Europe rights body blasts Cyprus jail overcrowding

AP News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2014 4:01 AM

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Europe's leading human rights body says Cyprus needs to take action aimed at alleviating overcrowding at the country's sole prisons complex.

The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture says in a report released Tuesday that despite efforts to increase capacity at Nicosia's Central Prisons facility, overcrowding remains a problem that strains relations between inmates and staff.

The report says Cypriot authorities should consider alternatives to prison time for those handed short sentences. It also calls on authorities to ensure migrants are held in appropriate detention centers instead of police stations that are unsuitable for the purpose.

It also urged a reduction in the amount of time individuals are kept in detention at police stations.