ANNUAL REPORT ON ACTIVITIES IN 2001
1. SUMMARY :
In 2001 the Kharkiv Group for Human Rights Protection (the Kharkiv Group or KG, in what follows) continued to work in three directions:
· legal enlightenment and popularisation of law-protecting ideas;
· analysis of the status of human rights in Ukraine;
· help to citizens whose rights were abused, public investigations of facts of violating human rights.
KG continued to fulfil functions of the Centre for the existing network, which connects regional right protecting organisations in all regions of Ukraine; these organisations work in several from the above-listed directions or specialise in one of them. KG gathered information on human right abuses, to lead analytical and law-educating activities. Facts of human right abuses and their primary analysis were described in the bulletin ‘Prava Ludyny (PL). Our monthly ‘Prava Ludyny. Human Rights Education (HRE) included materials on teaching human rights to children and various social and professional groups. These editions distributed among NGOs and individuals which are interested in such themes as well as state bodies, mass media, libraries, etc. In addition, KG prepared and printed a quarterly “Freedom of Expression and Privacy” (FE&P) in 1000 copies. In this bulletin we published result of research of the domestic law and practice in this field.
The same channels were used for the distribution of law-educating literature, prepared and published in the Kharkiv Group separately or jointly with other organisations, various informative materials prepared by the Kharkiv Group jointly with other organisations (the monitoring of legislation and the comparison of the Ukrainian laws with international norms, the monitoring of publications in the Ukrainian press concerning human rights, etc.). Such materials we published as special issues of the PL in the form of brochures in 1000 copies and separate editions. Furthermore, KG satisfied 358 petitions from different regions of Ukraine about sending information materials on human rights and distributed this materials among participants of the seminars.
KG prepared and held a big All-Ukrainian conferences Problems of civic education and fostering human rights in Ukraine, ‘Human Rights in Ukraine: Yesterday and Today and an international conference ‘European legislation on prevention of torture and improvement of the Ukrainian law in Kyiv as well as two 4-days schools on human rights for leaders of right protecting NGOs.
KG held (together with the Ukrainian Section of the International Society on Human Rights) a final stage of the fifth all-Ukrainian competition for the best essay on human rights and first two stages of the sixth competition.
In 2001 KG also fulfilled some special programs: ‘Monitoring of freedom of expression and privacy in Ukraine, ‘Security Services in a Constitutional Democracy, ‘Researches on the History of Dissent in Ukraine.
Along with the period of the project KG received 392 written complaints about the violation of human rights by state bodies. We have finished 208 cases and received positive results in 84 cases. In addition, we given more than 400 oral consultations.
Total budget of the Group was $98,954.82.
2. HELP TO CITIZENS WHOSE RIGHTS WERE ABUSED :
The analysis of citizens complaints received by the Group shows that the complaints can be divided into three large classes:
· the complaints about the violation of civil and political rights by governmental offices;
· the complaints about the violation of social, economic and cultural rights by governmental offices;
· the complaints about the violation of rights by non-governmental organisations and private persons.
We have decided to confine ourselves to the first class of complaints, whereas other complaints we considered only in cases where the law was obviously violated, and in such cases we usually limited our work to legal counselling.
This decision was taken because the flow of complaints is very great, and we are physically unable to pay attention to every complaint. We did not keep a reception office with fixed work hours. Instead we regularly advertise in the mass media and process all the letters received. Those citizens whose complaints are taken for detailed consideration are invited to the Groups office; if they live far from Kharkiv, they are asked to send documentary evidence. Citizens often reach us by telephone. In this case they are given short consultations; if the latter do not suffice, they are asked to mail their complaints. We process in details only complaints brought in writing.
