ANNUAL REPORT 2010
2. Prevention of torture and ill treatment
3. Improvement of the legislation and practice on access to information
4. Informing the Ukrainian and international communities about the human rights in Ukraine
Appendix. List of the grants
In 2010 the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (hereinafter, the Kharkiv Group or KHPG) continued to work in three directions:
·legal enlightenment and popularisation of law-protecting ideas;
·analysis of the status of human rights in Ukraine;
·help to citizens whose rights were abused, public investigations of facts of violating human rights.
In 2010 one of the most important directions of KHPG activities was prevention of torture and ill-treatment. It includes analytical, lawmaking and lobbying activities, awareness-raising and educational activities, as well as development of a system of legal aid for victims of tortures and development and strengthening a network for preventing torture. So, Our experts conduct analysis of national legislation, drafts law and practice on regular basis. Our experts took part in preparing and discussing internal normative acts of the Penitentiary Department, draft law on National Preventing Mechanisms (NPM), the law drafts directed to provide better access to public information. Together with new partner, Association UMHR, we prepared comprehensive review on activities of militia during first 100 days of new Minister and 2010 concerning human rights. KHPG’s experts were preparing constantly updated review of the relevant ECtHR case-law. We created quite strong working connections between regional human rights NGOs and lawyers in order to investigate torture cases. Members of the partners and other human rights organisations have extended advisory aid to the citizens, conducted public investigations within their competence and extended aid by professional lawyers cooperating with their organisations. We have provided consultation and help to 92 victims of torture and ill-treatment and other violations. We have carried out legal assistance within the framework of the activity of the Legal Aid Centre in 49 cases, 41 of which were financed by the Centre. 19 judgments were adopted by the European Court of Human Rights in cases supported by the Centre. We anticipate from 12 to 18 more judgments of European Court to be received in 2011. We conducted the following educational events: two one-day seminars for judges, three 5-days trainings for lawyers, one 2-days seminar for prosecutors and 3-days school on human rights for the personnel of the Association UMHR. Furthermore, we hold a journalist competition «Against torture!» for the best work on the topic and 3-days training for winners of the competition. We held several press-conferences and other public actions devoted to prevention of torture and ill-treatment.
KHPG Public Reception Office (PRO) for people, whose rights were abused, worked actively. Along with 2010 KHPG received 2031 written complaints about the violation of human rights by state bodies. We have finished 1210 cases and received positive results in 532 cases. In addition, we gave more than 2846 oral consultations.
In 2010 KHPG continued to develop law and practice concerning access to information, in particular access to archives. KHPG also continued a campaign against xenophobia and discrimination in Ukraine. In addition, we continued research of the history of dissident movement in Ukraine, preparation and publication of the books on this theme.
KHPG continued to fulfil functions of the Centre for the existing network, which connects regional right protecting organisations in all regions of Ukraine. KHPG gathered information on human right abuses, to lead analytical and law-educating activities. Facts of human right abuses and their primary analysis were described in the bulletin ‘Prava Ludyny’ (PL, twice a month, with a monthly edition in English). Our monthly ‘Prava Ludyny. Human Rights Education’ (HRE) included materials on teaching human rights to children and various social and professional groups. In addition, KHPG renewed publication of the quarterly “Freedom of Expression and Privacy”. These editions distributed among NGOs and individuals which are interested in such themes as well as state bodies, mass media, libraries, etc.
The same channels were used for the distribution of law-educating literature, prepared and published in the Kharkiv Group separately or jointly with other organisations, various informative materials prepared by the Kharkiv Group jointly with other. Such materials we published in the form of books in 1000 copies. In 2010 KHPG printed 14 editions. Furthermore, KHPG satisfied 412 petitions from different regions of Ukraine about sending information materials on human rights and distributed these materials among participants of the educational events.
The disseminating information about human rights violations, activities of the Group and members of the network was run through KHPG website www.khpg.org included Ukrainian, Russian and English versions. Average number of visitors was approximately 1279 per day.
Total expenditures of the Group were 4159, 173 UAH. Please, see list of donors in the Appendix.
2. PREVENTION OF TORTURE AND ILL TREATMENT
2.1.1. General notes
On permanent basis, we have maintained our analytical work, including:
monitoring Parliament’s legislative work;
studying international documents and monitoring the practice of international bodies;
preparing draft laws,
preparing and/or providing consultation on preparing by-law;
giving expert opinions on draft laws, administrative practice and drawing up recommendations;
discussing models for NPM, based around their advantages and disadvantages;
cooperating with SPT and CPT;
carrying out a widespread information campaign to gain support for the implementation of OPCAT and creation of NPM.
During our activities, we have co-operated with the Ministry of Justice, in particular with a special department therein – the Office of the Governmental Agent in the European Convention on Human Rights in order to use the mechanisms created by the law «On the enforcement of the judgments and use of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights» to exert influence on legislative and norm creating activity of ministries and departments.
We have also taken part in drawing up other elements of the legal system, which are important for preventing torture, for example, participated in drafting a new Code of Criminal Procedure.
We also conducted in depth analysis of the Criminal Punishment Execution Code and other related legislation from the prospect of rights and security of the prisoners and detainees.
We have also participated in discussion on and lobbying of drafts Law on Free Legal Aid System and related regulation, a new Freedom of Information Law, Law on Access to Public Information and laws combating discrimination, xenophobia and hate crimes.
We have regularly taken part in developing recommendations on orders, instructions and other normative provisions of the MIA and State Department on Execution of Punishment.
Also we have continued to prepare commentaries for publication on the compliance of national legislation and practice to international and regional standards of human rights protection. These commentaries are based both on theoretical studies, and on specific cases, the results of monitoring and reports from other human rights organizations. The Centre’s work (see chapter 2.2.2. below) has allow us to gather detailed information about not only facts of torture and ill-treatment, but also about the real functioning of system for prevention of ill-treatment, available remedies and their operating. The information collected by the PROs and Centre was also indispensable for drafting efficient amendments to legislation and well-grounded lobbying for changes through public pressure campaigns and other forms of awareness-raising activity.
