Council Of Europe Raps Ukraine On ‘Torture’

KIEV, Ukraine -- Incidents of police “torture” of detained suspects and hate crimes continue in Ukraine despite progress in protection of human rights, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner said here yesterday.

Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg

Speaking to reporters, Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg said that “violence in preliminary investigation and even some cases of torture” had been documented recently in Ukraine and said corruption and other problems persisted in the country’s judicial system.

“Ukraine today is not clean from torture,” Hammarberg said. He also slammed cases of hate speech and hate crime in the country, especially that directed at people of the Roma ethnic minority in the country, who frequently receive brutal treatment at the hands of the police.

“This country is not free from xenophobia,” the Swedish diplomat stated, also citing mistreatment of members of Ukraine’s Muslim religious minority.

He called on Ukrainian political leaders to protect minority rights and to work harder on eradicating xenophobia and improving tolerance.

The Council of Europe plans to publish a report on the human rights situation in Ukraine in April of 2007.

Source: AFP

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