On the situation in prison colonies №77, №100, №25. Following the visit of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 4 to 13 August 2020
I. Berdyansk penitentiary colony No. 77
- 4-13 August 2020, Ad hoc visit by the CPT
- 21.10.2020 - convicts in Berdyansk Penitentiary Colony No. 77 reported having been tortured and arrived by train on 20.10.2020 at Dnipro pre-trial Detention Centre.
- Rakhmistrovsky Y.E.: on 21.09.2020, he was detained in the Berdyansk colony; on 19.10.2020 he was transferred to Dnipro detention centre; injuries were documented, an application was submitted to the local branch of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) in Melitopol and to the Prosecutor General's Office, where the lawyer M.N. Kiptilaia added photos of the convict's injuries and a request for the procedural control of the preliminary investigation. In addition, a request for expert opinions was filed. According to the SBI's reply, the information on torture was entered into the Unified register of pre-trial investigations under Part 2 of Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the question of appointing an expert will be decided after the return of the cases from the Prosecutor General's Office to the SBI;
- Shalpan A.S.: on 05.09.2020 he arrived at Berdyansk facility; on 19.10.2020, for health reasons, he was escorted to the hospital of Dnipro pre-trial detention centre No. 4 where he asked the lawyer for help and recounted the torture he suffered. The lawyer recorded his testimony and sent an application and petition relevant to the convicted person's safety to the law enforcement authorities; in November 2020, the person was sent back to Berdyansk colony No. 77; on 20.02.2021, he was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Volnyansk colony No. 20; currently, he is in penal colony No. 77 ; an application was submitted to the local branch of the SBI in Melitopol and to the Prosecutor General's Office, where the lawyer M.N. Kiptilaia added photos of the convict's injuries and a request for the procedural control of the preliminary investigation. In addition, a request for expert opinions was filed. According to the SBI's reply, the information on torture was entered into the Unified register of pre-trial investigations under Part 2 of Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the question of appointing an expert will be decided after the return of the cases from the Prosecutor General's Office to the SBI;
- R. Kozhukharev, was transferred on 21.09.2020 to Berdyansk colony; 19.10.2020 was transferred to Dnipro pre-trial detention centre. The lawyer recorded his testimony, an application was filed with the law enforcement authorities. An application was submitted to the local branch of the SBI in Melitopol and to the Prosecutor General's Office, where the lawyer M.N. Kiptilaia added photos of the convict's injuries and a request for the procedural control of the preliminary investigation. In addition, a request for expert opinions was filed. According to the SBI's reply, the information on torture was entered into the Unified register of pre-trial investigations under Part 2 of Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the question of appointing an expert will be decided after the return of the cases from the Prosecutor General's Office to the SBI;
19.11.2020 - Human rights activists reported on these events at the press conference
- 21.02.2021 - Convicts in Berdyansk Correctional Colony No. 77 who arrived on 20.02.2021 at Dnipro pre-trial detention centre reported torture.
On 26.02.2021, in Dnipro pre-trial detention centre No. 4, the convicts told their lawyers that they had been subjected to torture. The torture took place under the direction of the officials of the penitentiary colony No. 77. Lawyer Kiptilova M.M. filed a criminal complaint with the territorial office of the State Investigation Bureau in Melitopol and the Prosecutor General's Office, in which she added photos of the injuries of convict Rybchenko K.V.
Since the submission of the applications to the law enforcement authorities (more than two months), no investigative action has been taken with the following convicted persons, no forensic examination has been carried out.
- K.V. Rybchenko: on 09.10.2019, arrived at the Berdyansk colony; on 20.02.2021 he left the Berdyansk colony due to his transfer, by court decision, to the Pervomayskaya correctional colony no.117. On arrival at the Pervomayskaya colony, he was punished with 14 days of solitary confinement.
- Savitsky I.A: on 05.10.2020 he arrived at Berdyansk colony; on 20.02.2021 he was transferred from Berdyansk colony to Bozhkovskaya penal colony (no.16) on the basis of the decision of the Central Departmental Commission. Location - Bozhkovskaya penal colony (№16).
