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22.01.2007

Interim Narrative Report (2 July 2003 - 1 July 2004)

   

Activity I.  Gathering information and carrying out public investigations of facts of torture and cruel treatment, as well as passing, in particular, through the Internet, this information to people, mass media and organizations involved

Since 2 July 2003 until 1 July 2004, 436 reports have been gathered, including:

-  by KhPG – 243 (93 applications/visits to the public reception office; 150 news from the media and other sources);

-  by the regional partners under the Project – 193.

In fact, in response to all of these reports, members of the human rights organizations have extended advisory aid to the citizens and conducted public investigations within their competence. The regional partners have sent around 50 reports to the Fund for the Professional Support to Victims of Torture and Cruel Treatment, asking for financial support. Through the Fund, financial support has been provided for 28 cases. Competent legal clarifications have been given on the rejected cases. 

The reports sent by the Project partners are collected, generalized, and published in KhPG’s electronic reviews “Proty Katuvan” (Against Torture) (in Ukrainian and English languages). Later the reports are included in an annual review of reports on torture and cruel treatment, as well as in relevant sections of KhPG’s biweekly bulletin “Prava Ludiny” (Human Rights). Those materials are also put on KhPG’s web-site, www.khpg.org (in Ukrainian and English languages).

Activity II.  Creation of the mechanism directed to render legal, expert and medical aid, including judicial protection, to victims of torture

For full or partial reimbursement of legal and expert aid in cases, related to use of torture, the Fund for the Professional Support to Victims of Torture and Cruel Treatment has been established. The Fund’s staff is 2 persons – administrative manager and coordinator.

For developing policy and making decisions in respect of the Fund’s activities, the Fund Board, consisting of 5 persons, has been established. V. Golyand has been elected as its Chair.

Six situations have been defined, in which the Fund provides financial support, and criteria for cases admissible for the financial support have been formulated. The documents regulating the Fund’s operation are placed on KhPG’s web-site; they were also disseminated at the training seminars for lawyers and at the seminars for the network members.

As of 2 July 2004, the Fund has been financing work of lawyers on 28 cases. On 15 cases, applications to the European Court of Human Rights have been prepared or are being prepared.

On 8 June 2004, the European Court has found admissible an application submitted by the Fund’s client Aleksey Afanasiev, in respect of violations of Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention. Application by Sergey Yatsenko, another client of the Fund, is at communication stage.

Activity III.  Development of the network connecting people and organizations interested in problems of torture and cruel treatment

In order to efficiently carry out the Project and provide coordination between all of its participants, it has been decided to create the Project Board of Trustees. 

During July of 2003, Project Director Yevgeniy Zakharov held talks with perspective candidates about the Board and its operation. The following persons agreed to be on the Board: Valeria Lutkovska, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Justice; Gennadiy Udovenko, Chair of the Ukraine’s Parliament’s Committee on Issues of Human Rights, Minorities, and International Relations; Nina Karpacheva, Ombudsperson at the Ukraine’s Parliament; Aleksey Korotaev, a member of the International League of Human Rights (Geneva). Co-Chair of KhPG Yevgeniy Zakharov also joined the Board. Nina Karpacheva became the Chair of the Board.

It has been decided that the Project Director at least once in 3 months informs the Board members about the work done. All the Board members agreed to contribute to the success of the Project as much as possible and within the lines of their duties. Also they agreed to participate in Project’s educational programs as speakers.

KhPG believes that the members of the Project Board of Trustees have provided valuable contribution to the Project. For example, Valeria Lutkovska regularly informed participants of the Project on applications to the European Court, related to the Project’s subject, which came to the Ministry for communication; sent translations of the European Court’s decisions regarding Ukraine; participated as a speaker in the seminar for judges. 

Gennadiy Udovenko handed over to KhPG written complaints about use of torture received by his Parliament’s Committee and wrote MP’s requests to the Ministry of Interior on the matter, as well as arranged an extended public meeting of the Committee on the problems of torture (it took place on 18 June 2004), attended by all members of the Board. 

Nina Karpacheva participated in many public events of the Project – press-conferences, TV programs, etc. She repeatedly shared with participants of the Project information about specific facts of torture. 

Aleksey Korotaev maintained international contacts of the Project, in particular with the UN Committee against Torture.

The problem of torture has been discussed at 4 Board meetings, where also have been formulated specific steps on execution of the Project.

As of 1 July 2004, under the Project, KhPG cooperates with 29 Ukrainian organizations, of which: 8 organizations are special partners, working on independent mini-projects in the frame work of the Project, 21 organizations are regional partners, collecting information about torture and cruel treatment, helping victims, and carrying out other activities described in this Report.

Search for new partners continues.

During 18-19 September 2003, KhPG together with the USA Embassy in Ukraine held conference “The Freedom of Speech and Human Rights in Ukraine - 2003” at the Kyiv National University. Over 200 representatives of various governmental and non-governmental organizations, both Ukrainian and foreign, attended its opening session and 5 plenary sessions. On KhPG’s initiative, plenary session “Freedom from Torture and Cruel Treatment” was included in the agenda. Gennadiy Udovenko, the Parliament’s Committee chair and member of the Project Board of Trustees made a plenary report. Representatives of KhPG and leaders of 5 partner organizations delivered speeches on various aspects of the problem. During the conference KhPG shared information about the Project and actively recruited new network members.

During 29-30 September 2003, KhPG held in Kharkiv a workshop for actual and potential regional partners. There were 44 representatives of 28 Ukrainian NGOs. The participants obtained a full set of Project materials, as well as publications on torture and cruel treatment. At the meeting, 7 agreements for cooperation were signed. 

During 4-7 December 2003, KhPG held in Kharkiv the Fourth School on Human Rights. There were representatives of human rights organizations from Ukraine and Russia. Among its 42 participants, there were 34 members of Ukrainian NGOs, mainly actual and potential partners under the Project. All participants obtained full information about the Project and printing materials necessary for their work.

During 28-29 May 2004, KhPG together with several actual and potential partners held seminar “Public Reception Offices of Non-Governmental Human Rights Organizations.” As a result of this seminar, a few new partners joined the Project.

In order to provide uninterrupted communication between the network members, a closed electronic conference was created at UWGAT@yahoogroups.com, where the network members can learn about activities of each other, express their concerns and ideas related to the Project. As of 1 July 2004, 206 messages have been sent through this system.

Of the funds provided by the Project, KhPG reimbursed expenses of the partner organizations on purchases of equipment and office furniture, on rent of offices and payments for communication services (including Internet), on purchases of stationary and other consumables, as well as on salaries in the amount of 150,508.92€. Please find detailed information in the Financial Report. 

The regional partners opened 7 new public reception offices for processing applications received from citizens on issues of torture and cruel treatment. New reception offices appeared in the following cities and towns: Chernigiv (November 2003), Vinnitsa (January 2004), Kherson (January 2004), Lugansk (January 2004), Chortkiv (February 2004), Artemivsk (June 2004), Kyiv (June 2004). In September of 2004 a new reception office will be opened in Lviv. 

In the context of the network operation, KhPG asked regional partners to conduct a monitoring of court hearings in cases on administrative (minor) offence, which entail administrative arrest or/and detention. KhPG developed the Standard Form of Observations and disseminated it among the partners. Even though judicial administrations in many regions created difficulties in access to trials, 6 regional partners managed to carry out the monitoring and sent 57 filled Forms to KhPG.

Activity IV.  Organization of joint actions and campaigns of network members aimed at the prevention of torture and protection from torture and cruel treatment

Campaign against adoption of a new Code of Criminal Procedure in the proposed version

In summer of 2003, the Ukraine’s Parliament passed in first reading a new version of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP).

A lot of legal experts, as well as most of Ukrainian human rights activists believe that the draft of this law, one of the most important laws for any nation, contains dozens of norms that unfoundedly limit human rights and the basic freedoms. It fails to address the Ukraine’s international obligations regarding human rights protection, tries to legally fix the absolute helplessness of an individual, and leaves wide possibilities for arbitrary and uncontrolled actions on the part of the law-enforcement agencies. 

On the eve of its second reading (11 September 2003), KhPG, its Project partners, and a number of other organizations wrote an open letter to the Ukraine’s Parliament and MPs, asking them to drop the bill from its further consideration. Simultaneously, Yuridichny Visnyk Ukrayiny, a professional law magazine, published a commentary on this new version of CCP written by KhPG expert Arkadiy Buschenko. On 11 September 2003, the bill was sent back to Parliament’s committees for rework.

