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Europe rights watchdog calls on Albania to improve 'inhuman' prison conditions

[JURIST] The Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) [official website], part of Europe's human rights watchdog the Council of Europe [official website], called on Albania Wednesday to improve prisoner treatment in the country's network of prisons. The CPT published reports [CPT materials] from a July 2003 visit [PDF text] and a May-June 2005 visit [PDF text; press release] to Albanian prisons, citing little improvement between the two visits, despite several recommendations to improve conditions for prisoners. In the 2003 report, the CPT found that inmates were locked in their cells for 23 hours for up to 20 months in some instances, and that the lack of an appropriate response from disciplinary authorities facilitated a "climate of impunity."

Disappointed that the prisons showed little improvement two years later, the CPT called on Albanian authorities to take urgent action to improve prison conditions, which often include beating inmates in a fashion that the CPT would consider torture. In response [PDF text], Albania said that its authorities were "thoroughly engaged" in meeting the demands set out by both CPT reports. AP has more.

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