The examples of our analytical activities are presented below:
2.1.2. Preparation of draft law on national prevention mechanisms
KHPG legal experts took part in preparing and discussing draft law on National Preventing Mechanisms (NPM) against torture and ill-treatment. We gave our recommendations to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine as to the draft of the law on NPM, prepared comments on existing mechanisms of the control over places of detention and proposals on models of NPM that include detailed analysis of advantages and disadvantages of each model. We take active part in modification of the text of the draft Act to the date. The draft law foresees the creation of a new body called National commission for prevention of tortures. Unfortunately, these procedures last longer than we expected mostly due to the State authorities’ attitude. Ministry of Justice sent the draft law to many different state bodies in order to receive their recommendations and/or comments, which takes exorbitant time; we believe that it is not necessary to involve irrelevant state authorities in preparation of the mentioned draft law, because in any case it will be examined in relevant Parliamentary Committee and verified many more times after its registration in the Parliament. But, unfortunately, Cabinet of Ministers did not agree with the draft. Now we are preparing together with specialists from the Ministry of Justice a regulation on a National commission for prevention of torture under President of Ukraine. This Commission has to work before adoption corresponding law on NPM. We hope that we can prepare a new draft law on NPM in the framework of this Commission.
2.1.3. Preparation of comprehensive review on activities of militia during first 100 days of new Minister
Unfortunately, we lost one of the state partners, MIA Department of monitoring human rights in the MIA activities. This Department was abolished by new Minister of Interior. In order to preserve the potential of the former Minister’s Assistants for Human Rights and to use their experience, we have initiated the establishment of the Association of Ukrainian Monitors of Human Rights in Law Enforcement Agencies (Association UMHR). KHPG together with the former Minister’s Assistants for Human Rights prepared a review on MIA activities in the period of first 100 days after changing the management of the MIA (after presidential election in 2010).
The review contains analysis of activities of Ministry of Interior. It includes analysis of new tendencies in MIA’s activities, new regulations and personnel policy in above period. Special attention was paid to relations between new management and civil organizations, changing of the personnel, criteria of the MIA activities, approaches to securing freedom of assemblies and to specific problem of seizure of firearms etc.
Report has been printed in 1000 copies (100 pages, format 60x84 1/16) and presented in the two press-conferences in Kyiv and Kharkiv. It was sent to the MIA and its 27 regional departments, Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court, 27 Appeal Courts, General Prosecutor Office and 27 regional prosecutor offices, Ombudsman office, Ministry of Justice and its 27 regional departments, libraries, human rights organizations, etc.
2.1.4. Analysis of some aspects of criminal justice operating
Experts of KHPG prepared analytical review of operation of criminal justice system in several areas. It included analysis of law and interim regulation showing existence of such indicator as «solved cases» in activities of Ministry of Interior. It also concerns the widespread practice of entrapment in «combating drug trafficking”. Some structural problems in police detention, undercover activities and violation of right to privacy were enlightened. There was also review of complaining mechanism in militia. Special aspects of criminal prosecution of minors were also analysed.
2.1.5. Preparation of comprehensive review on activities of militia in 2010
KHPG together with the new partner, Association UMHR, summarized results of the monitoring human rights in the activities of the MIA and prepared an annual report «Human Rights in the activities of the Ukrainian police in 2010», which included the following sections:
- Problems of Human Rights of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine (general overview);
- Ensuring the right to life;
- Protection from torture and ill-treatment;
- Ensuring the right to liberty and security;
- Conditions of detention in preliminary detention centres. The activity of mobile groups;
- Ensure the right to peaceful assemblies;
- Respect for human rights to privacy in the MIA activities;
- Status of ownership and the MIA activities;
- Prevention of domestic violence and trafficking;
- Protecting childrens rights in the context of the MIA activities;
- Protecting the rights of foreigners, refugees and asylum seekers;
- Combating discrimination, racism and xenophobia;
- Work with police staff, the rights of police officers.
Report has been printed in 1000 copies (276 pages, format 60x84 1/16) and distributed at the Parliamentary hearings on 1 December. It was sent to the MIA and its 27 regional departments, Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court, 27 Appeal Courts, General Prosecutor Office and 27 regional prosecutor offices, Ombudsman office, Ministry of Justice and its 27 regional departments, libraries, human rights organizations, etc.
2.1.6. Preparation of several chapters in annual report «Human Rights in Ukraine – 2009-2010
Experts of KHPG was conducting review of legislation, draft law, interim regulation and administrative and judicial practice (including international case law) while preparing chapters of «Human Rights in Ukraine – 2009-2010», such as general review, constitutional process, civil assessment of state policy on human rights, right to life, prohibition of torture, right to liberty, right to a fair trial, freedom of information, right to privacy, right to health, rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, right of servicemen and rights of prisoners.
2.1.7. Preparing of review of the ECtHR case-law concerning Ukraine and review of its Grand Chamber judgments
KHPG’s experts was preparing constantly updated review of the relevant ECtHR case-law and published it on the web-site http://www.hr-lawyers.org
2.1.8. Other activities
In the reported period KHPG experts together with experts of other human rights organizations have prepared numerous comments and recommendations on legal problems concerning human rights in Ukraine, such as constitutional problems, court system, elections, freedom from torture and ill-treatment, freedom of expression, right to privacy, freedom of peaceful assemblies, right to labour and others (see:
Representatives of KHPG informed international audience about HR situation in Ukraine during OSCE meetings in Warsaw on 6-7 October 2010 and Astana on 26-28 November 2010. They also participated in press-conference parallel to summit Ukraine-EU on 22 November 2010 where issues raising concern were commented.
In addition, representatives of KHPG took part in the meeting with the European Court of Human Rights, and the preliminary meeting and debriefing conducted under support of OSI from 20 to 22 October 2010.
We also took part in the meeting on Assessing Prison Complaints Mechanisms in the CEE FSU Region conducted by Hungary Helsinki Committee in Budapest in November 2010.
