Ukraine to pay almost half a million EUR for beating prisoners

The European Court of Human Rights has found Ukraine guilty of beating prisoners from the Izyaslav Prison in 2007. The State will have to pay the victims 435 thousand EUR in compensation. It should be noted that the Department for the Execution of Sentences asserted that there had been no beatings.


On 14 January 2007, almost all the prisoners of the Izyaslav Prison Colony No. 31 (more than 200 men) declared a hunger strike in protest at the arbitrary imposition of disciplinary measures, beatings and humiliating treatment by the prison personnel; bad food; and bad health care.

That same day a commission from the State Department for the Execution of Sentences arrived at the prison, and by the evening the hunger strike had been suspended. Then on 22 January 2007 a special force unit in masks and fighting gear was deployed in the prison.  They brutally beat over 40 prisoners – those who had announced the prisoners’ demands.  The prisoners were specially brought to headquarters. The beating resulted in various injuries: fractured ribs, broken bones and noses; teeth knocked out, etc. The prisoners were then immediately separated into two groups, and taken to the Rivne and Khmelnytski SIZO [pre-trial detention centre, literally in the clothes they had on, with all their things left in the prison colony. In the SIZO, they were again brutally beaten. They were later sent to other colonies to serve out their sentences.

The European Court of Human Rights found Ukraine guilty of torturing the prisoners and violating their property rights.

The victims were represented at the European Court of Human Rights by Arkady Bushchenko, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. 

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