In March of 2004, the CCP bill’s authors once again tried to include it into Parliament’s agenda for consideration. On KhPG’s initiative, 25 human rights organizations, including the network members, signed a joint appeal to the authorities and public, urging them to prevent the Parliament from adopting the bill. The information about this action was published in Kyiv weekly newspaper Dzerkalo Tyzhdnya(No. 12(487), 27 March – 2 April 2004).

Also in early March, A. Buschenko, who participated in a meeting arranged in Kyiv by the Association of Procedural Experts, presented his criticisms to the CCP bill in respect of the issues of police arrest, court examination with regard to arrest or release. Those criticisms, along with suggestions presented by other participants, were handed over to the Parliament. The bill was again dropped from the agenda.

During April, KhPG along with the Council of Ukrainian Human Rights Organizations collected expert conclusions on various aspect of the bill. Those conclusions were presented on May 12 at public hearing “Human Rights and Basic Freedoms in the Ukraine’s Draft Code of Criminal Procedure” at the Kyiv Regional Center of the Academy of Legal Sciences. The hearing was arranged by KhPG and the Council of Ukrainian Human rights Organizations with the assistance of the Renaissance Foundation. The event was attended by lawyers, representatives of the media, public and human rights organizations, including KhPG experts, and representatives of 6 Project partners. The report of this meeting and positions of its participants was published by a national law journal (No. 20(334)). As a result of this crashing criticism, the Parliament once again sent the bill for rework on May 18. 

In May, in the Parliament’s lobby, talks resumed about placing the CCP bill for consideration, KhPG experts prepared an extended commentary of the document, which was handed over to the Parliament’s Committee on Issues of Human Rights, Minorities, and International Relations (headed by G. Udovenko). Then, members of the Committee disseminated the commentary among the Parliament’s groups. A short review of the commentary was published in popular weekly Dzerkalo Tyzhdnya(No. 18(483), 15-21 May 2004).

On July 1, the Parliament made a latest attempt to pass the CCP bill in the second reading. However, the bill was again rejected, and its consideration moved to the second part of September. In this connection, it is necessary to continue the campaign against the current version of the bill. 

Action for providing right for freedom from torture in Ukraine

During 31 March – 1 April 2004, the Council of Ukrainian Human Rights Organizations and Chernigiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection, with the assistance of the Renaissance Foundation held in Kyiv the First Forum of Civic Human Rights Organizations “Human Rights during Elections.” The idea of the meeting was to discuss and find ways of cooperation between civic human rights organizations during the election campaign of 2004, as well as to develop a strategy of their cooperation for the year.

The Forum adopted “Open Appeal of the Participants of Forum of Civic Human Rights Organizations for providing right for freedom from torture in Ukraine,” prepared by KHPG and the partner organizations, which was signed by 56 representatives of the Ukrainian human rights organizations.

Action against unlawful detention of Nechayev

Oleksiy Nechayev, a mayor of Alushta (Crimea) was detained with permission of the Pecherskiy District Court in Kyiv and held at a temporary detention isolation center in Simferopol for 26 days without his bringing to a judge.

KhPG and 5 Project partners – Public Committee on Defense of Citizens’ Constitutional Rights and Freedoms (Lugansk), Environmental-Humanitarian Society “Green World” (Chortkiv), Environmental and Cultural Center “Bakhmat” (Artemivsk), Lugansk Regional Branch of the Ukrainian Civic Organization “Committee of Voters of Ukraine” (Severodonetsk), International  Society for Human Rights – Ukrainian Branch (Kyiv) – applied to the General Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court, various Parliament’s committees. All the letters were answered in writing by the officials.

KhPG also sent the information to the European Committee on Prevention of Torture.

Nechayev eventually was brought to the Pecherskiy District Court in Kyiv, and, after court hearing, was released under undertaking (city arrest).

Action in support of Drozdov

Gennadiy Drozdov, critically ill, was held in an overcrowded cell at a temporary detention center in Sevastopol (Crimea).

On the initiative of the Sevastopol Group for Human Rights Protection, several Project partners, in particular Public Committee on Defense of Citizens’ Constitutional Rights and Freedoms  (Lugansk) and Public Committee on Defense of Citizens’ Constitutional Rights and Freedoms (Severodonetsk), stood up for him, sending letters to the Crimean and national authorities. Written answers from the authorities were received.

Drozdov was treated in a TB-clinic and placed back to the temporary detention center.

Action in support of Zakharkin

In May of 2003, resident of Kalush (Ivano-Frankivsk Region) Oleksiy Zakharkin was detained by officers of the criminal police. During a week he was held in various district police stations in the Ivano-Frankivsk Region, where he was tortured, and, as a result, he tried to commit a suicide. A criminal case was opened against the police officers.

On the initiative of KhPG, Environmental-Humanitarian Society “Green World” (Chortkiv), Sevastopol Group for Human Rights Protection, Environmental and Cultural Center “Bakhmat” (Artemivsk), Zhitomyr Regional Section of the International  Society of Human Rights, Lugansk Regional Branch of the Ukrainian Civic Organization “Committee of Voters of Ukraine” (Severodonetsk), International  Society for Human Rights – Ukrainian Branch (Kyiv), Ukrainian Environmental Association “Zeleny Svit” (Kryviy Rig), Chernigiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection, and Kherson Regional Charity and Health Fund sent letters to the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine and Prosecutor of the Ivano-Frankivsk Region, informing them that Zakharkin is under pressure to give up his attempt to call the guilty individuals to justice. The answers were received.

At present, the Fund for the Professional Support to Victims of Torture and Cruel Treatment is supporting Zakharkin. In particular, an application has been sent to the European Court on violations of Articles 3 and 5 of the Convention.

Other actions initiated by the regional partners

The Vinnitsa Human Rights Group has been working on project “Development of tools for documenting torture, pilot monitoring of torture and cruel treatment, legal actions, and strategic trials in four regions of Ukraine.” In the framework of this project, it cooperates with 3 Ukrainian human rights organizations, 2 of which are partners of this Project – the Public Committee on Defense of Citizens’ Constitutional Rights and Freedoms (Lugansk) and Sevastopol Group for Human Rights Protection. In March of 2004 in Vinnitsa and in June of 2004 in Lugansk and Lviv, the Vinnitsa Group together with its partners held seminars on documenting of torture for lawyers, forensic scientists, journalists, human rights activists, and members of the partner organizations.

Environmental and Cultural Center “Bakhmat” (Artemivsk) created the Kostyantinovka and Artemivsk Sections of NGO “Assistance at Fight against Arbitrariness and Lawlessness of Prosecutor’s Offices, Police, Courts, and Other Institutions.”

Legal and Political Research Center “SIM” (Lviv) is a partner of Lviv NGO “Svitlo” in project “Office of Legal Aid to Drug Users and AIDS Patients.” That project is to a certain degree related to this one, because drug users and AIDS-patients are a vulnerable group, which quite often is subjected to humiliation and abuse.

Activity V.  Organization in mass media, including electronic ones, the campaign for changing attitude of the society to problems of torture

Informing of the governmental authorities

All partners sent letters to regional police departments, prosecutor’s offices, state administrations, justice departments, appeal courts, departments of penitentiaries, where they informed about aims and purposes of the Project. Most regional partners held press-conferences, where they presented the Project.

Answers from the General Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Justice, State Department of Penitentiaries, Security Service, confirming their interest in this Project, have been received. Deputy Minister of Justice Valeria Lutkovska expressed desire to personally participate in seminars, which would take place in the framework of the Project. In May of 2004 she was a speaker in the seminar for judges, held in Kharkiv.

Environmental–Humanitarian Society “Green World” (Chortkiv) reports that on 20 January 2004, the organization held a meeting with a commander and deputy commander on moral training of the air base, stationed in Chortkiv and Yagilnitsi. The commanders were informed about the Project’s objectives. On February 5, it held a meeting with officers of the air base, where the latter were told about the Project and received questionnaires for a sociological poll. On January 21, it held a meeting with top officials of a regional investigatory ward, where they were told about the ideas of the Project partners.

Members of Environmental and Cultural Center “Bakhmat” (Artemivsk) in April of 2004 visited a regional deputy prosecutor and a head of the regional police department and proposed cooperation. Members of “Bakhmat” also distributed Project materials at a conference of the regional bar association. All participants of the conference (lawyers from all cities and towns of the Donetsk Region) received printed information (booklets) and contact information. Members of “Bakhmat” met with top officials of the Artemivsk and Donetsk Investigatory Wards, informed them about the Project and proposed cooperation.

The Zhitomyr Regional Section of the International  Society of Human Rights informs that on 14 October 2003 its Chair of Board, Viktor Bondar, visited a deputy chair of the Zhitomyr Regional State Administration. Being familiarized with the aims and goals of the Project, the official proposed cooperation and requested to keep him informed about the Project’s activities both in the Zhitomyr Region and in Ukraine. In December, members of the organization visited a head of the regional police department, told him about objectives of the Project and discussed possible cooperation. On 29 January 2004, they held a meeting with a chief administrator of the city council, where they discussed future actions under the Project and possibilities for cooperation.

