United Nations

C AT/C/SR.1842

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Distr.: General

16 November 2021

Original: English

Committee against Torture

Seventy-second session

Summary record of the 1842nd meeting*

Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Tuesday, 9 November 2021, at 10 a.m.

Chair:Mr. Heller


Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 19 of the Convention

Eighth periodic report of Sweden

The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.

Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 19 of the Convention

Eighth periodic report of Sweden

1. At the invitation of the Chair, the delegation of Sweden joined the meeting.

2.Ms. Svensson (Sweden) said that the parliament’s passage of the human rights institute bill into law in June 2021 marked a milestone in the implementation of the national human rights strategy adopted in 2016. The Institute, whose broad mandate complied with the Paris Principles, was due to commence its activities in January 2022 and had been allocated 50 million Swedish krona (SKr) in the Government’s draft budget for 2022. It would be responsible for monitoring, investigating and reporting on the observance of human rights in the country and submitting proposals to the Government on the measures required to safeguard those rights. In addition, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Sweden had ratified in 1990, had been incorporated into Swedish law in January 2020.

3.The COVID-19 pandemic had raised new concerns regarding the observance of human rights. In Sweden, the regulatory framework for combating the pandemic among the general public was also applied in places of detention. The spread of the disease had been very limited and had not caused any deaths in prisons or detention centres in the country.

4.Sweden had worked very actively to promote the establishment of fundamental legal safeguards in the European Union, which had adopted no fewer than six directives in that area. However, while legislation was important, its correct application was equally so. In the light of the shortcomings in the fulfilment of procedural safeguards identified by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture regarding the right of detainees to see a lawyer, to have a third person informed of their deprivation of liberty without undue delay and to receive a written letter detailing their rights upon their deprivation of liberty, Sweden was taking steps to strengthen the practical application of the procedural rules set out in those directives.

5.Her Government was aware of criticisms regarding the use of pretrial detention in Sweden and was working to address issues in that area. On 1 July 2021, a number of legislative amendments for improving the handling of pretrial detention and restricting the use of isolation cells had entered into force. Barring exceptional circumstances, suspects could now be held in remand for a maximum of nine months, or three months for those aged under 18 years, prior to prosecution. Moreover, remand prisoners under the age of 18 years now had the right to spend time with other persons for at least four hours per day. The court, and not the prosecutor as had previously been the case, was responsible for deciding which types of restrictions should be placed on detainees.

6.The Government was taking steps to strengthen the national plan to combat racism, similar forms of hostility and hate crimes. In 2022, it would be rolling out action programmes to combat Gypsyism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia and racism against Sámi people through educational initiatives, better enforcement of laws on racism and hate crimes and in-depth studies on different forms of racism on the Internet. To that end, a government proposal to increase annual anti-racism funding by SKr 8 million had been put forward. In addition, State support for improving the security of religious premises had been extended to non-confessional associations in recognition of the fact that civil society organizations could also be targets of racism and hate crimes.

7.Since 2019, the Special Investigations Department – an independent body established within the Police Authority in 2015 to investigate alleged ill-treatment and excessive use of force by police officers – had been allocated extra funding for reconnaissance, intervention, investigation and intelligence work. Persons had been tried and judgments handed down on the basis of the Department’s work.

8.Mr. İşcan(Country Rapporteur)said that he was grateful for the information provided by the delegation and was particularly pleased to learn that the national human rights institution had been established with due regard for the Paris Principles and provided with adequate funding.

9.Notwithstanding the State party’s observation in paragraph 3 of its report that the Convention did not oblige a State party to incorporate a specific provision on torture in its domestic legislation, he wished to know whether the Convention, and in particular article 1 thereof, was referred to in any of the State party’s laws or court decisions. In addition, he would like to know whether any progress had been made towards the adoption of a specific law against torture in line with the ministerial proposal to that end made in 2015. Whereas the common core document for Sweden of 2018 (HRI/CORE/SWE/2018) stated that ratified conventions did not automatically become part of domestic law under the country’s dualistic system, he wondered whether any changes had been made in that regard since then or whether the State party might consider developing legislation to authorize the direct application of international instruments to which it was party.

