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15.12.2003

The round table devoted to the International Day of human rights

   

On 8 December the Supreme Rada Committee of human rights conducted the round table devoted to the International Day of human rights.

Representatives of the organs of state power, MPs, judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and the Constitutional Court, representatives of NGOs and international organizations took part in the round table.

The sitting was chaired by Gennadiy Udovenko. He delivered the speech, in which he stated that the political will for the real guaranteeing of human rights was absent in Ukraine.

The UNO representative Douglas Gardner accentuated the importance of the Universal Declaration of human rights. He dwelled on the most important problems existing in Ukraine: the aggravation of the situation with the AIDS and sexual discrimination. It is somewhat strange that the UNO representation in our country is not worried with other problems.

Evhen Zakharov, a co-chairman of the Kharkov group for human rights protection, pointed out the most problematic questions in the sphere of human rights protection. He also told that this year the legal guaranteeing of human rights would, probably, deteriorate, if the new laws on the unified register of physical persons, on monitoring of telecommunications and the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine would be adopted. The problem of the application of torture by law-enforcersstill remains actual. In particular, the definition of the crime «application of torture» is absent in our legislation. It is also necessary to envisage the procedure of the access to the independent medical expertise of the condemned and to provide the independent check of the facts of applying torture.

Boris Tarasiuk, the head of the Supreme Rada committee in charge of questions of the European integration, stated that «the situation with human rights does not improve, it even becomes worse, if to compare the modern state of human rights with the first years of independence and, in some aspects, even with the Soviet times».

Antonina Taranovska, a representative of the Ukrainian Association of Amnesty International, also drew the attention to the questions of torture in Ukraine and to the necessity of the appropriate measures for the ratification of the Roman statute of the International penal court.

Valeria Lutkovskaya, a deputy of the Minister of Justice of Ukraine, emphasized on the necessity of the fulfillment of the European Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. «About 7.5 thousand complaints have been received by the European Court. We occupy the seventh place by the number of the complaints, after such democratic countries as France, Germany and Italy. So, such great number of the complaints must not scare us, but it means that 7.5 thousand people could not find justice in Ukraine. The greater part of these complaints was rejected». The Ukrainian legislation promotes the growth of this number, since our legislation does not agree with the Convention. For example, the problem exists today of recompensing the damage inflicted by the illegal arrest. The right for the compensation is envisaged by the Convention, but the Ukrainian laws stipulate that the damage is recompensed only if the verdict of «not guilty» was issued by court or if the criminal case was closed because of the rehabilitating circumstances. Ms. Lutkovskaya also pointed out that the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine was ready to take part in the implementation of the European standards in Ukraine.

The participants of the round table also debated about the rights of minorities and refugees, the election rights and ecological rights of citizens.

Secretariat of the Council of Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations

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