Donetsk Memorial: Police still beat detainees with impunity


Prisoners in Ukraine remain quite restricted in their access to legal aid, the human rights NGO Donetsk Memorial states in its annual Report on Prisoners’ Rights.

The report analyzes the level to which law enforcement officers observe the rights of detainees and people remanded in custody. Oleksandr Bukalov, Head of Donetsk Memorial, reports some progress for the first time in the work of penal institutions. The conditions are gradually improving and personnel try to observe standards in treatment of prisoners. However funding of these institutions remains a problem.

Individuals are defenceless against the police

The improvements however are nothing compared to the fact that the police continue to beat people, even applying new forms and methods of beating, Mr Bukalov told the Ukrainian Service of Deutsche Welle. He adds that the Prosecutor’s Office is good at finding ways of not bringing police officers to answer. “Innocent people are grabbed, beaten and only later do they establish whether they’re guilty or not. And they do this with impunity”.

According to Donetsk Memorial’s information, one in five police officers questioned, for example, in the Donetsk region, said that they could not carry out their duties without violating human rights.

Mr Bukalov reports that there can be no accurate statistics regarding such lawless behaviour by the police, however approximate estimates suggest that there are hundreds of thousands of cases per year throughout Ukraine. Although there is a trend downwards, in view of the overall figures, the situation remains worrying.

From a report by Karina Ohanesian at,,5586463,00.html

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