war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Dmytro Karpenko and another lawyer detained in Kirovohrad

Dmytro Karpenko whose case has led to an Amnesty International Urgent Action was detained on Thursday just before the court hearing due to consider his appeal against a criminal investigation over allegedly “resisting police officers” in August

Dmytro Karpenko after the encounter with police in August

On Thursday, 29 December the Leninsky District Court in Kirovohrad was due to hear the appeal by defence lawyer Dmytro Karpenko against the decision to re-launch a criminal investigation against him.

Three representatives of the Committee for the Defence of Lawyers’ Rights, including its Chairperson, specially came to Kirovohrad for the hearing.

Just before it was to commence, Mr Karpenko together with defence lawyer Valentin Stelyuk, was detained by unidentified police officers. The two men were taken away.  Physical force and tear gas were used against the representatives of the Committee.

Members of this Committee and other organizations are presently making plans to get to Kirovohrad, and also preparing the relevant appeal regarding these unprecedented events.

The original criminal investigation against Dmytro Karpenko had been initiated on 3 October 2011 over allegedly showing resistance to police officers carrying out their duties. More details about the events linked to the charges can be found at See Lawyers’ Statement regarding Police treatment of Defence Lawyer D. Karpenko

That was revoked by the Cherkasy Court of Appeal, but then re-started by the Kirovohrad Regional Prosecutor at the end of November.

Mr Karpenko’s attendance was mandatory at Thursday’s court hearing. In his absence the court was only able to hear the explanations of defence counsel Mykola Holodnyak. It then turned to examining the evidence which had been studied by the first instance and appellate courts. During this examination, Valentin Stelyuk was received from the Prosecutor’s office and was able to take part in the court hearing.

The Prosecutor’s office had tried to question Mr Stelyuk as a witness in the case against Dmytro Karpenko, however Mr Stelyuk stated that he was bound to confidentiality as a lawyer.

A forensic examination found that Mr Stelyuk had injuries to the head, typical marks from handcuffs and bruises over his entire body.

The court retired at the end of the day to the consulting chamber and is supposed to give its decision on 30 December.

While the court hearing was underway, two Cherkasy lawyers lodged a complaint against Mr Karpenko’s detention which is to be examined on 3 January 2012, together with a submission regarding restraint measure against Mr Karpenko should this be lodged on 30 or 31 December.

Amnesty International Urgent Action regarding the events leading to this extraordinary criminal investigation



On 17 August l awyer Dmytro Karpenko was detained and tortured by police in Cherkasy, Ukraine , after demanding to see a client . When he complained about his treatment ,  the police accused him of assaulting them. His trial is on 29 December.

On 17 August Dmy t ro Karpenko went to Cherkasy Court to see a client of his who was being unlawfully detained. When police tried to leave the court compound with his client in an unmarked white van, Dmytro Karpenko blocked the gateway and demanded to see him. CCTV footage of the incident shows three police officers aggressively seizing Dmytro Karpenko, forcing him to the floor and dragging him, handcuffed, into the van.

Dmytro Karpenko told local human rights defenders that he was taken to Cherkasy police station and beaten for around two hours. Following his release, he spent more than a week in hospital with concussion, kidney damage and heavy bruising. On 18 August he submitted a complaint about his treatment, backed up by medical evidence, to the Cherkasy prosecutor’s office.

On 30 August the Cherkasy prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case against Dmytro Karpenko, claiming that he had injured two of the three police officers while resisting arrest. There was no investigation into Dmytro Karpenko’s allegation of ill-treatment or to ascertain how he sustained the injuries documented by the hospital. Dmytro Karpenko appealed the decision to open a criminal case against him, and the charges were quashed by Cherkasy Court on the basis of the CCTV evidence. The decision to dismiss the case was upheld by Cherkasy Court of Appeals.

However, on 28 November, the Kirovograd prosecutor’s office re-opened the case against Dmytro Karpenko - despite the fact that this is prohibited by Ukrainian law. On 29 December Dmytro Karpenko will stand trial for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer and faces up to 6 years in prison if convicted.

Please write immediately in Ukrainian,  Russian or your own language:

Calling for the charges against Dmytro Karpenko to be dropped;

Calling for an immediate investigation into the allegation that Dmytro Karpenko was tortured while in police custody.


Prosecutor General

Viktor Pavlovich Pshonka

Riznitska Str. 13/15

01601 Kyiv


Fax: + 380 44 280 2851

Salutation: Dear General Prosecutor

Minister for Internal Affairs

Vitaliy Zakharchenko

Akademika Bogomoltsa Str. 10

01024 Kyiv


Fax: +380 44 256 16 33

Email: [email protected]

Salutation: Dear Minister

And copies to:


Nina Karpachova

Vul Instytutska 21/8

01008 Kyiv, Ukraine

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.




There is effective impunity in Ukraine for the high level of criminal misconduct, including torture and extortion, by the police in the course of their work. Structural shortcomings, high levels of corruption, close working relationships and other links between prosecutors and police, meant that investigations into criminal acts committed by the police, even when medical or other credible evidence exists to support the allegations, are not carried out. Harassment and intimidation of complainants are common. These combined with the subsequent low level of prosecutions fuels lack of accountability for human rights violations committed by the police.

Name: Dmytro Karpenko

Gender: M

UA: 324/11 Index: EUR 50/016/2011 Issue Date: 14 December 2011

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