The Council of Europe’s Committee for the prevention of torture (CPT) in its new report on the situation of Ukrainian prisons welcomed law enforcement sector reform and positive developments in the previously visited Colonies, but expressed serious concern about ill-treatment by police officers and about the absence of progress in the situation of life-sentenced prisoners (See also the executive summary of the report)
The CPT welcomed major reforms in the law-enforcement in Ukraine, namely the creation of the unified national police service.
However, ill-treatment by police officers (slaps, punches, kicks or blows with a truncheon or a plastic bottle filled with water), in most cases allegedly inflicted by operational police officers attempting to obtain confessions, remained a matter of serious concern. While the severity of ill-treatment, as compared to the 2013 visit, had diminished, the frequency of allegations remained at a worrying level. The CPT called upon the Ukrainian authorities to pursue a policy of “zero tolerance” of police ill-treatment, and effectively investigate all the complaints.
Other police-related problems included unrecorded detentions, non-application of safeguards against ill-treatment, such as the rights of access to a lawyer and to a doctor, and continued practice of detaining persons in police facilities beyond the statutory limit of 72 hours.