Rights activists call for creation of body investigating torture in Ukraine

Oct. 12, 2012, 2:32 p.m. | Interfax-Ukraine

Valeriya Lutkovska says the issue of torture citizens in the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies requires a comprehensive approach.
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The issue of torture citizens in the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies requires a comprehensive approach, Valeriya Lutkovska, the Ukrainian parliamentary ombudsman on human rights, said.

"We will not solve the problem by creating only one agency to investigate torture. There needs to be a comprehensive approach," Lutkovska told a round-table meeting titled the Unavoidability of Punishment in the Context of the New Criminal Procedure Code held in Kyiv on Oct. 11.

Lutkovska said the authorities need to work with law enforcement agencies and courts before creating a body to investigate reports of torture in the law enforcement agencies.

Lutkovska also pointed out that judges should stop accepting evidence obtained through torture.

"If courts had refused to consider admissions of guilt by people who said they were tortured into admitting guilt, we would not have many of the cases that are now being tried in the European Court of Human Rights," she said.

Tetiana Mazur, director of Amnesty International in Ukraine, called for the creation in Ukraine of an independent agency to investigate complaints regarding law enforcement agency actions.