2.2. Development of the system for legal aid to victims of torture and ill treatment
2.2.1. Providing legal consultation by KHPG’s Public reception office
During the reporting period KHPG Public reception office has provided consultation and help to 2031 people in question. 92 among them were victims of torture and/or ill-treatment. Allocation of visitors to KHPG PRO in time is given in the following table:
Provided consultation and help to the applicants by KHPG reception office
Victims of torture and/or ill-treatment among them
122 were complaining on arbitrary detention, arrest or violations during investigation. 123 people complained as to total ignorance of their complaints and/or applications to competent state bodies. 162 people complained on violation of right to a fair trial, including 44 complaints on exorbitant lengths of proceedings before national courts and 25 complaints – on failure to enforce judgments at law.
KHPG Public reception office and 14 our partners administrating their public reception offices have provided consultation and help to 11, 052 people whose rights were allegedly abused during the reported period. 172 among them were victims of torture and/or ill-treatment (complains concerned violations in establishments of MIA and State Department on Execution of Punishments). 286 were complaining on arbitrary detention, arrest or violations during investigation. It is necessary to mention that 1203 complains were related to courts of Ukraine. 453 people complained on exorbitant lengths of proceedings before national courts and 279 – on failure to enforce judgments at law. 471 were complaining on violations during proceedings before national courts. 647 people complained as to total ignorance of their complaints and/or applications to competent state bodies. 182 people complained on inadequacy or flagrant denial of medical help, in violation of their right on medical care. 586 people complained on interference with the right of their individual and/or family life. The situation with the applicant’s complains to KHPG Public reception office and those of our 14 partners can be shown more detailed in the following table:
KHPG Public reception office
Total (including reports of our partners)
Torture and/or ill-treatment
Arbitrary detention arrest or violations during investigation
Violations during court procedures
Exorbitant length of proceedings
Failure to enforce judgments at law
Compensation of damage
Ignorance of complains by authorities
Freelance relations in army
Inadequate medical examination before call-up
Inadequacy or flagrant denial of medical help
Right for private or/and family life
Freedom of assembly and associations
Freedom of expression
Freedom of religion
Assault, threat or other influence on human rights defender / activist
KHPG Public reception office and those of our partners have provided various consultations and help that can be summarized as follows:
KHPG Public reception office
Total (including reports of our partners)
Assistance in the preparation of procedural documents
Preparation of lawsuits
Representation in court
Inquire on behalf of the applicant
Preparation of the application to European court
Transference to another organization
Conduction of campaign
Rendering the literature
2.2.2. Providing legal assistance and representation to victims of torture and ill-treatment
The legal officers provided assistance and representation of victims of human rights violations, including representation before ECtHR. During the reporting period the European Court delivered 19 judgments in cases of the Legal Aid Centre:
18 February 2010 the European Court of Human Rights held three judgments in cases that were supported by the Legal Aid Centre.
In case of Puzan v. Ukraine (no. 51243/08) the Court found violation of Article 5 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention.
In case of Baysakov and others v. Ukraine (no. 54131/08) the European court held that the applicants’ extradition to Kazakhstan would be in violation of Article 3 of the Convention. It also found that there was a violation of Article 13 of the Convention.
In case of Myronenko v. Ukraine the Court concluded that the State authorities failed to carry out an effective investigation into the death of the applicants son (violation of the procedural limb of Article 2 of the Convention).
In case of Shalimov v. Ukraine (no. 20808/02) of 4 March 2010 the European court held that the interference with the applicants right to respect for his family life was not «in accordance with the law» as required by Article 8 § 2 of the Convention. It analysed Article 162 of the CCP of Ukraine and section 12(1) of the Pre-Trial Detention Act 1993 and noted that those provisions do not indicate with reasonable clarity the scope and manner of exercise of discretion conferred on the public authorities in respect of restrictions on detainees contacts with family. The Court held that there was a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention. It found violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention in respect of length of the proceedings and violation of Article 13 in that respect.
8 April 2010 in case of Lotarev v. Ukraine (no. 29447/04) the European court found that there was a violation of Article 3 of the Convention under its substantive and procedural limbs on account of the applicants ill-treatment in prison and lack of effective investigation.
In case of Kostychev v. Ukraine (no. 27820/04) the Court found a violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.
20 May 2010 the Court held judgments in case of Moskalenko v. Ukraine (no. 37466/04) the Court found a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention and in case of Kamyshev v. Ukraine (no. 3990/06) the Court found a violation of Article 5 § 1 (f) and 5 § 4 of the Convention.
24 June 2010 the Court held the judgment of Oleksiy Mykhaylovych Zakharkin v. Ukraine (no. 1727/04). The Court established that the injuries in question had been sustained by the applicant while under the control of the domestic authorities and considered that the State, having failed to provide any justifying explanation should be held responsible for them. It also concluded that criminal proceedings conducted by the domestic authorities in respect of the applicants allegations of ill-treatment did not prove to be effective. It found that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 1 and 5 § 3 of the Convention.
1 July 2010 the Court held the very important judgment of Davydov and Others v. Ukraine (nos. 17674/02 and 39081/02). The judgment was preceded by the Court’s fact-finding mission pursuant to Article 38 § 1 (a) of the Convention. It appointed three of its Judges as Delegates, Mr Rait Maruste, Ms Renate Jaeger and Mr Volodymyr Butkevych, to take evidence from witnesses at hearings conducted in the premises of the Khmelnytsky Regional Court of Appeal, Khmelnytsky, between 25 and 27 June 2007 and to visit Zamkova Prison situated in Iziaslav on 27 June 2007.
The Court held that the applicants received no medical treatment or assistance for the injuries inflicted on them in the course of the trainings and were detained in poor conditions in Zamkova Prison. It found violation of Article 13 of the Convention taken together with Article 3 of the Convention, on account of the lack of effective and accessible remedies under domestic law for the applicants complaints in respect of their ill-treatment and the injuries inflicted during the training exercises, the lack of medical treatment and assistance for these injuries, and also the poor conditions of detention. Finally, the Court found that there has been a violation of Article 8 § 1 of the Convention in that interference with the first, second and third applicants correspondence was not lawful and that no separate issue arises under Article 13 of the Convention, taken together with Article 8, in that they had no effective and accessible remedies for their complaints of interference with their correspondence.