- Legkostup Yevhen Anatolievich: on 05.09.2020, arrived at the Berdyansk colony; on 20.02.2021, he left the Berdyansk colony in connection with participation in court hearings on the criminal case. On arrival at the Kiev pre-trial detention centre, he told human rights defenders about the torture he suffered, through a telephone recording. He is ready to testify officially to the law enforcement authorities in case he is given security and does not return to Berdyansk Colony No. 77.
- V. Trubnikov - arrived in the Berdyansk colony on 29.01.2017; left the Berdyansk colony on 24.02.2021 having served his sentence. Upon arrival in Dnepr, he reported torture; lawyer Kiptilaia M.M. on 16.03.2021 recorded the testimony and sent a criminal complaint to the territorial office of the State Bureau of Investigation in Melitopol and to the Office of the Prosecutor General. According to the reply of the Office of the Prosecutor General, on 06.04.2021, information under part 2 of article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine was entered into the Unified register of pre-trial investigations. The proceedings were sent to the Melitopol SBI for pre-trial investigation.
- Convicts who were released from Berdyansk Colony No. 77 give interviews, in which they point out that the inspections are known in advance and prepared. The administration of the colony, as well as volunteer administrative assistants from among the inmates, warn the prisoners of the serious consequences for those who dare to complain about the conditions of life in the colony: "The inspectors will leave, but you will stay...". They indicate how to behave, what to say, how to refuse conversations. They were also aware of the visit of the CPT delegation in August 2020 to the Berdyansk Penitentiary Colony No. 77, and they were waiting and preparing themselves with special attention. The inmates, who after their release learned from the media that the investigative bodies are conducting a criminal proceeding concerning the misconduct of the administration of the Berdyansk penitentiary colony no.77, decided to testify to this.
a) Yan on 07.12.2020 was released from Berdyansk penal colony №77 he had been serving his sentence in Berdyansk penal colony №77 since 2018.
b) Alexey was released from the Berdyansk colony №77 on 24.09.2020 https://youtu.be/r2I_hypJ2Bc
c) Vladimir Trubnikov, released on 24.02.2021, has served his sentence in Berdyansk penal colony (No. 77) since 2017. https://youtu.be/6kSbrPZBtd0
- After the CPT's visit in August 2020, the penitentiary officials invited journalist Vitaliy Piskun to the Berdyansk 77 colony https://www.facebook.com/VitalWay01, who shot positive material about the colony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTzB2yyJ69o.
The way they prepared for the journalist's visit and conducted rehearsals with the inmates who gave interviews was vividly described by Ikramov Tahir Jurabayovich (released in December 2020).
He has applied to the law enforcement authorities.
- From February to April 2021, former convicts filed criminal complaints with the Prosecutor General's Office and the State Investigation Office, in which they described the torture events that took place in the Berdyansk colony, namely:
- Artyom was released in December 2020 (in Berdyansk colony no.77 since February 2019).
- Nikolai Nikolaevich Markovich was released on 02.06.2020 (in Berdyansk penal colony no.77 since May 2018). On 10.03.2021 he addressed the law enforcement authorities.
- Evgeniy Sergeyevich Belous was released on 21.04.2020 (in Berdyansk penitentiary colony No. 77 since 29.05.2018). On 19.03.2021, he addressed the law enforcement authorities.
- Rybka Dmytro released at the end of 30.04.2020 (in Berdyansk penal colony no.77 since February 2017).
- Zhikin Alexander Aleksandrovich, released on 11.10.2019 (in Berdyansk penal colony no.77 since 29.09.2017). On 19.03.2021 he addressed the law enforcement authorities. https://youtu.be/HG8eHfVz_S8
- Anton Aleksandrovich Solomka released in 2019 (in Berdyansk EC77 since 24.03.2016).
On 26.02.2021, after seeing in the media that the criminal proceeding was underway in Kyiv, he filed a statement in which he repeatedly claimed that he had been subjected to torture and, for the first time, that he had been sexually abused in the Berdyansk facility, which he had not dared to say before.
