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26.11.2009

Conceal ill-treatment by moving the victim?

   

The Centre for Legal and Political Studies “SIM” has expressed concern over allegations that prisoners in the Lutsk SIZO [investigative isolation unit] have been beaten and the refusal of SIZO staff to allow visits to the prisoners in question.

On 10 November relatives of convicted prisoner V. Voznyak approached the SIM Public Advice Centre asking that legal aid be provided to Voznyak who had allegedly been beaten in the Lutsk SIZO.  They claimed that he had a considerable number of injuries, for example, bruises and broken fingers on both hands.

SIM approached the Lviv Regional Division of the Department for the Execution of Sentences asking that the allegations be checked and that the organization’s representatives have the opportunity to meet with Voznyak, this being in accordance with Article 8 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It was refused permission on the grounds of quarantine in connection with the flu epidemic, but promised a meeting after quarantine is removed.

SIM also received information regarding O. Moskavchuk, another convicted prisoner in the same SIZO, who was allegedly also beaten. SIM has also made repeated applications to the Lviv Regional Division of the Department for the Execution of Sentences, asking for permission for a SIM representative to meet the prisoner and provide legal aid. No reply has been forthcoming.

On 24 November SIM received information from trusted sources which confirm the allegations of beating and injuries. One of the prisoners is also alleging that he is being given unknown medication which is seriously impairing his state of heath.

On 25 November the two young men are being transferred to Penal Colony No. 42.

SIM notes that this is not the first time it has received reports of beatings of prisoners in the Lutsk SIZO with the prisoners’ subsequent transfer to the Lviv SIZO No. 19.  On an earlier occasion, when permission to see a prisoner had finally been received, they were informed that he had been moved to the place where he was to serve his sentence, although unofficial sources suggested he was still at Lviv SIZO No. 19.

In view of these cases, SIM asks for help in providing its representative or those of other authoritative human rights organizations with access in order to provide legal aid to prisoners Voznyak and Moskavchuk;

That prisoners Voznyak and Moskavchuk undergo a medical check-up to see whether they have injuries;

It calls on the public to draw the attention of the Lviv Regional Division of the Department for the Execution of Sentences to such allegations and to seek checks and measures to preclude transfers of prisoners in order to conceal the marks of ill-treatment.  It also asks the media to pay heed to such attempts to conceal incidents of beating.

From a press release by Lidia Topolevska, President of Centre for Legal and Political Studies “SIM”

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