The procedure of processing written complaints is as follows. At first the circumstances and the course of the incident are meticulously studied together with available documentary evidence. Then a request is directed to the governmental office or officer involved. The Groups activity is based on the principle of the benefit of doubt for the office or officer involved; we always try to obtain their view of the incident. If the complaint is urgent, the Group workers use telephone or personal visits. If the problem is not solved to the complainers satisfaction, the complaint is directed to the upper governmental structure or the court proceeding is started. In the latter case the Group invites a lawyer. Sometimes a Groups representative participates in the trial as a public advocate. In all cases, when a qualified lawyer is needed, the Group invites one. It is possible because the Group collaborates with specialists from the National Juridical Academy of Ukraine, in particular, with V. Rechitsky, A.Serdiuk, V.Kalashnik, I. Zhilinkova, A. Stepaniuk as well as practical lawyers E. Shchegol, V. Nesterenko, I.Ponomarenko, A.Bushchenko and others. All of them are leading specialists, doctors or candidates of various branches of law or experienced practitioners. Furthermore, we use services of the trusted medical doctor (once a week): in all needed cases the complainer gets consultations of the highest category doctor Anna Miasnikova. Two times a month complainers can receive consultations of the psychiatrist Irina Goncharova. All the consultations are gratis.
The work with peoples complaints is co-ordinated by Ludmila Klochko. It is also done by Yevgeniy Zakharov, Inna Zakharova, Irina Rapp, Sophia Karasik, Maya Kriukova, Marya Shutaleva, Ivan Lishchina. All the services are gratis. The most brazen abuses of human rights are described in mass media, in the KGs bulletin PL. All written complaints were put to the database for the computer accounting of human rights violations. The source of information for this database, along with the complaints received by KG, is the data gathered by correspondents of the bulletin PL and investigations of systematic human rights violations that KG carries on their own initiative in the field of special services activities and freedom of expression. Now the database includes more than 1200 cases. In 2001 we received 392 complaints in writing. Besides, we continued to work with 38 complaints from 2000. By the end of 2001 we have finished investigations of 208 cases from 430 and received a positive result in 84 cases.
3. PUBLICATIONS :
Developing Ukrainian human rights network and executing functions of the Centre, KG continued preparation, publication and distribution of different editions separately or jointly with other partners. Regular contributors of the network sent information on violation of human rights and analytic materials to Kharkiv, where this information was placed on our web-site http://www.khpg.org after which the following bulletins was compiled and published electronically or in hard copies: twice a month the bulletin PL with a monthly English review, the monthly HRE, the electronic monthly “Freedom of expression in Ukraine” (FE) in Ukrainian and English, and the quarterly FE&P with an annual English review. The bulletins PL and HRE were published in 750 copies, the size – 12 pages of A4 format. The quarterly “Freedom of Expression and Privacy” is published in 1000 copies, the size – 32 pages of A4 (about foolscap) format. We published information on abuses and a primary analysis in the bulletins PL and FE. More profound analytic materials, results of the monitoring and translations would be published in the quarterly and separate editions.
Bulletins were sent according to mailing list to regional human rights protecting and other related NGOs, to central and local state bodies, to press services of political parties and movements, to law schools, to newspapers and other mass media as well as to teachers of secondary schools. Besides, they were placed on the KGs web-site. The copies were sent by e-mail to the readers having electronic addresses and by snail-mail to others. KG also distributed among the users of the network literature on human rights, prepared and printed by KG separately or jointly with other organisations. There were 358 written requests about sending such materials. We satisfied all requests.
