CoE seminar on combating torture in the early stages of police custody and pre-trial detention, Copenhagen

During its chairmanship of the Council of Europe (CoE), Denmark decided to make torture a thematic priority, recognising that all CoE members States had committed to prevent torture with the ratification of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture. In this context, a seminar on combating torture in the early stages of police custody and pre-trial detention will bring together representatives from the 47 CoE member States. Recognising that the risk of torture is higher in the first hours following arrest, this seminar intends to share good national practices and challenges on two key areas proven to have an impact in reducing the risks of torture: methods of police interviewing by the police and the implementation of safeguards to prevent torture.

On the occasion of the forthcoming seminar, the APT is pleased to present this paper on the relevance of safeguards and interviewing for torture prevention, with a view to contributing to the discussion and making recommendations in three key areas.

This submission contains recommendations addressed to Member States of the CoE on three key areas, encouraging them to support the development of a set of guidelines on non-coercive interviews and associated safeguards, to adopt and effectively implement safeguards from the outset of deprivation of liberty, as well as to strengthen detention monitoring mechanisms.