a-6205 (ACC-UKR-6205)

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„Torture and other ill-treatment in police detention continued to be widely reported. In May, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) considered Ukraine’s fifth periodic report on the implementation of the Convention against Torture. The CAT expressed concern about the impunity enjoyed by law enforcement officers for acts of torture; the failure of the Prosecutor General’s Office to conduct prompt, impartial and effective investigations into complaints of torture; and the use of confessions as principal evidence for prosecutions.
In June, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) published the report of its visit to Ukraine in October 2005. The CPT found that there had been a “slight reduction as regards the scale of the phenomenon of ill-treatment”, but that persons detained by the police still ran a “significant risk” of being subjected to ill-treatment, and even torture, particularly during interrogation. The CPT drew attention to the misuse of the Administrative Code to bring people into police custody for questioning about criminal offences, the fact that judges often failed to react to allegations of ill-treatment, and that forensic reports in cases of allegations of ill-treatment could only be provided with authorization from the police.”
Der hier von AI angesprochene Bericht des CPT (European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment):
  • Europarat – CPT: Report to the Ukrainian Government on the visit to Ukraine carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 9 to 21 October 2005, 20. Juni 2007
    http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/ukr/2007-22-inf-eng.htm (Zugriff am 8. Juli 2008)
Der oben von AI angesprochene Bericht des UN Committee against Torture (CAT):
Article 11: Interrogation rules, practices and conditions of detention
Amnesty International is concerned that persons suspected of crimes are frequently not permitted access to a lawyer during questioning. The right to legal defence is set out in Ukrainian legislation, but Amnesty International is concerned that the law is not clear enough about when a person should be granted access to a lawyer. […]
Also, Amnesty International is concerned about the lack of availability of legal aid throughout the country for persons who cannot afford to hire their own counsel. […]
In the letter to Amnesty International of 17 November 2005, the Ministry of Internal Affairs admitted that overcrowding in facilities where people are held prior to trial is a problem and stated that it was taking measures to increase the use of alternative measures. […] Amnesty International is concerned that until these measures are implemented, many people will continue to be detained rather than being released on bail; and thus many will continue to be exposed to the risk of torture and ill-treatment in ITTs and police stations. In some facilities they are also at risk of contracting communicable diseases.
Conditions in Detention
In the letter to Amnesty International of 17 November 2005, the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs admitted that conditions in ITTs were not in line with international standards: 13 per cent of pre-trial detention centres were not equipped with water and sewage facilities, one in four had insufficient natural lighting and lacked individual sleeping places, only one in five had an exercise yard and each detainee has only 2.5 square metres living space. A programme of reconstruction has begun and the government has allocated 30 million Hryvnya (4,840 million Euros) to refurbish and build new pre-trial detention centres. However the Ministry of Interior informed Amnesty International in their letter that this amount is inadequate. Amnesty International is concerned that many detainees continue to be held in very poor conditions, which amounted to cruel and inhuman treatment. […]
According to the World Health Organization, Ukraine has an estimated tuberculosis (TB) case rate of 95 cases per year per 100,000 people which is the eighth highest in Europe and Eurasia. In a country with a very high rate of TB, overcrowding and poor conditions in pre-trial detention have led to a high rate of infection among detainees. […]
Article 13: Prompt and impartial investigations of alleged torture or other ill-treatment and the duty to protect complainants and witnesses
As highlighted in its 2005 report on torture and other ill-treatment in Ukraine, Amnesty International’s research indicates that perpetrators of torture or ill-treatment enjoy effective impunity. When investigations are carried out they do not meet international standards of promptness, thoroughness, independence and impartiality. Flawed investigations result in few prosecutions of law enforcement officers; and in the few cases where an official is convicted, often minimal sentences are imposed. The Prosecutor plays a central role, not only in the prosecution of cases, but also in the investigation of torture allegations. By its very nature, however, the institution is not independent or impartial. Through their work on criminal investigations prosecutors have very close personal links with the police officers they work with, and as a result are often reluctant to pursue complaints.

