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Europe rights committee criticizes Greece prison conditions

[JURIST] The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) released a report [text, PDF] Tuesday condemning Greece for police abuse, poor prison conditions and mistreatment of detained juveniles. The report details findings that the system to hold those responsible for police misconduct is undermined [press release] by systemic failings. The report outlines the following steps to improve the situation: all detainees should be provided with full information in a language they understand on their legal situation; all detainees should be provided ready access to toilet facilities, including at night; and all detainees should be afforded access to health care everyday, including on weekends. The report states that Greece's prisons have deteriorated "to the point where lives are being lost" and that overcrowding with staff shortages have led to 350-400 [ABC News report] inmates being staffed by just one or two prison offers in at least one prison.

Conditions in prisons have been criticized globally. On Tuesday the former head of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, US Army Major General Geoffrey Miller, failed [JURIST report] to appear before a French court to answer a subpoena to appear for questioning on his involvement in the torture of two French detainees. In January the US Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] that a landmark decision banning mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles should apply retroactively. In Syria, the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) reported [JURIST report] last month that the Syrian government is systematically exterminating detainees. Also in February the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture stated [JURIST report] that migrant detention facilities in Cyprus need better monitoring and should improve conditions.

A previous version of the headline incorrectly described the Council of Europe as an "EU" rights committee.
March 2, 2016 7:46 AM

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