28.04.2005 | Viktoria Onyshchenko, RUPOR

Defense becomes more accessible


Starting from the next week advocates of the Kharkiv group for human rights protection will commence on granting free defense to the detained.

They will work in the framework of the pilot project supported by the International Foundation “Vidrodjennia”. For the time being the free legal aid will be granted in one district militia station of Kharkiv, in Chervonozavodskiy, the chief of which have already given his agreement and permission to the Kharkiv group for human rights protection to be present at interrogations from the moment of detention to determination of the preventive measure. Advocates will also provide their services to their clients during the whole period of detention and represent their interests in court.

As Arkadiy Bushchenko informs, the direct executor of the project, there is nothing unlawful in the project, since providing the detained with defense is stipulated by the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine. Yet, because of the lack of financial ability of the detained to invite an advocate and the absence of free advocates at law-enforcing organs, the right for defense is regularly violated.

The main goal of the project is elaboration of the methods of defense by outside advocates and development of cooperation between the representatives of public organizations and the Ministry of Interior. However, as Arkadiy Bushchenko points out, it is not a public control yet. “It’s rather a routine job undertaken by the Kharkiv group for human rights protection because of the lack of people and organizations, who should do this job”.

It should be mentioned that the attitude of militia to this initiative is positive.

A report on the fulfilled work is planned to be presented at a round table after the end of the project. Besides, during the project a methodological manual will be prepared for advocates that will also be presented at the round table, where advocates, militia representatives, researchers and human rights protectors will be invited. “If the experience would be positive and our work would be beneficial, we should talk about continuation of the project and dissemination of this experience in other regions of Ukraine”, Arkadiy Bushchenko said.

A RUPOR correspondent has also learnt that a similar project is realized in Chernihiv by a public organization “Dobrochyn”.

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