Publication

Man who accused police of torture disappears before trial begins

In recommendations on how to behave in contact with the police, human rights groups advise people to never go to the police station if you haven’t received a summons. An invitation by telephone is not grounds for going. Even with a summons do not go there alone.  Take relatives, a lawyer. The reason for such measures is simple – otherwise you could disappear.

This is what happened to Vasyl Vradiy from Smila. His contact with the police began with him being detained and tortured by local police officers in 2012.  They claimed that in a drunken state he had used foul language and pestered people. They tortured him badly, using electric shocks.  The injuries are recorded on his medical documents.

Vasyl Vradiy decided to fight for justice and complained to the Prosecutor’s Office which, as usual, first refused to initiate a criminal investigation, but then did in fact begin an investigation.  This lasted until June of this year when the first court hearing with the police officers was due to take place.

Vasyl Vradiy however did not appear at the court hearing. According to his brother, this morning Vasyl told him that he had been called to the police station. Nobody has seen him since then. He hasn’t returned home and does not answer his phone.

His lawyer says that on the day he disappeared, Vasyl tried to call her, but she was at another hearing. By the time she called back, his phone was already not answering.

Three days later Vasyl’s brother reported his brother’s disappearance to the same police station where it was registered in the Single Register of Criminal Investigations as murder.  There is still no information about Vasyl Vradiy’s whereabouts.

The court trial against the police officers began without the victim.

I cannot assert that he disappeared in the police station itself. I would however emphatically recommend people to not go to the police station in response to a verbal or telephone invitation. The only reason for going to a police station is if you receive a summons and take relatives or a lawyer with you. Anything can happen.  It’s better to take precautionary measures. 

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