Employees of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation and other law enforcement authorities in Crimea, use torture; in particular beatings, electric shocks and suffocation, to force victims to incriminate themselves, cooperate with law enforcement or testify against others.
This was said in a recently published report by the UN Secretary-General on human rights violations in the temporarily occupied Crimea, DW reports.
“In all the cases documented by OHCHR in which victims made credible complaints of torture or ill-treatment to the courts and law enforcement authorities in Crimea, no perpetrator has been held accountable. When presented with complaints of torture in court, judges allegedly either ignored them or ordered investigations, which, in practice, were carried out in a pro forma fashion and did not result in the identification of suspects or prosecution of perpetrators," the report reads.
Violations involving torture and other ill-treatment by law enforcement agencies in Crimea, particularly the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, were especially common immediately after a person’s arrest, during periods of incommunicado detention in unofficial places of detention.
According to information received by OHCHR, medical personnel of penitentiary institutions were often reluctant to document injuries sustained by victims prior to their admission to these institutions, which is inconsistent with their professional duties to treat and act in the best medical interests of patients, for whom they have a duty of care.
The report reminds that torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are prohibited by both international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
International human rights law requires Russia to provide redress for torture and ill-treatment and to ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.