Along with the period of the project we prepared, printed and distributed five special issues of PL and other editions in 1000 copies:
– "International mechanisms of human rights protection" (112 pages) by member of KG Ivan Lishchina, lawyer-consultant of the KG, post-graduate student of the National Law Academy (it should be noted that Ivan was invited to work at the Secretariat of the European Court on Human rights. He began to work since January 2, 2002);
– the brochure by Carmel Gallager "Education of the history in a context of promotion to democratic values and tolerance" (translation from English into Ukrainian passed to us by the Information Office of the Council of Europe in Ukraine, 64 pages);
– "Human Rights: my own opinion" (240 pages). It includes texts of the best essays by the participants of the fifth All-Ukrainian competition on human rights for teen-agers;
– "Human rights observation in Ukraine in 2000" (64 pages). It is the Ukrainian version of the US Departments report on the status of human rights in Ukraine in 2000 with our commentaries and additions;
– "Against torture. Review of messages on torture and cruel treatment" (272 pages). In our opinion, this edition is convincingly proof that the following violations of the Convention against torture are systematic and large-scale: cruel, inhuman treatment of suspects under detention and preliminary investigation; conditions in detention centres, preliminary investigation cells and some prisons; so called "dedovshchina" in the army, i.e. torturing of younger soldiers by older servicemen. Our commentary to the fourth periodic report of Ukraine with the book "Against torture. Review of messages on torture and cruel treatment" as the appendix to the report were sent to the UN Committee Against Torture. On 14-15 November the UN Committee against torture considered the fourth periodic report of Ukraine, and on 21 November the Committee issued the conclusions and recommendations concerning this report, vastly using the data from the KG. This documents took a substantial account of the KG comments;
– "Against torture. International mechanisms of prevention of torture and cruel treatment" (184 pages). It includes the European Convention on Human Rights and Additional Protocols for it, materials on preparation of appeals to the European Court on Human Rights, European Convention on prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, UN Convention against torture, the third periodic report of Ukraine (1997) and materials of discussion on this report in the UN Committee, commentaries to the third periodic report of the Amnesty International and the Ukrainian NGOs, fourth periodic report of Ukraine.
KG continued the publication of memoirs and documentaries from the Groups archive. The series is intended to elucidate the tragic past of our people and desperate attempts at resistance. It should be noted that our project did not directly suppose these activities. But we have not financial support for this direction besides NED grant. We printed the following books:
– "Purge in Russia" devoted to a great terror of 1937. It is the translation from English into Ukrainian of the book by well-known historian Konstanin Shtepa and physicist Fridrikh Houtermans, former political prisoners in the USSR;
– 4-volume collection of documents and materials of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group included in addition biographies of all 43 members of the Group;
– "Memories" by Boris Litinskiy, political prisoner of Stalins time.
4. The FIFTH AND SIXTH Ukrainian competitionS for the best essay on
Human Rights :
The fifth competition was began in September 2000. The Organising Committee received the claims and placed the information on the contestants in the database which was created with the help of Microsoft Access, then the Committee organised printing and distribution among the contestants of the International Bill on human rights. Upon the whole the Committee received 3914 claims and 1833 essays, mainly from Ukraine (1765 essays); 28 came from Russia, 25 from Belarus and 15 from Moldova. Pupils of 9-11 grades of the high schools, gymnasiums and lyceums sent 1485 essays, students of colleges, vocational schools and higher schools sent 312 essays. KG printed 4000 copies of the International Bill on human rights and organised distribution of the Bill among the contestants.
Different regions of the country are represented in the competition not in the equal degree: 48 essays came from the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, 28 - from Vinnitsa region, 24 - from Volyn region, 221 - from Dnipropetrovsk region, 256 - from Donetsk region, 51 - from Zhytomir region, 9 - from Transcarpathia region, 112 from Zaporozhye region, 29 - from Ivano-Frankivsk region, 126 - from the city of Kyiv, 60 - from Kyiv region, 24 - from Kirovograd region, 94 - from Lugansk region, 67 - from Lviv region, 44 - from Nikolaev region, 77 - from Odessa region, 42 - from Poltava region, 37 - from Rovny region, 40 - from Sebastopol, 103 - from Sumy region, 8 - from Ternopil region, 158 - from Kharkiv region, 9 - from Kherson region, 25 - from Khmelnitskiy region, 46 - from Cherkassy region, 11 - from Chernovtsy region, 16 - from Chernigov region.