On January 31, at the Zhitomyr City Police Station, there was workshop “Organization of Work and Operation of Special Police Facilities on Providing Guard and Convoy of Apprehended and Detained Persons.” The seminar was attended by deputy heads of district police departments, heads of public security, heads of penitentiaries, and members of other law-enforcement agencies. The seminar was presided by a deputy head of the Zhitomyr Department of Interior. During the seminar, V. Bondar, a head of the organization, and A. Mukshimenko, a head of Center of Legal Assistance to Population “Public Advocate of Human rights” at the Fund of Regional Initiatives (Kyiv) delivered a 90-minute speech. The representatives of the NGOs told about basic principles of activities of the Parliament’s Ombudsperson, her powers and functions, clarified fundamentals of the European Convention against Torture and Cruel Treatment. The participants of the seminar were informed about the organization’s participation in the Project, given contact information of the organization’s public reception office.

Lugansk Regional Branch of the Ukrainian Civic Organization “Committee of Voters of Ukraine” (Severodonetsk) informs that it held talks on possibilities of participating in the Project of a Human Rights Commission at the Regional Council, and, personally, with its head – Volodymyr Ivanov. The Project presentation, which took place on 30 October 2003 in Lugansk, was attended by members of the regional department of justice and department of internal policy of the regional state administration. In May, members of the organization held talks on mutual informing about torture with aids-consultants to all 12 MPs from the Lugansk Region (letters to MPs about the Project were handed over to them also). On 1 March 2004, the Project was presented at a conference of trade unions of the Lugansk Region.

The Chernigiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection reports that during 23-24 January 2004, they arranged 2-day seminar “The Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” for personnel of Investigatory Ward No. 31. The seminar was attended by 30 officers of the investigatory ward. After the participants were acquainted with basic norms of the UN Convention against Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, they have practical session “Why are the rights of prisoners being violated?” The idea of this practical session was to make the students think over their own actions, as well as actions of their colleagues. During the session, causes of procedural, personal, economical, legal, and social nature, which result in violations of human rights of prisoners, were discussed. 

Since February of 2004, a permanent lecturing center on human rights for imprisoned women has been working at the Correctional Colony No. 44. Lecture “International Mechanisms and Tools for Protection of Human Rights (the UN system on issues of prevention of human rights, the European system of prevention of human rights)” was delivered there on 13 February 2004.

On 14 February 2004, the organization held a practical session with inmates, including “The European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms” (lecture), “The European Court on Human Rights (practical session, including writing an application to the Court).” The inmates learned about latest decisions of the European Court (Kalashnikov v. Russia, Poltoratskiy v. Ukraine). During the session, the participants received model documents, necessary for applying to the European Court. In May, with the assistance of the Committee, at the Colony No. 44, there was arranged a meeting between inmates and judges of the Novozavodsky District Court in Chernigiv, during which inmates received clarifications on the legal status, their basic rights, and a procedure of offering legal assistance.

Informing of the public nationwide

On 17 October 2003, at press-center of the Ukrainian House (Kyiv), KhPG held a presentation of the Project. In addition to KhPG members, the participants were: Nina Karpacheva, Parliament’s Ombudsperson, Mykola Kozyrev; Head of the Public Committee on Defense of Citizens’ Constitutional Rights and Freedoms (Lugansk), and Yevgeniy Bocharov, a victim of torture at the law-enforcement agencies, which has been receiving assistance by the Fund for the Professional Support to Victims of Torture and Cruel Treatment. The participants answered questions from national and regional media: Interfax, UNIAN, TSN “Studio 1+1,” Ukrayinski Novyny, Novy Kanal, ICTV, STB, Gromadske Radio, Ukrayinske Radio, Nashe Radio, Ukrpartinform, Maidan-Inform, Tonis, Panorama Novyn, Profspilkovi Visti, Pres-Birzha, as well as international media: Voice of America and Nuernberg Zeitung. 

That very day, detailed reports about the conference appeared in Maidan-Inform (http://maidan.org.ua), Interfax-Ukraine; the information about it appeared on national TV-channel Inter in its background news program “Podrobnosti” (In Detail). On November 18, web-site  www.civic.ua.org informed about the Project. On November 21, Gromadske Radio (Public Radio) told about Mr. Bocharov, who suffered torture at the police custody.

KhPG together with the regional partners prepared materials for a program on torture during investigation of criminal cases at popular weekly talk-show “Double Proof” of the “Studio 1+1” on the 2nd national TV-Channel. Directly in the studio, there were Valeria Lutkuvska, KhPG members (Yevgeniy Zakharov, Arkadiy Buschenko), Mykola Kozyrev (Public Committee on Defense of Citizens’ Constitutional Rights and Freedoms), and Yevgeniy Bocharov. The program was aired on 9 December 2003, on the eve of the Human Rights Day.

On 1 June 2004, a second program “Double Proof” was aired. It was based on the materials prepared by KhPG, in particular, on a case of Kyiv resident Olga Belyak, who died in detention pending trial, and on a case of prisoner Oleksandr Lobanov, who was severely traumatized at a correctional facility; lawyers, working on both cases, are financed through the Fund for Professional Support of Individuals Suffered from Torture and Cruel Treatment. Among the guests in the studio, who discussed conditions in Ukrainian penitentiaries, there were participants of this Project: Ye. Zakharov (KhPG) and V. Badyra (Chernigiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection), as well as well-known human rights activists A. Bukalov (Donetsk “Memorial”), V. Tymanov (Chief Consultant for the Parliament’s Ombudsperson), victims of cruel treatment, and representatives of the State Department of Penitentiaries. In video reports shown in the program, there were interviews with A. Buschenko (KhPG) and V. Lutkovska (Deputy Minister of Justice and member of the Project Board of Trustees).

According to the media, both programs had high viewer rating.

Informing of the public in regions

On 5 October 2003, the Kharkiv Press-Club held its meeting “Reforming of the Ministry of Interior – counteraction against corruption.” The meeting was attended by O. Yarmysh, Rector of the National University of Interior, O. Tarasenko, Department Head of the Kharkiv Regional Department of Interior, and A. Buschenko, KhPG expert, who informed about the Project. That day, the information about this press-conference was published by Kharkiv agency Context-Media (www.context-ua.com).

On 31 October 2003, at the editorial office of Lugansk newspaper XXI Vek, the Public Committee on Defense of Citizens’ Constitutional Rights and Freedoms (Lugansk) and the Lugansk Regional Branch of the Ukrainian Civic Organization “Committee of Voters of Ukraine” (Severodonetsk) held a press-conference, in which participated 15 journalists (2 press-representatives of governmental institutions, 5 members of TV, radio, and information agencies, including Radio Liberty, UNIAN and TSN “Studio 1+1,” and 7 correspondents of regional newspapers and other media). At the meeting, the regional partners distributed a press-release prepared by them. Information about the event appeared in the following regional and national media: Luganchane, Slovo i Delo, Grivna-Plus, Kurier, XXI Vek, Novy Rakurs (all – of 5 November 2003). On November 7, a Lugansk correspondent of TRK “Ukrauina” informed about the start of the Project in TV-program “Segodnya” (Today).

On 13 November 2003, there was a press-conference at the Donetsk Press-Club of Market Reforms, attended by 16 representatives of the media and 6 members of NGOs, including 3 Project partners: Environmental and Cultural Center “Bakhmat” (Artemivsk), Lugansk Regional Branch of the Ukrainian Civic Organization “Committee of Voters of Ukraine” (Severodonetsk), NGO “Civic Initiatives” (Kirovograd). There were responses on the regional TV and radio (news) and publications in regional newspapers Panorama, Donbass.

Mykola Kozyrev, Head of the Public Committee on Defense of Citizens’ Constitutional Rights and Freedoms (Lugansk), gave interview to regional periodicals, where he told about conflicts between citizens and law-enforcement personnel, above all, violations of law by police, use of torture, corruption, and how human rights activists counteract those fact in the framework of the Project (newspapers Molodogvardeets(28 April 2004) and Kultura Donbassa(19 May 2004)). 

Environmental and Cultural Center “Bakhmat” reports about two publications about the Project in newspapers Provintcia(Kostyantinovka) and Sobytie(Artemivsk). In April of 2004, “Bakhmat” held a public gathering near the Donetsk Regional Prosecutor’s Office. It arranged meeting between NGOs, personnel of the prosecutor’s office, victims and their relatives; dissemination of information about the Project; and briefing to journalists on progress of the Project. This event was reflected on TV and radio; there was a publication in Internet periodical Ostrov(www.ostro.org.ua).

