Source: Council of Europe

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Portugal: anti-torture committee urges to tackle police ill-treatment and the poor treatment of prisoners

In a report on Portugal published today, the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee urges the Portuguese authorities to take determined action to prevent police ill-treatment and to provide prisoners with safe and decent living conditions.

During its 2016 periodic visit to the country, the CPT’s delegation received a considerable number of credible allegations of ill-treatment at the time of apprehension and during police custody. The alleged ill-treatment consisted primarily of slaps, punches and kicks to the body and head as well as beatings with batons. The CPT concludes that the resort to ill-treatment, including for the purpose of obtaining confessions, is not infrequent. Persons of African descent, both Portuguese citizens and foreign nationals, appear to be at greater risk of being ill-treated.

The report calls for vigorous action to address this problem and to strengthen the effectiveness of investigations into cases of ill-treatment, notably by increasing the competences and resources allocated to the Inspectorate General of Home Affairs (IGAI). In their response, the Portuguese authorities recall the steps being taken to tackle ill-treatment by the police and make reference to the ongoing process to amend the Organic Law on IGAI.

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