Sunday, July 11, 2004

Author condemns caging policy
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has called for an end to the confinement of disabled children in cages in one of the European Union's newest member countries.
Rowling has protested to Stefan Fule, the Czech ambassador to London, and written to her local MEP following a Sunday newspaper investigation into the plight of children in some of the country's care homes.
She told Mr Fule: "I am sure that I am not alone in feeling a deep sense of shock that a fellow member of the European Union like the Czech Republic could permit such abuses."
A spokeswoman for Ms Rowling confirmed that she had responded to a Sunday Times report which told of five mentally handicapped children and a toddler being discovered in cages at a care home in the Czech capital Prague last month.
They were let out briefly each morning to be fed and washed but had no teddies or toys to comfort them, according to the newspaper, which was told by staff that the cages were needed to prevent hyperactive children from hurting themselves.
Ms Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, said the children's' conditions were "far more terrifying" than anything her fictional boy wizard had to encounter.
In a letter to Scottish Labour MEP Catherine Stihler, she wrote: "I am sure I am one of many who were horrified beyond words to read about the neglect and abuse of such very vulnerable people; indeed, the word torture does not seem too strong.
"The idea that children as young as five are being locked in cages for the majority of their lives is nothing short of horrific; that this is happening in a relatively prosperous fellow EU state can only deepen feelings of outrage."

The Sunday Times quoted a spokeswoman at the Czech Republic's ministry of social affairs in Prague as saying: "We're working on it."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Geeez, since when a secretary knows what is best for psychically disabled children? Sure its better to overdose them with heavy drugs so they dont bother the doctors, as it is done in the "modern" western countries, rite? Come on Rowlings, keep to writing and let the real docs do their thing. You are laughable.