2003 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Theo van Boven


1863. By letter dated 2 September 2002, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information on the following individual cases, to which the Government responded on 28 November 2002.

1864. Ruslan Antonik was reportedly arrested in Pechersky Park in Kyiv on 19 May 2000 by police officers from the Pechersky department of police in Kyiv, it was alleged that between 20 and 25 May he had been repeatedly interrogated. He was believed to have been severely beaten by other detainees sharing the same cell for several days and police officers did reportedly not appear to intervene in order to prevent the beatings. He was allegedly hospitalized on 25 May 2000 suffering from a fractured nose, severe concussion and multiple bruising, as well as hyper-tension requiring the attention of a neurologist. He was allegedly not given access to a lawyer until 25 May.

1865. The Government responded that Ruslan Antonik had been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for premeditated murder on 28 December 2000. On 12 April 2001, the sentence was upheld by the Kiev City Court which noted that the claim that militia personnel had used unlawful methods of investigation against Ruslan Antonik was not corroborated. On 27 December 2001, the Supreme Court of Ukraine rejected an application for review by the convicted and his counsel.

1866. Oleg Cherkashin and his girlfriend were reportedly arrested on 19 February 2000 and taken to Khortitsa police station in Zaporizhzhya, where Oleg Cherkashin’s girlfriend was allegedly handcuffed to metal bars, forced to strip and sexually assaulted. It was belived that both were threatened with further ill- treatment. 1867. The Government responded that upon a complaint lodged by Oleg Cherkashin and a subsequent investigation, the Khortitsa district procurator had concluded that the detainees had not been subjected to or threatened with physical violence. Accordingly, no criminal proceedings were instituted against the Khortitsa district militia. In 2002, after having confessed his crime and stated that what he had declared in his complaint did not correspond to the facts, Oleg Cherkashin was convicted of theft and sentenced to one year imprisonment. He was released under the Amnesty Act of 5 July 2001.

Urgent appeals

1868. On 2 July 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal on behalf of Timur Flores Lopez. On 14 June 2002, a group of masked law enforcement officials reportedly entered the cell, which Timur Flores Lopez shared with about 30 other prisoners at Prison No.1 in Vinnytsa. They allegedly beat him in front of other prisoners. He was then placed in a small isolation cell or “cooler”. He was reportedly only removed from the isolation cell after an official complaint was lodged by a relative with the prison authorities. The Ukrainian Human Rights Ombudsperson's Office was also said to have been informed and visited the prison on 18 June 2002, reportedly confirming the incident. It was believed that he was subjected to this treatment for having made allegation of torture and ill- treatment against local law enforcement officials.


1869. The Special Rapporteur considers it appropriate to draw attention to the concerns expressed by the Committee against Torture after its consideration of the fourth periodic report of Ukraine in November 2001 under the Convention against Torture, in which the Committee expressed its concern about “[t]he numerous instances indicating that torture is still being regularly practiced in the State party and that, according to the Commissioner for Human Rights, 30% of prisoners are victims of torture. (…)The numerous cases of convictions based on confessions and the criterion for promotion of investigators said to include the number of solved crimes, which can lead to torture and ill-treatment of detainees or suspects to force them to "confess". Failure on the part of the authorities to carry out prompt, impartial and thorough investigations into allegations of such acts and to prosecute and punish those responsible.” (CAT/C/XXVII/Concl.2, para. 4 (a) (d) and (e)) Similar concerns were also expressed by the Human Rights Committee after its consideration of the fifth periodic report of Ukraine under the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in November 2001: “the persistence of widespread use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees by law enforcement officials.” (CCPR/CO/73/UKR, prar. 15)

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