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17.08.2005 | Valentina Badyra

Rights of women prisoners are being violated in Chernihiv Penal Colony No. 44

   

The town prosecutor’s office gives contradictory responses to the requests of the Chernigiv public committee of human rights protection, and the State Department of Penitentiaries of Ukraine refers to the legal indetermination of the order of serving.

Since December 2004 the Chernigiv public committee of human rights protection regularly turns to the State Department of Penitentiaries of Ukraine, its territorial department in the Chernigiv region, administration of the Chernigiv reformative colony No. 44, the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine and the town prosecutor’s office of Chernigiv in connection with the information that since 1 January 2004 (the date of coming into effect of new Criminal-Executive Code of Ukraine) the rights of women condemned to life imprisonment are violated.

The General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine, which, according to Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On prosecutor’s office” and Article 22 of the Criminal-Executive Code of Ukraine, realizes supervision over the observance of laws at execution of court decisions on criminal cases and over the observance of laws at execution of criminal punishment in penitentiary organs and establishments, has not responded to our requests, and out letters have been sent to the State Department of Penitentiaries of Ukraine.

The prosecutor’s office of Chernigiv gave the answers, which were mutually contradictory.

The State Department of Penitentiaries of Ukraine demonstrated formal attitude to consideration of our requests concerning violations of the rights of women condemned to life imprisonment, referring to the legal indetermination of the order of service of punishment by this category of the condemned.

We cannot agree with such statements, since, in our opinion, the operating Criminal-Executive Code distinctly regulates the order of execution and service of sentence of this category of the condemned, as well as their legal status. The norms of the Criminal-Executive Code of Ukraine read the following:

1.  The women condemned to life imprisonment serve their sentence in the reforming colonies of minimal and medium levels of safety (Article 18 of the CEC of Ukraine).

2.  In the colonies of medium level of safety the women are kept, who were condemned to punishment in the form of life imprisonment, and the women, whose punishment in the form of death penalty and life imprisonment was replaced by deprivation of liberty for certain term in the framework of pardon or amnesty.

3.  According to the operating law (Article 94 of the CEC of Ukraine) the following sectors are created in the colonies of medium level of safety:

-  of quarantine, diagnostics and distribution;

-  of resocialization;

-  of intensive control;

-  of social rehabilitation.

4.  In accordance with the demands of part 4 of Article 94 of the Criminal-Executive Code of Ukraine, the women condemned to life imprisonment and women, whose punishment in the form of death penalty and life imprisonment was replaced by deprivation of liberty for certain term in the framework of pardon or amnesty, after stay in the sector of quarantine, diagnostics and distribution, must be passed to the sector of intensive control, taking into account the level of social danger of the crimes committed by them, criminal infectiousness of their personality and their social-pedagogical abandonment.

5.  In the sector of intensive control of a reforming colony of medium level of safety the regime is established, which is provided for the upkeep of the incarcerated in reforming colonies with maximal level of safety (part 1 of Article 97 of the CEC of Ukraine). Since part 1 of Article 97 of the CEC of Ukraine is reference one by the method of stating of legal norms, then, proceeding from the contents of part 1 of Article 140 of the CEC of Ukraine, the regime of strict isolation is stipulated for women, who are kept on the medium level of safety, they can stay in usual living quarters and rooms of the cell type.

6.  According to Article 139 of the CEC of Ukraine, in the reforming colonies of medium level of safety the condemned have the right:

-  to spend for purchase of food and goods of first necessity the money earned in the reforming colony in sum up to 80% of the minimal wages every month;

-  to get one short-term meeting per month and one long-term meeting one time every three months;

-  to receive 6 parcels and 4 postal wrappers per year.

7.  Part 2 of Article 140 determines the amount of rights of women, who serve their punishment on the medium level of safety and are kept in the sections of intensive control.

8.  They have the right:

-  to spend for purchase of food and goods of first necessity the money earned in the reforming colony in sum up to 70% of the minimal wages every month;

-  to get one short-term meeting per month and one long-term meeting one time every three months;

-  to receive 5 parcels and 2 postal wrappers per year;

-  every day they have a 1-hour walk.

Before coming into effect of new CEC of Ukraine, that is before 1 January 2004, administration of the Chernigiv reformative colony No. 44 was guided in its activities for organization of execution of punishment in the form of life imprisonment by Order of the State Department of Penitentiaries of Ukraine No. 65 of 14 April 2001, which regulated the legal status of the imprisoned for life. The convicts had the right for everyday work for one hour, short-term meeting one time per six months, the right to receive 1 parcel and 2 wrappers per year, etc.

Since 1 January 2004, after coming into effect of the Criminal-Executive Code of Ukraine, the rule of Chapter 22 “Order and conditions of execution and service of sentence in the form of life imprisonment” is applied to the women condemned to life imprisonment. It is seen from the analysis of Article 150 of the CEC that it concerns the male convicts, and the application of the provisions of Article 151 of the CEC of Ukraine to the condemned women, whose punishment in the form of death penalty and life imprisonment was replaced by deprivation of liberty for certain term in the framework of pardon or amnesty, narrows the circle of legal rights of this category of the condemned women, which rights follow from the contents of item 1, paragraph 2, part 4 of Article 94, part 1 of Article 97, Article 139 and item 1, paragraph 1, part 2 of Article 140. Since 1 January 2004 the violations have been observed of rights and legal interests of women condemned to life imprisonment and women, whose punishment in the form of death penalty and life imprisonment was replaced by deprivation of liberty for certain term in the framework of pardon or amnesty, which rights and interests are stipulated by the Criminal-Executive Code of Ukraine.

The women condemned to life imprisonment and women, whose punishment in the form of death penalty and life imprisonment was replaced by deprivation of liberty for certain term in the framework of pardon or amnesty, do not get the long-term meetings without any legal grounds, the sum of money for purchase of food and goods of first necessity is shortened, as well as the number of parcels. The women must wear clothes of special type, they stay in cells in twos, they move outside cells only in handcuffs, which violates Article 3 of the European Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and entail the legal consequences for the Ukrainian state. Moreover, Ludmila Tyshkovets, who is kept in isolation since 17 September 1997, is ill of TB and still stays in a room of cell type. Psychical health of condemned Lubov Sachenko (serves her term since 19 January 1994) demands, in our opinion, interference of medics. We want to turn your attention to the problem of upkeep of women condemned to life imprisonment and women, whose punishment in the form of death penalty and life imprisonment was replaced by deprivation of liberty for certain term in the framework of pardon or amnesty.

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