Response stories

Police Harassment of OST Patients

Recently a REActor reported a problem that is currently quite common for Ukraine. Viktor, who is an OST patient, was stopped by the police without due cause while driving.

After being forcibly pulled over, he was sent to the designated testing lab for drug tests. Once the presence of OST drugs (methadone) in his system was confirmed, the doctors concluded that the man was driving under the influence of the substances identified. Based on applicable regulations and policies, this in turn is punishable by administrative penalties and suspension of driving privileges. 

Viktor filed an appeal to the administrative court, which identified procedural violations in breach of drug testing regulations and standards and overturned the decision regarding administrative liability penalties. It later transpired that Viktor’s personal data had been improperly entered into the ARMOR police database records, thus making him a target for police prosecution efforts.

The REActor is currently taking all necessary steps to have Viktor’s personal data removed from the database. Appropriate petitions have been made to responsible officials as well as to the Ombudsman. Resolving this problem will make it possible to reduce the level of bias and stigma against members of vulnerable communities.