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Advocacy Group Calls On Czech Republic To Stop The Use Of Cage Beds
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 25, 2003

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC--The Mental Disability Advocacy Center on Monday called on the Czech government to put and end to the use of cage beds in the republic's psychiatric institutions and social care homes.

Cage beds are beds with a cage made of metal bars or wire netting placed on top of it to confine a person. Their use has been condemned by the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe.

A June 2003 MDAC report, entitled "Cage Beds: Inhuman and Degrading Treatment in Four EU Accession Countries", found that locked cage beds are frequently used in such facilities in Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. The European Parliament has called on these countries to "cease this degrading and inhuman practice without delay".

At Monday's event, arranged by MDAC and held in the Senate of the Czech Republic, a victim of cage beds named Michel described his experiences just two years ago.

"They held me in a cage bed for more than a week with no assistance at all, so I was, in extreme cases of thirst and hunger, forced to attempt to drink my own urine," said Michel. "I will probably never forget the feelings I had, and the fear caused by the cage bed will stay with me forever. It was a mixture of betrayal, fear, humiliation, powerlessness and hopelessness..."

According to their website, the MDAC is an international organization "that promotes and protects human rights of people with mental disability in twenty-eight countries of central and eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Mongolia."

Mental Disability Advocacy Center


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