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Human Rights Group Criticizes Romania's Treatment of Disabled Children


A US-based human rights group is accusing Romania of subjecting children with disabilities to intolerable conditions in state-run facilities.

In a report released Wednesday, advocacy group Mental Disability Rights International says disabled children are being neglected in adult facilities.

The group says an 18-month investigation found emaciated teenagers, disabled children covered in sores and filth and restrained by bedsheets, and infants confined to cribs without any physical contact.

Romanian officials have confirmed some of the allegations, but deny the abuses are widespread. Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu has ordered an investigation into care facilities for the disabled.

The director of the human rights group is calling on Romania and the EU to stop treatment he says violates international human rights law.

The report's release comes as Romania seeks to join the European Union.

Romanian officials say the nation has made major reforms in children's care since the system's failures were exposed after the fall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's regime in 1989.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.