Prosecutions of police officers
Acts of torture or ill-treatment by police officers, when prosecuted, are prosecuted under two articles of the Criminal Code. Article 127 which criminalizes torture was added to the Ukrainian Criminal Code in 2001. In January 2005 the law was amended so that it expressly criminalized such conduct when committed by state officials. Until these amendments were adopted, this provision of the law only criminalized torture by private individuals. The definition of torture in the article is now in line with the definition of torture in Article 1 of the Convention against Torture. Police officers can also be prosecuted for exceeding authority or official powers under Article 365 of the Criminal Code.(6) However, despite these legal provisions there are problems within the criminal justice system which make it difficult for victims to lodge complaints,(7) to get those complaints investigated promptly, independently and impartially, and to obtain justice through those responsible being disciplined or prosecuted. […]
The Role of the Public Prosecutor […]
The Role of judges […]
Reprisals against complainants
Four of the individuals who featured in Amnesty International’s 2005 report have faced reprisals from police aimed at dissuading them from pursuing their complaints. Three of the individuals have been forced to leave Ukraine and seek asylum in other countries as a result. […]” (Hervorhebungen im Original; siehe dort für weitere Details zu den im Zitat angeführten Überschriften)
Zitate aus dem Summary, siehe Bericht S.642-646 (S.14-18 im PDF) für weitere Details:
Judicial Framework and Independence. The primary shortcomings of the Ukrainian judiciary include lack of public respect for court decisions and the judicial system as a whole, insufficient financing of the court system, and an inefficient and nontransparent process of appointing judges. These problems remained untouched during 2007. The dismissal of the prosecutor general in May, along with the Constitutional Court decision revoking the president’s right to appoint and dismiss heads and deputy heads of courts, led to imbalances in the overall judicial framework and raised broad public discussion over the need to reform the judicial system. Unfortunately, preoccupation with the election campaign and the subsequent process of creating a coalition drew main political players away from creating real initiatives. As the independence of the judiciary at all levels entered into a state of uncertainty and remained there while judicial reforms were ignored, Ukraine’s rating for judicial framework and independence deteriorated from 4.50 to 4.75.
Corruption. The year did not feature a significant campaign to fight corruption in Ukraine. The months-long process of preparation for the early parliamentary election and the creation of the coalition put anticorruption measures on the political back burner. The August 2007 adoption of the Decree on Measures Plan on the Implementation of the Concept on a Way to Integrity (Measures Plan) by the Cabinet of Ministers proved the only significant event in this regard. The Measures Plan set a number of concrete benchmarks to be reached by 2010, established the aims of the concept, defined the responsible state bodies, and created an implementation timetable for each of the measures. Despite the adoption of the Measures Plan, corruption remains dominant in Ukrainian society. Ukraine’s rating for corruption remains at 5.75.“ (Hervorhebungen im Original)
“Despite positive steps, cases of torture and ill-treatment continue to be reported, in particular in pre-trial detention and prison facilities. Investigation into complaints of torture and ill-treatment and prosecution of the perpetrators remain insufficient. Ukraine is cooperating with the CoE’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), whose latest visit to Ukraine took place in December 2007. However, a number of the CPT recommendations have yet to be implemented. The establishment of the National Preventive Mechanism required under the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture remains under discussion. Positive developments were noted regarding cooperation with civil society in the monitoring of detention facilities. An order from Ministry of Internal Affairs was issued in April 2007 requesting that all detainees must be informed of their rights. However, the police have not subsequently received instructions on how to carry out the order. Detainees in pretrial detention continue to be subjected to harsh conditions, and cases of harassment of persons belonging to sexual minorities by the police continue to be reported.” (S.5, Hervorh. im Orig.)
“The Venice Commission has also recommended reforming and limiting the excessive powers of the prosecution service, which would require relevant amendments to the Constitution. In addition, the draft law on prosecution reform has not yet been adopted by the Parliament. Training of judges and human rights experts took place throughout 2007 and was provided through joint cooperation programmes between the EC and the CoE. A number of draft laws on the judiciary, including a draft law on the status and recruitment of judges and a new code of criminal procedure, mainly in line with the recommendations of the CoE, were introduced to the Parliament by the President in November 2007. Amendments to the law on the bar, which envisage equal access to the bar profession for both Ukrainian and foreign citizens, were adopted in November 2006. Nevertheless, further efforts to improve the court reform and to ensure the independence, impartiality and efficiency of the judiciary remain to be done, as well as decisive steps to reform law enforcement bodies.
Towards the end of 2006, efforts were made to initiate anti-corruption legislation. The OECD pointed in a report of December 2006 to a number of shortcomings in Ukraine’s fight against corruption, notably to the need to reform the criminal legislation to meet international standards and to close loopholes which allow allegedly corrupt persons to escape jurisdiction, to strengthen prosecution of corruption and to address the problem of immunity of senior officials. Political corruption and corruption in the judiciary need special attention. The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) adopted its peer review report on Ukraine in March 2007.” (S.3-4, Hervorh. im Orig.)
Siehe auch insbesondere Kapitel V.3.c (S.16) zu Folter/Polizeigewalt und Kapitel VI (S.16-19) zu Haftbedingungen aus folgendem Bericht:
Das US Department of State (USDOS) berichtet im Menschenrechtsbericht 2007, der im März 2008 veröffentlicht wurde, unter anderem folgendes (siehe im Bericht für weitere Details):
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment
While the Constitution and the law prohibit such practices, police frequently employed severe violence against persons in custody.
