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08.12.2006 | Oleh Martynenko, Human Rights Advisor to the MIA

Results of monitoring by Ministry of Internal Affairs Mobile Groups

   

Over 2005 and 11 months of 2006 human rights monitoring mobile groups, headed by representatives of the Minister in the regions investigated over 90 ITT [temporary holding centres] in 14 regions of Ukraine. Every sixth ITT was investigated of the total 501.

In virtually all the examined centres, significant violations were observed of the minimal norms of international standards on holding people detained.

For this reason in March, July and September 2006 at the special MIA group sessions the issue was separately reviewed of ensuring the rights and legitimate interests of individuals held in temporary holding centres.

As a result, in just 5 months, the conditions have improved in 269 ITT (54%), and in general the basic everyday conditions are now provided in 406 ITT (81%). This includes the following:

  • wash basins have been installed in 670 cells;
  • WCs have been installed in 545 cells;
  • 1,100 beds have been added;
  • 5,000 sets of bed linen have been obtained.

The heads of the Central Department and departments of the MIA found around 2 million UH, of which 385 thousand UH were allocated to territorial departments, and 500 thousand UH from local authorities, as well as 1.1 million UH from other sources of financing not legally prohibited.

For example, the Ovidiopolsky District Administration in the Odessa region was allocated 100 thousand UH for the requirements of the district police station, this money going to change the drainage pipes , install wash basins, WCs and carry out repairs to the service and ancillary areas in the temporary holding centre. The management of the Department of the MIA (DMIA) in the Chernivtsi region found 120 thousand UH which were used to install water and drainage pipes, in each ITT cell, to provide individual sleeping areas, dinner tables, benches and shelves for food items. Window openings have been increased and metal – plastic windows installed, doors to the cells and cell locks changed, cosmetic repairs carried out in all service and ancillaryareas and reconstructing courtyards for walks.

In 2006 a new ITT was built in the Pokrovsky district police station of the DMIA in the Dnipropetrovsk region. After carrying out major reconstruction work, ITT in the Velikoburlutsky and Derhachivsky district police stations of the DMIA for the Kharkiv region were brought into use, as well as the Lyubesivsky district police station of the DMIA for the Volyn region.

Repair work was completed on ITT in Kyiv and 8 regions: Vinnytsa, Volyn, Donetsk, Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk, Luhansk, Sumy and Chernivtsi.

57 centres were temporarily closed in order to carry out major repairs and reconstruction. 9 ITT were closed down permanently due to the lack of sense in carrying out repairs and construction work in the Mykolaiv, Kirovohrad, Sumy, Kherson and Cherkasy regions.

In accordance with the Program for construction, reconstruction and major repairs of special police institutions, construction is underway of 22 buildings in 16 regions, with the construction of 7 new centres scheduled for completion by the end of the end. This will make it possible to fully bring the functioning temporary holding centres into compliance with basic everyday conditions.

However total completion of construction work begun depends on timely financing. Over this year lonely 9.2 million UH, or 30% of the scheduled amount (30 million UH) has been allocated for the above-mentioned  purposes from the state budget.

The Department of Internal Security is keeping constant control over the observance of human rights in the work of internal affairs bodies. Over 10 months of 2006 4,611 complaints alleging violations by officers of people’s constitutional rights were investigated by  the Department’s subunits (as compared to 3,377 for 2005). The allegations were found justified in 385 cases, including:

-  23 cases of torture;

-  152 cases involving beating and causing bodily harm;

-  21 cases of unlawful detention on suspicion of having committed a crime;

-  36 cases of unlawful administrative detention or of administrative charges.

359 officers of internal affairs agencies have faced disciplinary proceedings for violating individuals’ constitutional rights and freedoms.

In the current year, according to information from the Department of Internal Security 136 criminal investigations have been launched, 87 of which are connected with unlawful detention and causing injuries (the greatest numbers have been in the Vinnytsa, Donetsk, Transcarpathian, Lviv and Odessa regions). Such violations are typical in the first instance of officers of criminal investigation (151), district police stations (97) and the patrol service. 50)

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