Dutch terror suspects treated inhumanely in prison: Human Rights organizations

Vught prison
Vught prison. (pneuman.nl photo). (Vught prison)

Detainees in the special terrorist departments in the prisons in De Schie and Vught are detained under inhumane conditions, human rights organizations Amnesty International and Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) said in a report. "People are locked up in their cell for long periods and systematically undergo degrading visitations", the report states, RTL Nieuws reports.

The report denounces several measures applied to the terrorism departments in the two penitentiary institutions. One of these measures is the systematic lockdown of prisoners in one-person cells, often for 19 to 22 hours per day. "In three cases, these conditions came down to prolonged lonely confinement, which is strictly forbidden according to international human rights standards."

The prison guards frequently conduct humiliating visitations, during which the prisoners are completely naked. And suspects are in custody along with people who have already been convicted of a terrorist offense, according to the report. "Even someone who poses no proven threat to security can be detained in one of the country's heaviest detention regimes", the organizations write.

The Dutch authorities promised to implement reforms. But according to the human rights organizations, they are insufficient to remove the "serious human rights concerns". Amnesty International and OSJI call for an immediate, thorough, independent and impartial inspection on the terrorist departments. They also want stricter supervision on these departments. "To ensure that detainees are treated in accordance with the international human rights obligations of the Netherlands."