Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee visits Albania and holds high-level talks with Albanian authorities
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out an ad hoc visit to Albania from 23 to 26 November 2021 on the situation of forensic psychiatric patients.
The main objective of the visit was to review the progress made in implementing the CPT’s long-standing recommendation that all forensic psychiatric patients should be transferred to an appropriate forensic psychiatric facility. To this end, the CPT’s delegation visited the Zaharia special establishment for sick prisoners in Kruja (male patients) and the Tirana prison hospital (female patients). In addition, it examined the arrangements made in two separate detention blocks in Lezhe prison to house and temporarily treat the patients concerned, pending the establishment of a special forensic establishment placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. . He also discussed with the Director General of Prisons the modalities of the next transfer of patients from Kruja (Zaharia) to Lezhe.
During the visit, the delegation had a joint meeting with Mr. Ulsi Manja, Minister of Justice, on behalf of HE Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania, and Ms. Ogerta Manastirliu, Minister of Health and Protection social welfare, as well as with Mr. Klajd Karameta, the Deputy Minister of Justice, Ms. Mira Rakacolli, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection, and senior officials of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On 23 November 2021, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Health and Social Protection signed a memorandum of understanding (including a joint action plan) to implement the recommendations of the CPT and the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights relating to the situation of forensic medicine. psychiatric patients and inmates with mental disorders.
The CPT’s delegation was composed of Mykola Gnatovskyy, former CPT President and head of delegation, Marie Lukasová and Vytautas Raškauskas. They were supported by Michael Neurauter, Deputy Executive Secretary of the CPT.