10.While the State party’s arrangements for providing detainees with access to a lawyer appeared to meet the legal requirements, he would be keen to know more about how access was provided in practice. He would be interested to hear whether any complaints had been lodged in that regard and, if so, what the nature of those complaints had been and how the State party had responded to them. Did the State party keep statistics on such complaints?

11.The Committee had been given to believe that detainees had access to doctors and medical examinations, but the Parliamentary Ombudsman had stated that access to health-care personnel in police facilities was not always available. He would be grateful if the State party could shed light on the problems encountered in providing detainees with such access and the steps being taken to address them. In a similar vein, while, according to the State party report, persons deprived of their liberty were informed of their rights at the time of their arrest, the Parliamentary Ombudsman and civil society organizations had reported that, in practice, that was not always the case. He wondered whether the Government was aware of that issue and, if so, how it planned to resolve it. He would also appreciate statistics – disaggregated by age, gender, and ethnicity or nationality – on detainees, including those aged under 18 years, whose exercise of their right to notify a third person upon the deprivation of their liberty had been delayed.

12.While welcoming the ample information provided on the legislative and administrative measures taken by the Government to prevent violence against women, it appeared that, to judge from the statistics provided in the State party’s report, no tangible progress had actually been made in the period under review in reducing the number of sexual offences. He would like to know whether the State party planned to devise any more effective legislative or practical measures for reducing and ultimately putting an end to such offences. Furthermore, he would be grateful for information on plans for improving women’s shelters and strengthening the protection of LGBTQI persons.

13.With reference to paragraph 8 of the list of issues (CAT/C/SWE/QPR/8), concerning asylum regulations, he wished to know whether the temporary law mentioned in paragraph 56 of the report was still in force. He wondered what the Swedish Migration Agency’s opinion was of the law. He wished to know whether the law had provided any solutions to the issues encountered by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the European Court of Human Rights in respect of their jurisprudence and would be grateful to learn whether credibility assessments in asylum cases took account of applicants’ different backgrounds and needs. He would be interested to hear the delegation’s views regarding the idea that standardized methods might hamper the objectivity of the process. Were the officers responsible for those assessments given adequate training? He would also like to know whether the State party planned to take further steps to uphold procedural guarantees for asylum seekers, including training the above-mentioned officers in how to address and accommodate the needs of torture victims and traumatized persons in the course of the asylum procedure.

14.He would appreciate a detailed explanation of the concept of enforced return to which reference was made in annex 3 to the State party’s report. Did it cover refoulement, extradition and expulsion? Disaggregated data would be appreciated on the number of asylum seekers whose applications had been accepted because they would be at risk of torture if they returned to their country of origin. He would like to know what kind of training was given to immigration officials responsible for identifying torture victims among asylum seekers and whether that training had proved effective in practice. In that connection, he wished to acknowledge the State party’s exemplary policy and practices for making certain that no one was extradited unless diplomatic assurances were given that there was no danger of that person being subjected to torture. Lastly, he would appreciate information on the number of applications submitted on behalf of torture victims for compensation, the number of cases in which compensation had been granted and the amounts awarded in each case, as requested in paragraph 27 of the list of issues.

15.Mr. Vedel Kessing (Country Rapporteur) congratulated the State party on its human rights record and the steps it had taken to eliminate torture. His first questions concerned what he regarded as eight priority areas. First, with regard to the treatment of persons in police custody, he would like to know how access to medical staff was guaranteed in practice, including in cases where the detainee was intoxicated, and whether the State party intended to strengthen its safeguards for ensuring access to medical care for people in police custody. Second, he would be grateful if the delegation could explain exactly what exceptions were made to the new time limits on pretrial detention and in what way those limits would help to reduce the number of persons being held in pretrial detention. Third, given the large number of persons who were kept in solitary confinement while in remand custody, he wished to know what steps had been taken to reduce the length of time spent in isolation at the pretrial stage and ensure that detainees had four hours of contact with other persons per day. Had the prison service developed a system to monitor the amount of time that detainees were kept in isolation? Was it true that new remand centres did not have any facilities where prisoners could meet? If so, had any action been considered to remedy that situation? If it was in fact the case that children were held in solitary confinement, he would like to know whether legislative steps were being taken to prohibit it. Fourth, the Committee wished to receive statistics on the frequency of the use of force in prisons and remand centres.

