A Dutch court in Amsterdam has refused to extradite a man, accused of drugs trafficking offences, back to the UK because the conditions in HMP Liverpool were ruled to breach Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The man, who had been arrested on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW), was not named in court. The Dutch judges refused to execute the EAW and ruled that the conditions which prevail at HMP Liverpool may mean the subject of the EAW will be at risk of “inhuman and degrading treatment.
During the ruling, the Dutch judges cited the HM Chief Inspector of Prisons’ Annual Report which found that the conditions at HMP Liverpool were “squalid” and so disturbing that they “have no place in an advanced nation in the 21st century”. The report found that the prison was infested with rats, there was widespread violence and that illegal drugs were available to inmates.
The Dutch court also heard in a letter from the UK Director General of the Prison Service that he did “not accept those conditions anywhere in our prisons amount to inhuman or degrading treatment contrary to Article 3…” The letter also described how steps are being taken to improve conditions at the prison, £100m in funding is being provided to improve prison staffing levels across the UK and that improved suicide and self-harm training is being provided to prison staff.
The Dutch court has now delayed the extradition pending more information about the conditions at HMP Liverpool.