Rights group Amnesty International is urging Ukraine to eliminate torture and other ill-treatment of detainees as the European Union is mulling offering Kyiv closer ties with the bloc, according to RFE.
In a statement issued ahead of a summit in Vilnius next week which could see Ukraine sign an association agreement with the EU, the London-based watchdog said, "With or without EU agreement, Ukraine must eradicate torture."
Bohdan Ovcharuk from Amnesty International in Ukraine, who presented the report in Kyiv, said Ukraine must abide by its international obligations.
"Ukraine is an important member of the European and international community. The country’s authorities have voluntarily signed up to all major international human rights agreements -- the absolute ban on torture among them."
The Amnesty statement said thousands of Ukrainians are subjected to police brutality every year in order to confess to crimes that "they may not have committed, only to be sent to prison after unfair trails."
Amnesty noted that Kyiv had taken "important steps" to reduce the practice but said torture must be more "promptly, effectively, and independently investigated."
The statement pointed out the EU has made the eradication of "selective justice" a prerequisite for signing the Vilnius agreement on November 28-29.