Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Albania

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Albania
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 periodic visit to Albania from 20 to 30 November 2018.

The main objective of the visit was to review progress made as regards the implementation of recommendations made by the Committee after previous visits. Particular attention was paid to the treatment and conditions of detention of persons in police custody and of inmates in several prison establishments, as well as to the situation of forensic psychiatric patients and mentally-ill prisoners. In addition, the delegation carried out visits to civil psychiatric establishments and, for the first time in Albania, to an immigration detention facility.

In the course of the visit, the delegation had consultations with Etilda Gjonaj, Minister of Justice, Toni Gogu, Deputy Minister of Justice, Romina Kuko, Deputy Minister of the Interior, Adriana Jaku, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection, and Stefan Çipa, Director General of Prisons, as well as with other senior officials from the above-mentioned ministries.

Discussions were also held with representatives of the Office of the People’s Advocate, including the Head of the National Preventive Mechanism set up under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture (OPCAT). In addition, the delegation met representatives of the Tirana Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and 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 Albanian authorities.

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

  • Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the CPT (Head of delegation)
  • Julia Kozma
  • Ömer Müslümanoğlu
  • Olga Noyanova
  • Olivera Vulić
  • Elisabetta Zamparutti.

They were supported by Michael Neurauter (Head of Division) and Elvin Aliyev of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by an expert, Jean-Pierre Restellini, medical doctor, specialist in internal and forensic medicine (Switzerland).

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Law enforcement establishments

  • Police Directorate of Tirana
  • Police Station No. 1, Tirana
  • Police Station No. 2, Tirana
  • Police Station No. 3, Tirana
  • Police Station No. 5, Tirana
  • Burrel (Mat) Police Station
  • Durres Police Station
  • Elbasan Police Station
  • Fier Police Station
  • Kavaja Police Station

  • Detention Centre for Foreigners, Karreç

Prisons

  • Prison No. 302, Tirana
  • Prison No. 313, Tirana
  • Prison Hospital, Tirana
  • Burrel Prison
  • Durres Prison
  • Fier Prison

The delegation also went to Lezha Prison to interview recently-arrived remand prisoners and to Fushe Kruja Prison to examine the conditions of detention of prisoners sentenced for terrorism or extremism related crimes.

Psychiatric establishments

  • Elbasan Psychiatric Hospital
  • Psychiatric Service of the University Hospital Centre “Mother Teresa”, Tirana.

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