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13.12.2002

The Council of Europe published the reports on the periodic visits of the European Committee of preventing torture and cruel treatment in 1998, 1999 and 2001.

   

On 9 October the Council of Europe published in Strasbourg three reports on the periodic visits of the European Committee of preventing torture and cruel treatment in 1998, 1999 and 2001. These reports communicate that Ukrainian penitentiaries are overcrowded, beggarly and are dangerous concerning catching TB. The reports were published with the consent and comments of Ukraine and are based on the conclusions of three missions of the committee in 1998, 1999 and 2000. During their visits to Ukrainian preliminary prisons, prisons, psychiatric hospitals and army guardhouses the European experts gathered a large number of evidence about bad upkeep conditions and treatment of the detained and condemned, in particular, about frequent beatings by law-enforcers. The reports contain the information that the prisoners are kicked, beaten with fists and clubs, they are suffocated with gas masks.

In the responses of the Ukrainian government, which also were published on 9 October, Ukraine took the obligation to stop such treatment of convicts. In particular, it is proposed to reform the procedure of hiring militiamen and to improve their professional skills. It is written in the reports that the above-mentioned measures were approved by the authorities in 2001. So, the upkeep conditions have been somewhat approved, penitentiary administration took some measures in order to stop the epidemic distribution of TB.

It is noteworthy that the Ukrainian government impeded the publication of the reports, which may be published only after the permission of the state. Yet, they were not the first, so, after some pressure on the side of the Council of Europe and Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations, the reports were at last published. They can be found in the Internet on the site of the Council of Europe (in Ukrainian they were placed by the address http://www.cpt.coe.int/en/states/ukr.htm).

The experts of the Council of Europe plan to come to Ukraine with the fourth periodic visit in the end of the current year.

Evhen Zakharov

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