Ombudswoman revealed 144 human rights violations last year

Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová spoke to an empty parliament again.

National Council of the Slovak Republic.National Council of the Slovak Republic. (Source: TASR)

The parliamentary human rights committee has acknowledged the annual report on the activities of the public defender of rights for 2015. In it, Dubovcová referred to 144 violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms revealed last year, which means that she reported problems in every fifth submitted motion, the SITA newswire reported.

Among the cases Dubovcová reported about is the police action in the refugee camp in Medveďov (Trnava Region) that occurred in September 2015. The migrants detained during the attempt to illegally cross borders protested against their stay in the facility. The police action was inappropriate and they even used handcuffs. As a result, many migrants were injured, according to the ombudswoman’s office.

She also pointed to the practice to place foreigners into isolated areas in detention camps, so-called holes, which according to her violates their dignity, SITA reported.

The ombudswoman also mentions the police raid in the village of Vrbnica (Košice Region) in April 2015 when police officers were looking for seven people without making a video recording. They entered and raided the homes of local Roma without permission. Moreover, 15 Roma were left injured after the raid, according to the report. Ombudswoman’s office discovered that the police intervention was not necessary, SITA wrote.

Except for dealing with the submitted motions, Dubovcová also responded to some 700 questions of children and youths via her website and carried out seven surveys in prisons, police stations or other offices. She also looked into the barrier-free entrances at labour offices across Slovakia.

The ombudswoman recommends adopting several measures, including the ban to place people to enclosed spaces which do not meet requirements for jail cells, or the establishment of independent body to check police actions. She also wants the MPs to adopt measures to stop discrimination against children at schools.

Dubovcová meanwhile published a picture on her Facebook page, showing that the assembly hall in which she was presenting the report was nearly empty.

“I want to point to the provisions of the systemic parliament, submitted by the public defender of rights, that were not adopted to present MPs,” reads the text accompanying the photo.

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