Distribution of the essays for the topics is as follows:
1. Human Rights – are they an achievement of the world ideas or natural attributes of a person? (250 essays);
2. Freedom of expressing an opinion – the basis of the democratic society. Your thoughts as to this statement (194 essays);
3. What is your understanding of the fundamental human right to privacy? (42 essays);
4. Human rights and private interests of a person: what are the similarities between the two concepts and what are the differences? (60 essays);
5. Human rights and group interests: how are they related? (36 essays);
6. Is it necessary to protect the rights of the “bad” people, for instance, the rights of those who violate the rights of others? (376 essays);
7. Are there threats of discrediting the concept of human rights? What are the threats? (56 essays);
8. What should the youth rights protection organisation be like, so that its work would be effective, interesting and needed by society? (123 essays);
9. Protection of human rights – yesterday and today in persons. What people and cases do you know? (70 essays);
10. A free topic corresponding to the general direction of the competition. (626 essays).
The essays received were divided among 25 experts: professional lawyers, teachers of law in high and higher schools, NGO activists. At first 72 essays were selected which later were read and assessed by every of 12 members of the jury. They were: P.M.Rabinovich, a Corresponding Member of the Law Academy of Ukraine, Professor of Lviv University (the Head of the Jury), T.V.Borzenkova, teacher, O.P.Bukalov, the Head of the Donetsk branch of ‘Memorial, T.V.Klinchenko, Candidate of History, M.K.Kotsubinskaia, Candidate of Philology, S.Kuksenko, director of the school, Head of the working group on human rights education of the Ukrainian Association ‘Amnesty International, N.D.Kusaikina, Executive Director of the Kharkiv educational centre in human rights, I.Yu.Lishchina, lawyer-consultant of the KG, L.T.Masenko, Candidate of Philology, I.B.Usenko, Academician of the Pedagogical Academy of Ukraine, Candidate of Law, Head of the Department of the Institute of state and law (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), I.B.Sukhorukova, editor-in-chief of the KG bulletin ‘Prava Ludyny, Ye.Ye.Zakharov, Candidate of Technology, a Co-Chairman of the Kharkiv Group of human rights protection. On 5 March an open conference of the Jury was held which selected the best 22 pupils essays, 11 students essays and victors in two nominations: ‘the best pupils essay and ‘the best students essay. All the codes of the authors of 72 best essays were decoded. According to the Jurys decision, the victors among pupils became Katerina Snizhko (the village of Makariv of Kyiv region), Olena Chebanenko (the town of Kyiv), Ludmila Kosenko (the town of Yalta). Among the students the victors were: Nadiya Trach (the town of Kiev), Leonid Gapeev (the town of Kharkiv), Dmitro Gudima (the city of Lvyv).
On 30 of March the victors and participants of the finals of the Fifth Ukrainian Competition of students of high and higher schools on human rights (33 persons) were awarded. The Kharkiv Group of human rights protection gifted to every from 33 laureates and to teachers-consultants of 17 laureates a small library of books on human right and related topics, including editions prepared by KG: brochures ‘Human Rights. Fact Sheets, the American manual ‘National Standards of Citizens Right and the State in the Ukrainian translation and the collection of best essays of the first and second competitions titled ‘Human Rights: my own opinion, Heinrikh Altunians ‘Dissidents notes, a collection of poetry ‘Goldylocks by Vasyl Stus, ‘International mechanisms of human rights protection a collection of the Council of Europes documents gifted by the Information Office of the Council of Europe in Ukraine, books gifted by the Embassy of the USA: ‘Portrait of the USA, ‘History of the USA, ‘Geography of the USA, ‘Economy of the USA, Literature of the USA, Preface to human rights, ‘Democracy is a discussion. The majority of the above-listed books was published by KG. In addition, the Kharkiv Group awarded Andrey Lesin from Riazan (Russia) for profound understanding of the idea of human rights.
During June we sent the book "Human Rights: my own opinion" with texts of the best essays of the fifth competition to their authors.
At the first stage (August-September) KG will prepare and distribute the information on the competition and the topics of the essays. We selected the follows topics:
- What human rights and freedoms you believe the most important and why?
