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News > Press Releases 2010 > Ombudsman unveils shortcomings in police treating detainees

Ombudsman unveils shortcomings in police treating detainees

13. 10. 2010

Brno, Oct 13 (CTK) – Certain shortcomings in the way the Czech police treat detained people persist, though the situation has improved since the previous check in 2006, Ombudsman Pavel Varvarovsky told reporters today, adding that no cruel or humiliating treatment of detainees has been uncovered.

The police often unnecessarily take some personal items, such as watches and glasses, away from the detainees in police cells. Sometimes they even take the sheet of paper with the instructions about the detainees' rights away from them for safety reasons, Varvarovsky said.

He recommended that the police consider in each individual case whether the given item is dangerous and can threaten the detainees' health or life.

Some detention cells have insufficient material and hygienic equipment. Somewhere mattresses are lacking on the wooden beds, and the detained persons are given a paper sheet, often a used one, instead of a blanket to cover themselves with.

"The detainees thus can easily catch some disease. In addition, the cells are quite cold," deputy ombudsman Jitka Seitlova said.

She said the Ombudsman's Office has informed the police about the shortcomings and the police promised to put the things right.

The ombudsman also found out that the regime of daily and nightly lighting has not been observed in some cells, which, combined with questionings, may cause sleep deprivation to the detained persons.

Sometimes it happens that the inmates are left without food all the day long, the ombudsman said.

The Ombudsman's Office staff have paid 126 visits to police cells, unexpected and at various times of the day.

The check also showed that the awareness of Czechs about the rights of those detained by the police is very low.

"We're striving for [people] to be more informed," he said.

rtj/dr/kva

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