Letter | Date: 30/03/2006
Brev til komiteens sekretær
Thank you for the advanced unedited version of the concluding observations from the Committee. As far as we understand, the Norwegian authorities have the opportunity to make comments and suggestions in case there are errors or misunderstandings. On this understanding, we would like to make comments to the following paragraphs in the advanced unedited version we have received:
Para 7: We would like to clarify that the Parliament has not been involved in the preparation of the report. NGOs have been involved i.a. by presenting an alternative report.
Para 12: Norwegian authorities are not aware of any incidents of genital mutilation in Norway. In the action-plan against female genital mutilation, the following is stated about the problem in Norway (translated into French):
En Norvège, ce problème concerne au plus haut degré les personnes entrées dans le pays par migration. Il est impossible de savoir combien de personnes sont touchées, un bon nombre de femmes ayant subi la mutilation sexuelle avant leur arrivée en Norvège. Il en est de même pour une partie des jeunes filles, alors que d'autres qui grandissent en Norvège se trouvent en danger d'être mutilées. Les pouvoirs publics n'ont aucun point de référence pour pouvoir dire à quel degree la tradition est perpétuée après l'arrivée en Norvège. Des jeunes filles d'origine somalienne ont osé reveller publiquement leur propre expérience et certaines organisations travaillant sur le problème affirment qu'il a été pratiqué des interventions sur des jeunes filles domiciliées en Norvège. Il n'y a pas de données basées sur la recherche en ce domaine, mais l'on a des raisons de croire qu'un certain nombre de jeunes filles vivent ce risque de mutilation sexuelle comme un problème.
Act no. 74 of 15 December 1995 makes it a criminal offence to commit or assist in the commitment of such acts, even if carried out abroad.
Para 14: We note that the Committee is concerned about continued use of pre-trial detention for excessive periods of time. We do not, however, recall that the Committee has asked for statistics regarding the length of pre-trial detention. Please find enclosed such statistics. (Please note that these figures also include inmates who have appealed against first-instance judgements, unless they have applied for and been granted permission to start serving the sentence before the judgement is final, cf. section 453 of the Criminal Procedure Act.)
We would also like to emphasise that all of the 2002 amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act, except one, have not entered into force. The remaining single amendment – which was mentioned in paragraph 86 of the fifth periodic report – is expected to enter into force in the summer of 2006.
Para 16: We would like to emphasise that the same rules apply regardless of nationality when it comes to the possibility of leave from prison when breastfeeding babies. There is an individual assessment of the flight risk if the inmate is let out of prison. It might also be noted that during the last couple of years, all mothers serving at the Bredtveit Prevention, Detention and Security Prison (in which 67 per cent of female prisoners served in 2005), including a number of foreigners, have been allowed to serve at least three months after birth with their infants at special institutions for mothers. Furthermore, it might be of interest that foreigners who are to be expelled, and for whom the serving of the sentence is a particularly heavy burden (this will apply to mothers with small children), shall be released after having served 7/12 of the sentence.