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Another death from beating at the hands of the police in the Sumy Region

14.12.2010    source:
Two officers have been detained on charges of “exceeding official powers” following the death of a disabled man whom the police had “questioned” a few hours earlier

Following media reports on Monday of another death in which the police are implicated, Oleg Martynenko who heads the Association of Ukrainian Monitors of Human Rights in Police Activities [the Association of Monitors) has provided an update on what is known.

On 9 December 2010 the Head of Criminal Investigation at the Lipovodolynsk District Police Station in the Sumy Region, together with officers, were checking people with a criminal record for possible involvement in crimes. In the evening the police visited the premises of Mr P, disabled with only one leg, in the village of Kalinino.  According to their information, Mr P constantly had visitors who drank too much and “were inclined to crime”.

During the questioning, the officers applied force against Mr P and caused him bodily injuries. A few hours after they left, he died. The official cause of death was given as hypertensic crisis.

The Association of Monitors ascertained that the forensic examination of Mr P, who was aged forty, found that he had two broken ribs; two twisted shoulder joints; and numerous hematoma.  He died as the result of hypertensic crisis caused by acute arterial thrombosis.

The Head of Criminal Investigation and one officer, both senior police lieutenants, have been arrested by the regional prosecutor on charges of exceeding their powers. Both are presently in custody since a criminal investigation has been initiated under Article 365 § 2 of the Criminal Code.  A court in Sumy on 13 December extended remand in custody to 10 days for one of the men, and placed the other under custodial arrest.

On Monday the Association of Monitors and the Sumy Press Club denied that the management of the regional department of the MIA provide the public with all necessary information about what happened. They have promised to post the information on their official website.

Mr P’s death was raised at a collegiate meeting on Monday which, unlike the normal procedure for such publicized cases, representatives of the MIA at central level did not attend.  A Sumy Regional Police Department Order was read out stating non-compliance by the Deputy Head of the Department – the Head of Criminal Investigation with his position and the resignation, initiated before the MIA of the First Deputy Head of the Lipovodolynsk District Police Station. 

One positive note in all of this is that the management of the regional department took into consideration the complaints from civic organizations about the failure to provide information and issued a reprimand to the Head of the Public Liaison Office.

Slightly adapted from a report by Oleh MartynenkoHead of the Board of the Association of Ukrainian Monitors of Human Rights in Police Activities

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