Human Rights body scolds Cyprus police over ill-treatment

Europe’s top human rights body says Cyprus police must effectively address incidents of physical abuse against detainees amid “credible allegations” that officers, slapped, punched and kicked people in custody, including foreign nationals.

In a report Thursday, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CPT) said police officers must be made to understand that such abuse is a crime that they’ll be prosecuted for.

Cyprus authorities note a “zero tolerance” policy on such behavior and have revamped officer training. They have also turned investigation of such alleged abuse over to the Attorney-General.

The CPT also urged the construction of a new psychiatric hospital because the existing one is “substantially below standard,” and advised authorities to alleviate prison overcrowding.

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