A seminar in Donetsk
The Department of human rights of the Council of Europe, jointly with the NGO ‘Donetsk Memorial, held on 26 – 27 April a regional seminar ‘Human rights and the Ukrainian penitentiary system in Donetsk. Workers of the penitentiaries of the Donetsk oblast and their colleagues from five neighboring oblasts took part in this seminar, as well as scientists from leading law schools of Ukraine. It is the second seminar held by the mentioned organizations. The first one was held in May 1997 and was devoted to the court reform in Ukraine.
The main topics at this seminar were the European prison rules concerning the personnel of the penitentiaries and the mechanism of work of the European Committee against torture. Yagoda Polontsova, an expert of the Council of Europe, told that the conclusions of the Committee after two visits to Ukraine are still confidential, until the government of Ukraine agrees to their publication. The deputy head of the State Department on penitentiaries, general-major Vladimir Liovochkin and a number of other speakers told about the problems of the upkeep of the prisoners.
The participants of the seminar were acquainted with a number of recommendations of the Council of Europe on the upkeep of prisoners, in particular, on the education of prisoners, on their leaves of absence and on the problem of the overcrowded penitentiaries.
Unfortunately, as well as three years ago, representatives of the Donetsk court and prosecutors office, invited to the seminar, did not come.