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Romania: Rights Respected, But Police Abuse A Problem

Washington, 26 February 1999 (RFE/RL) - According to the U.S. State Department, Romania generally respected the human rights of its citizens last year, but some serious problems were also noted.

In its annual reports on the state of human rights around the world, the State Department cited ongoing problems with police and security service abuse of detainees and prisoners.

The report said the Romanian government did investigate police suspected of abuse, however it also says some investigations were lengthy and inconclusive and rarely resulted in prosecution of alleged offenders.

The U.S. says Romania is making an effort to improve the professionalism of its state prosecutors, and it said that while the judiciary is becoming more independent, it is still subject to political pressure.

The report says violence and discrimination against women remained serious problems. The U.S. also noted the presence of a large number of impoverished and apparently homeless children in big cities. The report also mentioned abuse of religious minorities and discrimination and abuse of the Gypsy (Roma) population.