The severity of ill-treatment by the law enforcement in Ukraine appears to have diminished, but allegations are still frequent. Poor material conditions, overcrowding and lack of out-of-cell activities remain major problems in prisons; and the system of guardianship in psychiatric and social care establishments should be improved. These are the key findings of the report published today by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) on its most recent visit to Ukraine in December 2017 (see also the executive summary of the report).
While the CPT welcomed efforts by the Ukrainian authorities to address ill-treatment by the law enforcement and gained the impression that, compared to 2016, the severity of such ill-treatment had diminished, the frequency of allegations remained at a worrying level, especially in Kyiv. The CPT delegation notably received complaints of the excessive use of force during apprehension by the police and during initial questioning. The unacceptable practice of unrecorded detentions has not been fully eliminated; CPT also recommended ensuring that all detained persons from the very outset have access to a lawyer, and that the appointed ex officio lawyers perform their functions in a timely, diligent and professional manner.