- Dmitry Silin was released in September 2019 (he was detained in Berdyansk colony No. 77 since March 2018). On 13.03.2021, he gave his testimony to the law enforcement agencies. https://youtu.be/NvIb9s5iX-s
- Alexander Tkachev (ATO participant) was released in October 2018 (he had been held in Berdyansk penal colony No. 77 since October 2017). On 03.03.2021, his mother filed a new application with the Prosecutor General's Office regarding the rape he suffered, from which he later suffered mental disorders. https://youtu.be/fEsOTTYQZ-E
- Convicts currently held in Berdyansk colony no.77.
- Ivan Sergeyevich Kudlatov arrived at Berdyansk colony no.77 - 20.12.2020 is currently in colony no.77.
On 06.01.2021, Y. Kudlatov's mother was on a short visit, where she saw that her son had swollen and bruised hands and was very depressed. After the visit, the mother went to the Berdyansk prosecutor's office, where she wrote a statement saying that, in her opinion, her son had been beaten, that she had personally seen the beaten and swollen hands and her son's condition.
On 22.01.2021, the Berdyansk Prosecutor's Office sent reply No. 31-1077721, stating that the facts stated in the complaint were not confirmed.
On 27.02.2021, the mother Kudlatov Y.A. repeatedly appealed to the General Prosecutor's Office about the criminal offence against her son.
- Alexei Vladimirovich Kolomiets arrived in Berdyansk colony no.77 on 29.04.2019. Currently he works in the colony. Sister Nadezhda stated that once a month she pays 1000 UAH. In addition, on her card were the sums of UAH 20,000 (from Odessa) and UAH 10,000 (Kolovki village), which she, as requested, took out of the card, put in a tea packet and sent to the colony. She did not apply to the police, fearing for her brother's life.
Victims continue to come forward.
Links to videos and media publications on Berdyansk IK-77:
Check back for updates.
II. Temnovskaya Penitentiary Colony No. 100 (TIK-100)
- Information continues to be received that, since the departure of the CPT's delegation from Ukraine in August 2020, the situation at TIK-100 has not improved and that prisoners who had contact with the CPT's delegation were subjected to torture and disciplinary persecution.
- In August 2020, convict Dmitry Sukhov, born on 18 June 1981, had contacts with the CPT delegation in Temnovsk colony no.100. After the delegation left, the ill-treatment continued. He was put on neuroleptics and, in particular, given haloperidol. He was moved from medium to maximum security (confined to a cell until the end of his sentence) and sent to Zhytomyr Penitentiary No. 8. Sukhov's cellmates say that he is unable to come to his senses after the experience in TIK-100, and that he has suicidal thoughts.
The first telephone conversation with him in December 2020 can be found here:
- Prisoner Barabash Vitaly Ivanovich, born in 1974, was serving his sentence in TIK-100 from 2018 to 2020. For appealing to the regional representative of the Rada Commissioner for Human Rights in Sergey Krasnopyorov, human rights activists Oleg Tsvilom, employees of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group (KHPG), he was further humiliated, forced to write a false testimony about human rights defenders, as well as forced to shoot a false video. When the CPT delegation visited TVK-100, Barabash was in the facility, but he was afraid to inform the delegation of the torture he had suffered. At the end of 2020, he was transferred from medium to maximum security (confined to a cell until the end of his sentence) and sent to prison colony No. 46. He is slowly coming around. He is ready to file a complaint with the law enforcement agencies. He shows traces of injuries.
The first conversation with him in December 2020 can be found here:
- Detainee Yevgeny Trombola was illegally transferred from Bila Tserkva IK-35 to TIK-100 where he remained from June 2019 to December 2020. In August 2020, he was in contact with a CPT delegation at TIK-100. After the delegation left, the torture continued.
On 10 December 2020, Y. Trombola, unable to resist the torture, was again forced to self-harm in the form of cuts to his abdomen. At the request of his wife, he was visited by representatives of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group (KHPG), who recorded the fact of a cut in the abdominal region.
