Today is the Crime Victim’s Day


22 February 2008

Right on the eve of the Fatherland Defender’s Day – on February 22 – our country and the world are going to commemorate, without much fuss and pathos, the Crime Victim’s Day; it’s not a holiday, but a memorable and significant event for the whole world, and especially for Russia.

Right on 22 February 1990 the UK Government published the Victim’s Charter. Since then it has become a good tradition to commemorate the Crime Victim’s Day.

The problem of crime victims rehabilitation became acute at the end of the 20th century. Already in September 1985 the 7 the UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Treatment of Offenders issued the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power. And on 29 November 1985 the Un General Assembly adopted this declaration thus developing universal principles for protection and support of victims of crime and abuse of power.

For Russia the problem of support of victims of crime and abuse of power, the problem of protection of torture and inhuman treatment victims are major issues of our time. Unfortunately, ineffective investigation and prosecution of officials who abuse their powers have become an infamous trend at our law enforcement agencies. The cases of Mikheyev, Sankin, Maslova, Anoshin and dozens other victims of crimes committed by the police witness that the RF Prosecutor’s office is reluctant to classify torture victims as victims of crimes, investigate into these crimes, find and prosecute the culprits. It is still uncommon for high-standing officials and investigators of the Prosecutor’s office to admit that any human rights violation is an offense.

Until this mentality changes, until the prosecution system is set face against crimes connected with tortures and inhuman treatment, there will be tragedies and we’ll need at least one day a year to pray for their victims.

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