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12.12.2001

A letter to ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva

   

To: ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva

From: political prisoner Oleg Boyko staying in preliminary prison No. 13, cell 127

I turn to you and ask you to stand up in defense of rights, human dignity and democratic in out State. Quite accidentally I became an eyewitness of the conditions under which the detained are treated in the emergency ward. Having lost my senses in the courtroom because of the hunger strike with political demands, I was quickly transported to the emergency ward. There I was placed in a room on the second story. I shared the room with four other men. They were transported from different militia precincts, so their guilt was not proved since the investigation had not begun yet. All of them us were handcuffed to beds and had to lie all the time. The handcuffs were not removed even when food was brought. It is difficult to describe the impression, when you carry a chunk of bread to your mouth pulling simultaneously the chain. When a patient is taken to a doctor, they put a pair of handcuffs on the wrists, and by the other pair they pool one as a dog on a leash. Ms. Karpacheva, I turn to you as to a woman: imagine how much more it was difficult for two girls that stayed in the adjoined room, also handcuffed to beds. The guard is much more numerous, vigilant and diligent than FBI agents guarding witnesses. According to my evaluation, we, five convicts, were guarded by four shifts, and the number of guards was about 50. (Imagine such a scene: barred windows, two guards are walking in the room with clubs and tear-gas sprays, the third guard is standing outside the bars armed with a pistol, another door, behind which there Kalashnikovs and the senior guard, who has the keys from our handcuffs; one more armored door separates us from the common hospital.) I want to say that I have no pretensions to the guards, since their attitude to us was humane. I understand that such decisions as to lead us on a chain are made at the top, and the guards only obey the orders. Medical personnel also treated us well. During the medical examination it appeared that I had a sore spine. Before it I had repeatedly to the prosecutor’s office complaining that in spring I was beaten by the special militia squad "Berkut". Every time I got the answer that the expertise did not find any traces of beating. Once I was examined, 10 weeks after the beating, and the doctors said that pains in the back were caused by an uncomfortable coach in the USS.

I shall describe you several examples illustrating that we live in a police state. The doctor, who operated a 63-year-old pensioner, demanded to permit his patient to get unchained and walk and got a refusal. The doctor was afraid to make his name known. Beside the doctors, who treat the patients a man often appears, from his doctor’s smock one can see legs of his uniform (he appeared to be O. A. Zhelekovskiy). He took part in a round, and after that all the handcuffs were made tighter. The operated pensioner was (even before removing surgical stitches) transported to a district precinct, from where he was returned in one day, but in a very grave condition.

What kind of a country are we building, when everything is controlled and administered by militia? Kravchenko has been exchanged for Smirnov, but the repressive machine continues to grow, and, if it ever works at the top power, it would be impossible to guarantee that any citizen will not get into the meat grinder. You must understand that the data given by Potebenko (in Ukraine the level of uncovering crimes in 97%, whereas in the USA – only 67%) mean that it is achieved in such a manner: a suspect is beaten until he/she will confess in committing 5-6 crimes.

During my stay in the hospital my wife paid for tomography, since doctors said that my spine needed examination. They did not show me the medical conclusions, the militia passed the conclusion to prison doctor. He answered my questions that, since the medical case history is written in Ukrainian, he could not translate it to me. This was obviously an attempt to protect their colleagues from "Berkut".

It also rumors that during the inspection from your organization the handcuffs were temporary taken off from the sick and hidden.

I ask to assess my letter as a collective application from all the detained, who were staying in the prison hospital together with me. Are not we worth of a better life?

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