Council of Europe anti-torture committee publishes report on Finland

CoE/Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CPT)

The Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CPT) has commended Finland of the tangible progress achieved in several areas, but regretted that a number of its long-standing recommendations remain unaddressed.

In its report the CPT welcomed the legal amendments aiming at shortening significantly the time spent in police prisons and the final elimination of “slopping-out” in Finnish prisons with the closure of Hämeenlinna Prison as the last prison devoid of in-cell toilets. It also welcomed that in practice the detention of unaccompanied minor migrants is extremely rare in Finland. (see the executive summary of the report)

Despite the overall adequate treatment and good material conditions in most places visited, the CPT regretted that the recommendations from 2014 concerning delays in notification of custody up to 96 hours (despite that the law only allowed such notification to be delayed for up to 48 hours), and access to a doctor for persons in police custody remained unaddressed. Concerning immigration detention establishments, the Committee called upon the Finnish authorities to put in place as a matter of priority a prompt and systematic medical screening for all newly arrived foreign nationals at Metsälä Detention Unit. The Committee was also concerned that access to psychological assistance and psychiatric care remained inadequate.

The report is based on the visit in autumn 2020, where the CPT examined the situation of persons deprived of their liberty in prisons, police establishments, the immigration detention unit in Metsälä, and the psychiatric department of Kellokoski Hospital. It also visited for the first time, two juvenile establishments.

Press release

Council of Europe anti-torture committee publishes report on Finland

CPT and Finland

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