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Anti-torture committee slams Luxembourg for detaining children in adult prison

Schrassig Prison - the only closed penitentiary in Luxembourg
Schrassig Prison - the only closed penitentiary in Luxembourg Copyright Wikimedia Commons
Copyright Wikimedia Commons
By Saskia O'Donoghue with AFP
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The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has urged the authorities in the country to stop detaining children in Luxembourg Prison - an adult prison - under dangerous circumstances.

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The Council of Europe's Anti-Torture Committee (CPT) has urged Luxembourg authorities to put an end to the detention of children in the Luxembourg Penitentiary Center - an adult prison -, denouncing "unacceptable and unsuitable" conditions.

In a report drawn up following a visit carried out earlier in the year, the CPT points out the living conditions of minors who are "often left to their own devices".

At the prison in the centre of the capital, detained minors are said to be monitored "mainly by camera" and "psycho-social" support is "almost non-existent".

It's also reported that there is too much unsupervised crossover between adult and child prisoners.

In response, the CPT recommended that: "When children are exceptionally detained in a unit within an adult prison, they must be strictly separated".

The CPT has also called for stronger action to tackle ill-treatment by police and authorities as well as the excessive use of force.

They say urgent measures must be put in place to ensure that all patients in closed psychiatric units can benefit from daily exercise outdoors in appropriate spaces.

The CPT also visited several police stations as well as the cells inside some courts. They found "allegations of physical mistreatment" by police officers of people arrested, in particular "blunt and punch blows", threats of violence and actual force used.

They have proposed: "strengthening actions to prevent and effectively combat police mistreatment", in particular through "professional training and regular training" and through "systematic electronic recording of high-risk arrests".

Luxembourg is the richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita.

The country's Minister of Justice, Sam Tanson, told AFP that a bill banning the detention of minors at the Luxembourg Prison Center had been tabled and that the construction of a juvenile prison was planned in the Dreiborn area.

Claude Meisch, Minister for Children and Youth, said that while plans to solve the issue are underway, it might still take "years" before a new youth prison opens its doors to detainees, as reported by local news media RTL.

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