16.Fifth, it seemed that the number of patients, especially minors, in compulsory psychiatric care was rising. Reportedly, patients in psychiatric care were segregated from other patients for long periods of time and had no opportunity for daily outdoor exercise. He would like to know what steps were being taken to reduce the number of minors in compulsory psychiatric care and to keep their segregation and isolation to a minimum. What measures were in place to ensure that they could take daily outdoor exercise and were not subject to stronger coercive measures than those permitted by law?

17.Sixth, the Committee wished to know if the State party was considering taking measures to ensure that asylum seekers were detained only as a last resort for as short a period as possible and that they were not held in isolation. His seventh main area of concern was whether the State party was considering measures to end or limit the practice of holding minors in immigration detention centres.

18.Eighth, the Committee had received reports from the Swedish Children´s Welfare Foundation that some young people in residential homes were victims of violence at the hands of staff. The Committee wished to know if the Swedish authorities had conducted an independent, impartial investigation into the matter in accordance with article 12 of the Convention.

19.With regard to the prompt investigation of allegations of torture in accordance with articles 12 and 13 of the Convention, the Committee would appreciate updated statistics on complaints of torture or degrading treatment in police custody lodged with the Special Investigations Department since its creation in 2015. How many investigations had the Department carried out and what sanctions had been imposed on police officers found guilty of such crimes? As the Department relied on police officers from other units to conduct its investigations, he would appreciate information about the measures taken to guarantee its independence. He wished to know if any consideration had been given to establishing a separate police complaints mechanism that was not under the auspices of the police. The Committee would also appreciate information about any steps being taken to provide prisoners with a formal procedure for submitting written complaints of ill-treatment.

20.He wished to know if the State party had given effect to the recommendation made in the Committee’s previous concluding observations (CAT/C/SWE/CO/6-7) that law enforcement officials should receive training regarding the prohibition of torture and the State party’s obligations under the Convention. He wondered whether the Swedish police applied the Méndez Principles when questioning suspects.

21.He would like to know whether persons deprived of their liberty were routinely vaccinated against COVID-19 and what measures were in place in prisons to prepare for any future wave of the virus. It appeared that, although the new national human rights institution would have an independent board, it would report to the Government rather than to the parliament. The Committee was therefore curious to know how the institute’s independence would be upheld.

22.Mr. Rodríguez- Pinzónsaid, with reference to the right to redress and compensation under article 14 of the Convention, that he wished to know why no disaggregated data had been supplied in the State party’s report in response to the request made in paragraph 27 of the list of issues. Such data were crucial in determining whether article 14 was being fully implemented. He would appreciate data on how many civil proceedings had been brought for compensation for torture or ill-treatment, how many cases had been decided in favour of the victims and the amount of compensation awarded in those cases. He also wished to know how many cases had relied on the Tort Liability Act (1972:207), the Criminal Injuries Act (2014:322) or the Act concerning Damages for Deprivation of Liberty and other Coercive Measures (1998:714).

23.Ms. Belmir, referring to paragraph 12 of the Committee’s concluding observations on the sixth and seventh periodic reports of Sweden (CAT/C/SWE/CO/6-7), issued in 2014, said that the matter of unaccompanied minors remained unresolved. It also appeared that, in 2015, the Government had asked the European Commission to begin relocating asylum seekers. In the light of that change in the State party’s asylum policy, she would appreciate more information on the risk that unaccompanied minors could become victims of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

24.Mr. Tuzmukhamedov said that he hoped to receive detailed information on the training offered to the State party’s civil and military law enforcement personnel who were being deployed to international operations, including those of the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

25.Mr. Liu said that the State party might wish to use the cases outlined in paragraph 156 of its report as a basis for developing training materials for law enforcement officers on the prohibition against torture. In paragraph 84 of the report, the State party noted that the basic training course completed by Coast Guard officers covered the European Convention on Human Rights, but it was unclear whether the Convention against Torture was also included; if not, he wished to emphasize that it would be advisable to do so. Finally, he wished to know why all persons admitted to remand custody did not undergo a physical or mental examination immediately upon their admission.

26.Mr. Touzé said that the fact that people were not allowed to apply for asylum at diplomatic missions of Sweden outside of the country could, in practice, endanger prospective asylum seekers. Given that many other European countries allowed asylum applications to be lodged with their diplomatic missions abroad, he wished to know whether the Government was considering amending its legislation to render such applications permissible.

