Tromsø Prison

Today, the Norwegian National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) published the report from its visit to Tromsø prison on 10-12 September 2014.

The report highlights several areas where the work to prevent torture and inhuman treatment should be strengthened.

“Those who are deprived of their liberty are in a vulnerable situastion. That is why the Parliamentary Ombudsman has been given the task of visiting all places where someone is or may be deprived of their liberty,” said Parliamentary Ombudsman Aage Thor Falkanger.

“During the visit to Tromsø prison, the National Preventive Mechanism saw that the conditions in the prison were particularly difficult for those with health problems, persons with disabilities, and women serving their sentence in high security detention.”

Among the report’s 26 recommendations to the prison, it is emphasized that inmates should not be routinely “stripped” and never be put naked in a security cell without a prior individual risk assessment.

The Norwegian National Preventive Mechanism against Torture and Inhuman Treatment or Punishment (NPM) was established in spring 2014 after Norway ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) in 2013. The visit to Tromsø prison was the first visit by the NPM.

The NPM can visit all places where persons are or may be deprived of their liberty in order to strenghten their protection against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. These places include prisons, police arrests, psychiatric or child welfare institutions. The visits may be announced or unannouced.