The Lugansk Regional Branch of the Ukrainian Civic Organization “Committee of Voters of Ukraine” (Severodonetsk) held a press-conference on the Project on 16 December 2003, and, on 24 May 2004, its member Nina Metyolkina made a presentation at the seminar on torture in Lugansk. Members of the organization contributed to 13 articles in 6 regional newspapers (Novy Rakurs, Grivna-Plus, XXI Vek, Kurier, Sotsialdemokratiya, and Vecherniy Lugansk).

Environmental–Humanitarian Society “Green World” (Chortkiv) informs that on 10 October 2003, newspaper Ratusha (Chortkiv) published an extended interview given by Ye. Zakharov (KhPG) to L. Lazuka, a journalist and member of the organization. Ye. Zakharov told in detail about the objectives of the Project. I particular, he described work of the regional partners of the Project.

On 15 January 2004, in Chortkiv, the organization held a meeting-presentation of the Project for the local media, authorities, and top officials of the law-enforcement agencies. The meeting was attended by correspondents of newspapers Ratusha, Golos Narody (Chortkiv), Vilne Zhittya, Svoboda (Ternopil), Ternopil Regional State TV Radio Company (Channel “TTB”). Members of the organization gave information about the Project, answered questions, and distributed copies of press release. Information about the event was published in newspapers Golos Narodu, Vilne Zhittya, Ratusha, and Svoboda.

The Sevastopol Group for Human Rights Protection informs that on 10 December 2003, its representative Olga Vilkova made a presentation at a morning show on Sevastopol TV and told about aims and purposes of the Project. Shortly after the presentation, the Group received a few telephone calls. On 27 January 2004, it held a press conference for 7 city newspapers. They were told about the Project in general, and what had been done to date on prevention of torture and cruel treatment in Ukraine and Sevastopol, in particular. The Group invited relatives of people detained in the Sevastopol Temporary Detention Center, so journalists could personally talk to them. Also the journalists were given materials about the Project, Fund for Professional Support of Individuals Suffered from Torture and Cruel Treatment, and other materials. Soon after the press-conference, 6 articles were published in the Sevastopol media. Within the reporting period, on the topic of prevention of torture and cruel treatment, the Group published 9 articles in the Sevastopol media. It prepared 2 programs on the local radio and two presentations on two city TV-channels.

The Zhitomyr Regional Section of the International Society of Human Rights reports that on 10 December 2003, during the presentation by the Renaissance Foundation, journalists received information about the Project; one article was published; and two reports on the radio were made, where the organization told about torture as abnormal phenomenon in the Ukrainian society. The organization plans to hold an interim press-conference.

Legal and Political Research Center “SIM” (Lviv) disseminated information about the Project during seminar “Counteraction to and Prevention of Torture in Professional Activities of Lawyers, Journalists, Physicians, and Human Rights Activists,” held by the Regional Civic Charity Foundation “Right and Democracy” (Lviv). Both organizations agreed to cooperate and exchange information on the cases of torture.

The International Society for Human Rights–Ukrainian Branch (Kyiv) established contact with those Internet-periodical, which very frequently publish information on use of torture. The organization sent letters, asking them to sent it reports about violations of human rights they were receiving, but, for some reasons, did not put on their web-sites.

The Vinnitsa Human Rights Group presented the Project and disseminated its materials at a conference of the regional bar association. On 28 February 2004, it held a press-conference in Vinnitsa on the Project. The press-conference invoked several publications in the media and appearances on TV.

Ukrainian Environmental Association “Zeleny Svit” (Kryviy Rig) regularly informs about its activities under the Project local civic groups, like the City Union “Prosvita” (Education), and public environmental organizations comprising the Association “Zeleny Svit.” Web-newspaper Tochka Zreniya (http://standpoint.alba.dp.ua) published the Association’s material “Unlimited Respect of Human Dignity is a European Standard!” (March 2004) and “Who Will Defend Dignity of Lawyers?” (April 2004).

The Kherson Regional Charity and Health Fund informs that Kherson newspaper “Vgoru” (No. 14(79), 1 April 2004) published article “At UBOPs (departments on fighting organized crime) they torture to death.” The article informs readers about the Project and a public reception office created at the Fund for people sustained torture and inhumane treatment. Once the Fund disseminated information about the Project among its partner organizations, its reception office received appeals from 2 persons suffered from illicit actions of law-enforcement personnel.

On 25 June 2004, KhPG held a press-conference devoted to the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, coincided with the end of the first year of the Project. The press-conference was attended by 6 journalists, representing 4 Kharkiv media: Context-Media, Status Quo, ATN, Media-Group “Objective.” A report of the press-conference was shown several times on Kharkiv TV and in weekly newspaper Obyektivno (No. 26(192), 1 July 2004).

Informing of international audience

On 9 October 2003, in Warsaw (Poland) there was an annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. The Statement of Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group as to the Reasons of Torture in Police Custody (File No. 198, dtd. 2003-10-09) was distributed there. This statement reflects virtually all aspects of the use of torture in Ukraine, as they were formulated in the Application for the Project. At this gathering, a KhPG’s representative, Arkadiy Buschenko, spoke about the torture problem in Ukraine at Working Session “Rule of Law II: Prevention of Torture”. Information of the speech delivered by the KhPG member was published by Ukrainian national weekly Bez Tsenzury (No. 34, 31 October-6 November 2003) and Russian informational and analytical agency Marketing and Consulting (www.iamik.ru/). The last report was repeated by several Russian and Ukrainian information web-sites, as well as by a site of Turkmenistan’s human rights activists (www.dogryyol.com.).

During 6-12 June 2004, in Tbilisi (Georgia), there was an international seminar under The Regional Advanced Programme on Human Rights, organized by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Lund University (Sweden) and UNDP. There, A. Buschenko delivered a progress report of the Project, followed by discussion among the participants as to the torture and cruel treatment problem in respective countries of the participants.

In addition, the Project participants regularly inform about facts of torture and cruel treatment such international human rights organizations, like the Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Association for Prevention of Torture, UN Committee against Torture; brief on the Project the Moscow Helsinki Group, International Society “Memorial,” and Russian Institute on Human Rights.

Activity VI.  Analysis of the administrative, criminal-procedural, criminal laws and law-applying practices in the spheres, where torture and cruel treatment are possible

During the Project, a number of institutions of national legislation and case-law has been analyzed in the light of their compliance with the international standards.

The analysis covered in detail:

-  legislation and case-law in respect of investigating claims about torture: terms of investigation, thoroughness of investigation, independence of an investigating authority, rights of the victim during investigation;

-  arrest without warrant: preliminary conditions to authorize arrest, arrest procedure, provisions for due process;

-  police custody and observation of rights of a detained person: right to receive information about his or her rights, right to have access to a lawyer; right to remain silent), right to be informed about reasons for detention, right to have relatives notified about the detention;

-  first appearance before a judge: a term of bringing to a judge, independence of court, procedure of consideration, reasons for custodial placement, possibilities for effective defense, informing about other party’s reasoning, scope of court’s jurisdiction in respect of claims about torture;

-  appeal against detention and periodical review of the detention: access to court, legal consequences when the detention is held unlawful;

-  access to a lawyer during custody and possibility of confidential correspondence with a lawyer.

In the course of study, materials, presented by the Fund for Professional Support of Individuals Suffered from Torture and Cruel Treatment, were analyzed. These materials were especially helpful for the analysis of case-law in respect of consideration of claims about torture, because it is practically impossible to get such materials from other sources. Around 100 decisions by the Kharkiv Regional Appeal Court, following consideration of appeals against decisions on detention on remand or release, were also analyzed.

The following materials were studied:

-  legal acts and reports by international and foreign organizations – 51 documents;

-  foreign legislation – 31 documents;

-  Ukraine’s legislation, including 24 Ukraine’s laws, 3 Presidential decrees, 34 acts by executive authorities, 23 documents of Ukraine’s judicial practice.

A number of decisions by the Ukraine’s Supreme Court and appeal courts was also studied.

In the course of analytical work under the Project, a structure of a basic analytical report on compliance of the national legislation and case-law with the international standards of protection from torture and arbitrary detention was created. On the basis of this structural model, there will be: 

-  performed  a monitoring of legal acts and bills;

-  performed a monitoring of judicial and administrative practices;

-  selected cases for financing from the monies allocated with the Fund and developed strategies for court proceedings;

-  prepared analytical reasoning for preparation of applications to the European Court and other judicial authorities;

-  developed programs for monitoring of existing case-law in particular areas;

-  compiled programs for educational and training seminars;

-  formulated directions for further work under the Project.

