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21.08.2006

Prosecutor General calls for measures to stem the rise in deaths and violence involving military servicemen

   

An analysis of the figures and type of crimes in the Ministry of Defence over the last 7 months has shown a negative tendency to an increase in the number of crimes involving deaths and in the number of people falling victim to crimes. Between January and July 2006 as a result of various events 41 people died as against 29 last year, and as a result of crimes there were 12 deaths against 8 in 2005.
Over just three days in August 2006 two military conscripts died as the result of criminal actions in the Poltava and Kyiv regions.
In view of this the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Oleksandr Medvedko has given instructions to military prosecutors in the regions, as well as the Armed and Naval Forces of Ukraine for checks to be made that all laws are observed on protecting the life and health of military servicemen, on preventing violence and violations of rules regulating proper treatment.
The Press Service of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine

21.08.2006 Commentary from “Prava Ludyny”
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group and the Kharkiv Regional Union of Soldiers’ Mothers have for several years already been monitoring the quality of conscription and collecting information about crimes against life and health in the Armed Services of Ukraine. We are convinced that there are several factors involved in crime linked with non-statutory treatment. Three of these are of particular importance.
• The psychological condition of personnel (Just in the Kharkiv region in 2005 6 young lads were sent home for reasons linked with psychological problems;
• The general psychological state in society which over the last months could not be called normal;
• The level of responsibility of officials.
As far as responsibility is concerned, the situation is generally terrible. If the Ministry of Defence at least somehow responds to the unlawful actions of its staff, medicine has totally got out of control of society.
This is why in mass numbers we have people who are psychologically or mentally ill ending up in the army and it is they who in the first instance become victims of non-statutory treatment, or themselves commit crimes. Often the mental state of officers and conscripts renders them unfit to carry out their duties.
We welcome the Order of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine on checking state requirements for protecting the life and health of military servicemen. We believe however that these checks should begin with the medical commissions of the District and Regional Military Commissariats.

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