- Freedom of conscience and religion in Ukraine: a modern status and perspectives.
- Freedom of information: boundless and restrictions.
- Freedom of speech: boundless or limitation?
- Right to education and using the native language: a modern status and perspectives.
- Human rights and right of nation to self-determination: how are they related?
- What make you do if your rights are violated by the state?
- If I will be ombudsperson...
- What for human rights protecting NGOs need? How estimate an effectiveness their work?
10. A free topic corresponding to the general direction of the competition.
During September we sent more than 1000 letters to schools, institutes, participants of the previous competitions.
At the second stage (October-December) KG received 1128 essays, copied it and placed the information on the contestants in the database, which was created with the help of Microsoft Access. Essays were given to 20 evaluators: professional lawyers, teachers of law in high and higher schools, NGO activists. It should be noted that each essay was read by two evaluators.
5. ALL-UKRAINIAN CONFERENCE “PROBLEMS OF CIVIC
EDUCATION AND FOSTERING HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE” :
It was on March 30-31 in Kyiv. 131 representatives from all regions of Ukraine took part in the conference.
For preparation of the conference KG sent in February 40 letters with a questionnaire to teachers whose pupils participated in the third stage of the competition (72 authors) and sent about 80 letters to participants of the same conference in 2000. The questionnaire contained questions about a contact address and telephone, experience of sender, topic of a probable report on the conference, availability of own courses on human rights, request to evaluate shortly a status of human rights in Ukraine in comparison with 1987. Besides, we asked about availability of informative materials and books on human rights such as:
1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
2. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
3. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
4. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and
5. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
6. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
7. Convention on the Rights of the Child
8. Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
9. European Convention on Human Rights
10. European Social Charter
11. Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
12. European Convention on languages minorities.
13. ABC: Human Rights Education in the Secondary Schools
15. Human rights: my own opinion
16. National Standards of Democracy for Civics and Government
17. Myroslav Marynovych. Ukraine: a Road through Desert
We invited 100 participants. We prepared the program of the conference based on the completed questionnaires. Each participant received a package with materials according to the corresponding questionnaire, new books published by KG ‘Human Rights Education. Review of publications, ‘Appeals to the European Court on Human Rights and ‘Education of the history in a context of promotion to democratic values and tolerance, a leaflet about KG activities and the above-mentioned books passed to us by the Embassy of the USA in Ukraine and Information Office of the Council of Europe in Ukraine.
There were many interesting reports about experience of participants in the field of human rights education and human rights protection, in particular, five round tables ‘Monitoring human rights observation in schools of Ukraine, ‘Civic education, law and human rights protection in the secondary schools: problems of real efficiency, ‘Youth organisations, pupils self-government and other forms of civic self-fostering, ‘Development of pedagogical community. Creative and professional unions of teachers, ‘Civil co-operation of pupils, teachers and parents as a necessary condition for solving modern school problems. We published the most interesting reports in our bulletin Civil Education.
6. FIRST AND SECOND SCHOOLS FOR LEADERS OF RIGHT PROTECTING NGOS :
In the reported period the Kharkiv Group for human rights protection (KG, in what follows) prepared and held the school for leaders of human rights protection organisations. It was held on 7-10 June in Kharkiv. There were 44 participants from all regions of Ukraine and 15 participants from Kharkiv. We prepared a questionnaire to determine how the participants assess the school. 38 participants returned filled in questionnaires.
The agenda of the school were as follows (the average assessment in a 12-ball system of every question obtained as the result of processing the questionnaires is given in parentheses).
1st session. Moderator Roman Romanov
15:30 – 17:00 Presentation of the participants
17:00 – 17:30 Coffee-break
17:15 – 18:00 Yevgeniy Zakharov. What is human rights protection? (10.36)
18:00 – 19:00 Human rights protection and policy. Discussion ( 8.47)
2nd session. Moderator Vladimir Kaplun
9:00 – 10:30 Vsevolod Rechitskiy. Ukrainian Constitution in the modern context.
