Poltava Center of right protection
In the Poltava oblast the Center of right protection and control over keeping laws works. The center was organized at the Union of army veterans.
Recently the center celebrated its third anniversary. The press conference devoted to this data was held for the local and all-Ukrainian mass media.
The center is well known in the oblast. Since most inhabitants of the oblast do not know laws and their rights and cannot protect themselves, the appearance of the center was a must. In the beginning the activists of the center worked on their enthusiasm, having no office, no finances and no equipment. They received clients from the entire oblast in their home.
In March 1999 the project of the center members V. Boroday and Z. Kovalenko won the competition of the National-democratic institute of foreign relations, after which the center got some equipment that greatly facilitated the work.
Last September the center won an international grant of the Trans-Atlantic initiative Europe – USA and now works in the framework of the project ‘Democracy and superiority of the right.
The center of right protection represents citizens interests in various state organs, at trials; renders juridical consultations; assists in compiling claims, complaint, protests, appeals; carries out legal enlightenment in education establishments and other organizations; makes public facts of abusing human rights by authorities; hands it propositions as to the improvement of work of law-enforcing bodies.
During three years of the work the center members rendered citizens more than 1600 consultations, compiled more than 600 claims and complaints, conducted a score of their own investigations of human rights violations, participated in almost 200 trials as representatives of public organizations. The members began to organize groups of assistants in different districts and held for them some seminars and practical training with the aim to create the network of human rights protection organizations in the oblast.
At the press conference the general situation as to observing human rights in the oblast was discussed. Head of the center Vitaliy Boroday said: ‘The situation with observing and protecting human rights is bad in the Poltava oblast. Most abuses occur because citizens know badly both the laws and basic human rights, whereas the bosses of all levels use this ignorance. Militiamen brutally violate human rights during detention, arrest and keeping in custody. They do not explain people their rights, as it is required by law, but even mistreat them. The courts permit to break the legal procedure, they drag out even very simple cases, if authorities take part in the trial.
Center member Zoya Kovalenko said: ‘I happened to be a representative of public organizations at trials in neighboring oblasts: Sumy, Kirovograd, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov and Kyiv. Everywhere the postponement of trials is not so shameless as in Poltava, where, during a year, not a single trial on a case without any mitigating reasons. Case documents often disappear partly or in full. For example, the case of citizens M. and G. about their capture of the flat of the late citizen K. disappeared from the archive of the Kyivskiy district precinct of Poltava, although there was no fire or flood.
Judges are sometimes very rude. The reason is that many former militiamen became judges. They have juridical education, which they got in extramural manner, which is quite insufficient.
The center members in their speeches pointed out that the court reform in Ukraine is not only ripe, but also long necessary. To postpone the reform is next to criminal, for each day of using old codes and related court customs multiply peoples sorrows.
All the same, nowadays more and more people appear, who feel themselves personalities, and will never stand the abuse of their honor and dignity.