Medical Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture
( MRC CRAIOVA FOUNDATION)
MRC Foundation is a NGO and apolitical organization who started its activity in 1991 inBucharest. Is the first and the only organization from our country which realizes a complex program of rehabilitation of torture victims from the black period of the political repression (1945- 1989)
MRC CRAIOVA FOUNDATION was opened in 1998 and from February 2000 started its activity at the headquarter from Amaradia street, number 30 and it is:
- Medical centre affiliated to the international network of IRCT- International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims- which has its headquarter in Copenhagen- Denmark, network which comprises a number of 200 centers from 95 countries from all over the world.( out of which three are in Romania: Bucharest, Iasi and Craiova)
- One of the establishment members of CCVT-EL (The Coalition of the centers of torture victims from Latin Europe), next to the Association of the Exile Repression Victims – Paris, France and the Italian Council for the Refugees- Rome, Italy
Here, we are offering free of charge medical assistance to those persons who from political reasons were victims of torture, violence, cruel, degrading and inhuman treatments and also to the persons that were forced to leave their homes because of the fear of repressions. In the present we have 800 victims of torture to whom we are providing consultations and treatment through out:
- own cabinets of general medicine, psychology, psychiatry, physiotherapy, acupuncture;
- the treatment base for physiotherapy where there are provided physical treatments through out electrotherapy, lasertherapy, ultrasound, therapeutical, prophylactic and curative massage and reflexotherapy;
- collaborations with other cabinets(laboratory, echography, urology, stomatology, endocrinology)
We are also providing:
- supportive psychotherapeutic assistance and psychiatric counseling ;
- medical visits and treatments at home for the patients that are bed ridden;
- vaccination campaign with anti flue vaccine(November-December);
Our cabinets (offices) are being accredited by the Public Direction of Health Dolj and medical noticed by the Doctor’s College.
Medical Rehabilitation Center Craiova Foundation works in close collaboration with the Health House of Insurance Dolj since 2002.
MRC Craiova Foundation addresses to those persons which from political reasons were victims of the communist regime, members of the Former Political Prisoners Association- Dolj county, beneficiaries of the special laws: Law 118/1990, Law 189/2000, Law 3009/2002 and their families(wife/husband).
Law 118/1990– Beneficiaries: Those persons that after 6 March 1945, from political reasons:
- had been convicted to a punishment privative of freedom in the base of a judicial decision which remained definitive or there were being deprived of freedom based on a preventive warrant for political offence;
- they had been deprived of freedom in spaces of detention having as a base some administrative measurements or for investigations by the repression authorities;
- they had been hospitalized in psychiatric hospitals;
- they had forced place of residence;
- they had been moved to other place;
- they had been deported in other countries after 23 August 1944;
- they had been made prisoners by the sovietic part after 23 August 1944 or they were retained in captivity after the armistice had been signed;
- their husbands/wifes- if they haven’t remarried
Law 189/2000 – Beneficiaries: Those persons- Romanian citizens– which during the regimes from 6 September 1940- 6 March 1945 had to suffer ethnical persecutions, as it fallows:
- they had been deported in concentration camps from the outside;
- they were moved in other places then their homes;
- they took part in forced labor detachment;
- v they survived the death train;
- they are husband/wife of the persons killed or executed because of their ethnical convictions, if their remained unmarried;
Law 309/2002 – Beneficiaries: Those persons- Romanian citizens- which made their military probation in labor detachments from the General Direction of Labor Service in the period 1950-1961.
Maybe sometimes the stories of our beneficiaries may be compared with horrid stories, but those tears, those revolting memories represent the cruel truth that those persons passed and which should be make known for being able to aware they condition of spirit in which outlined all that there is today.
A victim of torture remains almost unknown because she/ he has lost his faith in people, refusing the communication with the others. More over, torture’s aim is not to leave visible traces, but to inflict interior pain which can often last a lifetime. Therefore, helping these people is a difficult task and sometimes it is hard to notice any progress as the sorrow lies deeply rooted in their souls.
Although, we can bring relief and help the torture victims even if there are many years that pasted.
