Lawyers’ Statement regarding Police treatment of Defence Lawyer D. Karpenko
The President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych
The Prosecutor General, Victor Pshonka
The Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Nina Karpachova
The Council of Europe
The Council of Bar and Law Societies of Europe
The American Bar Association
All people of good will
As Ukrainian lawyers, we are outraged by the fact that the Cherkasy police, instead of defending the law, acted in flagrant breach of it with respect to our colleague, Dmitry Karpenko, subjecting him to quite unacceptable treatment.
On 17 August 2001 at about 5 p.m. in the Sosnovsky District Court in Cherkasy, Ukrainian lawyer Dmitry Karpenko who was defending his client in course of his criminal prosecution was unlawfully apprehended and beaten by officers from the special division “Sokol” of the MIA Department for Fighting Organized Crime of Department. The officers handcuffed Mr Karpenko, threw him to the ground and beat him in the presence of several eye-witnesses. After that he was forced into a police van and driven away in an unspecified direction. He was held against his will for an hour during which time the officers subjected him to torture and ill-treatment, before finally releasing him. Mr Karpenko immediately sought medical assistance. The doctors diagnosed a closed brain injury, concussion, numerous injuries to the soft tissue of the torso and limbs; a kidney injury and a number of lacerations to the arms. He is still in hospital.
Representatives of the authorities in a member-state of the Council of Europe which hopes to join the European Union must, in their day-to-day work, unwaveringly observe the principles of those organizations. People have the fundamental right to not be subjected to torture or inhuman treatment. In accordance with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights no one shall be subjected to torture and inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. In this case, representatives of the authorities resorted to a flagrant violation of this absolute right
The actions of the police officers hear the hallmarks of criminal offences for which they should be held liable.
We therefore call upon the above-mentioned high-ranking Ukrainian public officials and international organizations, as well as all people of good will, to demand that an effective investigation into this appalling treatment of Dmitry Karpenko is carried out and that those responsible are held to answer.
Gennady Tokarev, Ivah Tkach, Alexander Bondarenko, Maria Kaminska, Alexander Bishkov, Irina Bessarabenko, Alexei Varva, Victoria Kitsyuk, Victoria Kovalenko, Valery Kononenko, Gennady Krivoruchko, Elena Kutepova, Sergei Medvedev, Sergei Pozdnyakov, Olga Cherednichenko, Olga Shatova, Viacheslav Yakimenko