17 July 2010 the Court held the judgment of Aleksandr Smirnov v. Ukraine (no. 38683/06). It found a violation of Article 3 of Convention both in material aspect and procedural aspect.
14 October 2010 the Court held two judgments. In case of Naydyon v. Ukraine (no. 16474/03) the Court concluded that Ukraine has failed to comply with its obligations under Article 34 of the Convention with respect of the refusal of the authorities to provide the applicant with copies of documents for his application to the Court. In case of Logvinenko v. Ukraine (no. 13448/07) the Court considered that the State authorities have not done what could be reasonably expected of them to discharge their Convention duty under Article 3 vis-à-vis the applicant. As a result, he was subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. The Court also found a violation of Article 13 of the Convention on account of the lack of an effective and accessible remedy under domestic law for the applicant’s complaints in respect of his treatment in and the conditions of detention.
21 October 2010 the Court held two judgments. In case of Kornev and Karpenko v. Ukraine (no. 17444/04) the Court found violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention. The Court also concluded that the applicant was not afforded adequate time and facilities for the preparation of her defence and found a violation of Article 6 § 3 of the Convention taken together with Article 6 § 1 of the Convention. In case of Petukhov v. Ukraine (no. 43374/02) the Court held that there was a violation of Article 3 of the Convention on account of a lack of adequate medical assistance in detention, violation of Article 5 § 1, 5 § 3 and 6 § 1 of the Convention. It also found a violation of Article 13 of the Convention on account of the lack of effective remedies in respect of the lack of medical assistance complained of.
In case of Leonid Lazarenko v. Ukraine (no. 22313/04, 28 October 2010) the Court noted that where an individual, as in the instant case, has been convicted by a court in proceedings which did not meet the Convention requirement of fairness, a retrial, a reopening or a review of the case, if requested, represents in principle an appropriate way of redressing the violation.
In Samardak v. Ukraine case (no. 43109/05, 4 November 2010), although there was no record of his state of health prior to and following his encounter with the police on the date of his questioning, in the light of the testimonies by police officers and in the absence of any alternative suggestions by the Government, the Court considered it established that the injuries had been sustained during his encounter with the police.
In case Borotyuk v. Ukraine (no. 33579/04, 16 December 2010), the Court found violation of Article 5 § 3 and Article 6 §§ 1 and 3(c) (right to remain silent and right to defence) of the Convention and noted that retrial would be the most appropriate form of restitutio.
In judgment Ichin and Others (nos. 28189/04 и 28192/04, 2 November 2010) the Court, in the first time in respect of Ukraine, examined detention of delinquent minors who, due their age, are non-competent to be punished under criminal law. The Court found that the system of such detention shows complete senselessness of detention because of lack any reasonable purpose for this measure and lack of any educational activities in detention centre.
The lawyers of Legal Aid Centre have prepared 24 applications to the European Court. Preparation of 16 applications has been supported by the Centre.
The Centre also provided assistance to 8 applicants before the European Court irrespective of priorities covered by its mandate and financed by the European Court under its legal aid scheme.
The lawyers of Legal Aid Centre have prepared 17 communications with the Government during the period in question. The Centre foresees that from 12 to 18 cases to be communicated during next period of the project.
2.3.Development and strengthening a network for preventing torture
2.3.1. Changing the partner organisation
Unfortunately, in 2010 we lost one of the state partners, MIA Department of monitoring human rights in the MIA activities. This Department was abolished by order of the new Minister of Interior on 18 February. In order to preserve the potential of the former Assistants Minister for Human Rights and to use their experience, we have initiated the establishment of the Association of Ukrainian monitors of human rights in the law enforcement agencies (hereafter, Association or AUMHR). The Constituent Assembly of the Association was held on 24 June. It was registered by the Ministry of Justice in October. We propose to introduce the Association as a new partner organisation and therefore change the budget respectively (to increase expenses under budget sub-line 188.8.131.52).
Association of UMHR started to produce guidelines for monitoring the actions of officials of the enforcement bodies of Ukraine. The first versions of guidelines for assessment actions of community policing officers, patrol police, traffic police, and duty offices were prepared. Guidelines provide a list of qualitative and quantitative indicators of actions by officials of the MIA, which allow providing an objective assessment of such components as the technology of communication with citizens, responding to violations, and prevention of crime prevention, the legality and validity of actions, appearance. The further improvement of these guidelines aims to establish methodological foundation for evaluation of the Ministry of external monitoring tools and start training activists NGOs technique of objective evaluation of police.
AUMHR together with KHPG conducted monitoring the new MIA regulation in 2010, illegal actions of the MIA officers in different spheres of the MIA activities. Results of the monitoring were summarised in view of the books «Human Rights in activities of the Ukrainian militia – 2009» (A5, 380 pages, 1000 copies), «100 days of new management of Ministry of Interior» (A5, 100 pages, 1000 copies), and «Human Rights in activities of the Ukrainian militia – 2010» (A5, 276 pages, 1000 copies) and presented in the three join press-conferences of KHPG and AUMHR as well as on the parliamentary hearing (see. 2.3.3).
2.3.2. Monitoring cases of torture and ill treatment
KHPG and its partner organizations conducted monitoring human rights in the law enforcing bodies’ activities, including cases of torture and other view of illegal violence. The regional partners in co-operation with lawyers collected information on facts of torture and ill-treatment from different sources (regional mass media, personal complaints to the public reception offices (PROs), official data etc.) and provide various form of legal assistance to victims. The PROs were in constant contact with the staff of the KHPG Legal Aid Centre with the aim to exchange information and knowledge, to elaborate the strategy of the case and adjust existing recourses to the needs of particular case. The KHPG also advised to partners in question, pass them educational materials.
