Lawyer beaten for demanding to see client | SMS Action Network | 9 Dec 2011 | Amnesty International UK

Lawyer beaten for demanding to see client

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We're continuing to monitor Dmytro Karpenko's situation, and hope we'll be able to share news on his case soon.

On 17 August lawyer Dmytro Karpenko went to Cherkasy Court  to see a client who was being held unlawfully. As police tried to leave the court compound with his client in an unmarked white van, Dmytro Karpenko blocked the gateway and demanded to see him.

CCTV footage shows three police officers seize Dmytro, handcuff him and drag him into a van. He says he was taken to the police station and beaten for around two hours. After his release, he spent a week in hospital with kidney damage, heavy bruising and concussion.

When Dmytro complained about his treatment, the police accused him of assaulting them while resisting arrest. He is due to stand trial on 29 December and faces up to 6 years in prison if convicted. More background information

Take action by text now

We are calling for the charges against Dmytro to be dropped immediately and for an immediate investigation into his allegations of torture.

To join this appeal, text ACTION1 followed by your full name to 88080*

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What will we do with your name?

We will add your name (but not your phone number) to the following letter which we will fax to the authorities in the Ukraine, copying the Ukrainian Embassy in London. Prefer to send your own letter?

Re: Dmytro Karpenko

We have learned about the case of Dmytro Karpenko and are extremely concerned about his treatment.  

On 17 August lawyer Dmytro Karpenko went to Cherkasy Court in the Ukraine to see a client who was being held unlawfully. As police tried to leave the court compound with his client in an unmarked white van, Dmytro Karpenko blocked the gateway and demanded to see him.

CTV footage shows that three police officers then aggressively seized Dmytro, handcuffed him and dragged him into a van. He says he was taken to the police station and beaten for around two hours.

After his release, he spent a week in hospital with kidney damage, heavy bruising and concussion.
When Dmytro complained about his treatment, the police accused him of assaulting them while resisting arrest. He is due to stand trial on 29 December and faces up to 6 years in prison if convicted.

We call on you to intervene in the case and see that the charges against Dmytro Karpenko are dropped.  Further, we call on your to start an immediate investigation into the allegation that Dmytro Karpenko was tortured while in police custody.

We thank you in advance for your attention in this matter, and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Background

Timeline to Dmytro Karpenko's trial

On 18 August Dmytro submitted a complaint about his treatment, backed up by medical evidence, to the Cherkasy prosecutor’s office.

On 30 August the Cherkasy prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case against Dmytro Karpenko, claiming that he had injured two of the three police officers while resisting arrest. There was no investigation into Dmytro Karpenko’s allegation of ill-treatment or to ascertain how he sustained the injuries documented by the hospital.

Dmytro Karpenko appealed the decision to open a criminal case against him, and the charges were quashed by Cherkasy Court on the basis of the CCTV evidence. The decision to dismiss the case was upheld by Cherkasy Court of Appeals.

However, on 28 November, the Kirovograd prosecutor’s office re-opened the case against Dmytro Karpenko - despite the fact that this is prohibited by Ukrainian law. On 29 December Dmytro Karpenko will stand trial for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer and faces up to 6 years in prison if convicted.

Impunity in Ukraine

There is effective impunity in Ukraine for the high level of criminal misconduct, including torture and extortion, by the police in the course of their work. Structural shortcomings, high levels of corruption, close working relationships and other links between prosecutors and police, meant that investigations into criminal acts committed by the police, even when medical or other credible evidence exists to support the allegations, are not carried out.

Harassment and intimidation of complainants are common. These combined with the subsequent low level of prosecutions fuels lack of accountability for human rights violations committed by the police.

Sending your own appeal

Please write in Russian, Ukrainian or English to: (Please note: Ukraine is 2 hours ahead of UK time)

Prosecutor General
Viktor Pavlovich Pshonka

Minister for Internal Affairs
Vitaliy Zakharchenko

And copies to:
Ombudsman
Nina Karpachova

Riznitska Str. 13/15
01601 Kyiv
Ukraine

Akademika Bogomoltsa Str. 10
01024 Kyiv
Ukraine

Vul Instytutska 21/8
01008 Kyiv
Ukraine

Fax: + 380 44 280 2851
Salutation: Dear General Prosecutor

Fax: +380 44 256 16 33
Email: mvsinfo@mvsinfo.gov.ua
Salutation: Dear Minister

 

Please send copies of your appeal letter to:

HE Mr Ihor Kharchenko
Embassy of Ukraine

60 Holland Park
London W11 3SJ
Fax: 020 7792 1708
Email: emb_gb@mfa.gov.ua
Website: www.ukremb.org.uk

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