Another senseless death in detention
Another detainee held in a Ukrainian SIZO [remand unit] has died because he was deprived access to methadone replacement therapy.
Serhiy died during the night from 25 to 26 March in the Kyiv SIZO. Born in 1987, Serhiy had been on methadone replacement therapy since July 2012. He was arrested on 11 March as being on the wanted list and taken to the police station. After he told the police that he was on replacement therapy, he was sent straight to the SIZO and not held in the police temporary holding facilities.
Various human rights organizations and staff from the Human Rights Ombudsperson’s Secretariat began turning to the police management. On 13 March they managed to get him taken to the place where he could receive the replacement therapy
According to Yelena Tsuckerman, following this the police began putting pressure on Serhiy to give up the therapy. She says that the doctor at the therapy centre was also put under pressure to sign a document saying that Serhiy didn’t need the therapy.
There was only the one visit to the therapy centre. From 13 to 25 March 2013 Serhiy was held in an overcrowded cell where they took turns sleeping because of the lack of beds.
He died of “acute heart failure” in the early hours of 26 March.
The author writes that although there is a joint Order from all relevant government bodies about cooperation to ensure uninterrupted replacement therapy in SIZO, there is no mechanism for such cooperation. ensuring that people in SIZO receive replacement therapy.
There needs to be material resources to ensure that detainees are taken each day to the therapy centre, as well, obviously, as the will.
The Kharkiv Human Rights Group, with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation, is endeavouring to ensure timely assistance to people from vulnerable groups, including those in replacement therapy and people living with AIDS/HIV.
KHPG invites people needing help or knowing of others to contact [email protected] or phone ХПГ 057 7006772.