The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published a report on its periodic visit to Italy
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published on 24 March 2023 a report on its periodic visit to Italy from 28 March to 8 April 2022. It was the Committee’s 8th periodic visit to Italy.
CPT does not conduct investigations but provides a non-judicial preventive mechanism designed to protect individuals deprived of their liberty from torture and other forms of abuse in the States parties to the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture. In order to assess the treatment of people deprived of their liberty, the CPT conducts visits to places of detention (prisons, police stations, psychiatric hospitals, social care homes etc..) in Europe. CPT delegations carry out visits on a periodic basis: once every four years. Following a State visit, the CPT issues a report. CPT’s findings are presented in this report, along with its recommendations, comments, and requests for additional information.
The report published a few days ago is divided into several parts according to location. Within this article, the conditions of detention in Italy will be addressed. For example, the CPT found that overcrowding was a problem. In fact, prisons operate at 114% of their official capacity of 50 863 places at the time of the visit. Within the report, the CPT makes an analysis of each establishment as the conditions of detention are not identical throughout the country. After analysing each establishment, the CPT makes recommendations. For example, the CPT recommends that the Italian authorities ensure that the cells in all law enforcement custody facilities are cleaned after each use and the blankets changed.
In addition, a number of prisoners who had recently been held in a State Police station complained to the delegation that they had not been offered water or provided with a warm meal during their time of detention. The CPT recommends the Italian authorities to ensure that all persons detained receive access to drinking water and three meals a day, one of which should be warm. The Committee goes even further and states that the authorities must also adapt to the diet of each prisoner.
This mechanism ensures transparency on the European scene regarding the national practices of all Member States. Concerning the publication of the report, the State concerned may request the publication of the report. In this case, the publication of the CPT’s report is accompanied by a response from the State. The Government of Italy has requested the publication of this response. Thus, the publication of this report and the response relies on collaboration and cooperation.
Source and further readings:
Web site of Council of Europe, 24 March 2023, Anti-torture Committee publishes report on Italy, https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/anti-torture-committee-publishes-report-on-italy
Web site Council of Europe Portal, About the CPT: https://www.coe.int/en/web/cpt/about-the-cpt
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), 24 March 2023, Report to the Italian Government on the periodic visit to Italy carried out by the CPT from 28 March to 8 April 2022: https://rm.coe.int/1680aaaa03
Web site Council of Europe Portal, Directorate of communications, Ref. DC 074(2023), Anti-torture Committee publishes report on Italy, 24 March 2023: https://search.coe.int/directorate_of_communications/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectId=0900001680aaa689
CPT, Response of the Italian Government to the report of the CPT on its visits to Italy from 28 March to 8 April 2022 : https://rm.coe.int/1680aaaa2f