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29.10.2010

Poltava MIA accuse human rights activists of discrediting the police

   

The criticism followed appeals from UHHRU to the Prosecutor General and KHPG to the Minister of Internal Affairs to ensure protection for V. Kornilenko. The latter has publicly admitted that he helped the police to falsify criminal cases.

As reported here, on 22 September Mr Kornilenko who is from Poltava  issued a statement in which he said that under the instructions of officers of the anti-drug department of the Poltava Department of the MIA, he took part in provoking crimes and falsifying criminal file material. He also stated that he had previously, under pressure from police officers from different departments within the Poltava region, on many occasions taken part in such “operations”.

Kornilenko said that he had had to “collaborate” since he was frightened that they would initiate a criminal investigation against him. 

The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union has welcomed the posting on the Poltava MIA website official notification of the testimony of Kornilenko regarding the methods and form of his work for the law enforcement officers.

Unfortunately the report says very little about the essence of the allegations, and rather uses details about Kornilenko himself to suggest that one cannot seriously consider the possibility of violating the rights of people who themselves broke the law, the implication being that it is questionable whether they have such rights.

It must be said that this is a position consistently presented by both the MIA and the Prosecutor’s Office. It explains why victims of torture and other forms of abuse at the hands of law enforcement officers can find justice only in the European Court of Human Rights where, unlike the MIA, they do not consider a person who has broken the law to have lost his rights.

The MIA accuse journalists of only listening to one side of the story, yet an attempt by a journalist from Channel 5 to hear the other side was met by a fairly strong suggestion where to go by a police officer. UHHRU therefore welcomes the attempts by a representative of the MIA to express their views in a fuller fashion, using rather more traditional vocabulary.  It also suggests that the fact that the MIA has effectively confirmed that the fears expressed by human rights organizations’s regarding Kornilenko’s safety are not unfounded should prompt the Prosecutor General to take immediate action. They say that the MIA’s statements about the threats from the criminal world confirm that Kornilenko is not making anything up since only real, not fictitious victims of “voluntary” cooperation with the police can be a threat. If the danger is real, then the victims of provocations and falsification are also not made up.

UHHRU believes that the information from the MIA in Poltava, together with that provided by Kornilenko, give grounds for a thorough investigation into this “voluntary cooperation” between Kornilenko and the law enforcement bodies.

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