Continuous maintaining of the basic report in “operating mode” will make it possible to make conclusions about compliance of bills under consideration with the Ukraine’s international obligations. It will also allow maintain control over the Project’s content and correct the current direction of its activities, make conclusions about changes in the situation in various areas, find new areas of coordination between different directions of the Project.

Activity VII.  Preparation of the digests of judgments of the European Court on Human Rights concerning Articles 2, 3, 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights in the context of preventing torture

Of the planned two-volume edition – Volume 1 (Article 5), Volume 2 (Articles 2 and 3), Volume 1 has come out in Ukrainian and Russian languages; work on Volume 2 is under way. Due to sharp increase of the case-law under Articles 2 and 3, it is possible that a final edition of the digests on each Article will come out in separate volumes.

Digest on Article 5 of the Convention

This publication is a systematized digest of the European Court’s judgments on application of Article 5 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, based on the Court’s judgments until 1 January 2003. This edition offers the most complete presentation of the Court’s current interpretation of notions of lawful arrest, justifiable detention, due procedure of arrest and detention, appeal against reasons for arrest in court, and other elements, serving as a basis for current European approach to protection of the right to liberty.

The edition has ramified structure, cross-references, and other search tools that help users of the digest.

This digest is a Ukrainian version of the book entitled “Practice of the European Court of Human Rights. Part 1: Article 5 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” published in 2001 (author – A.P. Buschenko; publisher – Spark (Moscow, Russia)).

The Ukrainian edition is much larger. Due to explosion-like development of jurisprudence in Strasbourg, a number of judgments on Article 5 of the Convention is half as much since then. Now this digest incorporates the Court’s judgments from 1 July 1961 to 1 January 2003. 

Also, in comparison to the Russian version, the digest’s structure is somewhat different.

The digest is divided into parts corresponding to paragraphs of Article 5. The parts, in turn, include sections covering interpretations of the issues encountered by the Court during its consideration of specific cases. The text is arranged in systematic rather than in chronological order. In the end of each excerpt it is given a short title of the case and corresponding paragraph of the judgment. The full titles of the cases and some information about them are given in a table in the beginning of the book.

Since the first edition of the digest in 2001, the author has received many positive responses about the book both from law-academics and law-practitioners. The first review in law journal Visnyk Konstitutsiynogo Sudu Ukrayiny (No. 4, 2001) was authored by Pavlo Yevgrafov, Judge of the Ukraine’s Constitutional Court, Distinguished Jurist of Ukraine.

The bibliographical data of the Ukrainian version of the digest is as follows:

Бущенко А.П. Проти катувань. Стаття 5 Конвенції про захист прав людини та основних свобод: Систематизований дайджест рішень Європейського Суду з прав людини. / Харківська правозахисна група; худож.-оформлювач Б.Є. Захаров. – Харків: Фоліо, 2003. – 288 с.

Digest on Article 3 and Article 2 of the Convention

Compilation of the digests on Articles 3 and 2 of the Convention is in its initial stage. The following work has been done fully or partially:

-  selection of excerpts from judgments and separate opinions;

-  translation of most portion of the selected excerpts into Russian and Ukrainian languages, providing the excerpts with appropriate references;

-  development of the editions’ structures;

-  editing of the text and verification of terminology;

-  systematic organization of the excerpts;

-  analysis and creation of cross-references;

-  preparation of comments.

To date, a manuscript of the digest on Article 3 has 400,000 characters; one on Article 2 has 110,000 characters. By author’s estimate, about 30% of the work on Article 3 and 10% on Article 2 have been completed.

Translations of selected excerpts from the judgments on Articles 2 and 3 have been used during educational and training seminars for lawyers, judges, and law-enforcement personnel.

Activity VIII. Improvement of the laws and practices in the sphere of detention, arrest and holding under custody

Comprehensive bill on police arrest and court hearing about arrest or release

Study of the legislation on the arrest, as well as well-established case-law and approaches prevailing in the doctrine of criminal procedure led to the conclusion that the legislative amendments of 2001 to the Ukraine’s Code of Criminal Procedure brought about little change to the legal practice. In this connection, there were under discussion different approaches to creating a bill that could guarantee a right to liberty in the course of investigation of offences. Taking into account specifics of the national legislation and domination of doctrinal structures, it was decided that the most efficient plan would be to draft a special bill, focusing on protection of the right to liberty and covering all situations, when the right to liberty could be affected: from a conditions for arrest without warrant to rules of court proceedings in respect of arrest or release and provisions for periodical access of detainees to court.

A basic structure of the bill has been developed. The bill will contain:

-  procedure of obtaining a preliminary arrest warrant and its execution;

-  exact definitions of the situations, in which police officers receive authorization to make arrests without warrant, norms prescribing use of force for the arrest purposes,

-  detailed rules, how to interrogate a suspect;

-  detailed definitions of safeguards for detainees and consequences of breaking these safeguards;

-  regulations for police custody and procedure of extending such custody;

-  detailed description of procedure of bringing before judge and consideration in respect of detention or release;

-  right to appeal against lawfulness of detention, procedure of filing a complaint, detailed rules of court proceedings;

-  right for periodical review of lawfulness of detention; right to claim damages in case of unlawful detention.

Drafting amendments in the Ukraine’s Code on Administrative Offences

During the first year of the Project a bill of amendments to Ukraine’s Code of Administrative Offences has been developed.

The bill implements into the Code the requirements prescribed by Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights in respect of consideration of offences, which could lead to administrative arrest, forfeiture of property, or deprivation of special right. An applicability of standards provided in Article 6 of the European Convention to this procedure was substantiated, as well as the way, how those standards could be implemented into the Code.

Approval of this bill by the Parliament, in addition to improvement of safeguards of fair trial, could eliminate a widely used practice of using administrative arrest for purposes of criminal investigation.

The bill will be sent to the appropriate Parliament’s Committees in September of 2004.

Drafting changes in the Ukraine’s Criminal Code

A bill on introducing changes in Article 127 of the Ukraine’s Criminal Code was also developed. Here, the content of criminal act “torture” is formulated more precisely and adequately. In addition, the structure of the Code is changed: the article on torture is placed to section “Criminal acts by officials.” The bill implements a definition of torture, as it is adopted in the international law, into the domestic law. This could play a greater role in correct qualification of criminal act “torture.” The bill will be sent to the appropriate Parliament’s committees in September of 2004.

Activity IX.  Improvement of the legislation on access to information

Because of the unsatisfactory practice of access to information possessed by the law-enforcement agencies (regional departments of interior, prosecutors’ offices, and appeal courts), widespread use of “classified” (“confidential”) stamps undefined by law, it has been decided to prepare amendments to the legislation. Of two options – drafting a separate law on access to information or radical changing of the current Information Law – the second option has been chosen. V. Rechitskiy, KhPG expert, prepared a new version of the Information Law on the basis of the international standards and recommendations. A working group was created, which considered the bill four times, introducing amendments to it. The working group included members of NGOs, the Parliament’s Committee on Issues of Freedom of Speech and Information and Secretariat to the Parliament’s Ombudsperson. The bill also passed through international expertise – by the Article 19 organization (UK). As a result of its active promotion, the bill is included on the Parliament’s agenda for consideration in autumn of 2004.

Activity X.  Preparation, publication and distribution of the results of monitoring and research.

Special issues “Proty Katuvan” (Against Torture)

In the framework of this Project, KhPG has published 6 special issues (5 - in Ukrainian language, 1 – in English language) of its series “Proty Katuvan”(Against Torture): 3 reference books on facts of torture and cruel treatment in Ukraine in 2001-2003 and 3 scientific books on the international and European mechanisms of protecting from torture and cruel treatment. Each title came out in 1,000 copies.

Special issues “Vyklad Faktiv” (Fact Sheets)

Series “Human Rights Fact Sheets” is published by the Center for Human Rights of the United Nations Office in Geneva (Switzerland). It covers human rights issues, which are being studied or of special public interest.

As of 1 July 2004, KhPG has translated into Ukrainian language and published 19 instead of 18 brochures, planned for the first year of the Project. The remaining 9 issues will come out by October of 2004.

Information bulletins “Prava Ludiny” (Human Rights)

KhPG kept on publishing in Ukrainian language its biweekly information bulletins “Prava Ludiny” (Human Rights) (12 pages (A4 Format) each, 800 copies) and monthly reviews of these bulletins in English language (electronic subscription). The bulletins were also sent electronically to subscribers and placed on the KhPG web-site (www.khpg.org). On the whole, within the reporting period, 36 issues – 24 in Ukrainian, and 12 in English  – have been published.

