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Results of inspection of Alexander Kostenko’s detention conditions submitted to Valeriya Lutkovska

11 August 2015

On 7 August, an official letter of information about inspected conditions of detention of Ukrainian citizen Alexander Kostenko was submitted to Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Valeriya Lutkovska. The letter of information was submitted in reply to the official requests regarding observance of Alexander Kostenko’s rights made by Ms Lutkovska to the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia.

At the instruction of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia, a complete, objective and comprehensive investigation was conducted to ensure observance of rights and legal interests of Alexander Kostenko being currently kept in the Pre-Trial Detention Centre No. 1 of the Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol Directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia (hereinafter as the SIZO-1).

It was ascertained that Alexander Kostenko had a medical examination on arrival to the SIZO-1 where was transferred to after a court judgement as of 9 February 2015. The examination revealed some injuries. In that regard, the High Commissioner requested the Prosecutor’s Office and the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Crimea to investigate the circumstances of Alexander Kostenko’s arrest, injuries, and his detention conditions in the SIZO-1 of Simferopol, as well as give a legal evaluation to police officers’ actions.

As a result, a criminal case was opened for an offence under item g, part 2, article 112 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The investigation also studied the data alleged by Alexander Kostenko’s lawyer on the Internet.

According to lawyer Dmitriy Sotnikov, his client was tortured and repeatedly beaten up; and he was intentionally not provided with medical treatment. The High Commissioner also initiated an inspection related to the director of the SIZO-1.

The inspection showed that the Internet data on the excessive use of force (violence and torture) by the penitentiary staff and the failure to provide medical assistance to Alexander Kostenko was not confirmed.

In addition, during a personal meeting with representatives of the High Commissioner and staff members of the Crimean Human Rights Commissioner’s Office, Alexander Kostenko, having studied the information distributed on the Internet, clarified that he had not known about it before and "the information did not correspond to the facts".

He also said that medical staff of the pre-trial detention centre permanently monitored his health condition and it was satisfactory. He made no complaints against any infringement of his rights by staff members of the SIZO-1.

At present, Alexander Kostenko is awaiting a date to be scheduled for consideration of his appeal against the Kievskiy District Court of Simferopol’s sentence as of 15 May 2015. The date is to be scheduled in the near future.

The official letter submitted to Valeriya Lutkovska expresses confidence that the cooperation with the aim of human rights protection will be continued. The issues related to ensuring legal rights and interests of Alexander Kostenko are regularly supervised and followed up on by the High Commissioner.

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