Ex-PM Ciucă received reports from the CRJ three times about the horrors of nursing homes when he was PM

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Complaints about the horrors in the nursing homes in Voluntari where elderly were abused were also sent to the Prime Minister of Romania, without this having any consequences until the outbreak of the scandal triggered by the arrests in this file, documents quoted by mass media revealed.

On March 1, the Legal Resources Center  (CRJ) sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Chancellery, in which it reported the abuses in these dormitories and asked the prime minister – Nicolae Ciucă at that time – to take over the coordination of control actions at these dormitories. The complaints remained unanswered.

In the foreword to the notification sent to the Prime Minister, the Legal Resources Center refers to its own reports “from Ilfov county which complement the hundreds of notifications addressed to public authorities and courts in the last two decades, serious violations of human rights in these private institutions, respectively:

  • on September 7, 2022 – at the “St. Gabriel cel Viteaz” Care and Assistance Center for Adults with Disabilities – Voluntari, Ilfov county;
  • on September 7, 2022 and November 1, 2022 respectively at the Center for Care and Assistance for Adults with Disabilities “Armonia” – Afumati, Ilfov county;
  • between September and November 2022 at the Residential Care and Assistance Center for Dependent Persons “Casa Cora” – Voluntari, Ilfov county;

Furthermore, the CRJ states in the document that “all the institutions involved or competent in the matter” were notified: the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Health, the National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection, the General Directorate of Social Assistance and Child Protection (DGASPC) Ilfov, DGASPC Sector 3 regarding the horrors discovered at nursing homes.

“Although the legal term has expired, either we did not receive any kind of answer, or the answers received were completely evasive, superficial or unfounded, revealing situations diametrically opposed to those found by the CRJ team on the spot. We specify that we have also filed criminal complaints regarding the issues found, at the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Buftea Court”, the notification also states.

Therefore, the CRJ asked the Prime Minister to take over the coordination of the investigation on the nursing homes.

“We request that you take over the coordination of the actions initiated by the CRJ as they were previously listed, in the context in which we have not identified another superior forum to assume the coordination of a commission to investigate and correct institutional causes at the central and local level which for over two decades favors the occurrence of abuses in the institutions referred to in this case, and leaves tens of thousands of people with disabilities, minors, adults and elderly defenseless”, requested the CRJ representatives in the notification.

The Center for Legal Resources also asked the Prime Minister to state ” the existence of a real difference of power between the institutions obliged to take measures regarding the rights of persons with disabilities and the institution designated as the Coordination and Control Mechanism” and to order measures “to remedy such a completely absurd situation”.

The notification, dated February 28, was sent on March 1 to the Prime Minister’s Chancellery and to State Councilor Mădălina Turza, according to government sources.

As it did not get any answer a response for more than a month, the Legal Resource Center returned the same referral on April 10 and April 11, when it was sent to the same recipients, according to the sources cited.

After the outbreak of the scandal, former Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă denied that he knew anything about the abuses that were taking place at the nursing homes. “You know my work very well. Every time we have had such information or notifications, we have taken action accordingly. As such, I did not have such information and I am convinced that no matter which institution it was, no matter what level of management it was, then and now, the measures must be the same”,  Nicolae Ciucă stated on July 10.

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