Right’s watchdog urges Albania to tackle corruption

The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture, which visited 20 detention facilities and police stations and four prison hospitals in 2005, said in a report that the majority of the inmates interviewed during the visit complained of ill-treatment in police custody and expressed profound mistrust of the country's justice system, the AP reports.

Last month, Albania signed a pre-membership agreement with the European Union that commits the impoverished country to economic and political reforms that are a prerequisite for its future entry into the 25-nation EU.

The EU said Albania has taken encouraging steps to combat corruption but more determined action and sustained progress in the rule of law was needed. No formal date has been given to Albania for starting membership talks with the EU.

The anti-torture committee, which has unlimited access to all detention facilities in the Council of Europe's 46 member states, said there had been little improvement in prison conditions in Albania since its previous visit in 2003, despite a wide range of recommendations to the authorities.

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