The European Committee for The Prevention of Torture presented preliminary observations

15 September 2016 

 MG 7490Upon the invitation of the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) presented its preliminary observations concerning human rights situation in places of detention of the Republic of Lithuania.

The meeting took place at the Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office and was attended by officials from the Ministries of Justice, Interior and Health, Prison and Police Departments, Prosecutor’s General Office and State Border Guard Service. The Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas noted to the attendees that when performing national prevention of torture, the Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office takes into account not only national and international legal acts, but also standards prepared by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

“Respect for human rights is a common value of all democratic states; therefore, I believe that the observations made by the CPT delegation will help to strive for higher human rights standards in places of detention and valuable insights will contribute to a more constructive cooperation when solving different human rights problems”, stated the Seimas Ombudsman.

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture visits different countries of the European Council and evaluates human rights situation in places of detention such as prisons, care institutions, police stations, foreigners’ detention facilities and psychiatric hospitals.

In the course of the 5th periodic visit to Lithuania on 6-14 September 2016, the delegation visited the 1st and the 2nd  police stations in Vilnius, police stations in Kupiškis and Rokiškis and arrest houses in Vilnius, Kaunas, Alytus, Marijampolė, Panevėžys, Šiauliai and Utena. In addition, the delegation performed a first-time visit to Kaunas Remand Prison and Panevėžys Correction Home, visited correction homes of Alytus and Marijampolė, Rokiškis Psychiatric Hospital, Vilnius Mental Health Care Centre and Suvalkijos Social Care Home.

During the presentation of the preliminary observations, the head of the CPT delegation enumerated a great number of problems observed while visiting different places of detention and in particular highlighted those related to ill-treatment, inter-prisoner violence, drugs, overcrowding and insufficient numbers of staff.

The final report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) will be presented at the end of March 2017. Lithuania will have an obligation to look into the report and after evaluation of recommendations, to provide the committee with a document on measures necessary for the implementation of provided recommendations.