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Tribunal Welcomes Independent Audit of its Detention Unit

Press Release REGISTRY

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 15 May 2006

Tribunal Welcomes Independent Audit of its Detention Unit

The Tribunal welcomes the issuance of the Independent Audit of the ICTY's Detention Unit carried out by a team of experts under the auspices of the Government of Sweden. The audit, a full version of which is released today, was requested by the Tribunal in order to further enhance the transparency of the Detention Unit (DU) following the 11 March 2006 death of Slobodan Milosevic.

In keeping with all previous external inspections of the DU that have consistently assessed conditions there to be of the very highest standard, the Swedish audit covers many positive aspects relating to the facility, as well as providing a number of concrete recommendations for the Tribunal's consideration.

During their inspections, the Swedish experts enjoyed unbridled access within the DU. The audit states that:

"It is worth emphasizing that the group met with great openness and willingness to assist it in its work, on the part of both the Tribunal and the detainees."

It is striking that in all their many unmonitored interviews with detainees that the team did not hear a single complaint about their treatment by staff within the DU.

"We had several opportunities to talk with the detainees without staff being present. No complaints about the staff were voiced during our conversations. On the contrary, the detainees spoke of good relations, characterized by respect and understanding and without tensions... all the detainees say that they are very satisfied with their treatment.”

The audit covers a broad range of matters concerning the operation of the DU including: the position and the relations of the DU with the rest of the Tribunal; the Unit's relations with the host prison; management and staff issues; security and safety; living conditions for the detainees; medical issues; the presumption of innocence and enforcement of sentences.

Numerous observations and proposals are made in the audit including, most notably: a review of arrangements regarding administrative court orders; enhanced contacts between the DU and the Dutch host prison; a review of management structures; practical issues concerning support elements to inmates and the separation of detainees enjoying the presumption of innocence from those who have been found guilty and are awaiting transfer to serve their sentence.

The Tribunal takes this opportunity to expresses its appreciation to the authorities of Sweden for undertaking the audit and commits itself to a thorough review of the proposals with a view to undertaking action where appropriate.


Copy of the report as provided by the Swedish authorities



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