During the project period KHPG members and our partners collected information on facts of torture and cruel treatment in the penitentiary system from various sources (regional mass media, personal complaints on torture to local NGOs and barristers, analysis of the work of the regional public reception offices, visit to establishments of the State Department on Execution of Punishments and so on) and protect victims of torture. They helped to victims of torture to compile claims to local prosecutor’s offices and courts, if the victims agree to complain. In order to render help, we rendered the legal aid in co-operation with the KHPG Legal Aid Centre. Simultaneously we collected the same materials for 2007-2009 concerned criminal executive system. We summarized all data in view of a book «Review of the information sources on torture and ill-treatment in the penal system (2007-2009)».
2.3.3. Conducting Parliamentary hearing on observance of HR in militia
During October and November 2010, KHPG and its partners were involved in preparing Parliamentary hearing on observance of HR in militia. We initiated the hearing through Parliamentary Committee on Law-Enforcement Activities.
Volumes of materials were prepared, including analytical reviews and statements of facts, including deaths and tortures in militia. The hearing was reschedules several times due to attitude of the Minister of Interior.
The hearing was eventually conducted on 1 December 2010. Numbers of organizations and HR activists throughout Ukraine, Members of the Parliament and executive official, Ombudsperson, Deputy of Prosecutor General, scientists, victims or their relatives were presented at hearing. The hearing was conducted in the premises of the Parliament. There were about 120 participants.
2.4. Awareness-raising and educational activities
2.4.1. Schools on human rights for former MIA officers, member of the Association
On 22-24 June, in order to increase skills and capacity of the new NGO, KHPG hold 3-days school on human rights for 20 former officers of the MIA who worked as officers of the MIA Department. Simultaneously KHPG together with former Assistants Minister for Human Rights established Association of Ukrainian monitors of human rights in the law enforcement agencies. The Constituent Assembly of the Association was held on 24 June. Members of the Association elected its Board, the Associations executive director, Supervisory Board and Auditing Committee of the organization. On 1 November Association is registered in the Ministry of Justice. We introduced the Association as a new partner organisation.
Schools program included the following questions:
1. The concept of human rights
2. What is human rights defence? Human rights NGOs.
3. Human rights defence and policy.
4. Human rights NGOs and government. Possible forms of cooperation
5. Human rights NGOs and media.
6. Cooperation of human rights organisations.
7. International mechanisms of human rights defence.
8. Defence of human rights in the European Court.
9. Defence of human rights by NGOs. Public reception offices.
10. Conducting human rights actions and campaigns.
11. Financing human rights organizations. Basics of fundraising.
12. How to prepare the project? Peculiarities of applications for projects on human rights
13. Training: how to prepare the project.
14. Management of NGOs.
15. Preparing reports.
Lecturers at the School were Yevgeniy Zakharov, Lyudmila Klochko, Arkady Bushchenko and Nelly Fursova. Participants discussed the preparation of detailed project proposals to the IRF on an example project in which some of them worked.
Each participant of the School received many KHPG editions concerning human rights in the MIA’s activities.
2.4.2. Two one-day seminars for judges
On 15 September and 4 November 2010, we conducted two one-day seminars for local judges in cooperation with Academy of Judges of Ukraine in Sebastopol and Chernivtsi respectively.
Eighteen judges with less than 5-year experience each from the Crimea and the West region of the country and representative of Regional State Judicial Administration in Sebastopol and Chernivtsi took part in each seminar.
Each seminar consisted of two classic lectures and included an interactive form of education. We invited forensic medical expert in order to debate about the quality of forensic findings in cases of torture and other ill-treatment.
Professor Nikolay Tagaev (forensic medical expert) talked about character injuries that occur on the body of persons who were subjected to ill-treatment by police. In principle, the judges agreed that the practice of torture by police is widespread throughout the country. One of the judges said that he took part in the seminar that was held in Strasbourg and provided a copy of the decision, in which 3 policemen convicted for tortures.
As a result, judges received an additional list of questions to be put to medical experts in cases of ill-treatment, as well as practical skills concerning assessments of forensic expert reports.
The seminar provided the training, held in the form of active discussion about on basic questions about tortures by the police officers, exchange of experience and creation of approach as to consideration of similar cases in domestic courts. Legal expert of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group conducted these exercises. Andriy Kristenko explained to the judges the practice of application of the European Court’s judgments in domestic courts. The main issue of discussion was – an effective investigation by the investigation bodies. The judges learned about the basic criteria of effective investigation. As a result, judges have received information about the current situation with tortures and cases against Ukraine. They also had an opportunity to share their experience on issues. It should be noted that almost all judges, participants, complained about failure to have sufficient impact on the investigating authorities and noted that when the case comes to the court, it contains fatal hard errors.
Ivan Lishchina (lawyer and former legal secretary of the European Court of Human Rights offered participants to talk about fairness of the proceedings under Article 6 of the Convention. The lecturer talked about current issues related to the fairness of the trial separately explaining the issue of criminal prosecution and civil aspect of Article 6.
As a result, judges have perceived criteria for evaluating fairness of the trial, learned the practice of the Court in cases against Ukraine. Especially important was the theme of the concept of criminal charges and guarantees of Article 6 within the scope of national criminal and administrative proceedings.
In the second part of each seminar Andriy Kristenko told the judges-participants about the European Court’s practice, in particular resonance cases for Ukraine – cases of Yaremenko against Ukraine and Shabelnik against Ukraine, which became reason for new consideration by national courts. As a result, we agreed to create a joint Internet distribution in which experts of KHPG and judges could discuss important issues of law and the application of the EC case-law.
