Monday, December 31, 2007

Serbia's appalling mental health crisis

BRUSSELS, Nov. 13 — A 21-year-old man with Down syndrome tied to a metal crib for 11 years. Children, naked from the waist down, left to eat and defecate in their beds. A 7-year-old girl with fluid in her brain left untreated “because she will die anyway.”

Marc Schneider/Mental Disability Rights International

A dehydrated girl is tied to a crib at an institution in Kulina. A group says such problems could have been prevented.

These are some of the allegations of abuse at Serbian state mental institutions and orphanages described in a report to be released Wednesday by Mental Disability Rights International, a group based in Washington that spent four years investigating the treatment of some of the 17,200 children and adults with disabilities in institutions in Serbia.

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