New allegations of police torture – of a 17-year-old
17-year-old Oleksandr Yefymenko was questioned without his parents or a lawyer present. He confessed to murdering a 13-year-old friend, but has now formally retracted this confession, saying it was given under police pressure..
The body of a 13-year-old lad from Novomoskovsk in the Dnipropetrovsk oblast was found in a toilet. People who saw the body say that the lad seemed to have been suffocated.
The police soon detained the lad’s neighbour and friend, Oleksandr Yefymenko. They claim that they had a row over a laptop, and that the murdered lad had ruined Oleksandr’s expensive item.
Oleksandr (Sashko’s) brother explains:
“Mama was told that there wasn’t enough room in the car and wasn’t taken to the first interrogation. Sashko was gone for around 7 hours. They came for Mama at around 10 in the evening and said that Sashko had confessed to the crime. Mama was taken to the SIZO [detention centre] and they immediately began questioning my brother in the presence of their lawyer. They asked questions, and he answered, as if reading words written down”/
Sashko’s mother, Valentina, says that they grabbed him by the adam’s apple, hit him on the face, around the kidneys. They threatened to use an electric shock on his genitals and to use a stick in the anus.
The head of the Novomoskovsk Police Station, Andriy Klymenko asserts that his staff acted within the law.
Radio Svoboda reports that this is not the first time that lawyers and relatives have alleged torture by Novomoskovsk Police.
A week ago it reported that two brothers allege that the police tortured them, putting gas masks on their head and blocking the flow of air.
Svitlana Brazaluk from the Dnipropetrovsk Human Rights Groups says that these are not isolated cases, but that it is extremely difficult to prove the use of unlawful methods.
She says that they had hoped that the new Criminal Procedure Code would mean that people were more protected, but no way. As before, she says, they don’t want to look for the real culprit, but just try to hang the crime on the first person they come upon.
Oleksandr Yefymenko has made an official statement saying that he incriminated himself under police pressure. The case is apparently now with the local prosecutor’s office.
From a report at Radio Svoboda