2.4.3. Seminar for prosecutors
On 16 December 2010 KHPG conducted seminar «Effective investigation of torture as a tool for combating impunity and to prevent endemic practice”
We invited as a lecturer Mr Gert Haverkate, a director of the Bureau for Criminal Law Studies of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (DPPS). Besides his academicals credentials he has impressive practical experience. After having been a judge for almost six years Mr Haverkate switched to the Public Prosecution Service in 1996. Within the DPPS he was Senior Public Prosecutor at the District Court of The Hague (1996-2001), Public Prosecutor at the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam (2001-2003) and Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor at the Court of Appeal of The Hague (2003-2007). At this last position, he supervised a group of specialised public prosecutors whose only task it is to bring cases for the Dutch Supreme Court. In his present capacity he is one of the most senior advisers to the Board of Procurators-General, the executive body of the DPPS.
The seminar was attended by 33 participants: lawyers, representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Ombudsperson, other executive agencies, human rights activists and students of the Academy of advocacy.
The seminar was concentrated on questions of effective investigation of torture and other forms of ill treatment in the light of the ECHR and European Court’s case-law and discussion of theoretical and practical problems of effective investigation in these cases. We touched investigation of both police misconduct and prison staff misconduct.
During presentations Mr Haverkate describes in details Dutch legal system and problems arisen from implementation of ECHR standards. He accompanied his presentation by numerous example from ECtHR’ and domestic legal practice.
He also discussed:
complaint mechanisms and its effectiveness;
independence of investigation and structural, functional and practical means to secure it;
assessment of «arguable claim» about ill treatment or misconduct (is it sufficiently arguable to initiate investigation);
urgent investigative action and securing of evidence;
protection of alleged victims;
securing alleged victims rights in the proceedings;
investigation in context of preventing of ill treatment of misconduct.
Arkadiy Buschenko considered the same problems concerning activities of the Ukrainian law-enforcing agencies. He told on last cases in the European Court against Ukraine where problem of non-effective investigation was learned.
2.4.4. Training for lawyers
The project stipulated yearly educational course for lawyers, which consisted of two 5-days full-time tuitions and the distance course of education, which we have conducted in Kharkiv.
Yearly course covers distance course of education that mainly consists of practical tasks. Practical work includes tests on theory of European mechanism for protection of Human Rights, written tasks that should be made by precise deadline. We created the special dispatch group in the internet so our experts, lecturers and participants will have an ability to discuss the tasks within the scope of distance course.
KHPG finished yearly educational course for lawyers started in the previous Project period (2009) (Second training in terminology of our narrative report for 2009), in April 2010. The full-time tuitions have been held on 21-24 April 2010. During mentioned actions we summarized the practical work of the distance course of education and narrated to the participants more educational topics concerning standards of human rights and mechanisms for protection of Human Rights. During training session we tested the provisions of new CCP concerning jail or bail hearing with participants.
The major idea of the trainings for lawyers lies not only in raising of educational standards of human rights among those target groups, but also in creation of an active network of lawyers and law experts in all regions in Ukraine, so that could become an effective mechanism for protection of human rights.
We also selected group of 18 lawyers of new yearly training course and started it with tuition session on 23-26 March 2010. The concept of training remains as it was described in 2009 report. From March to November we conducted distance education trough Internet.
From 17 to 20 November we have conducted the training session for participant of the course «Improvement of skills in area of international protection of HR”
The session was attended by 17 trainees.
During sessions the next issues were discussed:
- Proceedings before the ECtHR (with amendments under Protocol no. 14)
- Rights to peaceful enjoyment of property
- Right to privacy
- Freedom of expression
- Procedural irregularities and fair trial
- Forensic evidence of ill-treatment
- Tactics of interrogation and interviewing
- On-spot investigation
Yevgeniy Zakharov, Arkadiy Bushchenko, Volodymyr Yavorskyy, Andriy Kristenko, Lyudmila Klochko, Oksana Preobragenskaya, Sergey Medvedyev and Prof. Mykola Tagayev participated as trainers.
During period reported we also announce call for the next yearly course, selected lawyers and conducted preliminary distance education through the Internet. The trainees were given theoretical materials and practical tasks, including simulation of proceedings before the ECtHR. The first training session are scheduled on April 2011.
2.4.5. Journalists competition «Against torture!». Training for journalists
In order to enhance the role of the press in forming public awareness and inculcating principles of respect for human rights, together with zero tolerance for the use of torture and ill-treatment by anyone in any circumstances, KHPG held a journalism competition for publications in the media on the subject «Campaign against torture”, with different categories for different types of media – television programs, newspaper and journals publications (reports or analytical articles). In addition, KHPG held 3-days training course for journalists, winners of the competition. The training course was aimed at developing a general understanding of the basic principles of human rights, of role and activities of human rights organizations, problems in the area of human rights. Training course with journalists included practical exercises, discussion of specific cases, group work, and the writing of academic works.
The jury chosen 15 best works from 52 received for competition. On 7-9 November KHPG held training for winners and the press-conference where the winners were announced.
We focused during these training courses on the following areas:
– The limits for freedom of expression, restrictions allowed for by Article 10 of the Convention, and in particular respect for the authority of the justice system;
– The fundamental principles of court and pre-trial procedures, basic legal concepts needed for court journalism;
– Cooperation with human rights organizations, liaising with lawyers and victim, exchange of information;
– Fundamental international bodies and procedure on human rights protection;
– Peculiarities of journalist investigation in the sphere of criminal justice;
– Organizing campaigns.
Lecturers at the School were Yevgeniy Zakharov, Volodymyr Batsunov, Viacheslav Yakubenko and Oleh Eltsov.
After the training session, we continue cooperation with these journalists on coverage of issues relevant to the project. The work of journalist after training session was a part of the program of study. We also prepared the book «Ukrainian journalists against torture» with the best works of those who took part in the competition. It will be published and distributed in 1000 copies in February 2011.
Training assists both us and journalists find a common language and learn to cooperate with and be of benefit to each other. KHPG agreed with journalists on holding join investigations in the field of human rights.
