Police ruin their own image
Donetsk analysts and human rights workers concur in their view that the police are not coping with their law-defending function and are to blame for their bad image. In an April survey carried out by the Academy of Sciences Institute of Sociology, only 1% of respondents said that they fully trust the police.
Distrust is on the increase, and there is greater dissatisfaction with duty police officers in the East of the country, than in the West – 32% against 29%.
The image of the Donetsk police suffered the most during Euro-2012. Then Yury Belikov from Donetsk who was drinking beer in a public place was detained by the police. They beat him up and raped him with a stick, leaving him permanently disabled. Only one police officer in the trial at first instance level received a prison term for inhuman treatment.
Nor did the police demonstrate professionalism during the conference Tech Camp Donetsk 2.0 held with the support of the US Embassy in Ukraine. Then in April, around 100 aggressive people burst into the Isolation Art Centre where the event was taking place.
Head of Donetsk Memorial Oleksandr Bukalov periodically carries out monitoring trips to police stations and SIZO [remand centres]. He explains the low level of trust in police as being because their behaviour does not comply with elementary standards. People know from experience, he says, that it can be risky to end up in a police station. He adds that the police management protect their subordinates, since if they don’t within a few months there’ll be nobody left.
From a report at Radio Svoboda