Yushchenko Displeased With Work of Ukrainian Police

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko believes that the work of the law enforcement agencies continues to be a source of people’s discontent. He said so at a meeting on Wednesday, which was devoted to the performance of the law enforcement agencies and the reform of the judicial system.

“I should like to stress most emphatically that the work of the law enforcement agencies continues to be a source of discontent and social tension,” Yushchenko said at the meeting. According to his information, his secretariat received 150,000 letters from Ukrainians between January and March. For the first time ever the number of complaints over the work of the law enforcement agencies exceeded the number of appeals dealing with social security.

“People ask to protect them against the authorities. This is their main request,” Yushchenko said. About 25 per cent of the appeals deal with the protection of law and order. The letters include numerous complaints over defects in the work of public prosecutor’s offices, courts and the Ministry of Justice.

People complain over too long investigation, illegal keeping in custody and torture. Yushchenko is concerned over the growth of the number of letters received by his secretariat. “If 2.6 per cent of the population appealed to the president during a period of three months, something very serious is going on in this country,” he believes.

Yushchenko is positive that a mechanism should be created, which would make it possible to give instructions on the complaints, received by the secretariat, and to control their fulfilment within three days.

The president will use the results of the meeting to draw up an instruction on the creation of a new system of responding to appeals of people, Irina Gerashchenko, press secretary of the president, told journalists.