In District Court of Bukovina defendants are kept in metal cabinets without light and air

Дата: 22 February 2017
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In the Hlyboka District Court of Chernivtsi region defendants are kept in metal cabinets resembling medieval torture chambers. The cabinets lack proper lighting and ventilation.

As reported by the press service of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, such violation was recorded by monitors of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) during a visit to Hlyboka District Court.

In particular, it was found out that, contrary to the requirements of legislation, people brought under escort to Hlyboka District Court are kept in closed metal cabinets. Light and air comes inside the cabinet through 10×20 cm holes. In addition, there is no air conditioning in the room where cabinets are located. Also, at the time of the visit there was no water supply in the room, which made it impossible to use the sink and toilet.

Members of the monitoring group noted that cabinet looks like medieval torture chamber and consists of two sections with height of 2 m and floor space of 2 m2 per person, who must accommodate sitting on a bench with width of 25 cm (on condition, that only one person is placed in each section). While according to established norms the area of each chamber of the defendant must be at least 4 m2.

Persons, who were escorted to the court, are not provided with food, which is also a fundamental violation of human rights.

Monitors also documented the lack of properly organized spaces for communication between defendants and their defense, as well as to get acknowledged with the case materials. Currently they can do this only in the courtrooms, while being in cells the use of which is also not completely corresponding to the legal requirements.

Monitors believe that keeping people in the court-house can be regarded as a violation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Monitors also noted that there is also an issue of availability of the Hlyboka District Court for disabled people on wheelchairs, since there are no ramps. Two girders are attached to the stairs of main entrance, the fall from these girders can result in serious injury. The entrance for defendants is not fitted with ramp. Since the courtrooms are located on second floor there is a need to install the ramps on the stairs. This problem can be solved by placing courtrooms on the first floor, or by brining court-house into compliance with state building codes.

Appropriate acts of response of the Commissioner will be sent to the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine and to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine for an immediate end to mistreatment of defendants in Hlyboka District Court of Chernivtsi region and for protection of their rights.

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