The Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg summed up his working visit to Ukraine on December 17 and outlined three key problems, Cabinet press office reporte.

The first problem goes to the justice system. Here, he said, are great challenges, first of all connected with the Prosecutor General Office's role. The mandate of the Ukrainian PGO is much larger than in European countries. On the one side it investigates and on the other side it has surveillance functions. I think this problem must be settled in a radical way, he said. He also stressed on manifestations of groundless application of force and cruel treatment of accused and detainees. He mentioned corruption in the justice system, which is reasoned with lack of financing and urged to budgetary corrections to this end. He also noted the problem of crowded penitentiary establishments and insufficient detainment conditions.

Another problem he said is xenophobia manifestations, negative treatment of national minorities. This problem is common for Ukraine and Europe, the Commissioner said. Manifestations of xenophobia, anti-Semitism, oppression of Muslim communities promotes terrorism in the world, thus, this issue demands special attention.

The assessment commission also stated their great concerns about HIV/AIDS situation in Ukraine. In that connection Thomas Hammarberg emphasized on the need of stepping up cooperation between the Ukrainian government and NGOs to combat this evil.

At the same time the Commissioner noted several improvements in human rights protection, especially if compare with the Soviet times.

As he said, on outcomes of his visit to Ukraine he will draft a report, basing on which the Council of Europe will formulate recommendations to the Ukrainian government.


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