Activity XI.  Systematic work with target groups for improving their knowledge in the sphere of international and European standards on human rights, as well as their skills

Conducting the sociological research with the aim to understand the attitude of target groups to torture and their knowledge of the laws on preventing torture

In the framework of the Project, within the reporting period, KhPG and its special partners have conducted 1 sociological research and 5 monitoring studies:

-  A team of the Kharkiv Institute of Social Research has conducted a combined sociological research entitled “The Cruel Treatment, Torture in Ukraine (Law-Enforcement System).”

-  NGO “The Professional Assistance” (Komsomolsk) has started a monitoring of administrative cases under consideration in courts in respect of actions committed by agencies of preliminary investigation and inquiry.

-  Members of the International Society for Human Rights–Dnipropetrovsk Section have studied issues of rights and freedoms of conscripted personnel in Ukraine during their monitoring “Human Rights and Military Service.”

-  Experts of the Kharkiv Regional Union of Soldiers’ Mothers (KhOSSM), along with teams of other divisions of the Ukraine’s Union of Soldiers’ Mothers, have conducted monitoring “Observation of Human Rights in the Ukrainian Army.”

-  KhOSSM experts also have monitored quality of 2003 spring and autumn military draft.

-  KhPG experts have studied the problem of access to information possessed by the following law-enforcement agencies: regional departments of interior, prosecutor’s offices, and appeal courts.

“The Cruel Treatment, Torture in Ukraine (Law-Enforcement System)” [Kharkiv Institute of Social Research]

Aim of the research:

Poll of Ukraine’s general public, target groups, and experts on the problem of cruel treatment and torture at the national law-enforcement system (police) and generalization of the factual material on the problem in a form of social statistics on the basis of conducting a mass representative poll of Ukrainian citizens, a poll of the target group of citizens, who, at least once, were detainees, suspects, or under investigation, and an expert poll of respective professional groups.

Objectives of the research:

-  To study attitude toward police, level of confidence to it in the context of the negative phenomena related to brutality and use of torture.

-  To study attitude of various population strata, including jurists and law-enforcement personnel, toward practices of cruel treatment and use of torture at the police.

-  To measure the range and frequency of practices of cruel treatment and use of torture at the police.

-  To analyze personal experiences of the respondents related to abnormal, cruel behavior on the part of police officers.

-  To study public and expert opinion on issues of preventive measures against cruel treatment and torture at the police and reform of the police institution.

A few comments on the progress of the research:

The mass poll of general public took place during 17 April-8 May 2004. The poll of the target group and experts took place during 17 April-20 May 2004.

Within the reporting period, on the whole, 2,400 questionnaires (2,009 – general public, 132 – experts (physicians, lawyers, judges), 73 – police officers, 186 – persons, who had gone through the system of pretrial investigation as suspects or accused) were collected and analyzed.

In the second year of the Project, along with use of qualitative methods (interview and focus-groups), the researchers plan to finish the poll of respondents, who had experiences of dealing with police (remaining 600 questionnaires). A planned schedule for the coming year has been compiled.

The Institute has presented to KhPG its report of the work done in the first year (102 pages, A4 Format). KhPG plans to publish it as a book in the second half of 2004.

Monitoring of administrative cases under consideration in courts in respect of actions committed by agencies of preliminary investigation and inquiry [NGO “The Professional Assistance” (Komsomolsk)]

In April of 2004, NGO “The Professional Assistance” has started work on arranging this monitoring. Since then, the following work has been done:

-  Judges, members of the All-Ukrainian Independent Association of Judges, were informed about the Project and its aims during seminar “Freedom of Speech and Authority of the Rule of Law – Conflict and Service to Public Interests” (Kyiv). In individual contacts, the NGO informed its partner organizations.

-  The NGO talked with judges, working at criminal chambers, on the possibility to obtain from them and disseminate particular court decisions in respect of actions committed by agencies of preliminary investigation and inquiry. In the future, it would allow to collect and compare case-law in various regions as to the use of human rights standards.

-  A framework for cooperation with lawyers in the Poltava Region was developed for establishing more contacts under the Project. It would allow analyze and generalize reports sent by the lawyers, who be defending persons claiming that they were subjected to torture or other violations of human rights.

-  Primary information was received and stored electronically.

Monitoring “Human Rights and Military Service” [International  Society for Human Rights–Dnipropetrovsk]

The study has included a monitoring of how the basic human rights of conscripted personnel are observed in military units and sub-units, as well as public opinion polls on the topic of the study.

The results of the work have been presented to KhPG in a form of a brief report.

Monitoring “Observation of Human Rights in the Ukrainian Army” [Kharkiv Regional Union of Soldiers’ Mothers together with Organization of Soldiers’ Mothers of Ukraine]

The study is divided into 5 chapters:

-  monitoring of 2002 military draft’s quality;

-  monitoring of observation of servicemen’s rights during their service;

-  monitoring of observation of servicemen’s right for legal aid;

-  monitoring of implementation of state guarantees in respect of obligatory individual insurance of servicemen and their pension plans;

-  monitoring of development of democratization and humanization processes in the armed forces.

The results of the work have been presented to KhPG in a form of report (22 pages, A4 Format).

Monitoring of 2003 military draft’s quality [Kharkiv Regional Union of Soldiers’ Mothers]

Spring draft:

In the course of the monitoring of military draft’s quality, the Union sent 51 letters to military units, where young conscripts from Kharkiv were serving. Five letters were returned due to the wrong addresses. Twenty two written answers, or 43.14%, were received.

Commanders of the military units sent data on 516 persons. Only in 7 military units, the commanders had no claims in respect of quality of the drafted personnel from Kharkiv. In 15 military units, the commanders reported about problems. It had to do with 483 servicemen, or 93.60% of the polled.

Autumn draft:

After the autumn draft, the Union sent 70 letters to military units, where conscripts from Kharkiv and the Kharkiv Region were serving. The Union received 28 written answers, or 40% of the total. Commanders sent data on 681 persons.

Among the polled, 8 persons were experienced sharp increase of their chronic diseases. That made up 1.17% of the total number of respondents. What is important: according to results of the monitoring of 2003 spring draft’s quality, that number was 5.59%. It means that draft medical examination commissions improved their work.

However, some drawbacks still in place, like the cases, when servicemen have been dismissed on medical grounds.

The results of the work have been presented to KhPG in a form of a brief report.

Monitoring research on access to information in possession of law-enforcement agencies [KhPG]

KhPG has sent over 150 requests for information to regional departments of interior and prosecutor’s offices in all 27 regions of Ukraine, to the central offices – the Ministry of Interior and General Prosecutor’s Office, – to 27 appeal courts, and to the Supreme Court. If no answer was received within a month (as required by law), the request was repeated. KhPG asked about how many complaints against unlawful acts on the part of the Ministry of Interior personnel those agencies received, what kind of response they offered, how many disciplinary measures were taken, how many criminal cases were opened, how many verdicts against the Ministry of Interior personnel came into force, and other special data. The requests to the appeal courts dealt with the number of orders issued by them for collecting information from the information channels.

The results of this experiment proved to be deplorable. Only one regional prosecutor’s office (Mykolaiv Region) sent a positive response, some of them got off with formal replies, the rest, including the General Prosecutor’s Office, failed to answer at all. The Ministry of Interior offices were more responsive: KhPG received a detailed answer from the central office of the Ministry of Interior and several regional departments. However, part of the regional departments failed to answer at all or refused to give the requested information. The appeal courts were even more responsive, but a positive answer was received only from the Supreme Court of Ukraine and Chernivtsi Appeal Court; all other appeal courts refused to give the requested information, referring to its secrecy, although the motives for their refusals varied widely. Those discrepancies in the answers might lead to only one conclusion: the requested information is open, but the courts are unwilling to give it away and write their refusals under various pretexts.

KhPG filed a complaint against the unlawful refusal on the part of the regional departments to the Ministry of Interior and is awaiting its response. As to the prosecutor’s offices, the only way was to take it into court, so KhPG initiated 6 legal suits against the General Prosecutor’s Office, prosecutor’s offices of the Crimea, Sevastopol, the Lviv Region, Odessa Region, and Dnipropetrovsk Region.

As to the answers from the appeal courts, it was decided to hold talks on the matter with the top officials of the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

Conducting the seminars and training for different target groups

Seminars for judges

Within the reporting period one pilot seminar has taken place at the Kharkiv Appeal Court.

During 6-7 May 2004, KhPG held a seminar “Protection from Abuse of Power during Criminal Investigation: National Case-Law in the Light of the Ukraine’s International Obligations” for judges from the Kharkiv Region. The seminar was attended by 58 persons, with 52 judges among them (13 judges of the Kharkiv Regional Appeal Court, 15 judges of local (district) courts in Kharkiv, 24 judges of local (district) courts in the Kharkiv Region), 5 assistant judges (the Appeal Court), 1 senior consultant.

