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Ukraine SBU denies info on search in human rights envoy office

May 06, 2012, 3:42 UTC+3

Karpachova said that the SBU on Saturday searched the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

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KIEV, May 6 (Itar-Tass) — The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on Saturday disproved a statement made by the former Commissioner for Human Rights in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), Nina Karpachova who claimed that searches were conducted in the commissioner’s office.

“There were no searches or any investigative actions by SBU officers,” the service spokeswoman Marina Ostapenko said. Spokesperson of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office Margarita Velkova has also denied this fact.

Earlier, Karpachova said that the SBU on Saturday searched the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights. “On Saturday morning, representatives of the SBU began searches in the offices of employees of the Ukrainian Ombudsman office. The newly appointed Commissioner for Human Rights Lutkovskaya gave the permission for the search,” Karpachova said, stressing that “this is an unprecedented event.”

She said the security service officers “tried to crack the computers, conducted searches in the offices, summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office for interrogation several former office employees.”

“A terrible pressure on the ombudsman’s institute has been started, so I'm forced to turn to the whole world community. A new wave of threats has emerged in Ukraine, this time - political persecution of representatives of the ombudsman’s office,” Karpachova said.

Nina Karpachova’s term of office as the Verkhovna Rada’s Commissioner for Human Rights expired on April 27. Shortly before that, she made public photographs of Yulia Timoshenko in the Kachanovskaya penal colony, on which bruises can be seen on the body of former prime minister. “Timoshenko’s convoy by such methods is cruel treatment of prisoners and can be regarded as torture under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the UN Convention against Torture, as well as the Instruction on the Organisation of Guard in the Closed-Type Penal Institutions,” said Karpachova, demanding from Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka to open a criminal case and suspend from service all persons responsible for the incident with Timoshenko. The Ukrainian State Penitentiary Service has categorically denied information about the beating of the ex-prime minister by the colony’s officers.

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