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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                    

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is one of the safest states in the world. However, prisons in the Czech Republic are overcrowded and at times unsanitary.

[Freedom House Country Report, 2018]

Description: Description: CzechRepublic

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the Czech Republic.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

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Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on the Czech Republic

Executive Summary, 4 July 2019

[accessed 1 June 2020]

The CPT notes that the relevant legislation continues to allow detained persons to be handcuffed to fixed objects in certain circumstances. To this end, stools in virtually all police custody cells visited by its delegation were equipped with metal loops which were used in practice, albeit very rarely and for short periods of time. The CPT once again calls upon the authorities to stamp out completely the practice of persons held by the police being attached to fixed objects.

As regards means of restraint, the CPT reiterates its view that the use of net-beds is not acceptable and urges the Czech authorities to implement without further delay the Committee’s long-standing recommendation  to  withdraw  from  service  all  net-beds  in  psychiatric  hospitals  in  the  Czech Republic. In respect of mechanical restraint and seclusion, it recommends amongst other things that the duration  of  the  use  of  mechanical  restraint  and seclusion  be  for  the  shortest  possible  time (usually minutes  rather than hours)  and that every  patient who is subjected to mechanical restraint or seclusion benefit from continuous supervision by a qualified member of the health-care staff.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Czech Republic

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 8 July 2021]


High prison populations, overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions in some prisons, mistreatment of inmates, lack of medical staff, and generally unsatisfactory conditions for inmates with physical or mental disabilities remained the main concerns during the year.

Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 11 May 2020]


The Czech Republic is one of the safest states in the world. However, prisons in the Czech Republic are overcrowded and at times unsanitary.

Czech Republic 2015/2016

Amnesty International Annual Report 2015/16, page 136

[accessed 22 August 2016]


[accessed 30 December 2018]

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT - Patients with mental disabilities continued to be ill-treated in mental health institutions. In March, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture called for an end to the practice of police officers restraining agitated patients in psychiatric hospitals; expressed concerns over the use of net beds as a protective measure or means of restraint, often for excessive duration; and reiterated its call to withdraw them from psychiatric hospitals and to use more suitable means, such as bordered beds, for patients in need of protective measures.

Prevention of Torture Committee criticizes Czech prisons

Raymond Johnston, Prague Post, 1 April 2015

[accessed 9 April 2015]

Overall, the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee report was positive but some abuses remain

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published its report on its April 2014 visit to the Czech Republic. There were several areas where treatment of prisoners could improve, but overall the report found few problems. The visit report has been made public at the request of the Czech authorities.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/CZE/CO/4-5 (2012)

[accessed 26 February 2013]

7. While noting that article 10 of the Constitution accords primacy to international treaties approved by the Parliament over domestic legislation, the Committee is concerned that new Criminal Code only establishes the crime of torture and other inhuman and cruel treatment but does not define torture in terms of the Convention (art. 1).

The Committee recommends that the State party amend its Criminal Code in order to adopt a definition of torture that covers all the elements contained in article 1 of the Convention.

12. The Committee is concerned about reports of sterilization of Roma women without free and informed consent, the destruction of medical records on involuntary sterilizations and the difficulties of victims to obtain redress. (arts. 2, 14 and 16)

The Committee recommends that the State party investigate promptly, impartially and effectively all allegations of involuntary sterilization of Roma women, extend the time limit for filing complaints, prosecute and punish the perpetrators and provide victims with fair and adequate redress. Medical personnel conducting sterilizations without free, full and informed consent could be held criminally liable and medical records concerning possible involuntary sterilization should not be destroyed within the time frame prescribed by law. Medical personnel should be trained on appropriate means of how to obtain free and informed consent from women undergoing sterilization and all written materials relating to sterilization should be translated into the Roma language.

15. The Committee is concerned about the problematic registration of complaints and the independence of the system to assess them. In particular, the Committee is concerned about the discrepancy between the number of complaints of torture and ill-treatment in places of deprivation of liberty, especially those described as justified and partially justified, and the absence of prosecution in this connection for torture or ill-treatment committed by police officers and prison staff (arts. 12 and 13).

The Committee recommends that the General Inspection of Security Forces promptly, impartially and effectively investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement officials and prison staff, prosecute the perpetrators of such acts and provide redress, including compensation to the victims. The State party should provide the Committee with data disaggregated by, and with reference to, sex, age, ethnicity and origin of the victims and with a breakdown according to the categories established in the law as grounds for filing a complaint.


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015

ENFORCED STERILIZATION OF ROMANI WOMEN - In October, in the course of the UN Universal Periodic Review, the Czech Republic was again asked to investigate cases of sterilization without consent of Romani women and to ensure adequate compensation and reparation were provided.


For current articles:: Search Amnesty International Website

[accessed 25 December 2018]

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Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 22 January 2013]

[accessed 3 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices; however, there were reports that police occasionally used excessive force. Unlike in previous years, there were no reports that police mistreated Roma.

The office for the documentation and investigation of the crimes of communism (UDV) continued to investigate actions taken by government authorities and Communist Party members during the 1948-1989 Communist regime. According to the office, 25 former Communist-era secret police (StB) officers were prosecuted for their participation in antidissident raids in the Asanace operation (a concerted campaign of harassment, torture, and abuse directed at opponents of the Communist regime during the 1970s and 1980s). Eighteen former secret policemen were sentenced to prison, with two additional sentences still pending; five other cases were still under investigation. Since 1989 the government has convicted 90 former StB officials and sentenced 26 to prison.

In September two former secret police agents were charged with the torture and persecution of dissidents during the 1970s. The trial was pending at year's end.

There were no developments in the case of police brutality alleged by a Briton and a New Zealander in April 2004. At year's end no action had been taken on their appeal of the decision to dismiss the case for lack of evidence.

In January two police officers, Marek Vrastil and Karel Berousek, were convicted of assaulting a Romani family in their home in Popovice u Jicina in 2003. One officer received a 20‑month suspended sentence and 4 years' probation; the other received a 1-year suspended sentence and 3 years' probation. The judge stated at the sentencing that the prosecution had not adequately proven racial motives for the attack. In 2004 the three other police officers tried for the attack were found not guilty by the district court in Jicin.

The government increased awareness among police and prosecutors of racially and ethnically motivated crimes by integrating Roma‑specific issues into training programs; gathering data on victimization rates; and researching anti-extremist strategies. Police and prosecutors showed greater awareness of the seriousness of crimes with racial and ethnic motivations, but observers nevertheless criticized the effectiveness and timeliness with which such crimes were investigated (see section 5).

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Czech Republic ",, [accessed <date>]