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Anti-torture experts report on France

A new report from anti-torture experts urges France to tackle the problem of serious prison over-crowding and wants improvements in detention conditions.

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) recommendations follow a country visit in November 2015.

The report calls for attention to the problem of prison overcrowding and wants improvements in the conditions in prisons and police establishments, the conditions under which detainees are transferred to and treated in hospitals, and guidelines on means of restraint in the psychiatric facilities.

During its visit, the CPT paid particular attention to the conditions of detention in three remand prisons (Fresnes, Nîmes and Villepinte) with serious overcrowding problems, noting an occupancy rate there of 150 to 180%.

The situation was of particular concern in the prisons of Fresnes and Nîmes where the overcrowding and the lack of activities was compounded by serious problems with heating, damp and infestations.

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