Discussion on the report (10.97)
10:30 – 10:45 Coffee-break
10:45 – 12.00 Olexander Tolochko. Constitutional Justice in Ukraine.
Discussion on the report (10.72)
12:00 – 12:45 Ivan Lishchina. International mechanisms of human rights
12:45 – 13:30 Roman Romanov. Appeals to the European Court
on Human Rights. Cases concerning Ukraine. (10.56)
13:30 – 14:30 Using the international mechanisms of human rights
protection by law-protecting NGOs. Discussion (8.7)
14:30 – 15:30 Dinner
3rd session. Moderator Serhiy Fedorynchyk
15:30 – 16:15 Ludmila Klochko. Human rights protection by non-government organisations. Public free reception room (10.03)
16:15 – 17:00 On the work of free reception rooms. Discussion ( 9.22)
17:00 – 17:15 Coffee-break
17:15 – 19:00 Yevgeniy Zakharov. Analysis of human rights observation. ( 9.3)
Yevgeniy Zakharov. Freedom of access to official information (10.28)
Roman Romanov. Human rights observation in secondary schools ( 9.75)
4th session. Moderator Ludmila Klochko
9:00 – 11:00 Co-operation of HR protecting organisations. Holding
joint actions. Discussion (10.4)
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee-break
11:15 – 12:30 HR protecting NGOs and the state. Is co-operation possible?
12:30 – 14:00 Yevgeniy Zakharov. Funding the HR protecting organisations.
Grounds of the fund-raising. Discussion (10.63)
14:00 – 15:00 Dinner
5th session. Moderator Vladimir Kaplun
15:00 – 16:00 Yevgeniy Zakharov. How does an NGO prepare a project? (11.6)
16:00 – 19:00 Training: preparation of projects (work in three groups) ( 9.23).
6th session. Moderator Yevgeniy Zakharov
9:00 – 10:30 Discussion on the training results. Consultations on project proposals.
10:30 – 10:45 Coffee-break
10:45 – 12:00 Yevgeniy Zakharov. Internal management (9.4)
The school was assessed by the participants so: the organisation – 11.3 balls, the completeness and richness of content – 11.39 balls. Other questions were answered as follows:
What do you expect from the school?
– enrichment of theoretical and practical knowledge (28);
– provision of information;
– contact with colleagues (9);
– application of the obtained knowledge (11);
– getting valuable document (4);
– learning opinions of other participants (5);
– learning methods of work (3);
– discussing the prospects of the future co-operation (5);
– appeals to the European court (4);
Which important questions were omitted in the agenda of the school?
– practical compilation of samples of the needed documents on all topics discussed at the seminar (3);
– compilation of the common decision of the collective;
– work in small groups in the sphere of human rights protection (2);
– efficiency of co-operation with power structures (4);
– schemes, methods and the experience of the struggle with corruption;
– struggle for realising the right for free education;
– conception of human rights;
– what are the real levers of influence on state organs;
– disciplinary control over judges;
– practical training in compiling appeals to court (5);
– singling out the distinct structure of international legal instruments of human rights protection (2);
– contacts with mass media during the school (2);
– attracting volunteers;
Are there questions in the agenda, which, in your opinion, are not worthy of discussing now? If so, then which?
– report ‘International mechanisms..., since the corresponding brochure is available (2);
- presentation of the participants takes too much time;
Will it be better, in your opinion, to change the school format? If so, then how?
– more free time for communicating (12);
– fewer participants (9);
– fewer lectures (2);
– more discussions (5);
– a tour of Kharkiv (9);
– to make the school shorter (4);
– to make the school longer (2);
– to attract more young participants;
– more work in sections (2);
– more practical work (4);
– to suit better the agenda to concrete of the participants;
What, in your opinion, must be done to make the work of the school more efficient?
