On the work of the Voters’ Committee of Ukraine (Lugansk oblast)


The Voters’ Committee of Ukraine is realizing in five oblasts of Ukraine, including the Lugansk oblast, the pilot program of public consultations directed at rendering free legal aid to voters, first of all, in courts. The term of the fulfillment of the program is June-December 2003. The program is financially supported by the Mott foundation.

One of the priority tasks of the program is the protection of political rights, first of all, the rights stated by Articles 10 and 11 of the International Convention on human rights.

In what follows we want to describe one case.

Claim of N. Protopopova, the head of the Severodonetsk executive committee department of the reception of citizens, against the newspaper “Tretiy sektor”.

The claim was connected with the publication of the material “Referendumofobia”, in which it was described how, on 19 November 2002, four town dwellers tried to hand to the executive committee the notification about a public meeting. The notification was accepted neither by the department of citizens’ appeals, nor in the general department, nor in the organizational department. The claimant believed that the newspaper had spread the untrue information thus inflicting to her the moral damage equal to 3000 hryvnas. According to Protopopova’s claim, on 19 November some people really brought a notification about public meeting to her, but she did not know how to accept it. While she tried to learn how to do that, the woman, who brought the notification, allegedly went away.

During the trial the citizens, who had brought the notification, and the workers of the executive committee were interrogated. The court established that on 19 November these citizens tried to hand the notification to N. Protopopova three times during 40 minutes, but she refused to accept the document saying that she had to familiarize with the corresponding normative documents. On 30 June 2003 the Severodonetsk court decided that the information spread by the newspaper was true and refused to satisfy the claim. The plaintiff did not appeal against the decision.

(The Voters’ Committee of Ukraine, the Lugansk oblast branch)

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