On Obsering the Convention against Torture by Ukraine

22 июня 2016, 10:55
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On Obsering the Convention against Torture by Ukraine

Let Confinement Be under the Control of Human Rights Defenders. An open letter from the Ukraine-Russia Foundation for International Cooperation, Rights and Freedoms to the Security Service of Ukraine and the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Recently it has been reported that after the previous termination of the visit of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), in May 2016 the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) took necessary steps to implement the SPT's new visit and expressed its willingness to provide full access to its premises this time. The new visit could take place in autumn this year.

We consider it necessary to draw your attention to the following facts concerning the fate of Russian citizens in the field of confinement in Ukraine. Since the beginning of Ukrainian crisis and fighting in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions a lot of Russian citizens ended up in jail in connection with these events. According to the response of the SBU and the Prosecutor General to a media query, as of today 136 Russian citizens are charged under the relevant articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine; 97 Russian citizens are suspected by the SBU, 39 more - by military prosecutors. There are 14 members of the Armed Forces among them. The Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the Ministry currently has information about 545 Russians who are in the jails or prisons of Ukraine. The Ministry did not specify under what articles of the Criminal Code these peaople are charged or convicted. "In this case the competent [Ukraininan] authorities do not always fulfill their obligations under Article 13 of the Consular Convention between the Russian Federation and Ukraine - immediately, but no later than within three days, notify our consular office of the detention, arrest or any other restriction of the freedom of Russian citizens," stated the Ministry in response to a media query.

Unregulated violence used in connection with the Ukrainian crisis and armed hostilities in the Donbass, illegal detention, inhuman treatment, torture and extrajudicial executions are constantly reported by the media and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. It is obvious that among the victims there are citizens of Russia, both those who were involved in the fighting and entirely peaceful people unjustly accused of it. Some of them have already been released and they confirm the facts of inhuman treatment of them and other prisoners. However, other Russian citizens who have been in places of confinement do not confirm the facts of inhuman treatment, which is an additional incentive to check the real situation.

In connection with the SPT visit to carry out the mandate in accordance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), we would like to draw the SBU and SPT's attention to the fact that because of the decline in the Russian-Ukrainian relations the Russian authorities cannot properly interact with the Ukrainian authorities in keeping with Articles 4, 5, 6, 9, 21 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:
( http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CAT.aspx ).

The Ukraine-Russia Foundation created by Russian citizens living in Ukraine and engaged in the protection of human rights in Ukraine, though lacking the authority and status of the Russian authorities, does not have the limitations related to these powers and status as well. For obvious reasons, there is currently no adequate level of confidence between the Russian and Ukrainian authorities. But the rights of prisoners with Russian citizenship provided by the Convention against Torture and the OPCAT should be respected. Our human rights organization registered in Ukraine and cooperating with the Ukrainian authorities in a constructive way is not treated with distrust in this country.

We suggest involving representives of the Ukraine-Russia Foundation in the work related to the SPT's visit in compliance with its mandate under the OPCAT. Please note that the cooperation of NGOs involved in human rights activities with the SPT is without prejudice to the OPCAT and even provided expressly by it:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/OPCAT.aspx

The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Article 11

1. The Subcommittee on Prevention shall:

(c) Cooperate, for the prevention of torture... with the international, regional and national institutions or organizations working towards the strengthening of the protection of all persons against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


Yours faithfully,
the Ukraine-Russia Foundation for International Cooperation, Rights and Freedoms
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РАЗДЕЛ: Новости мира
ТЕГИ: Права человека,Украина-Россия,ООН,СБУ,россияне,фонд,россияне за рубежом,защита прав граждан,генсек оон,генеральная ассамблея оон
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