Also, the following persons participated in the seminar: V. Bryntsev, President of the Kharkiv Regional Appeal Court; V. Filatov, Judge of Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Ukraine; V. Lutkovska, Deputy Minister of Justice; O. Shylo, Lecturer at the Sub-Faculty of Criminal Procedure at the Yaroslav Mudry National Law Academy (Kharkiv), Ye. Zakharov, KhPG Co-Chair, and A. Buschenko, KhPG Expert and Lawyer of the Kharkiv Bar Association.

Topics of the lectures and discussions were the following: “Issues of Applying International Standards. The European Convention and Its Influence on the National Law,” “Prevention of Torture in the Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights. National System of Prevention of Torture and Investigation of Claims about Torture. Court’s Role in Efficient System of Protection from Torture,” “Right to Fair Trial: preconditions of use of defendant’s confessions in the course of trial, court actions to verify claims about torture,” “Deprivation of Liberty in the Context of Criminal Legal Proceedings. National Legislation and Case-Law in the Light of the Obligations under the European Convention. The Draft Code of Criminal Procedure and Guarantees for the Right to Liberty.” In the course of the seminar, V. Lutkovska held a role-game, during which the participants could act as applicants and representatives of the Government, as well as judges of the European Court. The case under consideration was complaint about torture.

Under 12-point system, the participants evaluated the work of the seminar organizers as follows:

-  General impression – 11.33

-  Organization – 11.66

-  Handouts – 11.2

-  Actuality of the topic – 11.13

-  Quality of presentation – 11.2

The seminar participants received literature, published by KhPG in the framework of the Project, and The Istanbul Protocol: The Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.(reprinted publication by KhPG).

Seminars for law-enforcement personnel

Within the reporting period, 4 seminars have been held in the following cities: Zaporizhya, Mykolaiv, Kherson, and Kirovograd.

During 13-23 June 2004, KhPG held a series of seminars for law-enforcement personnel in the Zaporizhya, Mykolaiv, Kherson, and Kirovograd Regions. There were held three 2-day seminars – Zaporizhya (June 14-15), Kherson (June 16-17), Kirovograd (June 21-22), – and one 1-day seminar in Mykolaiv (June 19), because of a police professional holiday.

The seminars were attended by 223 persons:

-  Zaporizhya: 50 persons, including 45 law-enforcement officers, 5 members of NGOs;

-  Kherson: 80 persons, including 76 law-enforcement officers, 2 journalists, 2 members of NGOs;

-  Mykolaiv: 47 persons, including 43 law-enforcement officers, 2 journalists, 2 members of NGOs;

-  Kirovograd: 46 persons, including 36 law-enforcement officers, 5 journalists, 5 members of NGOs;

All seminars were attended by M. Payeta, a department head at the Ministry of Interior, and members of the Ministry’s regional departments.

The following lectures were delivered at the seminars:

-  “Prohibition of Ill-Treatment in the European Convention (Article 3)” and “Right for Freedom in the European Convention (Article 5)” [Arkadiy Buschenko, KhPG Expert]

-  “Ukraine as a Party to the European Convention of Human Rights” [In Zaporizhya and Kherson – Oleksiy Solvyov, Chief Specialist at the Department of Criminal Procedure of the National Bureau on Issues of Observation of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Ministry of Justice); in Mykolaiv and Kirovograd – Arseniy Milyutin, Head of the Department of Civil and Commercial Procedure (National Bureau/Ministry of Justice)];

-  “Typical Violations of Human Rights by Police Officers” [Oleg Martynenko, Ph. D. (law), Head of the Sub-Faculty of Criminal Legislation and Criminology at the National University of Interior];

-  “Analysis of the Sociological Poll Results on the Problem of Cruel Treatment in Ukraine” [Yuriy Bilousov, PhD (sociology), Instructor at the Sub-Faculty of Applied Sociology at the National University of Interior].

The speakers used interactive methods of presentation and elements of role-games. In the course of seminars, a new team of instructors was created. That team was able to turn the mix of individual lectures into an integral presentation.

The seminar participants received literature, published by KhPG in the framework of the Project, and The Istanbul Protocol: The Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. (reprinted publication by KhPG).

Training seminars for lawyers

Within the reporting period, 2 training seminars have been held in Kharkiv and Sevastopol.

During 7-8 February 2004, KhPG held a 2-day training seminar “Practice of Use of the European Standards in Protection from Torture and Right to Liberty in the National Legal Procedures” for Kharkiv lawyers. The seminar was attended by 28 persons. Among its participants there were 20 lawyers (17 from Kharkiv, 2 from Simferopol, 1 from Kyiv), 4 senior students of the Yaroslav Mudry National Law Academy, 2 instructors of the National University of Interior, 2 members of NGOs – 14 men and 14 women.

A similar training seminar, organized by KhPG together with the Sevastopol Group for Human Rights Protection, took place during 23-24 April 2004 in Sevastopol (Crimea). It was attended by 29 persons, including 20 lawyers, 4 assistant lawyers, 5 members of NGOs – 20 men and 9 women. 

The participants of each seminar learned about the Project and the Fund for the Professional Support to Victims of Torture and Cruel Treatment. They heard the following lectures: “General Overview of the European Convention and Its Protocols. Overview of the European Court’s Proceedings,” “Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights in Respect of Article 3 of the Convention. National Tools of Protection under Article 3 of the Convention,” “Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights in Respect of Article 5 of the Convention. National Tools of Protection under Article 5 of the Convention.” They also discussed criteria of admissibility for cases, used by the European Court. The participants could take part in a moot court, during which two cases were considered. In case #1, one group represented the applicant, another the Government. In case #2, they switched the roles.

In Kharkiv, according to the results of the 12-point evaluation sheets, the participants evaluated the training seminar elements, as follows:

-  General impression – 10.10

-  Organization – 11.80

-  Actuality of the topic – 10.625 to 11.125 (depending on the topic)

There was no element on the evaluation sheet, which was rated lower than 10.25.

In Sevastopol, the ratings were as follows:

-  General impression – 10.80

-  Organization – 10.36

-  Handouts – 10.09

-  Actuality of the topic – 11.36 to 11.72

-  Quality of presentation – 9.9 to 10.45

The participants of both training seminars received literature, published by KhPG in the framework of the Project.

Preparing the materials for the course «Human Rights and Police»

In the course of this Project, members of the National University of Interior (Kharkiv) have studied contemporary approaches and active methods of instruction for future teachers of human rights at the educational system of the Ministry of Interior. In order to optimize the process of incorporating basic principles of human rights protection into everyday activities of the law-enforcement agencies, they studied a question of using such methods of instruction, which would provide fast and efficient instruction in official behavior compatible with the standards of human rights observation, specified in the international legislation.

The members of the University selected various kinds of lectures (problem lecture, lecture with two lecturers, lecture with anticipated errors, visualizing lecture); round-table, interdisciplinary seminar. They also substantiated use of a case study method, which effectiveness was proved during the seminars with law-enforcement personnel. Materials of the planned guidebook will address in particular development of management games on the subject of observation of human rights and preparation of systemic seminars with participation of various subjects of law-enforcement activity.

Lessons and 7 case studies were developed for course “Human Rights and Police” on use of weapons by police officers and treatment of detained persons.

Within the reporting period, 5 seminars were held for police personnel and instructors from schools of higher education at the Ministry of Interior, where they were taught new standards in the sphere of human rights, in 5 following locations:

-  24-28 November 2003 – Berminvody (Kharkiv Region) – 20 participants

-  2-6 February 2004 – Sumy – 20 participants

-  22-26 March 2004 – Zaporizhya – 20 participants

-  26-30 April 2004 – Odessa – 20 participants

-  17-21 May 2004 – Alushta (Crimea) – 20 participants

All participants of the seminars received a kit with literature on human rights, partially presented by KhPG.

On the basis of the materials gathered during the year, a concept of guidebook “Human Rights and Police in Ukraine” has been developed.

The results of the work have been presented to KhPG in a form of a report (27 pages, A4 Format).

Publications

1.  Проти катувань №22(63): Міжнародні механізми запобігання катуванням та жорстокому поводженню/ Харківська правозахисна група. – Харків: Фоліо, 2004, 192 с. (1000 прим.) [Against Torture №22(63): International Mechanisms for Prevention from Torture and Cruel Treatment. Kharkiv: KhPG - Folio, 2004, 192 pp. (1,000 copies).]

