Lutsenko’s life could be in danger in prison colony
Former Interior Minister and opposition leader Yury Lutsenko.could be transferred any day now to the Mensk Colony in the Chernihiv region. The Penitentiary Service is at present saying that they have no date fixed. When former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was moved to the Kharkiv colony at the end of last year, nobody was warned in advance, and her close family learned of her move only when they came to the SIZO [remand unit] in Kyiv to leave New Year parcels for her.
Co-Chair of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group Yevhen Zakharov told journalists that the former Interior Minister could face illness and even death in the Mensk Colony. He says that he knows of cases where prisoners were killed, and later the authorities claimed that the death was linked with their state of health.
Political analyst Viktor Nebozhenko is even more blunt. He says that in any prison there are prisoners willing to help the Administration, and “then Renat Kuzmin will raise his hands and say that yes, there’s a tough situation in prisoners, there are fights… Lutsenko could also simply pick up tuberculosis. There’s a danger of that as well”.
The Mensk Colony holds former police officers, including a fair number who are there basically through Lutsenko’s efforts at eradicating torture and ill-treatment in the police force during his period as Minister.
The second trial of Yury Lutsenko ended last week with yet another conviction on charges which have been roundly condemned as politically motivated by all democratic countries, the EU, etc.
Yury Lutsenko was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment in February over the first two charges brought against him. The third charge was unexpectedly separated into a different trial late last year. His conviction and the new trial have been widely condemned as politically motivated.
On 3 July the European Court of Human Rights announced its judgement in the case of Lutsenko v. Ukraine with respect to the initial detention. It unanimously found violations of Articles 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security); 5 § 2 (right to be informed of the reasons for one’s arrest); 5 § 3 (right to be brought promptly before a judge)-trial detention; 5 § 4 (right to challenge the lawfulness of one’s detention) with respect to the initial detention of former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko.