Justice Ministry says Commission’s report on prevention of torture is positive

The Ministry of Justice and Public Order has expressed satisfaction over the report of the European Commission on the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), regarding Cyprus, noting that the conclusions note a significant improvement.

The findings of the CPT Report states clearly the significant improvement recorded in a series of sectors concerning the premises and detention conditions across our prison system. Special reference is made to the political will shown all this time to alter and improve the facilities and the operation of the prisons, based on the respect of human rights, the Ministry of Justice says.

According to a press release, the report was drafted after a visit by an EU delegation in early February.

The Commission evaluated the Central Prisons, the immigrant detention site in Menoyia, and the police detention facilities, noting the significant changes and improvements brought about, so that they are in line with the recommendations and directives of the Commission and the Council of Europe. The report also notes the significant improvement of the women’s wing, as well as the improvements regarding the communication of detainees with the outside world, it notes.

The Ministry says that the report also refers to improvements regarding health services, the prevention of suicides, the reduction of violence, and the detention of foreigners, where the number of detainees has dropped.

Furthermore, Syrian asylum seekers and families, as well as unaccompanied children, are not detained, more refugees are granted refugee status, and the examination of appeals for rejected asylum status has been improved.

Regarding the immigrant detention site in Menoyia, the report records significant improvements in capacity, detention conditions, communication with the outside world, and health care.

Furthermore, there has been Police training regarding persons who have been denied their freedom and their rights. The Commission recommends a change of culture in the Police and increased training of its members, and relevant instructions have been given in this direction.

Regarding isolated complaints about the mistreatment of detainees by the Police, the Ministry of Justice notes that the appropriate procedures were initiated for disciplinary or even criminal proceedings.

The Ministry of Justice says this report is yet another tool in the efforts made to set a new policy regarding the protection of human rights in our country, adding that we are given the opportunity to evaluate our course so far, the conditions we apply and the measures we have taken, and through the recommendations and observations of the Commission to become even better.

Source: Cyprus News Agency