The Ombudsperson of Republic of Kosovo has published today Ex-officio Report No. 421/2016 Related to the right to life, in case B.R.
The Ombudsperson, based on an article of the “Telegrafi.com” portal, on 12 July 2016, has initiated ex-officio investigation, regarding claims in the written and electronic media, related to the lack of necessary psychiatric treatment for the deceased B. R. (B.R. who was diagnosed with a chronic psychiatric disease and has been under medical treatment since 2003).
This Report aims to point out the consequences of non-cooperation of the relevant health authorities with the Police and family, as a result of which life of one person has been lost.
Based on the all evidences presented and facts gathered, as well as based on relevant laws, which determine the right to life, the Ombudsperson finds in the concrete case that, there was violation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, since health institutions have not acted in compliance with principles of Constitution and legislation in force.
The Ombudsperson considers that health institution, which admitted the person with mental disorders for treatment fail to provide the necessary professional assistance to the same person. It is very disturbing the fact that due to inadequate treatment and failure to keep the patient under supervision, the patient has managed to escape from this institution unnoticed, therefore, the circumstances of the escape of B.R. from the institution in question, remain unclear until a further notice, thus leaving room for different interpretations. During investigation of this case, the Ombudsperson has been informed that there were also other cases of escape of persons with mental disorders from similar institutions in other centers of Kosovo, therefore, such cases have also happened before (see report of OI A.no.89/2015, published on 3 November 2015). http://www.ombudspersonkosovo.org/repository/docs/1488-2015,_Raport_me_rekomandime,_shqip_252019.pdf ).
The Ombudsperson considers that the failure of the Health Institution to inform the Court caused the violation of Article 78 of the Law on Out Contentious Procedure, while whatever reasoning provided by the health institution is groundless.
The Ombudsperson finds that, responsible authorities have failed in undertaking measures related to positive obligations, namely protection of indefeasibility of physical and psychological human integrity, especially in cases when integrity and human life are in danger. Failure of the family to cooperate with authorities also constitutes a problem in itself. Failure to inform competent authorities has impacted on the failure to undertake preventive measures.
The Ombudsperson finds that health authorities lacked necessary information regarding the measures imposed by the Court to B.R., therefore, as a result of inappropriate investigation on the past of B.R. and failure to cooperate with other state bodies, including the court and prosecution office, and by neglecting the situation, it allowed recidivism of the criminal offense of B.R.
Based on these findings, and in conformity with Article 135, par. 3 of Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, and Article 16, par. 4 of Law no. 05/L-019 on Ombudsperson, the Ombudsperson recommends the:
Health Inspectorate of Ministry of Health that:
Health Inspectorate in compliance with powers and authorizations deriving from Article 33 of Law no. 05/L-025 on Mental Health should assess the treatment of the deceased B.R. in conformity with Article 19, paragraph 1, of Law on Mental Health, during the period of this stay in the Psychiatric Ward of RH in Gjilan, from 6 to 9 July 2016.
In compliance with legal authorizations and depending on the findings on the ground, all necessary actions should be taken and inform all Mental Health Institutions in the Republic of Kosovo that such eventual cases are not repeated in the future
Police Inspectorate of Kosovo:
In compliance with powers and legal authorizations should assess meeting of the legal criteria on the use of the firearm by the police officer, in conformity with Article 27 of Law 04/L-076 on Police
Ministry of Health and Kosovo University Clinic and Health Service:
Kosovo University Clinic and Health Service should issue an instruction, through which it will inform all health institutions on their duties and responsibilities, when facing cases of treating persons with mental disorders and oblige them to act in conformity with Law no. 05/L-025 on Mental Health
Kosovo University Clinic and Health Service should undertake all necessary actions to increase the professional and ethical level of the staff and require from the health staff to treat patients with responsibility and maximum professionalism, by providing them professional health services and supervising them during the entire working hours, as long as such persons are in the health institution
The above given Report, in its full form, has been forwarded today on 10 August 2016 to the responsible authorities. Pursuant to Article 132, paragraph 3 of the Constitution of Republic of Kosovo and Article 28 of the Law on Ombudsperson No.05/L-019, the Ombudsperson awaits to be informed on writing on actions undertaken regarding this issue, within thirty days period.
Ex-officio Report No. 421/2016 related to the right to life, in case B.R. in a form as it was forwarded to the responsible authorities is published on OI official web page (HERE). The same is disseminated to the media.
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