Archive for March 13th, 2013


Council of Europe – Committee for the Prevention of Torture – Mykola Hnatovsky

March 13, 2013

Last week, with the usual little or no Ukrainian media coverage, Mykola Hnatovsky, Associate Professor at Taras Shevchenko University, Kyiv, was voted into a 4 year role within the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

He takes up the post of Second Vice President.

Together with Letif Huseynov of Belarus who was reelected as President and Marzena Kzel of Poland who assumes the role of First Vice President, these three now form the Committee’s Bureau.

The role of the Bureau – I will give it the full title, despite it being somewhat lengthy – Council of Europe, Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee Bureau, within Mr Hnatovsky now sits for the next 4 years – is to arrange and carry out visits to places of detention throughout Council of Europe geographical region, and assess how detainees are treated.

Indeed, some may be thinking there be more than a little irony in such a Committee Bureau being made up of persons from Belarus, Ukraine and Poland – then again quite possibly such a panel will have more than an “academic” insight into what they are supposed to oversee compared to others that could have been elected to such a Bureau.

Whether there is a trade-off when it comes to being from nations experiencing far more tangible examples that would fall within the Bureau’s remit, compared to other academic candidates of different nations when it comes to the necessary impartiality to hold such a role – then that is likely to be decided by the personal integrity of those successfully becoming Bureau members – and there is no reason to doubt their integrity.

So, despite the lack of media attention and fanfare – congratulations to Mykola Hnatovsky on his successful appointment to this committee on 7th March – One suspects though, that the business cards relating to his new role, if quoting his title and organisation in full, will be close to the size of a table mat.

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