The meeting was suspended at 11.35 a.m. and resumed at 11.55 a.m.

27.Ms. Svensson (Sweden) said that some of the requested statistical data would be provided the following day.

28.Turning to the subject of gender-based violence, she said that, in order to bolster the 10-year national strategy to prevent and combat violence against women, in June 2021 the Government had unveiled a package of 40 measures for the prevention of violence and for the support and protection of victims, including proposals for more severe criminal penalties for people who violently assaulted their partner or former partner. In addition, in July 2021, the Government had presented a bill to the parliament which would increase the penalties for gross violations of a woman’s integrity and for breaches of non-contact orders. If the bill was passed, the amendments would enter into force on 1 January 2022.

29.Ms. Eklund Rimsten (Sweden) said that Sweden vehemently condemned torture, which was prohibited under both the country’s Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. All acts of torture were covered by existing laws in Sweden, principally the provisions on gross assault and exceptionally gross assault. The Government was, however, as mentioned in the report, considering a proposal for a specific provision on torture. Moreover, the parliament had adopted amendments to existing laws that gave Swedish courts jurisdiction over any act of torture or attempted act of torture as defined in article 1 of the Convention against Torture. Those amendments would enter into force on 1 January 2022.

30.Acts that constituted torture fell under existing provisions of the Penal Code. For instance, a person who inflicted bodily injury, illness or pain on another person or rendered them helpless was guilty of assault and could be sentenced to up to 2 years’ imprisonment. Where the act in question was life threatening or where the perpetrator inflicted severe bodily injury or serious illness or otherwise displayed particular ruthlessness or brutality, it could be deemed to constitute gross assault, which was subject to custodial sentences of from 1 year and 6 months to 6 years. If the act caused permanent bodily injury or exceptional suffering or if the perpetrator displayed exceptional ruthlessness, the offence could be classed as exceptionally gross assault, and the offender could be sentenced to between 5 and 10 years’ imprisonment. In a similar vein, the Penal Code covered the crimes of rape and gross rape, which were subject to prison sentences of between 2 and 6 years and between 5 and 10 years, respectively. The crime of abduction was punishable by between 4 years’ imprisonment and a life term. Lastly, the crime of unlawful deprivation of liberty was subject to prison sentences of between 1 year and 10 years; abuse of a position of trust by the perpetrator was considered an aggravating circumstance.

31.Since, under Swedish criminal law, statutes of limitation were governed by the maximum penalty for the offence in question, offences with the same maximum penalty had the same statute of limitations, but the statute of limitations had been abolished for very serious offences, such as murder, genocide, crimes against humanity and gross war crimes. Since most acts of torture fell within the definition of gross assault or exceptionally gross assault, they were subject to statutes of limitations of 10 and 15 years, respectively. The report on the Government’s inquiry into statutes of limitations in a criminal law context would be published on 17 November 2021; that inquiry had included a review of offences for which the statute of limitations should be abolished.

32.Ms. Bram (Sweden) said that the Special Investigations Department was responsible for dealing with allegations of ill-treatment and excessive use of force by police officers and others. The numerous measures taken to ensure the Department’s independence included the separation of information technology (IT) systems so that only the Department’s employees could access its case files. In 2020, funding had been 37 per cent higher than in 2017, enabling the Department to enhance its surveillance operations and thereby improve its investigative work. The Department had also developed an extensive international cooperation network for knowledge exchanges. In October 2019, a joint network for internal criminal investigation organizations had been set up under the mandate of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation.

33.The Special Investigations Department was responsible for ensuring that persons who had been harmed by officers of the Swedish Police Authority received the assistance and support to which they were entitled. During 2020, the Department had embarked on an initiative aimed at determining whether its victim protection procedures needed to be strengthened and how to implement any necessary changes.

34.The Special Investigations Department had handled a total of 6,136 cases in 2020. The number of cases had risen by approximately 7 per cent since 2016; the main reason for that had been that the Police Authority staff had also increased by some 7 per cent in that period. Of the cases reported to the Department, 58 per cent dealt with misconduct, 13 per cent with violent offences, 8 per cent with other types of crimes and 4 per cent with harassment. In 2018–2020, of the 305 cases of misconduct reported to the Department, 60 had led to preliminary investigations, which had culminated in 2 convictions and 2 acquittals in the district courts; meanwhile, of the 94 cases of assault linked to arrests reported to the Department, 44 had led to preliminary investigations, culminating in 2 convictions and 1 acquittal in the district courts.

