Czech Republic: Ombudswoman says detainees’ rights are being violated

Police officers often disrespect detainees’ basic human rights, says a report by the Office of the Ombudswoman.

People who end up in detention cells in the Czech Republic are often humiliated and their rights, privacy and dignity degraded, according to a report released by the Office of the Ombudswoman this week. Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová, who inspected detention cells around the country, claims police officers often disrespect detainees’ basic human rights:

Over the past two years, the Office of the Ombudswoman made unannounced visits to 47 cells at provisional detention quarters in 14 district stations across the Czech Republic and discovered several areas, where the police frequently violated detainees’ rights.

According to Ondřej Vala from the Ombudswoman’s office, people who end up in provisional detention centres are often unaware of their rights:

The arrested people are often not informed about their rights, they don’t get a form and they are not required to sign it.

The detainees should also be aware that the cell is under camera surveillance, so if they have a complaint, the footage can be used as evidence.

If people were more aware of their rights, it could prevent potential conflicts in the future.

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