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04.11.2006 | Ludmila Klochko, KHPG

Baby girl born in a police station

   

On 26 October the Kyivsky district court in Kharkiv handed down its verdict on Olga R., finding her guilty and sentencing her to 4 years deprivation of liberty, however using Article 75 of the Criminal Code (deferment of the sentence) released her in the courtroom. Seemingly a routine matter. However what was established during the hearing into the case could not leave even the severe court unmoved. On 19 August 2006 Olga R. was detained by officers of the Kyivsky district police station in Kharkiv and taken to the station, and on 20 August placed in a cell. Olga gave birth to her baby in the absence of any medical assistance. The duty officers twice called an ambulance, however the medical team found no grounds for hospitalizing Olga.

According to Olga the baby suffered a head injury during labour. Fortunately both mother and child are alive, yet who can guarantee the future health of the baby (who was also in the courtroom, accompanied by a member of the medical staff of the SIZO [remand prison]?

What seems incredible in this case is that remand in custody should have been applied as the preventive measure for Olga, despite the fact that as well as the newly-born infant, Olga also has a child born in 2002. Olga also alleged that the police had applied physical and psychological pressure on her. She claims that she was beaten despite being in the eighth month of pregnancy.

However the prosecutor’s office of the Kyivsky district in Kharkiv found no grounds for her complaint nor signs of a crime in the actions of the police officers. The judge passed a separate resolution in which he informed the Kharkiv regional prosecutor’s office and the head of the department of health of the Kharkiv region about the facts established during the court hearing. This resolution must be considered within the month.

We await the response of the prosecutor’s office and the health bodies.

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