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Investigation into Alleged Ill-Treatment in Ukraine: presentation of research findings

Kyiv, Ukraine 17 December 2021
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Investigation into Alleged Ill-Treatment in Ukraine: presentation of research findings

On 15 December 2021, the Council of Europe organised a presentation of the report “Investigation into Alleged Ill-Treatment Contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights in Ukraine”. The Report is based on research into how well legal provisions, policies and organisational arrangements of relevance for investigations into alleged ill-treatment by law enforcement officers in Ukraine are being put into practice. The research was conducted by the Council of Europe to examine the implementation by Ukraine of the obligation to conduct an effective investigation into alleged ill-treatment contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, where such ill-treatment is claimed to have been inflicted by law enforcement officers.

The event was organized to present the results of conducted research, facilitate the discussions among key stakeholders in the area, and to exchange views on further steps to improve the effectiveness of investigation of alleged ill-treatment, inflicted by law enforcement officers.

The presentation brought together key national and international actors, including high-level representatives of the State Bureau of Investigation, Office of the Prosecutor General, Secretariat of the Government Agent in Charge of the Cases at the European Court of Human Rights at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, as well as the international expert and a group of national consultants of the Council of Europe, who conducted the research.

In his opening remarks, Steen Nørlov, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, highlighted the importance of diligent analysis and research of the problem of alleged ill-treatment inflicted by law enforcement officers to facilitate the compliance of Ukraine with the Council of Europe standards and relevant judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

Oleksii Symonenko, Deputy Prosecutor General, noted the importance of cooperation between national and international bodies, including in the area of prevention and investigation of alleged ill-treatment in the criminal justice system. He also stated that the Prosecutor General of Ukraine proclaimed the “zero tolerance” policy to the situations of alleged ill-treatment, inflicted by law enforcement officers.

Oleksandr Sokolov, Deputy Director of the State Bureau of Investigation, emphasized the necessity to investigate torture and other form of ill-treatment, inflicted by law enforcement officers, and noted that need for proper investigation of such cases was among the reasons for establishing the State Bureau of Investigation.

The presentation comprised of two parts, moderated by Mykola Gnatovskyy, member and former President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. First part focused on the presentation of the main findings and recommendations by the research team members – international expert, Jeremy McBride, barrister, Monckton Chambers, London, and national consultants Yevhen Krapyvin and Andriy Sliusar. Second part was devoted to the panel discussion on the effective investigation of alleged ill-treatment by law enforcement officers, with the participation of representatives of the State Bureau of Investigation, Office of the Prosecutor General, and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

The research and presentation were conducted within the framework of the Council of Europe Projects “Human Rights Compliant Criminal Justice System in Ukraine” and “Supporting Institutions to Combat Ill-Treatment in Ukraine”, which are part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018-2022.