European human rights body “extremely concerned” by conditions in prisons and police stations in France – .

European human rights body “extremely concerned” by conditions in prisons and police stations in France – .

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                Le Conseil de l'Europe a visé jeudi les conditions de détention dans les prisons et commissariats français, se disant "extrêmement préoccupé" par ce qu'il a découvert lors d'une mission d'enquête.

                                    <p>Le Comité pour la prévention de la torture (CPT) de l'organisme de défense des droits humains a déclaré que si la plupart des personnes interrogées n'ont signalé aucun mauvais traitement, certaines ont déclaré avoir été "délibérément battues" lors de leur arrestation ou dans les locaux de la police.

There were also allegations of insults, sometimes racist or homophobic, and threats made with weapons, according to a CPT report based on a December 2019 mission.

“In general, the CPT is extremely concerned about the material conditions of detention in some of the police stations visited,” said a Council statement.

The report also highlighted the overcrowding in French prisons, saying that occupancy rates in some establishments exceeded 200%, with nearly 1,500 inmates sleeping on mattresses on the floor.

Noting that the conditions were very different from one establishment to another, the CPT indicated that in the disciplinary and isolation units “the cells were often poorly insulated and lacked natural light and the exercise yards were too small. and under-equipped ”.

The CPT has also expressed concern about the impact of prolonged periods of solitary confinement – which could last for years – on the mental health of prisoners.

Sometimes prisoners requiring psychiatric treatment were kept in prison due to the lack of specially adapted hospital units, according to the report.

During their mission, the CPT’s delegates visited 12 police stations and four prisons, as well as a psychiatric unit.

In a detailed response to the report, the French government said a lot has changed since the 2019 visit, in part because of Covid-19.

The prison population has been reduced since March 2020 to stem the spread of the virus, he said.

>> Challenges abound for inmates released prematurely from French prisons due to Covid-19

Prison establishments have been enlarged and France has also explored alternatives to prison sentences to punish offenders.

Following a subsequent spot check of a single prison, in the eastern city of Strasbourg in July 2020, the CPT added that the anti-Covid measures for the protection of prison staff and prisoners had been “constructive”, but that there was still room for improvement in the treatment of prisoners.




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