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NEWS

Short Update: Commissioner for Human Rights calls on European states to take urgent steps to protect rights of prisoners

FairTrialsAdmin - April 7, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Prison conditions, Prisoner releases, council of europe

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović has called on all European States to take urgent steps to protect the rights of all persons in prisons during the COVID-19 crisis. People in detention are among those most vulnerable to viral contagion as they are held in a high-risk environment. A number of contaminations and some COVID 19-related deaths in prisons have already been reported across Europe, increasing tensions in prisons and leading to acts of protest in reaction to restrictions on visits and other activities. 

The Commissioner strongly urged all Member States to use all available alternatives to detention whenever possible, more particularly for detainees with underlying health conditions, older persons who do not pose a threat to society and those charged or convicted for minor or non-violent offences.  

The Commissioner also called on states to make sure that other restrictions imposed on those remaining in prisons, such as restrictions on visits are mitigated by extended access to phone or video communications. 

Read the full statement here.  

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