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
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We are calling for the charges against Dmytro to be dropped immediately and for an immediate investigation into his allegations of torture.
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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.
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)
Viktor Pavlovich Pshonka
Minister for Internal Affairs
And copies to:
Riznitska Str. 13/15
Akademika Bogomoltsa Str. 10
Vul Instytutska 21/8
Fax: + 380 44 280 2851
Salutation: Dear General Prosecutor
Fax: +380 44 256 16 33
Salutation: Dear Minister
Please send copies of your appeal letter to:
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