Treatment of Kryvy Rih Rector, Anatoly Temchenko, amounts to torture

On Tuesday a court in Kryvy Rih is expected to pass sentence on Anatoly Temchenko, Rector of the local university. He is charged with receiving a bribe. As reported here, human rights activists have declared that the treatment of Temchenko in the SIZO [pre-trial detention centre] is equivalent to torture since he is in a very bad state of health. The European Court of Human Rights has also become involved.

Mr Temchenko is 68 years old and has been held in the SIZO for over 19 months. His wife Valentina says that her husband has a number of serious illness, including diabetes. She is convinced that the court should not have remanded him in custody since his state of health is only deteriorating in the SIZO.


“He could spend whole days being interrogated; he was kept in a cold room, without a chair even. He wasn’t just not given the chance to eat a special diet, but simply to eat at all”, she alleges.


Coordinator of the KHPG Anti-Torture Campaign, Andriy Didenko points out that the doctors insisted that Mr Temchenko should be hospitalized, however the local hospitals are not able to help his complaints, while he is not being allowed to go to the specialized hospital (the Strazhesko Cardiology Institute – translator) in Kyiv.


Back on 17 March the European Court of Human Rights issued instructions that Mr Temchenko receive urgent hospitalization in  a specialist hospital with adequate medical care.  This has not been carried out, Andriy Didenko says. He points out how extraordinary it is that the accused should be brought to the court in an ambulance and be receiving injections to reduce blood pressure which stop him from reacting properly and standing up for himself.


The SIZO management and head of the medical unit have also asked the court to change the preventive measure applied in Mr Temchenko’s case.


Yet according to the Government’s Representative on European Court matters, Valeria Lutkovska, Mr Temchenko has been offered hospitalization in Kryvy Rih and Dnipropetrovsk, and has turned it down. She says that there was no judgement from the European Court regarding a specialized hospital, only a recommendation.


Human rights activists warn that if action is not taken, Mr Temchenko could die before the end of the court proceedings. There have been more than isolated cases like this.

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