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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Portugal

Strasbourg, 22.05.13 – 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 Portugal from 13 to 17 May 2013.

The main objective of the visit was to examine the situation at Lisbon Central Prison to see to what extent the recommendations made in the report on the February 2012 visit had been implemented. Further, the delegation visited Monsanto High Security Prison for the first time since it became fully operational. It also examined among other matters the treatment and conditions of detention of a person held in this prison who had been convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[1] The delegation also held a series of meetings with the Inspectorate General of Home Affairs (IGAI) and the General Prosecutor’s Office, and looked into several files concerning complaints about ill-treatment by law enforcement officials.
In the course of the visit, the delegation held consultations with Fernando SANTO, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Fernando ALEXANDRE, Assistant State Secretary to the Minister of Home Affairs, 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 Margarida BLASCO, Inspector-General of Home Affairs, and Carlos Lobato FERREIRA, Head of Cabinet of the Prosecutor General. In addition, the delegation met Alfredo José DE SOUSA, Ombudsman (Provedor da Justiça).

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
- Marzena KSEL (Polish), 1st Vice-President of the CPT
- Haritini DIPLA (Greek)
- Vincent THEIS (Luxemburger).
They were supported by Hugh CHETWYND, Head of Division, and Julien ATTUIL of the Secretariat of the CPT, and assisted by Helle GULSETH, Investigative Prosecutor, Norwegian Bureau for the Investigation of Police Affairs, Norway.


[1]              This specific monitoring activity of the CPT flows from an Exchange of Letters between the ICTY and the CPT, dated 7 and 24 November 2000, and an Agreement between the United Nations and Portugal, dated 19 December 2007.

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