Bulgaria Shows no Progress in Addressing Prison System Deficiencies - Report
Ill-treatment of individuals both by the police and prison staff in Bulgaria remains a serious problem which require urgent action by the authorities, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has said.
In a new report on its visit to Bulgaria in March and April last year CPT also concluded that Bulgarian authorities should also address the issues of inter-prisoner violence and prison overcrowding.
The committee also said that Bulgaria has not implemented the vast majority of its long-standing recommendations to address these problems, as well as those concerning material conditions of detention in investigation detention facilities and prisons
Prison health care staffing levels, discipline, segregation and contact of prisoners with the outside world are also identified as areas in which most recommendations of the committee have not been met.
The severe shortage in health-care staffing levels observed in all prisons visited rendered extremely difficult the provision of adequate health care, CPT concluded in the report published on Thursday.
“The Committee found no improvement with regard to safeguards against police ill-treatment: persons in police custody are rarely able to notify promptly members of their families of their detention, and hardly ever benefit from access to a lawyer during the initial period of 24 hours,” according to the report.
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