Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
13.12.2002 | Ludmila Klochko, Kharkov

The number of complaints against militia has not diminished


It has become a useful tradition that each August the Kharkov Group for human rights protection (KhG) gives the interview to the Kharkov oblast TV channel, where the KhG members tell about complaint they get. This year newsmen from the TV channel also attended us. Answering the question what kind of complaint obtained by the group is more frequent, we told that the number of the complaints against the illegal actions of militia has not diminished. Unfortunately, these words were omitted in the feature. Our visitor explained that this is a topic for a separate feature. Yet, we have not received a proposition to create such a feature. So, we decided to make public the cases, about which we learned from letters and other personal addresses of citizen.

Here are some of such complaints, which were received by the KhG in the first half of 2002.

Volodymir K., an inhabitant of Myrgorod, addressed a letter to the Head of the Myrgorod informational and consultative center of human rights. In this letter Volodymir told that in January 2002 he and his minor son were detained and beastly beaten by militiamen from the Myrgorod town precinct. An acquaintance of Volodymir’s son came to Volodymir and told that his son was detained by militia. Volodymir ran to the district precinct and saw how militiamen were taking his son out of the car. The boy was handcuffed. A militiaman began to make the handcuffs tighter and to twist boy’s arms. The boy cried from pain. The father could not control himself: „What are you doing, you, sadists?“ but the militiaman before the eyes of the father started to brake the boy’s fingers. Other militiamen witnessed all this, they quietly observed what was happening, and nobody tried to interfere. When Volodymir decided to meddle, he was also beaten and detained. For some time longer Volodymir heard desperate screams of his son, who begged to stop the beating. Volodymir was not permitted to phone home. He spent behind the bars four days from 5 to 8 January, all this time he was not given food, they even did not pass him the food brought by his wife. When the next shift came to duty, their head, major Taratun, found out that Volodymir’s wristwatch, confiscated after the detainment, was missing. Strange as it is, but he reprimanded not his colleagues, but Volodymir – he was beaten again. A deputy of the militia head threatened Volodymir that „he had such people, which would kill Volodymir for a package of tea, and will make his son an invalid“. Volodymir’s son was take to a hospital with the cerebral brain concussion. As to Volodymir, a criminal case was started against him for his attack on militiamen.

Katerina Kucheruk, a Kharkov dweller, turned to the Kharkov Group for human rights protection with the complaint against the personnel of preliminary prison No. 27. Her son, Volodymir Kucheruk, born in 1980, was detained by the militiamen of Kominternovskiy district precinct of Kharkov, and on 17 April he was transferred to the preliminary prison. On 22 July V. Kucheruk was taken to the psychiatric hospital with obvious injuries. He said to his mother that militiamen often beat him. Volodymir had deep wounds on his wrists – traces of handcuffs, haematomas on the forehead and under his eyes, wounds behind his ear and on his toes, haematomas and several deep wounds on his buttocks. He could not take food without help and almost could not walk. It should be mentioned that is a 2 nd-group invalid because of a general psychic disease. In 1998 he was officially recognized as a debil, and in 2000 as a schizophrenic. However, the experts of the Kharkov psychiatric hospital, who examined him in April 2002, concluded that Kucheruk suffers only with slight debility. Now his psychical state greatly deteriorated, doctors found schizophrenia and do not guarantee that Volodymir will ever reach the previous level. On 13 August the head of the Kharkov oblast penitentiary department issued the order about conducting the thorough examination, but the result is still unknown. Katerina Kucheruk’s new complaint made the situation clearer. Representatives of the preliminary prison came to Vladimir to the hospital, but they could not question him: he was scared and did not answer their questions. His mother believes that this visit has worsened the psychic state of her son again.

Evhen B. complained that several militiamen from the town directorate took him to the countryside and brutally beat. B. turned to a hospital, where doctors found the closed cerebral brain trauma. Now B. is being treated. The Kharkov city prosecutor’s office did not find anything criminal in the militiamen actions and refused to start a criminal case. Only after repeated complaints from B. and from our Group to the General Prosecutor’s office and the oblast prosecutor’s office the additional investigation was ordered.

S. turned to the KhG with the complaint that he was beaten in the Leninskiy district precinct of Kharkov. Then he was threatened and forced to write the explanation that he was walking along a street being drunk and was detained by militia. After this he was released. He turned to a hospital, where he got the necessary medical aid. The diagnosis was: blunt traumas of the ribcage, injury of the shoulder joint, numerous haematomas and wounds on the face. The prosecutor’s office refused to start the criminal case basing on Article 6 item 2 of the Civil-Procedural Code, that is because of absence of corpus delicti.

Some convicts write in their letters that they were illegally maltreated during inquiry and investigation, but it is impossible to prove these cases.

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