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Weak protection, police torture, and domestic violence: who and how violated the rights of Ukrainians in 2020

Amnesty International has presented an annual report on the situation with human rights violations in Ukraine and the world for 2020.

The data that ZN.ua has at its disposal says that the main problems in the country were a systemic crisis in the field of health care, an increase in complaints about domestic violence, torture by police officers, harassment of vulnerable groups (Roma, LGBT and others).

Fight against coronavirus in Ukraine

The organization believes that the restrictions that were taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in Ukraine in 2020 could not effectively prevent its spread.

Thus, the report says that the situation has worsened due to a lack of personal protective equipment and a sufficient number of tests. And that overwhelmed the health care system. The organization also added that a large number of medical workers were infected and died (in mid-December 2020, more than 51,000 out of 1 million infected caught the virus, and over 300 died before December 19), and despite the promise to pay state aid to doctors, until mid-November 21 families received it in full, and 22—partly.

War in the East of Ukraine

For many civil society and humanitarian organizations in 2020, the problem was the inaccessibility of the territory of the East of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

Quote"The persecution of anyone who expresses any form of disagreement continued in the future, including arrests, interrogations, torture and other ill-treatment by the de facto authorities, as well as imprisonment, often in inhuman conditions," the report says.

According to Amnesty International, both sides of the conflict have imposed restrictions on movement across the contact line. So, it has decreased from a million to tens of thousands people, and that separates families and causes other inconveniences.

Torture by the Ukrainian police

In 2020, several cases of torture and other ill-treatment were observed by representatives of the power structures, in particular those detained by the police. Thus, 129 criminal cases were recorded due to probable torture, of which in 59 cases there were charges, 52 cases were closed.

Domestic violence in Ukraine

Domestic violence was also widespread, and most of these cases did not receive an effective response from government agencies, and legal and institutional initiatives were often not implemented.

The annexation of Crimea: persecution and restrictions on the media

In 2020, severe persecution continued in Crimea for human rights work and dissent and media restrictions. In particular, the occupation authorities persecuted human rights defenders (members of the Crimean Solidarity), and this persecution was accompanied by repressive measures against the Crimean Tatars.

Quote"The Ukrainian authorities must do a thorough job of correcting mistakes and preventing them from repeating in 2021," Oksana Pokalchuk, Director of Amnesty International in Ukraine, summed up, speaking about the systemic violations of human rights in Ukraine last year, to which the authorities were unable to respond properly.

Context. Earlier, the European Parliament approved a resolution on how Ukraine is implementing the Association Agreement. It says, in particular, that there is no progress in the country in criminal proceedings regarding serious violations of human rights (that were allegedly committed by servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces; investigation of crimes related to the Maidan) and others.

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