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Hungary has acted on the recommendations of experts of the Council of Europe (CoE) regarding prison conditions, related practices and overcrowding, according to the Strasbourg body’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture. The committee said it trusted that the Hungarian authorities would continue to improve prison conditions and the daily life of prisoners. The report said that whereas conditions were generally adequate, it expressed concern about the length of extensions to the custody of prisoners awaiting trial. The committee also called for legislation on isolation to be changed, saying that this should be limited to a maximum of 14 days for disciplinary purposes. It also said that inmates should undergo stronger health checks.
The committee said that inmates had not reported any instances of violence during its investigation, but delegation members were told of excessive force and racist action by police. Hungary, it said, had made advances in preventing the ill-treatment of prisoners by adopting new prosecution laws and regulations. But treatment of inmates during questioning and those serving long sentences needed further improvement, it added. Referring to juvenile facilities in Kecskemét, in southern Hungary, and Tököl, in Pest County, the report said violence between prisoners remained a serious problem and that housing conditions were inadequate.
Meanwhile, on the subject of immigration, the CoE officials said that since their visit in 2017, Hungary failed to take effective measures to prevent Hungarian police from brutally treating deportees at the border with Serbia. Also, based on information given by the Hungarian authorities in 2018, it was clear that legal protections of deportees who complained about their forced removal was still lacking.