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Publication

JUSTICIA Statement: Rights Behind Bars During COVID-19

In the grip of COVID-19, the need to address overcrowding and systemic rights abuses in Europe’s prisons has taken on new urgency.

May 15, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates
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The members of the JUSTICIA European Rights Network (a coalition of the European leading civil liberties organisations working on the right to a fair trial) recently called for action to address the unjustified and excessive use of pre-trial detention which remains all too common in the EU. In the grip of COVID-19, the need to address overcrowding and systemic rights abuses in Europe’s prisons (unjustified detention and inhumane conditions) has taken on new urgency. Incarcerated people are some of the most vulnerable to infectious disease leading to risks to the life and health of prison residents and staff. This paper sets out JUSTICIA’s views on the priorities for protecting human rights in places of detention during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as long-term lessons for imprisonment in Europe. This paper focuses on detention in the criminal justice context but many of the same issues apply equally to the thousands of people held in other forms of detention in Europe, including immigration detention.

Read the full statement here.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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