Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Police Criminality in Ukraine

“The Ukrainian authorities must act immediately to deal with endemic police criminality, Amnesty International said today in a new report that reveals widespread torture, extortion, and arbitrary detention.”

The Ukrainian public is demanding investigations for violations of human rights by the police. They are tired of the ill treatment and corruption amongst the authorities. Last year alone, the state office received more than 5,000 complaints about corruption and torture by the authorities. Some police officers who torture or ill-treat detainees never face disciplinary or criminal proceedings, because of high levels of corruption, harassment and intimidation of complainants and lack of supervision by the government.

Amnesty International states, “Complaints by detainees against police officers for torture and ill-treatment are either disregarded or dismissed regardless of how well-founded they might be.”

It is extremely difficult and traumatic for someone to go and complain because the public continues to live in fear of what may happen to them if the authorities find out. The government does not provide any forms of protection for witnesses or complainants. Police officers often falsify documents and brutally beat, and torture someone until they sign confessions. There are also many instances of people ‘committing suicide’ while detained and/or disappearing after being arrested. Extortions for the release of prisoners are not uncommon either.

This video explains the endemic in Ukraine very well.

It is troubling that such things take place within a democratic state. Clearly the government needs to do something to revive the public’s trust back into their police force. What can one do when the very entity that is design to protect and serve are the ones committing gruesome crimes?

7 comments:

Ross said...
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Ross said...
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Ross said...
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Ross said...
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Ross said...
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Ross said...
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Ross said...

This is a very unsettling article. Most of us are accustomed to feeling safe, knowing that if wronged or harmed, one can call the authorities, and expect retribution to be taken against the person who committed the act. It is very unsettling if there is not only no one to call, but the very people who you would call, are actually committing the crimes that one needs protection against.

When such a thing happens, people are more likely to take justice into their own hands. Meaning, they personally seek retributive justice against their wrong-doer. Of course, this can lead to mass chaos, as some political philosophers call it; the "state of nature".

Do you think that people personally seeking retributive justice is wrong, even in this instance? Would it lead to mass chaos and fear?