Donetsk Memorial: Police still beat detainees with impunity
The police continue to beat people, even applying new forms and methods of beating, while the Prosecutor’s Office is good at finding ways of not bringing police officers to answer
Ukrainian SIZO – incurable problems?
In Ukrainian remand units or SIZO, people are falling ill and dying for want of medical assistance, human rights activists and lawyers warn
Number of prisoners is on the rise
On 30 March the human rights organization Donetsk Memorial gave a press conference entitled “The Prison System: Progress scarcely noticeable” where it presented its fifth annual report Prisoners Rights in Ukraine – 2009
More dismissals: this time the Head of the State Department for the Execution of Sentences
Oleksandr Halinsky was appointed in August last year. His appointment came with some degree of consultation with civic organizations and after a number of human rights organizations made direct appeals to the government to consider public opinion in their choice for this vital role.
From prison to university
The number of prisoners in the West of Ukraine who want to become students of higher educational institutes is increasing. The network of penal institutions from which some applications have come is also widening
Prisoners to pay for humanization of prisons?
With the entry into force of Law № 2460, penal administrations have the right to retrieve through the courts the cost of keeping all prisoners who are not working. And it is no longer important whether the penal institution (the State) is providing prisoners with the opportunity to earn money or not
Parliament prohibits checks on prisoners’ correspondence with lawyers
All such correspondence should be sent or brought to the addressee on the date of its receipt without being looked at by the administration
Allegations of torture in Kyiv remand unit
Lawyers representing Yury Beketov, a remand prisoner in the Kyiv SIZO have stated that their client has not been provided with medical care which, according to European Court of Human Rights case law, can be deemed a form of torture
Criminal investigation initiated into beating of a Vinnytsa prisoner
The criminal investigation is under Article 365 § 2 of the Criminal Code (exceeding power, accompanied by violence).
Halinsky promises a human face to the Penal Department
The new Head of the Department for the Execution of Sentences has promised cooperate with civic and human rights organizations in order to be able to receive information about negative elements in the work of the system
OleksandrHalinsky appointed Head of the Penal Department
Mr Halinsky has up till now been in charge of the Odessa Regional Division of the Department for the Execution of Sentences
Changes in Penal Department management should be a step towards reform of the system
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union is calling on the Government to pay heed to human rights organizations and public opinion in appointing a new Head of the Penal System to enable vitally needed reform
KHPG appeals to government over new Penal Department appointment
After the inept management of the last 4 years and exodus of professionals from the service, it is vital that a new head for the Department is chosen wisely and with an eye to finally achieving badly needed reforms
Ukrainian Penitentiary Society calls for responsible appointment
The dismissal of Vasyl Koshchynets from his post as Head of the Department for the Execution of Sentences and rumours over who will take his place have prompted human rights organizations to renew their calls for serious reform of the penal system.
Damning audit of Penal Service
The Accounting Chamber has found that due to inefficient management, only one tenth of the tasks in the Programme for improving prisoners conditions had been fulfilled
Another prison hunger strike
According to the Human Rights Centre “Svoboda”, on 1 July approximately 84 prisoners from the maximum security unit at Penal Colony No. 58 Izyaslav in the Khmelnytsky region declared an indefinite hunger strike
Wave of violence spreading in penal institutions
Donetsk Memorial believes the surge in violence to be aimed at intimidating prisoners before the awaited visit by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture
Discrimination of prisoners an ongoing problem
Despite a positive trend towards lower numbers of prisoners, there were no noticeable improvements in the area of human rights during 2008, with the level of rights abuse remaining high
Amnestied prisoners in no hurry to move
There are 2,800 prisoners eligible for amnesty however most often people simply have nowhere to go after their release