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The work of the police is becoming more open to public control

Natalya Romanova, Chernihiv
On 29 November 2005 the first spot check of a mobile group, created by order of Yu.ry Lutsenko, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, for control over the observance by police of the standards of human rights, was carried out in the Chernihiv region

On 29 November 2005 the first spot check of a mobile group, created by order of Yu.ry Lutsenko, the Minister of  Internal Affairs of Ukraine, for control over the observance by police of the standards of human rights, was carried out in the Chernihiv region. Such groups, including, in particular, representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and public organizations, will work in all regions of Ukraine. Once a month they will visit, without prior warning, district police departments and temporary detention centers, communicate with convicts and other citizens, analyze citizens’ complaints against the actions of police. Analytical reports will be compiled on the results of the work of mobile groups, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs  will study these in order to eliminate failings in the work of law-enforcement organs.

Such mobile group in the Chernihivregion includes Natalya Romanova, a representative of the Chernihiv public committee for human rights protection, and Valentina Badyra, a representative of the Chernihiv women’s human rights protecting center. During the first raid the group visited the Chernihiv, Menskiy and Sosnitsy districts of the region. Members of the group examined temporary detention centers in these districts. In the Menskiy detention center, intended for 29 persons, 3 convicts were kept at the moment of the visit of the group. Size of the cells, norms of lighting and ventilation do not correspond to the European standards, the room for meetings is absent at all. Bed-linen is a problem too. All this is connected with the fact that the means for reconstruction of the detention center have not been allotted, and financing of this establishment does not allow to observe all demands.

The detained, with whom the members of the group communicated, did not know much about their rights. So, citizen K., who was detained in compliance with Article 140, part 2 (he had already had two criminal records and had been extradited from Russia), asked, why all detained in Kharkov were cropped close by force and why free correspondence was not permitted in Ukraine (it could be permitted only by an investigation officer). Two out of three convicts did not obtain the warrants during the detention. Another problem is disclosure of TB cases. So, it is impossible to make the immediate fluorography in the temporary detention center, it can be done only after 3 days. Medical aid as a whole in the detention center is very bad. There are only most elementary medicines. So, citizen P., detained after Article 185 of the Criminal Code, is held in the detention center almost for a month, since the Chernigiv investigatory isolation ward refuses to accept him because of his diagnosis, and he cannot obtain proper medical aid in the temporary detention center. Workers of the detention center do their best for improvement of the upkeep conditions. Food is transported from the local hospital, the dirty clothes are laundered in the same hospital. The detained have the opportunity to wash themselves, there is a small library, but the lack of necessary editions, such as the Criminal Code and Constitution of Ukraine, is observed. The Sosnitsy temporary detention center has been reconstructed, so the cells are equipped and lighted in compliance with standards, ventilation is improved owing to the windows with special system, which gives the opportunity to open a window leaf.

In district police departments the members of the group communicated with operative workers, investigation officers and heads of the departments. The impression has formed that law-enforcers want to cooperate and understand the necessity of more transparent principles of work. This was pointed out by deputy minister Volodymir Malay, representative of the Ministry of Interior in the Chernigiv region, who headed the work of the mobile group. In the Menskiy district the members of the group contacted with the only advocate working in the district. His phone number is placed on the informational board in the district department. Unfortunately, there is no advocate in the Sosnitsy district. This revealed the problem of rendering of legal aid to population and, in general, the access of citizens to justice.
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