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Activities of the Seimas Ombudsmen have been introduced to representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania

14 September 2016

 MG 7472Presenting the activities of the Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office to the representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania, the Head of Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office Augustinas Normantas provided information on the human rights‘ situation in the country. „I have no doubts that the aim of all democratic states is to foster respect for human rights“, – stated Mr. Normantas. 

At the meeting with the representatives of the U.S. Embassy, Mr. Tedd Janis and Mrs. Giedra Gureviciute-Demereckiene, the Seimas Ombudsman revealed important issues that are the basis of complaints launched to the Ombudsman; moreover, presented human rights problems arising in places of deprivation of liberty.

Speaking about the activities of an institution A. Normantas paid great attention to the new function of the Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office, i.e. national prevention of torture. "Ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture empowered the Seimas Ombudsmen to identify problems that had been unnoticed when dealing with complaints."

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The Seimas Ombudsman was unpleasantly surprised by the prevailing human right violations in Kaunas District social care institutions

12 September 2016

A. NormantasAfter the second visit to Kaunas District nursing homes, advisers of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office were unpleasantly surprised by the huge number of unsolved problems, even though they had already been identified during the first visit to these nursing homes last year.

Mr. Augustinas Normantas, the Seimas Ombudsman, could not conceal his deep disappointment with the findings. "The saddest thing is that the institutions have failed to solve even those problems, which do not require additional financial resources,"‌ he said.

The Seimas Ombudsman noted that only two out of eleven care facilities, Ežerelis Social Care Home and Panemunės Elderly Care Home, had managed to solve all the issues related to human rights violations. "However, there were such institutions as elderly care homes 'Užusaliai,' 'Globasta,' or 'Auksinis Amžius,' which had solved only an insignificant number of problems established by us," noted Mr. Normantas.

Among the listed shortcomings were a non-functional emergency system, a practice of locking elderly patients in their rooms, allowing them to bathe only once every two weeks, and not disinfecting worn-out, dirty, or torn mattresses before passing them over to other residents.

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After a visit to Alytus Correction House, the Seimas Ombudsman criticised its authority

30 August 2016

 MG 7266There is not enough space for inmates in wheelchairs to move freely within the cells. The bathrooms are too narrow, and the stairs leading to a canteen and library as well as the odontologist, family doctor and psychologist are not adjusted for the use of people with disabilities. The Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas released these findings after a visit to Alytus Correction House.

Having assessed the human rights situation in Alytus Correction House, the Seimas Ombudsman Mr. A. Normantas noted that there was a noticeable shortage of wheelchairs and other movement-compensation equipment for people with disabilities. Moreover, there were no bathroom safety rails in showers to facilitate the mobility of individuals with disabilities so they could perform their hygiene procedures independently.

The employees of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office have also established that there was a lack of seats in prison yards for inmates with disabilities. Therefore, prisoners who had mobility challenges and had to move with walkers or walking sticks or crutches did not have a place to sit down and have rest.

Furthermore, Mr. A. Normantas drew attention to the fact that privacy in the hygiene facilities for inmates with disabilities was not ensured in Alytus Correction House.

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