Side event: «Torture in official and unofficial places of detention in Ukraine under the Russian occupation»

Where and who organizes?

The side event will take place at the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting II on 24 April, at 12:30 (registration below).

The  event is organized by DIGNITY – Danish Institute against Torture and the NGO «Ukraine without Torture» in cooperation with the European Prison Litigation Network, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, and the NGO «Protection for Prisoners of Ukraine».


The report «Nine Circles of Hell»: Places of Detention in Ukraine under the Russian Occupation» covering the period from February to December 2022 will be presented and distributed at the event.

In the year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, a constant flow of images and accounts has painted a horrifying picture of the human rights violations and international crimes that appear to be strategies of Russia’s war. At the same time, relatively little information has emerged from those areas of Ukraine in which Russia has situated itself as an occupying power.

This report fills this gap by presenting the findings of the monitoring and documentation of human rights and other violations of international law committed in places of detention in the non-government-controlled areas of Ukraine (the NGCA) between March and December 2022.

The report covers a wide range of places of detention, notably penitentiary institutions (correctional colonies and pre-trial detention centers), police establishments and social institutions. In addition, it covers unofficial places of detention such as makeshift torture chambers. Within these places of detention, the report documents numerous violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, wilful killings and military strikes. Building on 725 documented episodes, the report outlines key patterns and trends.


Moderator & speaker: Therese Maria Rytter (Legal Director, DIGNITY – Danish Institute against Torture; Vice-President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture(CPT))

Vadym Chovgan (Legal Advisor, DIGNITY – Danish Institute against Torture)

Yaroslav Sydorov (torture survivor, former prisoner) ZOOM

Hanna Skrypka (Legal Advisor, NGO «Protection for Prisoners of Ukraine»)

Kostiantyn Avtukhov (Executive Director, NGO «Ukraine without Torture»)

Valery Gretz (torture survivor, NPM monitor) ZOOM

Hanna Ovdienko (Legal Advisor, NGO «Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group») ZOOM

Dmitry Gurin (Senior Legal Advisor, NGO «European Prison Litigation Network»)

Contact person: Veronika Cherkez, NGO «Ukraine without Torture», ncherkez5@gmail.com


Participation online is available. Participation in person is available only for the participants who registered for the conference with the OSCE (the registration is closed). Please fill in the form if you would like to participate in the event. The registered online participants will be able to ask questions and provide comments during the streaming.

Translation (simultaneous): English / Ukrainian

Hybrid format (in-person / online)