How many innocent Ukrainians are serving life sentences?


As of 1 November 2011 Ukraine’s penal institutions were holding 11, 4884 priosners. Of these 1, 746 people are serving life sentences, this being more than one and a half percent of the total number of prisoners. The figure is rising steadily and fairly soon will reach the point where for every 100 prisoners, two are serving life sentences. Most of them were convicted by first instance appellate courts, and were effectively deprived of their right to appeal at cassation level.

How many people serving life are innocent?   This question will be addressed at a press conference on 30 November, together with questions regarding whether there are effective mechanisms for reviewing court rulings and its practice of enforcing (or not) European Court of Human Rights judgements.

Those endeavouring to answer these vital questions: Arkady Bushchenko, Head of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, bar lawyer with considerable experience of representing applicants at the European Court of Human Rights; Andriy Didenko from KHPG; Yury Karamzin, MP; Volodomyr Kolbantsev, bar lawyer; Elina Shyshkina, MP and Olena Taleyeva, journalist.

Invitations have been issued to the Prosecutor’s Office; the State Judicial Administration; the President’s Administration; the Human Rights Ombudsperson; the Government Representative at the European Court of Human Rights.

Time:    11.00 on 30 November

Place    10b Khreshchatyk first floor, media hall “Region News”

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