13 remand prisoners in Komsomolsk didn’t try to cut their wrists for nothing


On 23 February the Poltava Regional Prosecutor’s Office acknowledged that the conditions in the Komsomolsk temporary holding unit [ITT]* where 13 people tried to cut their wrists two days ago are unsatisfactory.. The Prosecutor, Viktor Voitsyshen told journalists that the prosecutor’s office had carried out an investigation which had identified numerous infringements. For example, in all cells the temperature was lower than the required norm, and the premises were in an unsanitary state. He added that the food received was not sufficient for the norms established in legislation. As a result, relatives of those held in custody, with the consent of the management of the Komsomolsk police station, bring parcels each day, although according to the law people held in custom are entitled to parcels only twice a month.

According to Mr Voitsyshyn, based on the results of the prosecutor’s office check, a report has been submitted to the head of the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Poltava region demanding that the irregularities identified be rectified, that an internal inquiry be held and those responsible be punished in accordance with the law.

*  ізолятор тимчасового тримання is a temporary holding facility [ITT from the Ukrainian] before charges are laid.  This seems logical since it is attached to a police station, however the initial reports spoke of слідчий ізолятор which is an investigative isolation unit or remand centre [SIZO], where prisoners are remanded in custody pending trial.  The conditions in both are notoriously bad, and not all journalists clearly distinguish, which is presumably the reason for the discrepancy on this occasion [translator]

Follow the links below for the last two days reports on this incident.

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