The members assisted of the MRC Craiova Foundation are also the beneficiaries of O.G.102/2000, they being those persons that are in one of the following positions:
- humanitarian conditioned protection;
- temporary humanitarian protection;
MRC Craiova Foundation activity consists in:
- rehabilitation services for torture victims;
- monitoring and documentation ;
- prevention and public awareness of torture
Through its activity, at the MRC Foundation it is realized a medical rehabilitation (somatic and psychiatric), were the members benefit of consultations, recuperatory and profilactic treatments, social rehabilitation that consists in counseling, reintegration and stimulating the centers beneficiaries to take part at different social activities (spectacles, conferences, trips, concerts, symposiums).
Besides of our current activity, a special significance represents the celebration of 26 of June, The United Nations International Day in Support of Torture Victims, day which is celebrated each year with activities that that are resounding in mass media.
For making public the torture but most of all its drastically effects, in different forms on the torture victims, MRC Craiova Foundation organizes conferences, workshops having as principal subject the torture and its effects.
For the financial support of its activity, MRC Foundation participates permanently with projects at the actions launched by the international bodies.
In the present the activity of our centre is sustained by internal finances. In this sense we are:
- woking in close collaboration with Health House of Insurance Dolj;
- providing medical assistance with charge for the persons that need;
- developing sensitize campaigns and involvement of the economical entities and the civil society aiming to receive donations;
The aim of MRC Craiova Foundation
Through out the activities developed until now, we have been trying to stimulate the torture survivors and their families to social life, to protect the human rights, to involve them in daily things and to facilitate the access to social and medical services, giving direct assistance to torture survivors provided through out multidisciplinary services which aim to identify and satisfy the medical, social and psychological needs.
The procedure of accessing the rehabilitation services
- The preliminary interview given to the medical secretary
- Meet the general doctor. The first medical, psychological evaluation and the needs of our clients are made during this session.
- Evaluation of the general medical status of the patients, the necessity of performing paraclinical investigations, the necessary treatment for the somatic pathology and if needed, referral to one of the foundation’s doctors.
- Looking after the current pathology (somatic and psychiatric)of each case.
- The procedure of taking away the patients in case that the therapy is finished or interrupted.
- medical consultations and diagnosis;
- following the evolution of the primary symptomatology ;
- monitoring and following the changes of the status of the patients;
The monitoring of the patients includes the registration and the following of each assisted person (bio-psycho-social status) and the reports made each quarter and in separate way on each project, but not in anticipate way. The monitoring is made electronically, based on an original program created by ICAR Foundation Bucharest for the countries from Eastern Europe (Romania,Republic of Moldavia, Poland, Hungary) and by registering in individual cards that are stocking and analizing the information about each patient regarding the torture methods and its effects. In this way the monitoring program comprises general information of our clients, the evolution and the health status and the part that comprises the reports and the statistics.
The results of the monitoring:
The total number of persons registered at ICAR Foundation Craiova is 800, out of which 600 are primary victims (beneficiaries of special laws) and 200 are secondary victims.
The majority of our patients are elderly people, the younger being 54 years old and the elderly being 90 years old.
The total number of patients that benefits of our services monthly is 121 persons that are coming on a regulary basis and the rest are coming sporadically, in connection with their needs.
From the statistics it is shown that are patients are persons with a multi somatic pathology, the variety of diagnosis being put on their age (elderly people).
The patients to whom is given psychotherapy have been diagnosed with psychoorganic disorders, depressive disorders, anxious disorders. These patients benefit of various forms of psychotherapy: psychiatric counseling, supportive psychotherapy and cognitive psychotherapy. Less then 2% of the patients have been diagnosed with personality disorders. All these disorders have been influenced with certain by the detention period and by other facts specific to their age: arterial hypertension, brain atherosclerosis.
The detention period or of the communist persecution lasted between one month and 270 months.
The torture took place during arrest, interrogations and detention. The most frequent methods of torture were:
- beating, humiliation and starving
- exposure to cold temperature
- isolation and detention in closed spaces
- privation of medicine and medical assistance and hygienic facilities
- forced labor
- restriction of communication with the outer world
- restriction of movement
- exposure to infections
- privation at the minimum of hygienic conditions
- forcing to sign untrue declarations
- threats to the victim and his family
Team of the MRC Craiova Foundation Romania :
Director : Ec. Simona Smarandache
Medical co-ordinator : Dr. Laurentia Panduru
Psychiatrist : Dr. Carmen Tranca
Psychologist: Badea Ramona
Physiotherapist : Dr. Mariana-Daniela Lungu
Nurse/physiotherapist : Valentina Stefanescu
Nurse : Cristiana Baciu