Yanukovych plans to initiate amendments to law on fight against torture

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Apr. 10, 2012 11:45
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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
Photo by AP
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych will soon submit for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada amendments to improve national legislation on the fight against torture, an adviser to the president and the head of the main department for the judiciary at the presidential administration, Andriy Portnov, has said.
"Last week we held a final meeting with the ambassador of the Council of Europe to Ukraine, met with experts in this sphere [regarding the national preventive mechanism], and we are planning that the Ukrainian president, either in late April or possibly in early May, will propose to the Ukrainian parliament a law on the introduction of amendments to laws on the fight against torture," he told the ICTV channel, the presidential press service reported on Tuesday,April 10.

He said that the issue concerns amendments to the law on the human rights commissioner, which will envisage a new mechanism for monitoring the so-called places of captivity.

"This is a new term, which has been practically not used before," Portnov said.

"We talked about penal institutions, meaning pre-trial detention centers and colonies. Today, many places could be classified as places of captivity, in which people cannot independently make decisions on their movement," he added.

He said that the issue also concerns orphanages, boarding schools, mental health clinics for the elderly, disciplinary and penal battalions, and facilities for the detention of illegal migrants, that is, institutions that are subordinate not only to Interior Ministry agencies or the penitentiary service, but also to other agencies (the Social Policy Ministry and the Health Ministry).

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