On May 21, the UN Committee against Torture released a statement voicing deep concern over reports of mistreatment of pretrial suspects and said the system provided "insufficient legal safeguards" for detainees.
According to numerous human rights groups, law enforcement personnel used force and mistreatment routinely and with impunity to extract confessions and information from detainees. According to Human Rights Watch, police sometimes coerced testimony from drug users by withholding treatment for painful withdrawal symptoms while in custody.
Police officers were often not adequately trained or equipped to gather evidence and depended on confessions to meet ambitious quotas to solve cases. The law does not clearly prohibit statements made under torture from being introduced as evidence in court proceedings. In addition, an ineffective system for investigating allegations of abuse and detainees' lack of access to defense lawyers and doctors did little to check this practice.
According to the Ukrainian-American Human Rights Bureau (UAHRB), about 80 percent of detainees are subjected to torture to extract confessions. Responding to its 2006 survey of 569 persons in 10 correctional facilities, a significant number stated that law enforcement personnel used violence (81.1 percent), that police used violence during arrest (41 percent), that police used violence in temporary holding facilities (74.2 percent), and that prison personnel tortured them in pretrial detention facilities (8.8 percent).
During the year authorities prosecuted police officers who abused persons in detention. The PGO confirmed that 28 criminal cases were launched against law enforcement personnel on charges of torture and inhumane or degrading treatment; seven cases were forwarded to courts. Criminal charges were brought against 43 law enforcement personnel for violating the law by using unlawful methods of investigation and inquiry. The MOI confirmed 345 cases against 271 law enforcement personnel during the first nine months of the year; two involved torture with one defendant acquitted and the other case ongoing at year's end.
The UAHRB reported that two men accused of murder, Ivan Nechyporuk and Oleksandr Motsniy, were subjected to electrical shock, bound and hung up, and beaten until they confessed in December 2006. The Ternopil Court of Appeal sentenced them to 15 years in prison for murder. Forensic checks indicated torture, but police and procuracy took no action. In October, media sources reported that they remained in the Khmelnytskiy pretrial detention facility. […]”
“Prison and Detention Center Conditions
Prison and detention center conditions generally did not meet international standards; the government permitted visits by independent human rights monitors.
The penal system consists of 183 institutions, including 138 penal colonies, 33 pretrial detention facilities, two facilities for chronic alcoholics, and 10 correctional institutions for minors. The SPD confirmed that as of December 1, 150,950 persons were kept in penal facilities and 32,424 persons were held in the 33 pretrial detention facilities. According to NGOs, although prison conditions remained poor, they continued to improve slowly as a result of reforms in the penal system and the establishment of MOI mobile monitoring groups.
According to the MOI, as of October there were 487 police temporary holding facilities, in which 197,586 inmates were kept. Conditions in police temporary holding facilities and pretrial detention facilities were harsher than in low and medium security prisons. They were sometimes overcrowded or lacked adequate sanitation and medical facilities. The MOI confirmed that as of October 25, there were 13 deaths in these facilities from various causes, including five suicides. The human rights ombudsman's office reported that 98 persons died from various causes, including poor conditions, in pretrial detention facilities in the first 10 months of 2007, an increase over previous years.
The NGO Donetsk Memorial reported that sanitary conditions and nutrition significantly improved at prisons and a number of police temporary holding facilities in Donetsk Oblast. In May the media reported that a temporary holding facility that met international standards was opened in the Tsyuryupynsk district police division.
Knowledgeable independent experts noted that overcrowding at detention facilities remained a problem, particularly in police temporary holding facilities. In July Human Rights Commissioner Karpachova visited the Lukianivka pretrial detention facility in Kyiv. While she noted some improvements, including better sanitary conditions, she expressed concern about overcrowding.
