CPT Asked to Seek Information of Death in Custody

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

The Celtic League has asked the CPT to seek a report from Scottish authorities into a death in custody at a Police Station in Fife over the weekend (see below):

“Mr Hugh Chetwynd
Head of Division
CPT Secretariat
Council of Europe
F67075 Strasbourg Cedex
FRANCE

7th May 2015

Dear Sir,

I refer the Committee to death in Police (Scotland) Custody of 31 year old Sheku Bayoh.

Mr Bayoh died on the morning of Sunday 3rd May 2015 whilst being detained at a police station in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland .

The sudden death of what seems to have been a young fit man is quite properly being investigated by Scotland’s Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) and we would not wish to prejudge the outcome of that investigation.

However, allegations in relation to methods of restraint attributed to ‘a senior police source’ have appeared in the media (see link):

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/fife/friends-and-family-of-sheku-bayoh-gather-to-pay-their-respects-in-kirkcaldy-1.872633

The Celtic League is mindful of the visit by the CPT to the United Kingdom in September 2012 which included visits to police stations in what is now the Police Scotland area.

Whilst your report was generally positive it did in para 13 specifically highlight concerns about restraint methods and the paragraph concludes with the words (highlighted);

“the Scottish authorities must remain vigilant and continue their zero-tolerance policy towards ill-treatment.”

We also note that your report was also extremely positive in relation to custody records held at police stations in Scotland (para 24) and you say; “the CPT’s delegation noted that the electronic custody records were well kept”.

In the light of that last comment if the record keeping is still as accurate as your delegation found then the PIRC should be able to expeditiously conclude its enquiry into this tragic death.

I do trust that the Committee will seek a copy of the PIRC report so that any future visit by the CPT to police detention facilities in Scotland can be informed by that report.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

Additional media report at this link.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

07/05/15

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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