Ukraine’s Commissioner for Human Rights Marharyta Sokorenko participated in the 1483rd (DH) meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to discuss Ukraine’s execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
During the meeting Marharyta Sokorenko emphasised that, despite the continuing russian war against Ukraine, the Ukrainian Government continued the work on the execution of judgments of the ECHR in exceptionally difficult circumstances, which demonstrated a commitment to upholding the standards set by the European Convention on Human Rights.
The “Kaverzin/Afanasyev/Belousov v. Ukraine” cases concern physical or psychological torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement agencies as well as the need for ensuring effective investigations. According to the Ukraine’s Commissioner for Human Rights, resolving this problem requires the implementation of comprehensive actions, and individual measures are closely linked to general measures: “Our authorities continue to take necessary legislative and administrative steps. In this context, attention has been given to strengthening responsibility for the crime of torture, updating the Strategy on Combating Torture in the Criminal Justice System and Action Plan of its Realisation. Therefore, delegates from 16 countries noted Ukraine’s significant progress in implementing these measures and called for continued efforts to address the problem and to ensure zero tolerance for abuse in Ukraine”.
“In adopting decisions regarding the mentioned group of cases, the Committee of Ministers of the CoE welcomed the thorough and detailed information provided regarding the review of the majority of these cases following the Court’s decisions. Moreover, the Committee, for the first time, ceased the supervision in three cases,” noted Marharyta Sokorenko. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, in discontinuing supervision over these cases, emphasised Ukraine’s obligation to counteract impunity with a view to eradicating torture, under the general measures.
“They also supported the adoption of the Strategy on Combating Torture in the Criminal Justice System and Action Plan of its Realisation and amendments to the Criminal Code aimed at bringing the definition of torture in line with international standards,” added the Ukraine’s Commissioner for Human Rights.
The consideration of the other two groups of cases took place through a written procedure:
The group of cases “Polyakh and Others v. Ukraine” concerns the applicants’ right to respect for their private and family life, which was violated because of lustration and is under the enhanced supervision of the Committee of Ministers.
“This group of cases was reconsidered by the Committee at its regular meeting. As a result, a decision was made to continue the supervision of the implementation of decisions in this group of cases through the standard, rather than enhanced, procedure,” noted Marharyta Sokorenko.
The group of cases “Fedorcheko and Lozenko v. Ukraine” concerns the lack of effective investigations into violent acts against the applicants, including into the possible motives of racial or religious hatred behind the attacks.
“The Committee of Ministers welcomed the Strategy to promote the rights and opportunities of persons belonging to the Roma national minority in Ukrainian society until 2030 and measures taken by law enforcement agencies, including strengthening trust with civil society and Roma communities,” emphasised the Ukraine’s Commissioner for Human Rights.
“Overall, participants said that all reopened investigations were still not completed and noted the need to take into account the Court’s findings, particularly regarding possible racist motives behind the offenses. They also stressed the importance of adopting reasoned and detailed individual decisions open to challenge through relevant judicial review mechanisms,” she added.