Almost every 10th policeman justifies tortures – study

Дата: 06 July 2017
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Almost every 10th policeman (9% of respondents) justifies the use of tortures for any purpose against enemies. This opinion is also supported by 6% of judges and 8% of journalists.

As evidenced by the results of a nationwide sociological study “Human Rights in Ukraine”, which was conducted from October 22 to November 6 by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Ukrainian Sociology Service company. The study was commissioned by the United Nations Development Program in Ukraine in cooperation with the NGO Human Rights Information Centre and the Office of the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

As reported by reporter of the Human Rights Information Centre, the results of the study are presented on July 5 and 6 at the international conference “Human Rights in Ukraine: The Starting Point”.

The survey of individual expert groups presented in the study shows that the overwhelming majority of judges, policemen and journalists are convinced that it is impossible to justify crimes committed by Ukrainian soldiers and volunteer battalion members during military operations, but a large percentage also believes that the circumstances of war should be mitigating factors when considering the case – this is 1/3 of polled judges, 1/5 of policemen and 1/3 of journalists.

Moreover, among judges and policemen there is a small percentage of those who justify the use of tortures against enemies for any purpose. 6% of judges, 8% of journalists and 9% of policemen hold this opinion.

Among human rights defenders, only 2% justify the use of tortures against enemies and 15% noted that the circumstances of the war should be mitigating factors in the consideration of the case.

Deputy Chairman of the National Police of Ukraine Konstantin Bushuev commented on statistics on police:

“This is a disaster! However, if we asked this question about five years ago, our results would be much worse. Because it is a relic of the past and a stereotype of a Soviet policeman who used the simple slogan “The end justifies the means”. I strongly disagree with such a formulation and believe that all procedures must be carried out in strict accordance with the law. Not a single law states that measures of physical or moral impact can be used against a person for achievement of a specific result”.

Bushuyev assures that the survey data will be the impetus for further changes in the police, since the philosophy of the new police will be that such convictions should not exist.

“I can tell you for sure that this bell is heard and we will continue to work, so that the Article 3 of the Constitution of Ukraine would be a dogma in the work of every policeman”, – concludes the law enforcer.

Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Ukrainian Sociology Service company interviewed, in particular, 180 judges, 206 police officers, 100 journalists and 103 human rights defenders. Surveys of professional groups represent trends and assessments of representatives of these target groups. The interviews took place within the framework of a sociological survey of “Human Rights in Ukraine”, commissioned by the United Nations Development Program in Ukraine in cooperation with the NGO Human Rights Information Centre and the Office of the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

Earlier, the Human Rights Information Centre has reported that, according to research, every fifth Ukrainian (21%) believes that crimes committed by Ukrainian military in the war zone can be justified. Moreover, 11.3% spoke of justification for minor crimes, and 9.8% spoke for justification for any crimes.

At the same time, 48% of the respondents condemned such actions by servicemen, believing that this should be punished with all severity, but 23%, without denying the necessity of punishment, consider military conditions as certain mitigating circumstances.

The residents of Donbas are the most determined about such situations, more than 80% of whom believe that there can be no justification for such crimes. While the most “liberal” people of the west, among whom only 37% unequivocally condemn such practices, and 28% partly justify them.

80% of those polled spoke against the use of tortures against the enemies captured in the war zone, while 14% consider such possibility (8% – to obtain relevant information and 6.8% – to adequately respond to similar actions by the enemy). Moreover, it should be noted that the number of those who justify torture is higher in the western and central regions (where, 19% and 15% respectively of the respondents find justification for such actions). And 96% of the surveyed residents of Donbas consider tortures to be unacceptable.

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