A recent report released by the Council of Europe has called on the Danish government to improve the conditions in two of its migrant detention centers.
A report by the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) called on Denmark to improve the conditions in two of its migrant detention centers.
The council released a report on January 7, 2020 following its field visit in April 2019 of the two migrant detention centers in Denmark, namely Nykøbing Falster Arrest and the Ellebæk Centre for Foreigners. The report concluded that Danish authorities need to improve the living conditions in both the centers. It also recommended improvements in two prisons, better procedures for prolonged detention of psychiatric patients and more access to lawyers for detainees in police stations.
'Unacceptable living conditions'
According to the CPT report, both the migrant detention centers have 'prison like' conditions and bearing in mind that the detainees were generally neither suspected nor convicted of criminal offences, this is unacceptable. The CPT was particularly critical of the fact that migrants can't use their mobile phones. And in case they are found in possession of a mobile phone, they are punished with at least fifteen days in solitary confinement.
In terms of conditions of detainees, the CPT report concluded, ‘despite repeated recommendations, there was still no systematic and prompt medical screening of newly arrived prisoners (in the prisons visited at least) nor was there a proper recording and reporting system for injuries. Lack of staff was also recognized as one of the main problems for the Danish prison system, which operates slightly over its capacity. The CPT recommended an increase of personnel in the prison centers visited.
The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture called on Danish authorities to launch a major refurbishment program at both the establishments or take them out of service and replace them with facilities appropriate for the administrative detention of migrants. It has given the relevant authorities three months to respond in this regard.