35.Mr. Viström (Sweden) said that, as a result of the 2021 amendments to the laws governing pretrial detention, the courts were now responsible for deciding on the nature of any restrictions placed on persons in remand custody, and prosecutors were therefore required to justify each proposed restriction. Prosecutors also had to submit the schedule for preliminary investigations to the courts, which helped the courts to monitor those investigations and ensure that they were not unduly prolonged. It was now easier for the main hearing and the detention hearing to be held at the same time, which shortened periods of pretrial detention. The new time limits on pretrial detention could be exceeded only when a crime was particularly difficult to investigate, and there was therefore an incentive for law enforcement agencies to optimize their planning and use of resources. The time limits also provided greater certainty for detainees regarding their situation.

36.In Swedish courts, the main hearing, in which the parties presented all their arguments, was an oral proceeding, and the courts had to base their decisions on that material alone. Until the bill submitted to parliament in June 2021 on making greater use of the information obtained from documented interrogations held during preliminary investigations, that information had usually not been admitted as evidence. One reason why the bill had been submitted was that the number of major criminal cases had increased in Sweden in recent years, and such cases were often preceded by long, time-consuming preliminary investigations which, unfortunately, often led to similarly long periods of pretrial detention.

37.Ms. Brodén (Sweden) said that the Prosecution Authority and the Prison and Probation Service were working in closer cooperation in an effort to reduce the use of isolation cells during pretrial detention. Measures for this purpose would be finalized in late 2021, and the Prison and Probation Service was developing a digital system for measuring and monitoring the application of those measures. That system would become fully operational in 2022.

38.A tool was in use to plan out the activities and any periods of isolation for each inmate. For inmates under the age of 18, that planning tool specified any special needs in areas such as contact with parents or other caregivers, education, leisure activities and other forms of social contact. Young people also had access to educational opportunities and career advice.

39.The points raised by the Ombudsman regarding pretrial detention were being studied by the Government. While it was important for remand prisoners to be able to spend time with other people during the day, exceptions were sometimes necessary, for example, for security reasons. Inmates subject to isolation measures during pretrial detention were allowed to spend time outside their cell with other people and could take part in activities led by staff and civil society organizations.

40.Ms. Roth Olanders (Sweden) said that the temporary law on migration and asylum was no longer in force; instead, the 2005 Aliens Act had been amended, with the revised version entering into force in July 2021. The amendments were fully in line with international human rights obligations, and the principle of non-refoulement remained unchanged. Under the revised version of the Act, permanent residence permits could be granted only if the applicant had had a temporary residence permit for at least three years and met certain other requirements. The category of persons “otherwise in need of protection” had been expunged from the Aliens Act, and a strict maintenance requirement for family member immigration was applied as a general rule. Permits on humanitarian grounds would still be granted, and the provision for granting residence permits on the ground of exceptionally distressing circumstances remained in place. The former provision under which residence permits could be granted only if a decision to refuse the permit would be contrary to the obligations of Sweden under international law was no longer in effect.

41.Ms. Brodén (Sweden) said that restrictions had been applied in different ways during the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the beginning, all types of furloughs had been completely suspended for all prison inmates. However, visits by lawyers, representatives of government agencies and representatives of various faiths had continued to be allowed. Steps had been taken to alleviate the resulting hardships; for example, inmates had been allowed to make free or subsidized telephone calls and to have video calls with their children. The Prison and Probation Service health department had vaccinated approximately 5,000 clients, and vaccinations were ongoing. The department continued to offer self-administered tests to inmates and staff and had met with success in tracing infections. Preventive work, including tracing, continued, and all inmates would continue to be offered vaccines against COVID-19. Approximately 900 persons in the Prison and Probation Service had been infected with COVID-19, all of whom had recovered. The Service was now preparing for a full return to normal activities and had begun work on a plan for managing future outbreaks of infectious diseases.

