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European Committee for the Prevention of Torture visits Swiss jails

Inmates of Swiss jails showed no signs of mistreatment

(Keystone Archive)

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture has completed a survey of Swiss jails and found no evidence of torture or mistreatment of inmates.

The Federal Department of Justice and Police said the committee visited correctional institutions in cantons Bern, Fribourg, St Gallen, Thurgau and Zurich. Their survey included jails, detention centres, police stations and a psychiatric centre.

The inspection lasted 10 days. It is the third in Switzerland since 1991.

The committee is expected to submit a report with its findings to the Federal Council, which will include recommendations for improvements.

The Swiss Justice minister, Ruth Metzler, said that Switzerland was taking the committee's observations very seriously.

It was the committee's intervention which prompted the use of train transportation of prisoners, which was introduced at the beginning of 2001.

The Strasbourg-based committee enforces the European convention for the prevention of torture and inhuman treatment, which was ratified by the 41 member states of the European Council in 1989.

Switzerland was the first country to ratify the agreement.

swissinfo with agencies


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