Tortures and secret jails in Ukraine

UN high commissioner on human rights has issued a new report on human rights violation in Ukraine. The report contains information about tortures in the zone of military conflict led by state security and violation from paramilitary groups of Ukrainian fascists. Here is an abstract from this report.
“OHCHR received allegations of enforced disappearances, arbitrary and incommunicado detention, torture and ill-treatment committed by Ukrainian law enforcement. Among these were over 20 cases of arbitrary detention and illtreatment. OHCHR communicates well-founded information to the relevant Ukrainian authorities and requests investigations into the allegations. Many of the victims of these cases approach OHCHR demanding justice for the violations they suffered. Until there is genuine investigation and prosecution of those responsible, these victims continue to have their rights to access to justice and redress mechanisms violated.
The majority of cases documented during the reporting period concerned incidents in the conflict zone. While the cases from 2014 and early 2015 suggest that volunteer battalions (often in conjunction with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)) were frequent perpetrators, information from the late 2015 and early 2016 mostly implicate SBU. Many of these cases concern incommunicado detention in unofficial detention facilities where torture and ill-treatment are persistently used as means to extract confessions or information, or to intimidate or punish the victim. SBU continued to deny practicing secret or incommunicado detention, the mere existence of unofficial detention facilities, and the whereabouts and fate of individuals who were forcibly disappeared. SBU officials continue to maintain that allegations documented by OHCHR are “unfounded insinuations” made by criminals trying to portray themselves as victims.
On 20 February 2016, a Mariupol resident was transferred to Donetsk as part of a simultaneous release of detainees. Since March 2015, he had been held incommunicado at the Kharkov SBU. He was apprehended in Mariupol on 28 January 2015 and kept in an illegal detention facility. There, he was reportedly severely tortured and electrocuted by three men who wanted him to identify supporters of the ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ in Mariupol. On 8 February 2015, he was charged under article 258 (terrorism) of the Criminal Code. The following day, the court placed him in Mariupol SIZO. On 12 March 2015, he was released from custody under house arrest and, while leaving the courthouse, was apprehended by SBU and transferred to Kharkov SBU. At the time of his arrival, 72 individuals were held there; 17 when he was released on 20 February 2016.
As of March 2016, OHCHR was aware of the names of 15 men and one woman disappeared in Kharkov SBU. On 20 April, the Ombudsperson’s Office of Ukraine conducted an unannounced inspection visit and found that there were no detainees held at the Kharkov SBU. A few days later, OHCHR learned from a reliable source that on 20 April, detainees were told to pack their belongings and were taken to a different location for 24 hours.
On 18 February 2016, a woman disappeared in the village of Zhovanka (Donetsk region), located in the so-called grey zone, after she went to check on her house. Local Ukrainian armed forces told her neighbours she had been taken to hospital for medical treatment. On 22 February, a video was released of her confessing to being an informant for the armed groups, suggesting she had been apprehended and detained, while local forces concealed her fate and whereabouts for four days”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *