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15.03.2004 | Ilmi Umerov, a deputy of the head of the Supreme Rada of the Crimean Autonomous Republic

Discussion on the state of human rights in the Crimea (Ilmi Umerov, a deputy of the head of the Supreme Rada of the Crimean Autonomous Republic).

   

 (the speech at the hearings in the Supreme Rada of the Crimean Autonomous Republic)

I want to congratulate everybody with the fact that for the first time in Ukraine the state of human rights and freedoms in a separate region is discussed. I believe that the conduction of these hearings in the Supreme Rada confirms that the situation with the observance of human rights in the Crimea really worries our deputies.

In 2002 and 2003 the international human rights protecting organizations “Human rights Watch” and “Amnesty International”, as well as the corresponding structures of the Council of Europe, published the reports on the state of human rights in Ukraine. You have some of these documents in the materials rendered to you. The reports evidence on the unpleasant fact: Ukraine is a state, where human rights and freedoms are violated regularly. Corruption, humiliation of human dignity, violation of personal, social, economic and political rights of citizens in the extremely brutal forms are quite usual in Ukraine. In fact, Ukraine became the leader in the Eastern Europe from the viewpoint of violations of human rights. The experts reckon that the situation in Ukraine does not improve, on the contrary it deteriorates rapidly; our country more and more resembles a police state, and that is obvious not only to experts but also to the common citizens. The recent visit of the ombudsperson to the Crimea confirmed that the situation with the observance of human rights in the Republic did not improve.

The events connected with the political reform and presidential election became one more factor, which negatively influenced the situation. Besides, the tendency appeared to adopt the legal norms directed at the violation of human rights and freedoms. Earlier the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers and other organs of state power adhered to the policy of adoption of the laws corresponding to the European norms, but recently we have observed several attempts to approve, owing to the so-called “majority”, several law drafts, which directly violated the universally accepted human rights. One of the examples is the draft of the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine. Only thanks to the efforts of human rights protecting public organizations, the draft of the code was sent for revision after the first reading.

Now the state of the Ukrainian human rights protection movement is not very good. In order to conceal the information and prevent its divulgence, the power organs undertake various attempts to make the activists of human rights protection movement to be silent. The authorities resort to tax checks, illegal institution of criminal cases against the activists, intimidation and blocking of the financing of human rights protecting organizations (let us recollect, for instance, the last resolution of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine on the creation of the temporary commission for the disclosure of facts of foreign interference to the financing of election campaigns in Ukraine through non-governmental organizations, which work at the expense of foreign countries). Taking into account the fact that 90% of public organizations in Ukraine, in particular in the Crimea, exist owing to the financial aid of foreign funds, the creation of such commission will promote the appearance of a new tool for the control over public organizations and for the destruction of “disobedient” organizations. Naturally, such situation cannot promote the normalization of the relations between the power and society, but will result in the open confrontation. The society resembles a steam-boiler: if to increase the temperature all the time, then the boiler would explode.

Under such circumstances the conduction of the hearings about the state of human rights in the Crimean Republic seems to be a very significant and important event. These hearings must become an example of proper mutual relations between the power organs and public organizations. In October 2003 the Supreme Rada of the Crimea received the letter from the public organization “The institute of social research”, which proposed to conduct the deputies’ hearings in the Supreme Rada of the Republic. This project was endorsed by the International Foundation “Vidrodjennia”. After the meeting with representatives of this public organization, the Supreme Rada of the Crimea compiled the draft of the Resolution on the conduction of the hearings. I presented the draft for consideration to the Supreme Rada of the Crimean Autonomous Republic and, thanks to the understanding and support of the Chairman of the Supreme Rada and people’s deputies, we have today the opportunity to discuss the problems of the observance of human rights in the Republic. I believe that such examples of rapport should become more frequent.

Recommendations:

-  to create the Crimean public monitoring center for the timely response to the violations of human rights and freedoms; the main task of the center will be the collection of the information about the violations of human rights on the territory of the republic and the assistance to the state organs (especially to law-enforcing ones) and organs of local self-rule in the disclosure and liquidation of the violations of human rights;

-  to introduce the practice of social order, that is the financial support of public organizations from the state budget for the realization of the projects aimed at the solution of socially important problems of the region (on the competition basis).

The situation, when the state power regard public organizations as “grant-eaters”, must be changed. The state must implement the policy of financing of the activities of public organizations. It must treat these organizations as assistants, but not as enemies.

In the conclusion of my speech I want to point out that similar deputies’ hearings could be devoted to separate problems in the sphere of human rights: observance of the rights of children, invalids, persons under investigation, etc. I am ready to be an initiator and organizer of the hearings devoted to the problems of the Crimean Tatars. This is a very complicated political, social and economic problem connected with the great number of violations of human rights in all spheres of life.

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