2019.11.11 16:00

Rights of convicts violated during prison closure – Lithuanian parliament ombudsman

Ramūnas Jakubauskas, BNS2019.11.11 16:00

The human rights of prisoners were violated during their transfer from Lukiškės Remand Prison, the latest report by the ombudsman of the Lithuanian Seimas concludes.

Since January 2019, around 600 prisoners were transferred to other facilities from Lukiškės prison, which was in operation for 115 years and closed in July 2019.

The ombudsman reports states that "most [of the prisoners] were informed about the transfer less than one day before the start of the transfer procedure. There have even been cases when prisoners were not informed about the transfer at all and had only one hour to prepare".

The report also states that the home locations of the prisoners or their relatives was not taken into account, potentially hindering possibilities for prisoners to keep in touch with their families.

The report also highlights that the prisons that received the transferred convicts were not prepared to provide them with the opportunity to continue their education or work.

In his report, the Seimas ombudsman also noted that convicts were often not provided with an adequate number of furniture. Moreover, convicts are forced to wash their personal clothes in buckets with cold water and dry them in the same cells that also lack proper lighting.

The Seimas ombudsman also made recommendations to the Prison Department, obliging it to take measures to ensure that prisoners have adequate conditions of detention, hygiene, material and domestic supplies.

The reports also recommends that all transferred convicts be provided with the opportunity to continue their education and work to ensure social rehabilitation.

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