Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
09.12.2001 | O. Pavlychenko, director of the Information and Documentation center of Council of Europe in Ukraine

On unconstitutional postal mice


Many letters and other mail are sent to the information center of the Council of Europe in Ukraine from abroad, mainly from the Council of Europe headquarters. Rather frequently we can read on the envelope a note in the native Ukrainian language that testifies that on the long way from the sender to our center (our postal index is 01001, which is the main post office in Kyiv) an unexpected trouble happened — the envelope was opened, perhaps, by inquisitive mice. The opened envelope is decorated by the inscription: ‘The letter has come to the Kyiv central post office in a damaged form’. At first this note was written by a ball-point, but lately a special stamp appeared. Sometimes the postal clerks even put the torn envelope into an accurate plastic bag. Certainly, one cannot blame the overloaded postal clerks: they are not responsible for malevolent mice. Nobody doubts that they together with Article 31 of the Constitution guarantee the privacy of mail.

I do not know whether the General Secretary of the Council of Europe knew about the peculiarities of our postal service, but he sent the New Year congratulation to the information center without gluing the envelope. The mice evaluated his tact and did not spoil the envelope. Moreover, the letter arrived in time, not with a month delay as the rets of the mail sent from the same place at the same time. People learned how to fight with cockroaches and bedbugs, now a way of fighting the postal mice has been found.

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