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Police officer gets long sentence for raping detainee

02.04.2013

A Donetsk court has sentenced one police officer to 10 years imprisonment for raping a male detainee. He must also pay 20 thousand UAH. Two other officers received 4 and 5 year suspended sentences.

The victim had asked 2 million in compensation, but received only 250 thousand UAH.

The man was detained last year at a coach station for pouring out beer in a public place. The officers took him away, supposedly to draw up a protocol, but instead subjected him to the attack which he needed six months treatment to recover from. 

Typically none of the three officers was charged under Article 127 of the Criminal Code (Torture). All three were accused of exceeding their official powers (article 365) with only one receiving a real term of imprisonment.

Oleksandr Bukalov, Head of Donetsk Memorial which particularly focuses on prisoners’ rights,  welcomed the severe sentence. He says that such punishments are seldom meted out with police not being afraid of being made to answer for their actions.  He notes also that judges are frightened to treat such behaviour as torture.  He says that he doesn’t know what their reasons are but they clearly avoid that sentence.  Perhaps because it’s so seldom applied, they feel nervous using it.

He points out that Donetsk Memorial has for the last 8 years being producing an annual report on prisoners’ rights, in which they give statistics for the number of acquittals. As reported here the numbers are truly pitiful.  Mr Bukalov notes that 13-14 thousand people each year are held in SIZO [remand units] and then do not end up imprisoned any longer (not because they’re acquitted, but because they’ve spent so long in SIZO; or through a sentence not involving imprisonment. This means, he stresses, that 13-14 thousand people are being remanded in custody on suspicion of really quite minor offences.

 

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