The Civil Ombudsman criticizes the penal system in the Netherlands

Norgerhaven prison in the NetherlandNorgerhaven prison in the Netherland.Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Norwegian prisoners currently serving in the Netherlands are not adequately protected against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, according to the Ombudsman.

In September last year, the civil-ombudsman, Aage Thor Falkanger, visited Norgerhaven prison in the Netherlands, where Norwegian prisoners serve.

NRK news have reported that in his report of the visit, the ombudsman gave strong criticisms of the Dutch system.

‘Discoveries made during the visit showed that inmates transferred to Norgerhaven for imprisonment, had not secured adequate protection by Norwegian authorities against torture and inhuman or degrading treatment,’ stated Falkanger’s report.

Norwegian judicial authorities rent 242 prison places in the Netherlands, where inmates who have been convicted in Norway can serve their sentence. Falkanger wrote that such sentences do not absolve Norway responsibility for preventing human rights violations.

‘What we particularly react to is that the Norwegian authorities have bypassed their opportunities to investigate offenses against prisoners serving sentences in Norgerhaven prison, and we believe that is problematic’, said Falkanger.

‘The overall findings made during the visit show that forced transfer to another country to serve sentences, constitutes a major intervention in the Norwegian prisoners’ lives,’ wrote Falkanger in the report.

‘There are serious findings that we need to look into closely, and learn from, and also go through with the Correctional Agency, and with Norgerhaven prison’, said the State Secretary in the Justice Department, Anette Carnarius Elseth.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today