Strasbourg, 05.09.2013 – In a report published today the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has recommended further action to combat ill-treatment of inmates in correctional colonies in Ukraine. The CPT recommends:
i) driving change from the highest level and developing an ethical culture among prison staff,
ii) improving staff-inmate relations (including combating corrupt practices),
iii) strengthening the role of health-care staff in the prevention of ill-treatment,
iv) better defining limits and improving training on the use of force,
v) ensuring the effectiveness of investigations into cases of possible ill-treatment, in particular by setting up without delay a national team specialised in the investigation of such cases, and
vi) developing an effective national preventive mechanism.
In their response, the Ukrainian authorities provided information on steps taken to address certain of the urgent matters raised by the CPT in its visit report, in particular the adoption of anti-torture and anti-corruption measures in correctional colonies and other penitentiary establishments, the results obtained by the prosecuting authorities in the examination of alleged ill-treatment of inmates by staff and the development of guidelines on the use of “technical means of surveillance and control” (including videosurveillance).
During their visit, the CPT’s delegation also reviewed the situation of Yulia Tymoshenko. Her material conditions of detention were found to be of a high standard. However, the CPT urged the Ukrainian authorities to ensure respect for her medical confidentiality and that security arrangements were no more than those strictly required by the circumstances.