In accordance with its mandate set forth in the Optional Protocol to the Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
(hereinafter referred to as “the Optional Protocol”), members of the Subcommittee on
Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
(hereinafter referred to as “the SPT”) visited the Federal Republic of Germany (hereinafter
referred to as “Germany”) from 8 to 12 April 2013.
The SPT was represented by the following members: Ms. Mari Amos, Ms. Aisha
Shujune Muhammad (Head of the delegation), Mr. Felipe Villavicencio Terreros and Mr.
The SPT was assisted by two human rights officers and one logistics officer from
the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as well as four local
The objective of the visit was to provide advisory services and technical assistance
to the national mechanism for the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment of Germany (hereinafter referred to as ”the NPM”), in
accordance with article 11 (b), subparagraphs (ii) and (iii), of the Optional Protocol. The
visit was intended to assist in strengthening the capacity and the mandate of the NPM, and
in the evaluation of the needs and the means necessary to strengthen the protection of
persons deprived of their liberty from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment in Germany. To that end, this report sets out recommendations and
observations to the State Party, in accordance with article 11 (b), subparagraph (iv), of the
During the visit, the SPT met with officials from the Federal Ministry of Justice;
Federal Ministry of the Interior; Federal Ministry of Defence; Federal Ministry of Health;
Federal Foreign Office; Federal Public Prosecutor General at the Federal Court of Justice;
Federal Office for Migration and Refugees; Justice Ministry of the State of BadenWürttemberg; Senate Administration for Justice and Consumer Protection of the State of
Berlin; Ministry of Justice, Integration and Europe of the State of Hessen; Ministry of
Justice and Consumer Protection of Rhineland-Palatinate, and with the representatives of
the German Bundestag (Lower Chamber of the Parliament), Parliamentary Commissioner
for the Armed Forces and with civil society organizations (Annex I).
Since one of the main reasons for the visit was to provide the NPM with advisory
services and technical assistance, a number of meetings were held with the members and
staff of the NPM itself in order to discuss its working methods and explore ways of
strengthening and increasing its effectiveness, as explained below. To observe how the
NPM applies its working methodology, the SPT also visited, together with the NPM, two
places of detention (Annex II).1 The places of deprivation of liberty were chosen by the
representatives of the Federal Agency for the Prevention of Torture (hereinafter referred as
“the Federal Agency”), and the Joint Commission of the States for the Prevention of
Torture (hereinafter referred as “the Joint Commission”). During the joint visits, members
of the SPT adopted the role of observers, while members of the Federal Agency and the
Joint Commission led the visits.
The NPM visited the Federal Police Station in Mainz Railway Station, under the Federal jurisdiction,
and the Detention Pending Deportation Centre in Mannheim Prison, under the State jurisdiction.