3. IMPROVEMENT OF THE LEGISLATION AND PRACTICE ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION
3.1. Participation in elaboration of draft law «On access to public information» and of a new version of the law «On information”
KHPG’s legal experts took active part in preparation and consideration of a new version of the law on information and draft law on access to public information. The drafts bear many progressive norms that may improve transparency of the authorities. However, after the presidential elections and restructuring Parliament approval of these bills was problematic. The draft law on amendments to the Law on information not considered at all. The bill on access to public information twice, on 7 July and 5 October 2010, was rejected and sent to repeated second reading. The parliamentary majority voted against the bill, despite pressure on its adoption by the Ukrainian public organizations, which supported by the Council of Europe and the European Union. These serious intergovernmental organization stated that the attitude of the Ukrainian Parliament to the bill will indicate a real, not declared, the Ukrainian state commitment to democracy.
KHPG’s experts during several months participated in working group on revising the above drafts law. Finally, new version of the law «On information» and draft Law «On access to public information» were adopted by the Parliament on 15 January, 2011.
3.2. Improvement of the access to archives
KHPG made a selection of materials for access to archives in post-communist countries and the United States for translation, accounting the previous experience and previously translated materials on the subject. In 2010 it was translated into Russian and Ukrainian the following documents:
Germany law on access to the Stasi archive (Law on access to documents of the Stasi of 20 December, 1991);
Polish Law Institute of National Remembrance («The Act on the Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation dated 18 December 1998);
Polish law on declassifying secret information security («Act of 18 October 2006 on the Disclosure of Information on Documents of State Security Agencies from the period between the years 1944-1990 and the Content of such Documents»);
Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Korbely v. Hungary of September 19, 2008;
Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Kenedi v. Hungary of August 26, 2009;
U.S. law on freedom of information (The US Freedom of Information Act);
U.S. law on open government («The US Government in the Sunshine»);
Materials on declassification and reclassification of archival documents in the U.S.
Furthermore, we decided to translate and publish a book of famous Hungarian researchers Charles Kecsekemeti and Ivan Szekely «Access to Archives. A handbook of guidelines for implementation of Recommendation No. R(2000) 13 on a European Policy on access to archives». It is the Council of Europe edition published in 2005. KHPG contacted with the Council of Europe and the authors on copyright for this edition. We would like to receive concerning rights for translation and publication of books in Ukrainian and Russian languages. We have received a positive decision. In cooperation with Ivan Szekely, author of the book, and his CEU post-graduate student Roxana Georgiana Radu we updated Annex 5 to the book, in what legislation of 40 European countries on access to archives was described. We sent fourty information requests to Archive Establishments of these 40 countries on amendments in the national legislation concerning access to archives, access to information in a whole, declassifying information, personal data protection, etc, in the period 2005-2010. We received 33 answers and updated the corresponding sections of the Annex 5. We translated the book into Ukrainian and Russian, prepared the Ukrainian version for printing and published it in 1000 copies. It should be noted that we needed to remake all color diagrams and maps in Ukrainian and printed in the color version likely the English and French editions of the Council of Europe.
In addition, accounting the great significance for Ukraine of materials of International European institutions, such as the Council of Europe, European Union, OSCE, that condemn crimes of totalitarian communist regimes, it was decided to translate the relevant resolutions, recommendations and research materials on political repression, including man-made famine in the USSR in 1932-1933 Most of these documents were translated and placed on our site http://khpg.org/.
KHPG organised and held two-days international conference «Improvement of the law and practice concerning access to archival information in Ukraine» in the conference-room of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine on 25-26 November. There were about 70 participants: archive workers, historians, lawyers, researches of non-government organisations. Each participant received the book «Access to Asrchives» by Sharles Kechkemeti and Ivan Szekely. The conference was opened by speech of Marchin Koziel, Head of the NATO Liason Office Ukraine. Ivan Szekely made three presentations (please, find enclosed ppt-presentations): «Access to archives: the European framework», «Electronic access to information in Hungary», and «Monitoring tools to measure access to information». First presentations was lasted 40 minutes. It was devoted to the situation of access to archives in Europe, based on the principles and survey results of the Handbook. It was also serve as an «advertisement» for the new edition. Second and third presentations were made by Ivan Szekely in the second day of the conference and borned lively discussion on improvement acces to archives through new technologies. Presentation on electronic access to archives in Ukraine was made by Kyryl Vislobokov, worker of the National Academy of Science. Gabriel Superfin, well-known archive worker and researcher of the history of Russian literature of the first half of XX century from Bremen, made a very interesting presentation «Experience of work by archivist and researcher in Germany». Presentations of Professor Ihor Usenko, head of the department of the history of law of National Academy of Science, Kostiantin Novohatsky, former first deputy of the Head of the State Committee on Archives, and Yevhen Zakharov were devoted to legislation and practice of access to archives in Ukraine.
Third international guest, Arseniy Roginsky, well-known Russian historian-researcher of political reprtession in USSR, head of the International «Memorial» Society, told about access in Russia to archive-criminal files of victims of political pepression. Historian Volodymyr Viatrovych, former head of the Central Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine, made the presentation «Achievements and perspectives for declassification of archival documents in the archives of the Security Service of Ukraine». He stressed that access to archives of the Securite Service is essentially improved but it is necessary to declassify archive documents more quickly. Historian Valery Vasiliev from the National Academy of Science told about research of administrative repressions. He stressed that there is no access for researchers at all to the Ministry of Internal Affairs archive which contains hundreds of thousands of archival files of those subjected to “dekulakization” in 1930-1931. Oleksandra Matviichuk, lawyer, member of the KhPG and post-graduates student of the National University of Ukraine, made the presentation «Clash between the right of access to archival documents and the right to privacy».
Participants of the conference discussed a draft of the resolution on improvement of legislation and practice on access to archives. Draft was prepared by the Working Group of the Project. In the next two weeks after the conference Working Group accounted amendments to the draft, remarks and proposition of participants of the conference and prepared a final version of the resolution
4. INFORMING THE UKRAINIAN AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITIES ABOUT THE HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE
4.1. Informing through Internet
In 2010 KHPG produced a series of publications on human rights in Ukrainian, Russian, and English, and disseminated these publications through website www.khpg.org. There were also be distributed via the periodical bulletin «Prava ludyny» [“Human rights”] (twice a month, with a monthly edition in English). In 2010 KHPG placed to the site http://khpg.org 1477 articles, news and other texts in Ukrainian (9 526 239 characters) and 1067 texts in English (5 188 241 characters). More detailed information is given in the following table.