There were several reports of self-inflicted injuries and violent incidents in prisons and detention centers. These incidents were frequently a result of harsh treatment of prisoners by facility staff, who beat prisoners and destroyed their food. In three publicized instances, prisoners with self-inflicted wounds were transferred to facilities with a harsher regime of detention or received longer sentences for other minor offenses. During the year the media reported several incidents of prisoner-on-prisoner violence in pretrial detention facilities with fatalities. […]
Media and human rights organizations reported on January 14 that over 1,000 inmates at the Izyaslav correctional facility No. 31 in Khmelnytskiy Oblast went on a hunger strike to protest unsatisfactory conditions, including poor food and medical care, and mistreatment by prison personnel. According to human rights groups, a SPD commission inspected the facility and found expired medicine and canned food dating back to 1979. A day after the commission's visit, the facility's chief Andriy Bozhko denied there was a protest in a televised interview, which was followed by another wave of protests. On January 22, antiriot personnel entered the prison to conduct searches and proceeded to beat the inmates. According to the KGHRP, guards forced inmates to sign backdated statements that they had no complaints. Several prisoners were later transferred to eight facilities across the country, the SPD threatened to extend their prison sentences, and family members of protest leaders received threats. Human rights groups have appealed to the PGO for an investigation, but there were no reports of action taken at year's end. On December 17, inmates announced a hunger strike to protest against unsatisfactory detention conditions including wet, cold, and poorly ventilated cells, limited running water, and vermin infestation.
Overcrowding and poor conditions in pretrial detention have exacerbated the problem of tuberculosis (TB) among prisoners. Prison officials stated that mandatory screening of all new inmates for the disease had reduced infection rates and human rights organizations noted placement of X-ray machines in several prison facilities as a positive development. The SPD reported that the number of persons diagnosed with tuberculosis was half that of the previous year. As of October, 6,359 inmates had been diagnosed with TB and there were 544 TB-related deaths. The SPD claimed that during the past five years, it managed to reduce the number of TB-related deaths in prisons by 25 percent. The incidence of TB in temporary police holding facilities was reduced 40.5 percent and in prisons by 27.1 percent in comparison to 2006. Pretrial detention facilities were not able to provide comprehensive TB treatment. During a July visit to Lukianivka pretrial detention facility in Kyiv, Human Rights Commissioner Karpachova noted that TB is not only found among inmates, but also among prison staff, legal counselors, and investigators. SPD officials stated that inmates with tuberculosis were isolated from the general population and treated at one main prison hospital complex in Kharkiv Oblast. […]
HIV-infected prisoners were frequently not allowed to receive specialized medication. […]
Prisoners and detainees were permitted to file complaints with the commissioner for human rights concerning detention conditions, but human rights organizations noted that prison officials censored or discouraged complaints. The procuracy and ombudsman's offices occasionally disclosed the names of inmates who filed complaints with the SPD opening them to possible reprisals from prison administrators. According to the KGHRP, in the first six months of the year, the SPD received almost 500 complaints, 164 of which concerned beatings or bodily injuries. According to the NGO, the SPD did not acknowledge any incidents.”
“d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention
The Constitution and the law prohibit arbitrary arrest and detention; however, these remained problems. […]
Role of the Police and Security Apparatus
Police corruption remained a problem. […]
Arrest and Detention
Lengthy pretrial detention remained a problem. […] Human rights organizations reported that police continued using the maximum term of 72 hours for pretrial detention to extract evidence which could be used against the detained person. Often courts extended detention to 10 days to allow police more time to get confessions. Police frequently used administrative arrests in criminal investigations: If a person failed to respond to a summons, police detained them and filed administrative charges for resisting a lawful police order, the possible penalties for which may include a fine, correctional service, or up to 15 days of administrative arrest. The KGHRP reported that, in 2006, 31,407 persons were detained for administrative offenses. While police could hold a suspect under administrative arrest for only three days, they frequently detained persons immediately after their release under a different charge in order to continue their criminal investigation. […]
e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
The Constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary, but in practice the judiciary remained subject to pressure from the executive and legislative branches and also suffered from corruption and inefficiency. […]
The judiciary also suffered from corruption and inefficiency. There were indications that suspects often bribed court officials to drop charges before cases went to trial or to lessen or commute sentences.
The office of the human rights ombudsman noted low public trust in the court system based on complaints received from the public. Every third complaint concerned lack of fair trials, including non-execution of court rulings, unlawful actions by judges, and lengthy court proceedings. […]
Failure to enforce court decisions in civil cases also undermined the authority and independence of the judicial system. The State Executive Service is responsible for enforcing most civil decisions, and the number of cases referred to it continued to grow. Existing provisions permitting criminal punishment for noncompliance with court decisions were rarely used. The chairs of the Supreme Court, the regional courts, and the Kyiv municipal court (or their deputies) have the authority to suspend court decisions, which provided additional opportunities for outside interference, manipulation, and corruption. […]
While the law does provide for judicial independence, in some cases it gives the president power over the judiciary. […]
Trial Procedures
The Constitution includes procedural provisions intended to ensure a fair trial, including the right of suspects or witnesses to refuse to testify against themselves or their relatives; however, these rights were limited by the absence of implementing legislation, which left a largely Soviet-era criminal justice system in place. The defendant is formally presumed innocent, but the system maintains high conviction rates, similar to that of the Soviet era. […]”
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