As the House Committee on Legal Affairs on Wednesday debated the situation at the troubled Central Prisons, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks voiced concern saying he hoped to see quick progress.
In a comment to a Greek newspaper New Post, Muižnieks said: “The latest suicide of a detainee in a prison in Cyprus exposes the urgency of improving prison conditions in the country. I welcome the commitment of the Cypriot authorities to overhaul the prison system in full compliance with the recommendations set out by the reports of the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture. The prison system should focus more on rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders, and therefore living conditions should be humane: I hope to see quick progress in this direction in Cyprus.”
Following a fifth suicide in recent months yesterday, followed hours later by an attempted suicide and severe unrest since the weekend, efforts are underway to improve conditions.
The government has announced a series of measures, including the temporary presence of MMAD rapid response officers and temporary removal of a senior prison physiatrist as well as the suspension of a prison official and seven guards.
The Deputy Head Warden has also left the post, with his duties temporarily filled by another senior official.