The statement of the Kharkov Group for human rights protection on the decision of the Supreme Council of justice about the dismissal of judge of the Appeal Court of Kyiv Yu. Vasilenko


We reckon that the mentioned decision of the Supreme Council of justice is a vivid example of the real level of democratic and liberal changes in Ukraine. In our opinion, this level has decreased to the precarious limit, and we think that our duty is to declare this to the power and society.

We qualify the actions of the Supreme Council of justice on the initiation of the dismissal of Yuri Vasilenko from his post as hypocritical and corporative, as a „“ violation of human rights, which was typical in the times of the totalitarian Soviet regime – political persecution for one’s views, for honesty, principles, professionalism, independence and the freedom of consciousness. There were no such facts in the history of the independent Ukraine before, but now one can observe the signs of restoring the political dictatorship by the Ukrainian authorities.

Thus, the case of judge Vasilenko obviously demonstrates the genuine, not declarative, intentions of the executive and judicial branches of power concerning the European choice, observation of human rights and the pluralism of opinions. Unfortunately, in spite of the pompous declarations and laudation of „ glorious ten years“, our country has not went away far from its past, when any critical opinion concerning the words or actions of the officials was regarded as a crime.

The decisions of the Supreme Council of justice and the resolution of the Supreme Court on Yu. Vasileko’s case illustrate the unwillingness of the executive and juridical powers to agree in practice with the existence of independent courts. So, may one to expect the court decisions directed at the protection of human rights and at the punishment of state officials for corruption and misuses? The question seems to be somewhat rhetorical.

We must establish with regret that, like in the Soviet times, the main features of the governing elite are the bare instrumentalism and servility. As to the juridical community of Ukraine, it still remains, at best, a passive and scared observer of these doubtful activities or, at worst, a demoralized accomplice of political persecutions.

All recent events confirm that Ukraine advances more and more not towards the principles of the superiority of right, but towards a police state, where laws cost nothing or are applied as a coercion tool by top authorities. We want to remind about the similar case that occurred in Russia. Then the juridical and human rights protection community of Russia protected judge of the Moscow city court S. Pashin and did not allow to dismiss him. Unfortunately, Ukrainian lawyers and judges do not show any features of the professional solidarity.

We turn to MPs with the demand to support the authority of the young Ukrainian state: to reject the recommendation on the dismissal of Yu. Vasilenko thus averting the threat of Ukrainian political Calvinism.

7 February 2003

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