28.05.2006 | Halyna Tereshchuk

The Lviv region Prosecutor’s office confirms abuse by the administration of penal settlement No. 30 in Lviv


Lviv, 26 May 2006  The Lviv region Prosecutor’s office has launched a criminal case over abuse by the administration of penal settlement No. 30 in Lviv. On 13 May 27 inmates inflicted injuries upon themselves as a sign of protest against violations of their conditions in the prison. As the prisoners themselves told Radio Svoboda, they cut open their veins. According to the Deputy Prosecutor of the region, the penal settlement administration exceeded their position and abused their authority. Volodymyr Hural stated that the Prosecutor’s commission had completed their investigation and had established the following.

“There are obvious problems, in particular the material everyday provisions in the settlement are abnormal and do not meet elementary standards. All prisoners were unanimous in this. During the check penalties were imposed without grounds and it was established when the administration did not hold people to answer”.

There was no regime in the penal settlement, the Prosecutor stated. Some prisoners were unwarrantedly punished, and not others who should have been punished, with a blind eye instead being turned in the latter cases. The investigators of the prosecutor’s office are trying to ascertain exactly why the administration violated their duties, whether prisoners paid them bribes. The check by the Prosecutor’s commission concluded that the protests in the settlement began due to the appalling conditions the prisoners live in, the bad prison food and abuses by the administrations.

The Head of the Lviv Regional Department on Penal Issues, Vasyl Ilnytsky is to take the appropriate measures against the officials of settlement No. 30. The prisoners themselves who cut open their veins on 13 May say that the administration had used physical force against them, and that in winter they had been kept hungry.

The Deputy Prosecutor of the region, Volodymyr Hural, reported that the special commission was also checking the Sokalska Prison, where according to prisoners they had been brutally beaten by riot police.  The Prosecutor stated that they had found no evidence of this.

Another criminal case over abuse of official position by the head of the pre-trial detention centre (SIZO) No. 1 in Lviv, Vasyl Romanyshchyn, is presently being considered by the Halytsky Court in Lviv.  Romanyshchyn is accused of exceeding his authority by his own subordinate officers and the medical staff of the SIZO. Incidentally, the consideration of this case is under the personal control of the President’s wife.

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