Sobering-up units violate the right to privacy
10.06.2010 | www.helsinki.org.ua
Following the tragic death of a student in a Kyiv police station, the Kyiv Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs [MIA] has declared that it wants to begin using sobering-up units again. Regrettably the management of the Central Department of the MIA is forgetting that the existence of such institutions is a violation of the human right to privacy. According to Volodymyr Yavorsky, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, “forced treatment, in the given case, against alcoholic inebriation, is not justified and is an unwarranted intrusion into a person’s private life. Forced treatment is possible only in the case of illnesses which directly endanger other people, for example, through contagious diseases.” The police may detain people who are drunk if they are disturbing the peace or being offensive. That is, they have the right to detain them, but not to forcibly treat them. The European Court of Human Rights has found detention of persons inebriated to have been justified however when we are talking of them being taken and held by force in treatment facilities, this is a violation of human freedom”.