European Report: Violence, Misery and Corruption in Bulgarian Prisons and Psychiatries
The Committee Against Torture of the Council of Europe presented a report on Bulgaria, which reported a slight improvement in the conditions in the places where convictions are served in Bulgaria.
The document states that the staff in these institutions are still inadequate and that the conditions in psychiatries are inhuman and degrading. Last year, Commission officials visited police stations, penitentiary facilities, psychiatric establishments.
The report notes improvement in the conditions of detention centers, but it is also noted that complaints of physical violence there continue. It is added that the recommendations for providing detainees with access to a lawyer and a doctor have not been applied.
At places of punishment, there is an improvement in the material environment, but there is a lack of cleanliness, even where the furniture is new.
Corruption is still a serious problem, and prison staff remain at the root of imported illegal items, the report said. Additionally, complaints about ill-treatment by prison staff are diminishing, but violence between prisoners continues. It is insisted on providing the necessary health care for prisoners.
During a visit to Radnevo, psychiatrists have found numerous complaints of threats and physical violence against the sick. The Bulgarian authorities are urged to take measures to fill the shortage of employees in this and similar other institutions in the country.
The lack of cleanliness to the extent of inhuman and degrading conditions is reported in visits to mental health homes. The Commission states that the bitter conclusion is that the people there are forgotten by the state.
During his visit to the detention center of foreigners in Lyubimets, the envoys of the commission received complaints of disrespect and found very bad material conditions. Access to health care was lacking, translators and proper food were missing, as well as toys and clothing for the children there.
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