After the departure of the CPT delegation, Y.Trombola was sanctioned 4 times.
On arrival at the Kiev pre-trial detention centre on 12.01.2021, Mr Trombola stated that after the delegation left, torture in the colony had not stopped, everything had remained at the same level.
See the recording in the Kyiv pre-trial detention centre on 12.01.2021:
Trombola tells where he hid the reports written by the volunteer administration assistants (PPS) of the detainees:
On 17.03.2021, i.e. two months later, by decision of the Central Commission of the DKVS, the convict Y. Trombola was repeatedly transferred from Belotserkovskaya IK-35 to Alekseevskaya IK-25.
On 22.03.2021, when Y. Trombola learned that he was again sent to the Kharkov Region penal colony, he cut his throat. Despite this, he was forcibly loaded into a van and transported to Alekseevsk colony No. 25, where he is currently.
- For an example of how false testimony to human rights defenders is imposed, see the video: https://youtu.be/0FinrWwldRw.
- The appeals of the victims of the Temnovsky-100 prison colony are collected in a playlist at: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLklFBNAF8mwNAe37uL2N8veQ_M3wn9D_U.
Playlist of public videos on TIK-100: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLklFBNAF8mwM2qnMsfAiPABawcjc1MzZO
Check back for updates.
III. Alekseevsk Correctional Colony No. 25
Since the visit of the CPT delegation in August 2020, no information has been received concerning violence against inmates at AIK 25. In our opinion, the administration of this colony is waiting for the completion of the investigation into the events of January 2020 and the criminal proceeding against the three heads of the colony opened in the second half of 2019. We also have to take into account the high degree of closure of the colony: it is extremely difficult to know what is going on there. We intend to continue monitoring and recording violations of detainees' rights, if they become known.
Calls from victims of Alekseevsky IK-25 are collected in the playlist by the link :
Playlist of public videos on AIK-25:
Check back for updates.
IV. Actions of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Government
a. 15.12.2020 - it appeared that Ukraine received the CPT report on 30.11.2020, the translation was published on the KHPG website.
b. 26.01.2021 - Street protest action under the walls of the Ministry of Justice "We are against torture and inaction of authorities". This action took place after Maxim Chukin (head of Berdyansk facility no.77) was nominated for promotion to the central department in Kiev. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkymIBefSTs
c. 26.01. 2021 - order no.141/k "to dismiss" Chukin Maxim Vladimirovich, preamble: "in accordance with paragraph two of the preamble, Articles 12-14 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Disciplinary Status of Internal Affairs of Ukraine" and subparagraph 13-1 paragraph 12 of the Regulations of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on July 2, 2014 № 228, as part of the improper performance of official duties, I order to dismiss Chukin . .. ".
d. 27.01.2021 - Order No. 68/OS-21 /k "to appoint" Chukin Maxim Vladimirovich to the position of Deputy Head of the Department - Head of the Department of Security and Cynology of the Department of Penitentiary Administration of the city of Kyiv from 28.01.2021;
e. 01.02.2021 - Amendments to the Order of 26.01.2021 No. 141/k "On Dismissal" Chukin Maxim Vladimirovich, whereby the preamble of the above-mentioned Order is amended as follows: "In accordance with the laws of Ukraine", "On the State Criminal Executive Service of Ukraine", "On the National Police" and the Regulation of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on July 2, 2014 № 228" [see paragraph c]
f. 22.02.2021 - Order 218/OS-21 of 22.02.20210 "On the appointment" of Natalya Leonidovna Chukina (wife of Maxim Vladimirovich Chukin) to the position of Senior Inspector for Special Assignments of the Personnel Training Division of the Personnel Department (with management rights) of the Department of Execution of Criminal Sanctions in the city of Kyiv.
g. 26.01.2021 - Order No. 142/k "On the refacility" of Maxim Valeryevich Korotych to the post of Head of Berdyansk Colony No. 77, dated 28.01.2021.
h. 17.02.2021 - Meeting of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on human rights, de-occupation and reintegration of temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk, Luhansk and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol, national minorities and interethnic relations (hereinafter - the Committee) in the presence of Minister of Justice D.L. Maliuska.
