On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the representatives of the Coalition of Public Human Rights Organizations «Against Tortures» held press conferences in two cities at once – Kyiv and Kharkiv, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reports.
In Kyiv, at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, the human rights activists considered the issue of torture in the police, State Security Service, penitentiary system and during an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The human rights protectors are concerned that compared to 2013–14 the tolerance of regular citizens towards unlawful violence is increasing.
"We have such problem as an inadequate definition of torture in Article 127 of CC of Ukraine which does not meet the definition of torture according to the international law provided in the first Article of UN Convention Against Torture. Because of that, there are almost no criminal proceedings under Article 127," Yevhen Zakharov, the Director of Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, stated.
In his opinion, it is necessary to amend Article 127, bring it into full compliance with the first Article of the UN Convention.
"But over time, as usually happens here, none of the measures taken was supported and other elements of the system were not reformed and they, let’s say, become covered with dust and stop working," Denys Kobzin, the director of the Kharkiv Institute for Social Research, claimed.
As we reported earlier, The investigation team of the State Bureau of Investigations (DBR) suspects two ex-Berkut fighters of violating the rights of Euromaidan protesters in January-February 2014.