Brno, Dec 8 (CTK) – The restrictions on people´s freedom should be carefully considered by psychiatric hospitals, institutional homes for disabled persons, abandoned children or juvenile delinquents, police stations and prisons, Czech Ombudsman Anna Sabatova told journalists today.

The Ombudsman Office has been protecting people against maltreatment in the country for 10 years. The office has been operating since 2000.

Sabatova said a lot of things improved over the past ten years, but further improvements were still needed in some spheres.

The Ombudsman Office previously criticised mental hospitals for using cage beds, tying patients to beds and giving tranquilizers to them too often.

Sabatova said all cases of such restrictions in mental hospitals should be registered in order to prevent their excessive application.

Many facilities would need to hire more employees, but they do not have the money required, she said. However, sometimes training of the present staff would be sufficient for an improvement, she added.

Sabatova said she would focus on handcuffing of people detained in police cells.

She repeatedly opposed the body searches of all prison inmates. She said only risky prisoners should be searched. Prisons should try to correct those punished with the help of educators, Sabatova said.

The Czech state should make more effort to build shelter homes for people with mild intellectual disabilities and it should improve the conditions in which senior citizens live, she said.

Sabatova said children younger than six years should be raised in their own families or at least substitute families, not in institutions.

The Ombudsman Office paid 365 visits to Czech institutions in which the inmates´ freedom is restricted in the past ten years. Based on these visits, improvements were recommended by the office.

Sabatova has been ombudsman since February 2014. She was deputy ombudsman in 2001-2007. In 2008-2013, she headed the Czech Helsinki Committee nongovernmental organisation focusing on human rights.

kva/dr/rtj