According to the chairman of the committee, Dmitry Lubinets, the situation in the facility has remained unchanged for many years.
"Horrible stories are told from the mouths of convicts all over Ukraine. It is no secret that the colony is in fact a concentration camp. Former prisoners call it a hell, where slaves live. Hundreds of people ask the Human Rights Committee for help. A European-level institution comes to the colony for an inspection whose findings are shameful for Ukraine. However, the stories of torture and inhuman treatment continue, the system continues to flourish," the MP said in a Facebook post.
The Lubinets-led committee repeatedly raises the issue of mistreatment in Berdyansk colony no.77.
i. 25.02.2021 - Agreement of Deputy Minister of Justice Vysotskaya O.V.
"on the appointment" of Maxim Valeryevich Korotich to the post of Head of the Department of Social-Educational Work and Ensuring the Rights of Prisoners of the South-Eastern Interregional Department.
j. 26.02.2021 - Order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine No. 692 / 7 "On conducting an official investigation" - an official investigation was initiated.
k. 03.03.2021 - Order No. 426/k "On dismissal" of Maxim Valeryevich Korotych from the post of Head of Berdyansk Colony No. 77 as of 09.03.2021 (reason: report of 23.02.2021)
l. 10.03.2021 - A round table "On the condition of human rights in places of detention" was held in the Committee of the Rada of Ukraine, where the issue of Berdyansk Penitentiary Colony No. 77 was raised again. Deputy Minister of Justice O.V. Vysotskaya participated in the round table. She was asked why M.V. Korotych was present on the territory of the colony when the representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office were controlling it!
m. 10-12.03.2021 - Representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office carry out an inspection in the facility no.77 of Berdyansk.
n. 16.03.2021 - Order to amend the order of 03.03.2021 No. 427/K "On duty" (Korotich Maxim Valeryevich) - change the numbers and the words "10 March" to "19 March". [see para. k.]
o. 18.03.2021 - The response of Ukraine to the CPT's report on the ad hoc visit to Ukraine in August 2020 is published on the CPT's website.
p. 31.03.2021 - The meeting of the Committee took place. At the Committee meeting, Deputy Minister Elena Vysotskaia answered questions from MPs. One of these questions concerned the head of Berdyansk Penitentiary Colony No. 77, Maksym Korotych, who, in the course of an official investigation initiated by Order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine No. 692/7 of 26.02.2021 [see paragraph 12], was present in the facility and could have influenced the results of the inspection conducted by the Prosecutor General's Office, which took place from 10 to 12 March 2021 [see paragraph 15]. At the same time, the Chairman of the Committee and the People's Deputies noted that already on 17.02.2021, at the Committee meeting, a decision was taken to suspend M.V. Korotych.
q. 08.04.2021 - a group consisting of the People's Deputy of Ukraine Konstantin Kasaia, the head of the Advisory Council to the President of Ukraine on the guarantee of rights and freedoms of defenders of Ukraine Alena Verbytska, the executive director of the UHHRU Olexander Pavlichenko, the representative of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the URV Valeria Baturinska - conducted a monitoring visit to Berdyansk VK 77. The participants of the visit discovered that all new arrivals to the facility are beaten with batons by National Guard officers as part of the so-called "registration" proceeding. Two persons reported physical injuries from blows to the head and forearm (see photo), which were recorded by the participants in the visit.
The detainees also told the monitors that during the day they were not allowed to sit down, they were standing all the time. In addition, they complained that physical exercises take the form of physical abuse, as they are forced to squat 1,000 or even 5,000 times.
r. 13.04.2021 - The Supreme Court of Ukraine returned to the first instance the case of Molokov Nikolai Nikolaevich, who was accused since 2015 of attacking the administration of the Berdyansk penal colony no.77, under Art. 392 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.