BUCHAREST, March 3 (Reuters) - Human rights group
Amnesty International condemned Romania on Thursday for
inhuman conditions in its overcrowded psychiatric
institutions (hospitals for the 'irrecuperable'), saying
children and agitated patients were often tied to their
beds. Amnesty said the living conditions and treatment
of patients in mental hospitals in the Balkan country,
which hopes to join the European Union in 2007,
"continued to breach international human rights
December, the European Parliament urged Romania to
ensure that psychiatric hospitals had adequate resources
for treatment and care of patients, and to focus
attention on children and the young who needed to be
protected from abuse.
report said a visit by a local human rights organisation
to one southeastern psychiatric hospital in June found
140 adults and 50 children were living in conditions
"amounting to inhuman and degrading treatment".
ward for adults was overcrowded, with some patients
having to share beds," the report said. "All residents
had very short hair, were poorly dressed and only a few
said many of the children had their arms and legs tied
to the sides of their cots, and most bedridden children
had skin rashes because they were not properly cared
for. Some children stood barefoot on the wet floor.
authorities' failure to provide adequate care and to put
in place legal safeguards to protect residents from
abuse exposed patients and residents to a considerable
risk of physical and mental abuse," the report added.
It said two
patients in mental hospitals died last year as a result
of neglect and abuse.
Social Democrats, who ruled Romania before they lost
elections last November to a centrist coalition, won
praise abroad for spurring economic growth in the
country of 22 million but were criticised for failing to
protect human rights.
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