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.

Similar articles

Ukraine’s legislators refuse to part with repressive Soviet-era normUkrainian prisoners can get years added to their sentence for demanding their rightsUkraine’s Parliament slips in dangerous carte blanche for blocking torture investigationsUkraine launches war crimes probe after Russians use Ukrainian POWs as human shields Russia’s fake ‘Donetsk republic’ sentences Azov Regiment soldier defending Ukraine in Mariupol to 25 years. Russia sees “no grounds” to obey ECHR over deportation of Crimean Tatar political prisoners Russia hides new crimes committed by convicted prisoners pardoned by Putin for killing in UkraineRussian FSB officer charged over unlawful detention and torture of Ukrainian journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko Russian court willing to kill 60-year-old Crimean Tatar political prisoner, heart attack or not Russia invites Steven Seagal, while blocking the Red Cross from visiting Olenivka prison after killing of 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war“He lay on the sidewalk, naming towns and cities in Ukraine”. A digest of anti-war activities in Russia, 23-29 JulyRussia strips three Crimean Tatar lawyers of their licence to prevent them defending political prisonersThe application practice of Article 391 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine proves that this Article should be canceledMissing persons and enforced disappearances in the Kherson Region (24 February-24 June 2022)Russia destroys Mariupol and tries to get illegally deported residents to move to Siberia At least 50 Ukrainians were burned to death in Russia’s bombing of Mariupol hospitals Savagely tortured Ukrainian journalist sentenced to six years by Russian occupation court Report concerning the investigation of the mass unlawful use of force to the convicts of the Oleksiivska correctional colony (No.25) on January 8, 2020 European Court of Human Rights halts Russia’s execution of vital Memorial Society and Memorial Human Rights CentreCrimean Tatar lawyer jailed and fined for defending client and refusing to strip naked

Soviet-era norm allows revenge prosecution of prisoners who assert their rights

Human rights activists have called for the adoption of draft bill 2708 which aims to remove the current possibility of extending prisoners’ sentences over alleged minor offences.

Human rights activists have called for the adoption of draft bill 2708 which aims to remove the current possibility of extending prisoners’ sentences over alleged minor offences. . 

The bill proposes to remove Article 391 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code.  According to Oleh Levytsky from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, this norm was first created back in 1983, and has inexplicably survived the end of the Soviet Union. 

The norm in question allows for an extra sentence of up to three years for what is termed persistently disobeying the legitimate demands of prison authorities, or any other form of resistance.  This is measured by whether a prisoner has, for example, been placed in a punishment cell or similar penalties more than once within the space of a year.

The scope for abuse is enormous. 

At a press conference on Thursday, the activists noted that during the period from 2010 to 2015 there were 500 court cases on applying this norm, with only three resulting in the person being acquitted. 

The kinds of ‘offences’ are disturbingly trivial.  A prisoner had an extra year added for supposedly sleeping in the wrong place and one person got three years for allegedly refusing to get up in the morning. 

Andriy Didenko from the Kharkiv Human Rights Group points out that there have been cases where the article is applied against people who had complained of ill-treatment. 

In 2011, for example, Volodymyr Bordun alleged that he had been tortured by personnel at the Oleksiyivska No. 25 prison colony.  KHPG had asked for him to not be sent to the specific colony, considering him to be in real danger there.  Bordun alleges that 75 days before his sentence was due to end, he complained to a UN body of torture by prison administration.  He then got an extra 3 years added to his sentence. 

Former prisoners believe that the norm is used specifically against prisoners who complain about infringements of their rights.  

 Share this