Hospital in Lisbon
- Sobral Sid Hospital in Coimbra

Establishments under the Ministry of Solidarity and Social Security

- Casa do Lago home for juveniles in Lisbon

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