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Latvian police to probe violations at children's mental hospital

RIGA, Feb 8 (LETA) - The regional branch of the Latvian State Police will launch a probe into violations discovered at the children's psychoneurological hospital in Ainazi, northern Latvia.

Anzela Geljanu, an aide to the chief of the Vidzeme branch of the State Police, told LETA that the police will launch a probe to determine whether there were grounds for opening a criminal case.

The police are aware that the public is greatly concerned about the situation in the children's hospital but stressed that there would be no detailed comments as Ainazi was a specialized medical establishment treating minors.

"This is sensitive information. The parents are responsible for whatever they choose to disclose to the media. Emotions run high but one must remember that the police work with the facts," the police spokeswoman said.

As reported, Latvian Ombudsman Juris Jansons and the Health Inspectorate have found violations in the Ainazi mental hospital for children. The ombudsman said at a news conference that children at the hospital had been tied to beds for days and even weeks on end and there had been other numerous violations. During the inspection, children complained about physical and emotional violence on the part of the hospital personnel. They said those who were misbehaving were tied to their beds or otherwise punished.

The hospital's head, Ilona Balode, has been suspended pending the investigation.

Published: 08.02.2018 15:17

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