Cologne Higher Regional Court concerned about poor detention conditions in Belgium

20. March 2018

An extradition may be declared inadmissible in Germany if an obstacle to extradition pursuant to § 73 IRG exists due to the inhumane conditions of detention in the country of destination. In Europe, one first thinks of the prisons in Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary and then of the chronically overcrowded prisons in Greece, Italy and France.

detained in Belgium

In a decision of 20 March 2018, however, the Higher Regional Court of Cologne has now cast a spotlight on prisons in our neighbouring country Belgium and demanded further clarification in this respect. The Higher Regional Court of Cologne fears that the detention conditions threatening the persecuted person in Belgium do not meet the internationally binding minimum standards. Evidence of this can also be found in the decision of the European Court of Human Rights of 16 May 2017, which sentenced Belgium for inadequate prison conditions, including insufficient prison space and sanitary facilities.

According to the latest report of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman Treatment or Punishment of the Council of Europe (CPT) of 08.03.2018, there are considerable differences in Belgium, for example between the new prison of Leuze-en-Hainaut and other prisons with considerable overcrowding and mostly outdated facilities.

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