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 Euromaidan activists could be tortured by Russian secret service - Council of Europe experts

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Some participants of Euromaidan (Revolution of Dignity) who were detained and tortured by the security forces believe that they were beaten by the Russian secret service personnel disguised as Ukrainian Berkut (disbanded riot police – ed.).

This is stated in the report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Censor.NET reports citing TSN.

The Committee provides a story of a citizen F., whose name the organization does not disclose. He states that he was detained on Feb. 18, 2014 along with several other Maidan activists in the building where they were hiding from the security forces. He claims that, after the initial detention and beating he was dragged by his legs down the stairs. Then he and other detainees were taken to the yard, where they were interrogated during which time they were once again beaten.

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F. is fully convinced that some of those who interrogated and beaten them, were undercover representatives of the Russian special services. Not only that, they, according to him, had a distinct Russian accent; after hitting him one of the officers told him: "If you were in my country, you would have been killed right away," the CPT statement notes.

The Committee also tells a story of one of the AutoMaidan leaders Dmytro Bulatov, who was kidnapped on Jan. 22, 2014 at the intersection of Maiakovskyi and Vatutina streets in Kyiv and held hostage until Jan. 31. Bulatov told the representatives of the CPT that all that time he was kept in a dark room with a bag on his head. "Bulatov says that they allegedly spoke with a distinct Russian accent. They had always used "you" or "they" when referring to citizens of Ukraine. These circumstances and some of the questions asked by the kidnappers forced him to believe that he was tortured by Russian citizens working in the interests of Russian or Ukrainian special services," the statement reads.

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At the same time, the response of the Government of Ukraine to the CPT report states that currently "there is no data that would confirm the presence of law enforcement agencies representatives of other countries, such as Russia, among the Ukrainian Interior Ministry special forces personnel, who served in Kyiv in January-February, 2014 ".

"However, this information is being checked as part of the pre-trial investigation," the government's response notes.

On Nov. 18, head of the SBU Valentyn Nalyvaichenko stated that in connection with the Maidan murder investigation 16 employees of the disbanded Berkut special police unit and five high-ranking officials of the Security Service of Ukraine were arrested. On Nov. 19 the Prosecutor General's Office reported that they have established the involvement of three Berkut officers (Dmytro Sadovnyk who is currently wanted, Serhii Zinchenko and Pavlo Abroskin who are in custody) in the shootings on Institutska street on Feb. 20, 2014.

 
 
 
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