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NY Times: Report claims abuses on Romanian orphans continue

Miercuri, 10 mai 2006, 0:00

Thousands of children in Romanian orphanages still live in conditions similar to those of the early nineties, when images of hungry children tied to chairs and smeared with their own feces circled the globe, according to a new report quoted by the New York Times in its online edition on Wednesday.

The report, investigated by the mental Disability Rights International group, describes the "eerie silence" in a Romanian orphanage where 65 abandoned children live a quiet life because "who do not receive attention when they cry learn to stop crying."

The document also describes how the staff of a psychiatric ward for adults accepted to remove the restraints from a girl wrapped head to toe in sheets, only to discover that her skin peeled with the sheets leaving an open would beneath.

It was "the most horrible thing" that the executive head of the MDRI, Eric Rosenthal, saw in his 13-year career in this field, according to the newspaper.

It also shows that the report comes as the European Commission prepares to publish its last report on Romania and Bulgaria next week, before the two countries join the EU most probably next year.

A similar report by MDRI in 2005, when Turkey started the EU accession negotiations, prompted the country to abandon the practice of electroshock terapy without anesthesia in its psyhiatric wards.

NY Times also quotes a representative of a Romanian authority for the protection of children rights who challenges the MDRI findings. She says it is only a report of a non-governmental organization and it doesn’t speak of facts throughout Romania, but only of several cases.

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