The Courts deprived a man of any chance of survival


Ihor Parfenyuk, who was gravely ill, has died in the Kherson Prison Colony  The prison administration had applied to the court for his early release, however neither HIV, nor hepatitis C, nor tuberculosis of both lungs and the intestine were deemed grounds for the courts to release a person on health grounds and allow him to receive proper medical care. The application was rejected.

According to his mother, Ihor already suffered from tuberculosis when detained;  HIV and hepatitis C were contracted in the prison colony. The illnesses were discovered during an examination at the end of 2012 when Ihor’s health worsened. There was no possibility of treatment in the colony therefore in April 2013 the prison administration applied to a district court in Kherson for him to be released early. The refusal by this court was then upheld by the court of appeal. Ihor turned to the Kharkiv Human Rights Group in order to appeal against those rulings, however did not have time to discuss the substance of the appeal. On the morning of 14 July he suffered a stroke, by the evening was already unable to recognize anybody and couldn’t speak.  Ihor died in the evening of 16 July.

His mother, Hanna Fedorivna, says that they were told that Ihor was being treated in the colony. We also bought and brought him medicine, yet Ihor didn’t get better, on the contrary. Ihor had a high temperature for almost a year and complained that he was burning inside. Two weeks before the stroke he suffered headaches; weakness; staggered while walking. In that state with such a diagnosis in prison conditions he had little chance of survival.

KHPG lawyers point out that legislation does allow for early release for people with grave illnesses who can’t receive proper treatment in the colony. However, most often the courts reject applications for their release.  Most often the grounds for refusal are formal, without any study of the circumstances and state of health of the prisoner.  The courts simply note that there are convictions and claim that the person could commit a new crime, even thought the person cannot even move about by himself

Lawyers from the KHPG Legal Aid Network for People living with HIV and drug addicts are planning to initiate procedure for investigating how Ihor came to be infecting with HIV in the colony. They also want to raise the fact that the system for early release is not working. 

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