Every year, according to human rights activists, at least 50,000 Ukrainians are tortured and ill-treated. In 2019, the Prosecutor General’s Office sent to court 164 criminal proceedings under Art. 127 of the Criminal Code (Torture), but there were only 17 real sentences last year.

“Such figures tell that Ukraine cannot cope with an effective investigation into torture. Therefore, together with the CO ‘Forpost’ and the Danish Institute Against Torture, we undertook the mission to train specialists who will learn to effectively document and investigate facts according to the standards of the Istanbul Protocol,” Human Rights Group Director Dmytro Reva commented.

Free training for doctors, psychologists, psychotherapists, medical experts, lawyers, attorneys, human rights activists, government officials and journalists will take place in early September and will last for two weeks. The training will be conducted by leading experts from the Danish Institute Against Torture and Tbilisi State Medical University. About 100 professionals working in the field of documenting torture and ill-treatment will be trained.

It should be recalled that Ukraine has undertaken international obligations to combat torture by ratifying the UN Convention against Torture (1987). However, torture and ill-treatment still flourish in closed medical facilities, places of detention, pre-trial detention centers, children’s shelters and geriatric boarding schools. And the country is catastrophically short of specialists who would be able to professionally document the consequences of torture, which are carefully concealed and tolerated by society.

Olga Volynska

The material was prepared within the project: “Combating cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and torture in Ukraine, a comprehensive and intersectoral approach” with the support of the European Union.

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