Donetsk Memorial: New SIZO Internal Regulations breach minimal human rights standards


New Internal Regulations for isolation units [SIZO] of Ukraine’s State Penal Service were adopted by the Justice Ministry in March.  The human rights organization, Donetsk Memorial has carried out an analysis of this new normative document and finds that it does not comply with many human rights standards, both domestic and international.

Donetsk Memorial has therefore turned to the Human Rights Parliamentary Commissioner (the Ombudsperson); the Minister of Justice; and the Prosecutor General suggesting that application of the Internal Regulations should be suspended and other, more adequate Regulations adopted as a matter of urgency.

Their letter notes that the Regulations contain numerous contradictory points; inaccuracies in formation and terms which have not been defined. The document was, furthermore, drawn up without the necessary procedures for expert assessment and without taking the views of the public and independent specialists on penitentiary system issues into account. A considerable percentage of the provisions are in breach of the declarations made by the Department’s management to the effect that the Department’s bases its activities on international human rights standards.

Many norms of the Internal Regulations, for example, those relating to the conditions in SIZO and to remand prisoners’ behaviour are not well-founded, nor are they necessary for achieving the purpose of pre-trial remand in custody. The number and scale of the restrictions of rights contained in the new Regulations far exceed the minimum required.

In support of its position, Donetsk Memorial refers to the assessment prepared by specialists from the Stashyn Scientific Research Institute on Crime Issues of the National Academy of Legal Sciences. 

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