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SBI investigators and OPG prosecutors looked into interrelation of standards of the ECHR and Geneva Conventions in the context of investigating gross human rights violations at the time of war

Kyiv, Ukraine 26 August 2022
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SBI investigators and OPG prosecutors looked into interrelation of standards of the ECHR and Geneva Conventions in the context of investigating gross human rights violations at the time of war

How do basic concepts operated by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Geneva Conventions differ? How exactly do these interact in the issues of preserving life, determining control over territories, ensuring investigation effectiveness and requirements for investigation without physical access to a territory? What are the peculiarities of applying these standards to illustrative Ukrainian situations of today?

These and other issues were discussed today by more than 130 investigators from the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and prosecutors of the Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG) with guidance from the Council of Europe experts.  

“Today, during the armed confrontation of Ukraine against aggression of the Russian Federation, it is very important to improve knowledge in the field of application of international humanitarian law and the European Convention on Human Rights, the proper application of which will help preserve the image of our state internationally and fill in potential gaps with the necessary knowledge. The work we do on the legal front is no less important than the one on the front line” - Taras Semkiv, Deputy Head of the Department for Combating Crimes Committed During Armed Conflict of the Office of the Prosecutor General.

“Even when protecting the society from terrorism, in case of public danger that threatens the life of the nation, the state cannot deviate from its obligations and must ensure protection of human rights and freedoms” - Artem Medvedenko, Deputy Head of the Main Investigative Department of the State Bureau of Investigation.

“One of the priority directions of our department's work is to supervise compliance with laws in places of deprivation of liberty. Since the beginning of the war, the legislation provided for the creation of special precincts for the proper detention of war prisoners in penal institutions. Our state, together with the Office of the Prosecutor General, is making efforts to ensure proper detention of prisoners of war. We are very grateful to the Council of Europe for helping us obtain additional and improve the acquired knowledge on the urgent issues that arise today, because our international partners are closely following these processes in our state” - Oleh Duka, Head of the Department for Combating Human Rights Violations in the Law Enforcement and Penitentiary Spheres of the Office of the Prosecutor General.

During the online seminar, participants had an opportunity to look into Geneva Conventions from the perspective of categories under protection, familiarize themselves with key categories of the ECHR, which are important to understand in the context of armed conflict, as well as to learn about the aspects that arise in case of derogations under the ECHR.

Participants and seminar trainers discussed the most topical issues that lie within the practical footing of event theme, exchanged views on controversial or ambiguous issues, and had an opportunity to evaluate their knowledge in the field during an online survey.

The event was organized within the framework of the Council of Europe project “Supporting Institutions to Combat Ill-Treatment in Ukraine, Phase II” in cooperation with the SBI and OPG.


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