Anti-torture committee praises reduction in number of prisoners in Ukraine

Anti-torture committee praises reduction in number of prisoners in Ukraine

The Council of Europe has called on the Ukrainian leadership to continue reforming the country's penitentiary system, according to a report published by the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) on December 15.

"The CPT welcomes the positive trend towards a reduction in the prison population and encourages the Ukrainian authorities to pursue their penitentiary reform agenda," the report's conclusions read.

The Council of Europe stated that at the time of the visit by CPT members to Ukraine in August 2020, the total number of prisoners in Ukraine stood at approximately 51,000 (i.e. an incarceration rate of some 143 per 100,000 inhabitants), compared to some 57,000 during the CPT's periodic visit in 2017.

At the same time, the Council of Europe noted that the proportion of remand prisoners had remained high in recent years (e.g. some 37% at the time of the visit), which indicates a likely overuse of pre-trial detention in Ukraine.

In this regard, the CPT called on the Ukrainian leadership to take steps to ensure a more restrictive approach to the use of remand in custody by setting strict limits on its use and encouraging a greater use of alternative non-custodial measures.


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