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Belgium: Anti-torture unit issues prisoner warning over lack of minimum service levels during industrial action

A failure to provide minimum service levels during industrial action by Belgium’s prison staff, may lead to a large number of inmates suffering inhuman or degrading treatment.

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) sees “the lack of any practical progress over many years in establishing a viable system for these rights to be upheld in all circumstances, in particular in the context of industrial action,” as a “serious failure to co-operate.”

In its ‘Public Statement’ on Belgium, published on 13 July, the CPT addresses the “ongoing failure” of the Belgian authorities to put in place a minimum level of service to guarantee the rights of inmates during periods of industrial action by prison staff.

It reveals that: “failure to comply with this requirement may result in a large number of inmates being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment, or in a worsening of situations already regarded as intolerable, in endangering the health and life of these persons and in compromising the security of the establishments concerned.”

 

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