The Minister of Interior dismissed the head of the preliminary prison of Simferopol
Communication of the clipping service of the Ombudsperson
On the application of the ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva concerning the protection of constitutional rights of the detained and arrested in the Crimean Autonomous Republic, the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine undertakes the measures the improvement of the situation.
In November 2002 the ombudsperson conducted the revision of the observance of human rights and freedoms of the detained and arrested in the Simferopol preliminary prison and cells in the Kyivskiy and Central district precincts of Simferopol.
During the visit to these establishments it appeared that the upkeep conditions did not meet the elementary sanitary norms. The detained kept in the precincts were not nourished at all, and those, who stayed in the preliminary prison, got the food 1-2 times a day.
The relatives of the detained were not informed in proper time, and the parcels were regarded by I. Shpotenko, the head of the prison, as superfluous trouble.
The inspectors also revealed the cases of cruel treatment of the detained and of impeding the detained to meet their advocates. In particular, cruelty and humiliation were applied to Evpatoria journalist Volodymir Lutyev who stayed in the preliminary prison at that time.
In spite of the fact that Lutyev is an invalid of the second group, he was placed to one of the worst cells, he did not obtain any medical aid, and on the day, when he was transferred to the prison, his hear was cut against his will (at that the hair was cut very inaccurately and the skin was damaged).
At the parliamentary hearings on the problems of the freedom of speech in Ukraine, which were conducted at the beginning of December 2002, ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva drew the attention to these facts of humiliating the human dignity. She regarded such treatment of the journalist as a new method of the suppression of the freedom of speech, which is one of the basic constitutional freedoms.
All in all, Nina Karpacheva reckons that the conditions of the upkeep of the detained and arrested violate not only the national legislation, but also the UNO Convention against torture and other cruel, inhumane or humiliating treatment and punishment ratified by Ukraine on 26 January 1987, as well as the European Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms ratified by our state on 17 July 1997.
Therefore ombudsperson turned to Minister of Interior Yuri Smirnov with the application demanding to tale appropriate steps for liquidating the discovered violations. The demands of the ombudsperson completely agree with the recommendations of the European Committee against torture, the representatives of which visited Ukraine at the end of last year. The representatives of the committee checked the conditions in some penitentiary establishments, where the detained, arrested and incarcerated persons are kept.
In its respond to the application of the ombudsperson the administration of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine informed that four top militia officers were brought to disciplinary responsibility for the shortcomings in fulfilling their duties. In particular, major I. Shpotenko, the head of the preliminary prison was dismissed from his post, lieutenant colonel L. Kirichenko, the head of the department of administrative service of militia, was downgraded, colonel A. Protsenko, the head of the Simferopol militia directorate, was severely reprimand, lieutenant colonel M. Buyko, the acting head of the Crimean department for guarding public order, got the warning about the imperfect service compliance.
The main directorate of the Ministry of Interior in the Crimea takes the appropriate measures for bringing the preliminary prison into accord with the prescribed demands and standards. The metallic shields placed on the inside of the cell windows are dismantled, the reconstruction has begun for equipping the cells with the individual bunks, the convicts obtain three meals a day at the expense of the off-budget funds. It is also planned to reconstruct the cells in the Kyivskiy and Central district precincts of Simferopol during this year.
Taking into account the fact that the cells in the precincts are often used not properly, the Ministry of Interior directed the orders to all regions of Ukraine, including the Crimea, categorically prohibiting to use these cells for the preliminary incarceration. The ombudsperson more than once drew the attention of law-enforcing organs to these violations, pointing out that it is illegally to keep the detained in the precinct cells for more than three hours. Such practices violate the Ukrainian laws and the international standards, since such cells are not fit for longer stay. The above order of the Minister, Nina Karpacheva believes, evidences that since now militia will strictly observe the national legislation on these questions.
Taking into consideration the lack of the budget financing assigned for the reconstruction of the special militia establishments, Minister of Interior Yuri Smirnov turned to Prime-Minister Viktor Yanukovich with the request about the assistance in obtaining the financial aid from the local organs of state power for the improvement of the upkeep conditions in the special establishments and the precinct cells. In this connection, on 24 December 2002 the Prime-Minister of Ukraine recommended to the Council of Ministers of the Crimea, to regional administrations, as well as to Kyiv and Sevastopol ones, to render such aid up to 1 March 2003.
The top officers of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine expressed the gratitude to the ombudsperson for the attention devoted to the urgent problems of the Ministry. They pointed out that such not indifferent attitude to the problems promotes the creation of the really democratic society in Ukraine.
P.S. On 14 January the sitting of the collegium of the Main directorate of the Ministry of Interior in the Crimean was hold. The participants of the sitting discussed the problems arisen in the application of the ombudsperson. Meanwhile Nina Karpacheva continues the plan revision of the observance of the rights of the detained and arrested in the Crimean Autonomy.