Belgian prison conditions criticised

18th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Conditions in some Belgian prisons are "inhumane," Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg said in a report released Wednesday.

STRASBOURG - He noted a recent renovation and construction programme but called on the Belgian authorities to take "immediate action to reduce overcrowding and to address inhumane detention conditions in some prisons," a council statement said.

Launching the report, Hammarberg also said Belgium had a good system of human rights protection but needed to make improvements on asylum procedures and the rights of migrants.

"Frontline legal advice services should be created to advise and inform detained migrants of their rights," he said.

"Living conditions and access to healthcare should be improved in the closed centres for aliens," he added.

Hammarberg also urged the authorities that "terrorism related offences and special methods of investigation should be defined with greater precision."


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