Tag Archives: prisons

Systemic torture in Russian prisons

Russia must end torture of detainees and prosecute the perpetrators, including prison guards caught on video beating an inmate, United Nations human rights investigators said.

The U.N. Committee against Torture requested from Russian authorities to report back in a year on progress in holding to account guards who beat Yevgeny Makarov with truncheons and their superiors who suppressed the year-old tape, which provoked a public outcry.

Despite “numerous reliable” reports of torture, they rarely lead to prosecutions, or those responsible are charged with simple abuse of authority rather than a crime, said panel member Claude Heller.

EU mobilises €25 million to defeat radicalisation in prisons

Attending the the Conference on Radicalisation in Prisons  Commissioner Vera Jourová in charge of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality put forward proposals to minimise the risk of terrorist attacks, tackling  the “root of the problem” – the radical extremist political ideology, but the same time to distinguish it from Islam as religion.

“Radicalisation can take many forms and nobody has a “monopoly on it”, whether it is Islamist extremists, or Right-wing extremists or others” – Vera Vera Jourová said, adding that she does not believe that getting to the bottom of the problem can be done by governments alone. “The response needs to come from all levels, national and local. Teachers, social services, prison staff, local communities can do a lot to prevent spreading the poison of radicalisation” – Jourová continued.

However the EU can help to step in where the EU-wide response can be effective, and mobilise the practitioners, exchange of best practices and ideas and mobilise funds.

The first, and utmost the improving the exchange of information sharing about those Europeans who are coming back from fighting in conflict areas are of particular importance and the reform of the Schengen Information System will help EU government to exchange the information faster and better.

The Internet which is used by dangerous extremists to identify vulnerable men and spread the venom of radicalisation. The Orlando attacker is the case in point, as the evidence suggests he was radicalised over the Internet and was acting alone, Jourová reminded.

To address this problem the Commission will propose further recommendations on what is expected from the Internet companies in terms of removing terrorist content in social media.


Secondly, to tackle radicalisation more widely, the EU can help to mobilise practitioners, create platforms for exchange and mobilise funds. That is why the Commission is supporting the Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence, where expertise of local practitioners is connected to each other.

The Commission has mobilised €25 million for the next 4 years to help this Network to fulfil its mission. Overall in the EU budget  €314 million are dedicated to anti-radicalisation projects until 2020.

French prisons cells as hotel rooms?

This week announcement of the minister of justice Nicole Belloubet of telephone installations in each of the 50,000 cells in the 178 prisons in France, in a bid to slash the growing use of forbidden mobile phones and internet-connected smartphones, raises indignation among politicians. (Image: illustration)

“Do you find it is normal, that when you rape, when you kill, you will have telephone? Do you find it is normal that prisons will be like hotels? I don’t accept it. If they don’t change it,  tomorrow police will attacked even more” – warned Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, the former candidate in presidential elections, pointing that the aim of fighting the illegal cell telephones in prisons will have ill effects.

“I’m indignant” – continued Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, the leader of Debout La France (DLF) party. He added that there are rural areas in France where there is no telephone communication, but the criminals in prisons will have telephones due to project of the minister.

‘When I see it, I ask myself if I’m in country of insane, I ask myself if in the ministry of justice there are insane?!” – Nicolas Dupont-Aignan exclaimed during interview with  France2 TV channel.

“Prison is not the Club Med! What is next? Subscription to Chanal+ for cinematographic culture?!” – tweeted Member of the European Parliament Renaud Muselier (Le Républicains (LR) party), addressing his message to the minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet. “We are awaiting the restoration of the authority of the State and severe punishment of criminals!”



According to Minister Belloubet project, prisoners will have free access to the phones 24/7, but will only be able to call up to four outside numbers that have been authorised beforehand.
The roll-out comes after a successful trial at the Montmédy prison (Meuse), which reported prisoners use their allotted calling numbers regularly.
During the trial, the use of prohibited mobile phones decreased by 30%; a percentage that was also helped by the seizure – in the first trimester of 2017 – of 200,000 mobile phones, SIM cards and chargers.

Previously, the deprivation of the contacts with the close ones, family and friends was considered as a part of punishment, the notion started to evade in times of cell phones, and smart phones.