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CoE Anti-torture report slams “poor conditions” in Greek prisons and “excessive police force”

The anti-torture report published today by the Council of Europe criticizes strongly excessive police force and poor prison conditions in Greece. The report is the result of a visit to Greek prison carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture/Inhuman or Degrading Treatment/Punishment between 14 and 24 April 2015 – almost two months after SYRIZA won the elections in February.

A press release issued by the Human Rights Department of EU notes among others:

excessive police force and poor prison conditions in Greece

concern at persistent over-crowding in the country’s jails, inadequate healthcare, inter prisoner violence and unsatisfactory care for juvenile prisoners.

confirms “a widespread and deep-rooted problem of police ill-treatment in Greece,” highlighting an excessive use of force by the Delta motorcycle police unit in Athens.

criticism of “the inadequate nature of investigations into allegations of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials, characterised by systemic failings by the police and judicial authorities.”

persistent problems of overcrowding and chronic staff shortages are also revealed by the report’s authors. They state: “These problems compound other serious shortcomings, including insufficient and inadequate health-care services and widespread inter-prisoner violence and intimidation.”

the Greek prison system is reaching “breaking point” and urgent steps must be taken to move away from a situation where prisons in Greece are merely acting as warehouses.

Noting that “the Greek Government has requested the publication of this report and its response,” the HR-CoE writes

“The CPT report does welcome the Greek Justice Ministry’s commitment to devise a strategic plan for the prison system, with a clear statement of political will to tackle systemic deficiencies, including inadequate health-care services.

In their response, the Greek authorities acknowledge the CPT’s findings regarding prisons and outline a range of remedial actions.”

Full Report in PDF here

PS there are indeed sick prisoners who are not being treated properly… and the left government has been knowing that. Much to my knowledge not much has been done on the Jail Hospital of Korydalos prison.

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