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Council of Europe Says Prisoners in Greece Lack Decent Conditions

September 2, 2022

ATHENS – Too many prisoners in Greece are being held in inhumane conditions, including falling violence because of too few guards and don’t have sufficient health care, a European Union report said.

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) released the results of its findings based on a visit from Nov. 22-Dec. 1, 2021

The report, said Kathimerini, continued the bad grades CPT gave Greece in a 2020 report based on a 2019 visit, essentially pointing out the same failings but being unable to force any changes.

The CPT concluded that far too many prisoners in Greece continue to be held in conditions, which represent an “affront to their human dignity,” and said that prisoners are just being warehoused.

It said they were being kept “overcrowded, dangerous and poor conditions” with few activities available, poor living conditions and without a plan to reintegrate them back into society.

The report added that Greek authorities need to invest in sufficient, competent staff to manage prisons and provide requisite support to inmates, which Greece rebutted on a point-by-point basis.

In a lengthy response, Greece denied the accusations and said in a bureaucratic answer that the country’s penal system is dealing with problems that arise and reorganizing it to make it “more efficient and effective for the benefit of prisoner, officials and society in general” and takes into consideration human right and preventing recidivism.

The response added that health conditions are taken into account and there is regular cleaning and disinfecting of wards on a daily basis with materials provided to prisoners.

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