U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Portugal

U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Portugal,

33rd Session
Geneva, May 8, 2019

as delivered by Charles Bentley

The United States welcomes the Portuguese delegation to the UPR Working Group. 

We recommend that Portugal:

  1. Take measures to ensure investigation and appropriate punishment for police and prison guards responsible for mistreatment and abuse of individuals in custody, and implement measures to prevent the kinds of incidents reported in 2017 by the government-run Inspectorate General of Internal Administration, and in 2016 by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
  2. Take meaningful steps to ensure sufficient prison capacity to eliminate overcrowding, keep juveniles out of adult facilities, and separate pretrial detainees from convicted criminals.
  3. Reduce the length of time of pretrial detention, which for most individuals is now six months to a year.

Although our concerns focus on conditions and treatment in detention facilities, we acknowledge the government has taken some steps in response to these problems, for example conducting 102 investigations of members of security forces in 2017and 92 investigations in 2016.  We complement Portugal for its positive overall human rights record, and especially for its cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian organizations in providing protection and assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, or other persons of concern.