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Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The constitution prohibits such practices, and there were few reports that government officials employed them.

In the reports on its 2010 and 2013 visits to the country, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) criticized the use of voluntary surgical castration as a means of treatment of incarcerated sex offenders, stating that it was a mutilating, irreversible intervention whose application to incarcerated sex offenders “could be considered as amounting to degrading treatment.” The CPT recommended that all relevant federal and state authorities take steps to put a definitive end to its use. In a letter dated May 13, authorities informed the CPT no surgical castrations were performed on incarcerated sex offenders from 2013 to 2015.

In June, two police officers from Essen were cleared of charges of excessive use of force stemming from an April operation against drug dealers.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Prison and detention center conditions generally met international standards.

Physical Conditions: On May 4, an 18-year-old inmate at the Wuppertal-Ronsdorf Correctional Facility killed a 20-year-old man after a card game. The perpetrator had a history of violence.

Independent Monitoring: The government permitted monitoring by independent nongovernmental observers. A delegation from the CPT visited the country in 2015. As of year’s end, the CPT’s report had not been released.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future