Number of new articles and other texts /number of characters
Prava Lydunu (in Ukrainian)
Research and others (in Ukrainian)
Subtotal (in Ukrainian)
Prava Ludyny (in English)
Research (in English)
Subtotal (in English)
A number of visitors to the site increased essentially. An average number a day of visitors was 1279. It should be noted also that a place of KHPG’s web-site in search engines’ ratings in a category of human rights is among first ten in the CIS and first in Ukraine. According to www.topping.com.ua, a place of KHPG’s site is constantly between 3 and 6 in a rating of all Ukrainian public organizations (around 770 sites are being rated), lagging behind only corporate web-resources encompassing sites of many organizations.
In addition, KHPG has designed and launched a website «Against torture!» for victims of torture and ill-treatment. It is hosted on the popular civil society portal www.maidan.org.ua. For calling website it is necessary to tape www.maidan.org.ua/special/pk. Technologically, the initial information is posted by KHPG on its web-site www.khpg.org and automatically is appeared in appropriate page of www.maidan.org.ua. The website has also allowed users to post their own experiences with human rights abuses and comment on the experiences of others. The commenting system has also allowed for follow-ups to the original post by authorities and the original author. Information on the website is divided among several headlines. Now reports are filed according to the location of the incident with tabs for police stations, temporary detention centres, investigative wards, prisons, and other facilities.
In 2010 KHPG prepared, published and distributed the following books:
1. Monitoring unlawful violence in the Ministry of Interior. A5, 192 pages, 1000 copies.
The book describes results of the second sociologic research directed learning reasons and peculiarities of unlawful violence in the MIA establishments.
2. Selected judgments of the European Court of Human Rights concerning Ukraine – 2007. A5, 388 pages, 1000 copies.
It includes 21 judgments from 109 adopted in 2007.
3. Systematized Digest of Judgments of the European Court on Article 2 of the Convention (revised edition), A5, 368 pages, 1000 copies
5. Ukrainian journalists against torture. We have compiled this book and produced lay-out. Volume of the book is 216 pages. It will be published in March 2011.
6. Review of the information sources on torture and ill-treatment in the penal system (2007-2009). We collected data for this book and summarised information. We have compiled this book and produced lay-out. Volume of the book is 368 pages. It will be published in March 2011.
7. Selected judgments of the European Court of Human Rights concerning Ukraine – 2008. We have translated 26 judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Ukraine for this edition. We will publish this book in April 2011.
8. «Human Rights in activities of the Ukrainian militia – 2009» (A5, 380 pages, 1000 copies),
9. «100 days of new management of Ministry of Interior» (A5, 100 pages, 1000 copies),
10. «Human Rights in activities of the Ukrainian militia – 2010» (A5, 276 pages, 1000 copies),
11. «Analysis of Ukrainian Ombudsman’ Activities» (A5, 240 pages, 1000 copies),
12. «Access to archive documents: legislation and practice» (A5, 400 pages, 1000 copies), and
13. Charles Kechkemeti, Ivan Szekely. Access to archives. A handbook of guidelines (A5, 144 pages, 1000 copies).
14. Lev Kopelev. I sotvoril sebe kumira (A5, 512 pages, 1000 copies)
Participants of all educational events received these books and other KHPG editions devoted to prevention of torture and ill-treatment. In additions, the books were passed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and their regional departments, Ministry of Justice and their regional departments, State Department on Execution of Punishment and their regional departments, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, all Appeal Courts, the Security Service and General Prosecutor’s office, their regional departments, Ombudsperson’s Secretariat, law educational institutes, central and regional libraries as well as the libraries of institutes and partner human rights NGOs. Usually we use a post service. Mailing list consists of 730 addresses.
5. FINANCIAL INFORMATION
On 1 January 2010 KHPG had 69, 939.61 UAH. During 2010 KHPG received seven grants indicated in the list below and continued grants began earlier. In 2010 total received amount is €219, 681 +$ 156, 862.5 +658, 564.97UAH.
Total expenditures in 2010 were 4159, 173 UAH.
On 31 December 2010 balance was 135, 944.1 UAH +$58.83 + €12, 86.
List of the grants
The name of the project: Publication of autobiographical trilogy by Lev Kopelev
The period of financing 1 September 2010 – 30 June 2011
The project costs: 88, 680 UAH
The donor of the project: The Heinrich Böll Foundation
The name of the project: Campaign against torture and ill treatment in Ukraine
The period of financing 1 September 2010 – 30 June 2011
The project costs: $13, 880
The donor of the project: U. S. Embassy in Ukraine
The name of the project: Improvement of law regulation and practice of access to archives
The period of financing: 1 July 2010 – 30 June 2011
The project costs: 155, 000 UAH
The donor of the project: International «Renaissance» Foundation (Ukraine, Kyiv)
The name of the project: Creation and support of the analytical educational website "Educational monitor"
The period of financing: 1 July 2010 – 30 June 2011
The project costs: 120, 000 UAH
The donor of the project: International «Renaissance» Foundation (Ukraine, Kyiv)
The name of the project: Development of specialized network of NGOs, lawyers, journalists etc. for struggle against torture and ill-treatment
The period of financing: 1 July 2010 – 30 June 2011
The project costs: 200, 000 UAH
The donor of the project: International «Renaissance» Foundation (Ukraine, Kyiv)
The name of the project: Creation of systematic civil control on human rights observation in the Ministry of Interior’s activities
The period of financing: 1 June 2010 – 30 November 2010
The project costs: 236, 220 UAH
The donor of the project: International «Renaissance» Foundation (Ukraine, Kyiv)
The name of the project: Providing Information and Analysis of Human Rights in Ukraine
The period of financing: 1 February 2010 – 31 January 2011
The project costs: $46, 660
The donor of the project: National Endowment for Democracy (USA, Washington D.C.)