42.Ms. Larsson (Sweden) said that, although efforts had been made to reduce the number of children in compulsory psychiatric care, the approximate number of children in such care had increased from 253 to 352 in 2016–2020. That increase could be linked to general population growth in Sweden or to improved reporting. Reliable sources for data comparisons were lacking, so it was difficult to draw reliable conclusions. In order to address that situation, in January 2020 the Government had commissioned the National Board of Health and Welfare to improve the quality of statistics on compulsory psychiatric care and forensic psychiatric care. The results would be reported back to the Government by the end of November 2022 at the latest. The increased number of children in compulsory psychiatric care was not necessarily a negative development; it could simply mean that compulsory psychiatric care was being made more readily available to children with a serious mental disorder. Sweden was highly committed to promoting mental health, improving the well-being of children and young people, and reducing the number of children in coercive care.

43.Government allocations for mental health treatment had more than doubled, from SKr 1 billion in 2016 to SKr 2.2 billion in 2021. In 2021, SKr 1.7 billion had been allocated for the implementation of an agreement on mental health with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions in order to improve its work under the national mental health plan. The agreement covered efforts to strengthen promotion and prevention measures, including suicide prevention; increase the accessibility and quality of mental health and social care; improve access to psychiatric trauma care; and develop and strengthen in-patient mental health care, including compulsory psychiatric care. The Government had commissioned the public health agency and the National Board of Health and Welfare to submit a proposal for a new mental health and suicide prevention strategy focused on children and young people. The results would be reported back to the Government by September 2023 at the latest.

44.The Government had recently launched a number of initiatives to improve the protection of human rights and reduce the use of coercive measures in connection with compulsory psychiatric care and in other settings. On 1 July 2020, legislative amendments had entered into force on the application of coercive measures to children under the age of 18 which severely limited the use of restraints, seclusion and other types of restrictions, and the maximum duration of the application of coercive measures had been considerably shortened. Furthermore, it was now necessary to notify the Health and Social Care Inspectorate if coercive measures had been repeatedly applied to a patient under the age of 18.

45.The Government had allocated SKr 100 million to the Swedish regions for implementation of the new legal framework. In 2021, a total of SKr 1.7 billion had been allocated under two agreements with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions for efforts to improve and develop compulsory mental health care and forensic care and to reduce the use of coercive and intrusive measures in psychiatric establishments.

46.On 10 June 2021, the Government had tasked the Health and Social Care Inspectorate with strengthening and developing supervision and follow-up of compulsory and forensic psychiatric care. Work would focus on improving reporting, record-keeping and data access for monitoring care providers’ use of coercive measures and providing fuller information to patients about their care and how to submit complaints. The results would be reported to the Government by the end of March 2025 at the latest.

47.A national enquiry had been undertaken to review compulsory psychiatric care protocols and analyse possible regulatory amendments. The options to be reviewed included the possibility of appealing the application of coercive measures before administrative courts, extending the right to spend time outdoors daily to patients who were over the age of 18 and the incorporation of recommendations by international human rights bodies into Swedish law. The results would be reported to the Government by 1 July 2022 at the latest.

48.The Government had instructed the National Board of Health and Welfare to promote efforts to develop and implement methods and guidelines for in-patient mental health care with a view to reducing the use of coercive measures. The results would be reported to the Government by the end of November 2022 at the latest.

49.Ms. Bram (Sweden), responding to a question concerning the Méndez Principles, said that the Swedish Police Authority was drawing up new national guidelines on the planning, implementation and evaluation of criminal investigative interviews. Those guidelines were to be promulgated in the first quarter of 2022 and would be binding on all police authorities and employees. The methods stipulated in the guidelines would be based on science, law and ethical principles and would apply to all interviews of victims, witnesses and suspects. The stipulated working methods would be based on the PEACE model and would incorporate tools for cognitive interviewing where applicable in line with the basic training provided to police officer cadets and advanced police training courses at the national level conducted in Sweden for the past 15 years. In accordance with the Méndez Principles, those guidelines stipulated the use of report-based, non-coercive interviewing methods. They were of course also in accordance with the current legal framework for police interviews, which upheld the fundamental rights of interviewees in several ways. Replying to a request for clarification from Mr. Vedel Kessing, she said that the Special Investigation Department had its own police officers on staff for the investigation of complaints.

The meeting rose at 12.55 p.m.