Ukraine's law enforcement agencies continue to use torture - Amnesty International
Ukraine's law enforcement agencies continue to use torture, as well as other forms of ill-treatment, according to Amnesty International Ukraine.
"The investigation into the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) for its alleged secret prisons failed to make any progress. Law enforcement officials continued to use torture and other ill-treatment," the human rights organization said in an annual report, which was made available to Interfax-Ukraine.
The organization also noted that members of law enforcement agencies continued to use torture and other ill-treatment, and committed other human rights violations. There was continued impunity for past and ongoing violations of international humanitarian law.
"The Chief Military Prosecutor's investigation into the allegations of secret detention by the SBU in eastern Ukraine was ineffective. Evidence published in 2016 by international NGOs showing the existence of this practice was largely ignored by the authorities," Amnesty International Ukraine said.
The organization recalled the detention of a Ukrainian woman living in Russia, Daria Mastikasheva, who was apprehended by the SBU, held incommunicado for two days, and later accused of treason and illegal weapons possession.
"Photos taken by her lawyer of her outside the court showed signs of beatings and possible torture by SBU officers. Her lawyer also reported that she was issued with threats targeting her mother and son, until she agreed to read out a self-incriminating statement on camera. At the end of the year she was still in detention awaiting trial," human rights activists said.
The report also states that civil society activists and members of NGOs, particularly those working on corruption, were regularly harassed and subjected to violence. These incidents were often not effectively investigated, and members of the authorities, including security services in some instances, were widely suspected to have instigated them.