In late February UN published the report A/HRC/55/52/Add.1 of Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Professor Alice Jill Edwards, on her visit to Ukraine which took place from 4 to 10 September 2023. In the report, the Special Rapporteur focuses on the procedures and practices of investigation and prosecution of crimes of torturecommitted in the context of the full-scale armed attack by Russian against Ukraine. The Report also reviews the treatment and conditions of detention of prisoners of war, individuals accused of war-related crimes or otherwise facing charges in connection with the conflict.

Our Association submitted in 2023 the information to the Special Rapporteur for preparation this document, prepared by Borys Babin, Olexii Plonnikov, Andrii Cvaliuk, Anna Prykhodko and Olesya Tsybulko, describing the tortures and ill-threatment committed by Russian invaders in the Crimea and other occupied territories. Now Report demands from Russia to issue a “strong and unequivocal directive” to all its armed forces and associated groups, and other officials under its command or authority, including “penitentiary and law enforcement”, stressing that torture and ill-treatment is neverpermissible, and that those responsible will be investigated and punished; and “remind all officers that their conduct can not be excused by superior orders or public policy”.

Also Report demand from Russia to provide effective remedies and adequate compensation to victims and survivors; to publish reliable information on Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war currently held by its own “armed forces or other authority” on a transparent, regular and updated basis; to allow international monitors to visit all places where Ukrainian nationals are deprived of their liberty and to permit international observers to monitor all “investigations and trials” of persons accused of torture and other ill-treatment or punishment. Let us remind that Russian punitive structures don’t “investigate” the tortures committed against Ukrainians even on formal way.

Also Report recommends that Ukraine continue to take all possible measures to investigate and prosecute, where appropriate, alleged perpetrators of conflict-related torture and other ill-treatment or punishment, irrespective of their nationality, promptly, impartially, effectively and thoroughly; and provide victims and their families access to effective remedies and full reparation. Report advice to Ukrainian officials to increase awareness and train all relevant perosnnel on the 2022 revised edition of the “Istanbul Protocol” and to translate the Protocol into Ukrainian as well as the Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering (“Mendez Principles”).

Also UN Special Rapporteur encourages in Report the international community to continue to provide technical assistance and support to the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that conflict-related alleged crimes of torture or ill-treatment are investigated and prosecuted, as appropriate, in accordance with international standards.

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