Investigation into the Savchenko case

06 November 2014

Representatives of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia have visited the Serbsky State Scientific Centre for Social and Forensic Psychiatry to inspect the conditions in which Nadezhda Savchenko has been kept for psychiatric examination. No serious violations have been revealed during the inspection.

Furthermore, it was found out that Ms Savchenko was alone in a three-room ward, had three meals a day and access to TV programmes. All conditions provided to those being examined in the centre correspond to sanitary standards. In daytime the wards are kept open.

Ms Savchenko was put to the centre on 10 October. Up to 13 October she had been kept under intensified control – two female guards watched her ward’s doors at night and the night-time dimmed lighting was lit inside. The decision to cancel the intensified control mode was approved at the request from Ms Savchenko supported by her expert doctor.

Aside from the complaints about the night-time lighting during the first two nights, no other complaints have been received from Ms Savchenko or other women kept in the centre.

During her stay in the Serbsky Centre Ms Savchenko had 10 appointments with her lawyers, met with her mother once and received two parcels. Twice she was visited by the Head of the Consular Section of the Ukrainian Embassy.

The scientific centre’s office offered Ms Savchenko to cast her vote at the Ukrainian parliamentary elections, but she refused.

The inspection in the centre was initiated because of the appeal from Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Valeriya Lutkovskaya and an appeal from Ms Savchenko herself published on the Internet and addressed to Ella Pamfilova. The appeal stated that Nadezhda Savchenko has been kept in such conditions that could amount to torture. In the open appeal Ms Savchenko spoke of a hard situation of the women in jail in SIZO No. 6 of the Moscow Directorate of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service. She especially mentioned “a berth on a thin upholstered mattress and a pillow through which one can feel every rod of the iron prison bed”.

It should be noted that in September 2014 the representatives of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia inspected the detention conditions in the above remand centre and others. According to the inspection’s results the Commissioner has prepared some suggestions to further humanise the conditions provided to the detained women.

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