Kharkiv Regional Appeal Court reviews alleged beating of two adolescents by the police in Bily Kolodyaz
In September 2006 two young lads – one 14, the other 16 from the village of Bily Kolodyaz in the Vovchansky district of the Kharkiv region were allegedly beaten by the police who had been called in after a row broke out outside the disco, during which the boys were claimed to have used obscene language and disturbed the peace.
The father of the 14-year-old – Oleksandr Skrypnyk – approached the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group on behalf of the two lads.
The Vovchansky district prosecutors office twice refused to launch a criminal investigation over the police officers actions. These refusals were twice revoked, first by a higher-level prosecutor, then by the court.
However the Vovchansky district prosecutors office, instead of looking into the case, establishing all the circumstances and passing a lawful resolution, decided to use the appeal court to overturn the courts ruling.
On 18 January the Kharkiv Appeal Court reviewed the appeal lodged by Senior Assistant to the Vovchansky district Prosecutor. The Skrypnyk family was represented by KHPG lawyer Aigul Mukanova. We are pleased to report that the Appeal Court rejected the appeal and upheld the original ruling revoking the resolution of the prosecutors office which refused to launch a criminal investigation. It is cheering that the Judges of the Appeal Court treated the case in a principled manner and reminded the prosecutors office of their duty to observe all Ukrainian legislation.
The case is continuing. We will see what happens later, whether the Vovchansky district prosecutors office will rectify their previous mistakes and finally do what the laws of Ukraine require of them.