2.  Проти катувань №27(68): Європейські механізми запобігання катуванням та жорстокому поводженню/ Харківська правозахисна група. – Харків: Фоліо, 2003, 160 с. (1000 прим.) [Against Torture №27(68): European Mechanisms for Prevention from Torture and Cruel Treatment. Kharkiv: KhPG - Folio, 2004, 160 pp. (1,000 copies).]

3.  Проти катувань №29(70): Аркадій Бущенко. Стаття 5 Конвенції про захист прав людини та основних свобод. Систематизований дайджест рішень Європейського Суду з прав людини./ Харківська правозахисна група. (Спеціальний випуск №29(70) інформаційно-аналітичного бюлетеня «Права людини») – Харків: Фоліо, 2003, 288 с. (1000 прим.) [Against Torture № 29(70): Arkadiy Buschenko. Article 5 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: Systemized Digest of Judgments by the European Court of Human Rights. Kharkiv: KhPG - Folio, 2003, 288 pp. (1,000 copies).]

4.  Проти катувань №30(71): Огляд повідомлень щодо жорстокого поводження та катувань. 2003/ Харківська правозахисна група. (Спеціальний випуск №30(71) інформаційно-аналітичного бюлетеня «Права людини») – Харків: Фоліо, 2004, 368 с. (1000 прим.) [Against Torture № 30(71): Review of Reports on Cruel Treatment and Torture: 2003. Kharkiv: KhPG - Folio, 2004, 368 pp. (1,000 copies).]

5.  Проти катувань №35(76): Огляд повідомлень про жорстоке поводження і застосування катувань в Україні (червень 2001 – грудень 2002)/ Харківська правозахисна група. (Спеціальний випуск №35(76) інформаційно-аналітичного бюлетеня «Права людини») – Харків: Фоліо, 2004, 224 с. (1000 прим.) [Against Torture № 35(76): Review of Reports on Cruel Treatment and Torture in Ukraine: June 2001 – December 2002. Kharkiv: KhPG - Folio, 2004, 224 pp. (1,000 copies).]

6.  Against Torture No. 35(76): Reports of Messages against Torture and Cruel Treatment in Ukraine (June 2001 – December 2002). Kharkiv: KhPG - Folio, 2004, 112 pp. (500 copies).

7.  Механізм у галузі прав людини. Виклад фактів №1 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 24 с. (1000 прим.) [Human Rights Machinery: Fact Sheet No. 1. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 24 pp. (1,000 copies).]

8.  Міжнародний білль про права людини. Виклад фактів №2 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 68 с. (1000 прим.) [The International Bill of Human(Rev. 1): Fact Sheet No. 2. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 68 pp. (1,000 copies).]

9.  Консультативне обслуговування і технічна допомога у галузі прав людини. Виклад фактів №3 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 16 с. (1000 прим.) [Advisory Services and Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights(Rev. l): Fact Sheet No. 3. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 16 pp. (1,000 copies).]

10.  Боротьба проти катувань: документи. Виклад фактів №4 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 52 с. (1000 прим.) [Methods of Combating Torture: Fact Sheet No. 4. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 52 pp. (1,000 copies).]

11.  Програма дій на друге Десятиліття дій боротьби проти расизму і расової дискримінації. Виклад фактів №5 - Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 14 с. (1000 прим.) [Programme of Action for the Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination: Fact Sheet No. 5. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 14 pp. (1,000 copies).]

12.  Насильницьке або недобровільне зникнення осіб. Виклад фактів №6 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 24 с. (1000 прим.) [Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance(Rev. 2): Fact Sheet No. 6. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 24 pp. (1,000 copies).]

13.  Процедури подання і розгляду скарг. Виклад фактів №7 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 20 с. (1000 прим.) [Communications Procedures: Fact Sheet No. 7. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 20 pp. (1,000 copies).]

14.  Всесвітня кампанія з інформування громадськості про права людини. Виклад фактів №8  – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 16 с. (1000 прим.) [World Public Information Campaign for Human Rights: Fact Sheet No. 8. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 16 pp. (1,000 copies).]

15.  Права корінних народів. Виклад фактів №9  – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 16 с. (1000 прим.) [The Rights of Indigenous Peoples(Rev.2): Fact Sheet No. 9. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 16 pp. (1,000 copies).]

16.  Права дитини. Виклад фактів №10  – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 36 с. (1000 прим.) [The Rights of the Child(Rev. 1): Fact Sheet No. 10. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 36 pp. (1,000 copies).]

17.  Страти за спрощеним судочинством або безпідставні страти. Виклад фактів №11 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 24 с. (1000 прим.) [Summary or Arbitrary Executions(Rev. 1): Fact Sheet No. 11. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 24 pp. (1,000 copies).]

18.  Комітет ліквідації расової дискримінації. Виклад фактів №12 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 28 с. (1000 прим.) [The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Fact Sheet No. 12. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 28 pp. (1,000 copies).]

19.  Міжнародне гуманітарне право і права людини. Виклад фактів №13 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 16 с. (1000 прим.) [International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights: Fact Sheet No. 13. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 16 pp. (1,000 copies).]

20.  Сучасні форми рабства. Виклад фактів №14 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 12 с. (1000 прим.) [Contemporary Forms of Slavery: Fact Sheet No. 14. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 12 pp. (1,000 copies).]

21.  Громадські і політичні права: Комітет прав людини. Виклад фактів №15 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 40 с. (1000 прим.) [Civil and Political Rights: The Human Rights Committee: Fact Sheet No. 15. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 40 pp. (1,000 copies).]

22.  Комітет економічних, соціальних і культурних прав. Виклад фактів №16 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 16 с. (1000 прим.) [The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Rev. l): Fact Sheet No. 16. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 16 pp. (1,000 copies).]

23.  Комітет проти катувань. Виклад фактів №17 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 36 с. (1000 прим.) [The Committee against Torture: Fact Sheet No. 17. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 36 pp. (1,000 copies).]

24.  Права меншин. Виклад фактів №18 – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 14 с. (1000 прим.) [Minority Rights(Rev. 1): Fact Sheet No. 18. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 14 pp. (1,000 copies).]

25.  Національні установи, які займаються захистом і заохоченням прав людини. Виклад фактів №19. Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 20 с. (1000 прим.) [National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Fact Sheet No. 19. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 20 pp. (1,000 copies).]

26.  «Права людини» (ХПГ-Інформ). Інформаційний бюлетень Харківської правозахисної групи.(июнь 2003 – июнь 2004, 24 номера, 800 прим.) [Human Rights (KhPG-Inform): Information Bulletin of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. June 2003 – June 2004, 36 issues (24 issues in Ukrainian, 12 issues in English).]

27.  Стамбульский протокол: Руководство по эффективному расследованию и документированию пыток и других жестоких, бесчеловечных или унижающих человеческое достоинство видов обращения и наказания – Нью-Йорк и Женева: Организация Объединенных Наций, 2001 (репринтное издание ХПГ, 2003, 85 с. (500 прим.)) [The Istanbul Protocol: The Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. New York and Geneva: United Nations Organization, 2001 (reprinted publication by KhPG, 2003, 85 pp. (500 copies)).]

28.  Камиль Жиффар. Пытки: руководство по составлению сообщений. Процедуры документирования и составления заявлений о пытках в контексте международной системы защиты прав человека. – Колчестер: Центр прав человека: Эссекский университет, 2000 (репринтное издание ХПГ, 2003, 60 c. (100 прим.)) [Camille Giffard. The Torture Reporting Handbook: How to document and respond to allegations of torture within the international system for the protection of human rights. Colchester, UK: Human Rights Centre/University of Essex, 2000 (reprinted publication by KhPG, 2003, 60 pp. (100 copies)).]

29.  Дайджест судової практики Європейського суду з прав людини за статтею 3 Європейської Конвенції про захист прав людини та основних свобод – Харків: Харківська правозахисна група, 2004, 27 с. (500 прим.) [Digest of Judgments by the European Court of Human Rights: Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Kharkiv: KhPG, 2004, 27 pp. (500 copies).]

The publications under the Project have been distributing, as follows:

-  At seminars for the target groups (human rights activists, judges, law-enforcement personnel, lawyers). Each participant receives a kit with materials on the topic of the seminar, which core is usually comprised by KhPG publications.

-  At seminars on related projects KhPG is in. As a rule, at each seminar, KhPG sets up an exhibition of its latest publications. In addition, at the exhibition, seminar participants can fill an order for additional copies, which are sent to them later.

-  In KhPG’s Kharkiv office and public reception office: directly or through filling an order for larger number of copies.

KhPG regularly send copies of its publications to public libraries throughout Ukraine, as well as to colleges and universities (to order). Information about new publications regularly appears on KhPG web-site (www.khpg.org) and information bulletins “Prava Ludiny” (Human Rights).

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