13.12.2002 | Oleksandr Stepanenko, Chortkiv

Who is afraid of the truth about beating in precincts?


In November 2001 the correspondent point of the bulletin „Prava ludyny“ at the ecological NGO „Zeleny svit“ (Chortkiv) turned with the written request to the prosecutor’s office of the Ternopil oblast and to the local directorate of the Ministry of Interior asking for the information about the facts of bringing to disciplinary and criminal responsibility for service abuses of law-enforcers of the Ternopil oblast in 2000-2001.

A month later we got the response signed by K. Brochkovski, a senior assistant of the oblast prosecutor, which read that „the requested data are not reflected in the statistical reports of the prosecutor’s office“. Yet, we preserved the belief to get the needed exhaustive data from the militia directorate, since regional mass media widely advertised the statement by V. Maksimov, the new head of the oblast militia directorate, about the qualitatively new stage of the work of local law-enforcing organs. This stage will allegedly differ from the previous ones with openness, active contacts with mass media and participation in public dialog. We did not receive any response during two months, but we never lost hope. It also appeared that our volunteer sent the request as a common, but not registered letter. So we decided to correct the error and to disturb the officials for the second time in January 2002. We are still waiting for the response. At the same time those, who often have contacts with militia complain against rudeness and cruel treatment on the side of law-enforcers. Very often such contacts finish in brutal beating of drunk detained. Sometimes doctors on duty in hospitals, wanting to save the detained from the inevitable beating in a precinct, insist on their hospitalization, although it is not medically necessary. It is obvious that such victims got into hospitals only when law-enforcers appear to be too active. Unfortunately, such people try to complain against militia to the prosecutor’s office very seldom. The reason is obvious – they are afraid of the revenge.

Only in June 2002 and only during my staying on duty the Chortkiv hospital received two patients with grave injuries obtained from law-enforcers. That is what I saw with my own eyes.

The first of them, Burtnik Mykola Ivanovich, born in 1941, was hospitalized on 7 June 2002 in the surgery department with numerous grave traumas (case history No. 3068). The diagnosis was: Trauma of the thorax; traumatic brakes of the 5 th-8 thribs on the right side; open pneumothorax; hypodermic emphysema; acute pulmonary deficiency of the 2 ndstage; closed cerebral brain trauma; cerebral brain concussion. The patient was treated during 12 days. He did not complain again the illegal actions of militiamen.

The second patient was Skrynyk Yaroslav Mykolayovich, born in 1944. On 18 June 2002 he was taken to the casualty ward of the Chortkiv district hospital for the medical examination concerning the state of alcohol intoxication. After the examination he was transported to the district precinct, where he was brutally beaten. Then he was again taken to the hospital. The man was hospitalized in the surgery ward with the complicated trauma diagnosis (case history No. 3257). The diagnosis was: closed thorax trauma; closed trauma of peritoneum organs; intra-peritoneum hemorrhage; multiple injuries of upper body epidermis (in the from of footprints); contusion of soft tissues of the face; massive hemorrhage through nostrils; light alcohol intoxication. This patient stayed in the hospital during three days and was released on his own wish. He either did not complain against brutal treatment.

I doubt that absolutely all cases of beating by militia remain unknown. Top militia authorities must know about some of these facts. Why the militia commandment hush-hushes the cases and does not insist on investigation and adequate punishment of the guilty? Maybe, they do it to tie their subordinates with mutual responsibility and to have the opportunity to make them commit obviously criminal actions? One cannot help recollecting the notorious major Melnichenko’s audio records, where a voice similar to that of the former minister says: "I have now a very tough team, they will do everything I will order“. It looks plausible that such smaller „teams“ have been organized in every provincial town.

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