– more time for feedback;
– work in mixed mini-groups (7);
– greater specialisation as to the direction of work (7);
– extra-mural form of participation;
– to make the school regular (3);
– more time for informal communication;
– video illustration on successful cases of human rights protection;
– attracting more professionals;
– obtaining the needed materials before holding the school (4);
– to obey the agenda more punctually (2);
– holding role games (4);
– to choose better moderators (7);
– to obtain more materials (especially on the topics of the agenda) (5);
– final testing (2).
Participants received much printed matter published by the KG and documents on human rights. In particular, each participant obtained brochures ‘Human Rights. Fact Sheets, many books: the American manual ‘National Standards of Citizens Rights and the State in the Ukrainian translation, the collection of best essays of the first and second competitions titled ‘Human Rights: my own opinion, the books ‘International mechanisms of human rights protection by KGs member Ivan Lishchina and “Complaints to the European Court on Human Rights. Practice of the Court and peculiarities of the Ukrainian law” by Dr. Mikhail Buromenskiy, the collection of the Council of Europes documents ‘Prison reform, the books by Vsevolod Rechitskiy ‘Liberty and the State, ‘Essays on politics, ‘Constitutionalism. The Ukrainian experience, ‘Political activities: Constitutional Aspects and others. The KG prepared for the participants the special brochure ‘European Court on Human Rights. Decisions concerning Ukraine (76 pages of A4 format). It includes reviews of the cases concerning Ukraine.
On 25-28 October we held the second school on human rights for the leaders of non-government human rights protection organisations. Its financed by the European Human Rights Foundation. It was a very big problem to select 50 participants from 306 application. In our opinion, second school was more successful than first school. It was clear that it is necessary to make such school every year.
7. CAMPAIGNING AGAINST TORTURE :
The KG prepared and held the educational seminar for Kharkiv militiamen devoted to the European Convention on Human Rights, international legislation about tortures and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and improvement of the Ukrainian law. It was held on January 24-25. There were many very interesting discussions. The participants were mostly young officers (with 2-3 years of working experience in the militia). They were very interested in activities of the KG. Two officers even wanted to become the KG members.
The lecturers were the following:
Alexander Pavlichenko, the Director of the Centre of Information and Documentation of the Council of Europe in Ukraine;
Yuriy Zaitsev, the editor-in-chief of the quarterly ‘Practice of the European Court on Human Rights. Decisions. Commentaries
Roman Romanov, the Executive Director of the Sevastopol Group for Human Rights protection;
Yevgeniy Zakharov, a Co-Chairman of Kharkiv Group for Human Rights Protection.
The agenda of the seminar were such:
1. A review of the European Convention on Human Rights. The procedure of preparing complaints to the European Commission on Human Rights.
2. The European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and procedures of its use. Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
3. Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
4. Prevention of torture in the Ukrainian Law.
5. The UNO Convention for the Prevention of Torture and how it acts in Ukraine. Cases of using torture during the crime investigation and in the Ukrainian army. Prevention of torture in the penitentiary system.
6. The problem of the implementation of international standards about prevention of torture into the Ukrainian law.
7. Human rights protection organisations in Ukraine and their relations with authorities.
Each participant of the seminar received two books (“Against torture” and “European Standards of holding under custody”) and the package of informative materials on human rights.
On 14-15 November 2001 the UN Committee against torture reviewed the fourth periodic report of Ukraine on the measures for realising the obligations of Ukraine according to the UN Convention against torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. The control mechanism of the Committee requests reporting one tome per four years of all state-members of the Convention on measures devoted to prevention of torture, such as: changing a legal acts, reviewing a legal practice, humanising the execution punishment system and so on.
It is obvious that the cases of applying torture in Ukraine during inquiry and preliminary investigation become more often, and actions of militia become crueller. Some facts of death as a result of torture are known. As before, no system exists of independent investigation of complaints against cruel actions of militia. Service investigations are carried out by officers of another directorate of the Ministry of Interior and they are not fast and efficient. It is next to impossible to make prosecutors office start a criminal case. The court control over the activities of law-enforcing organs is not efficient, and the public control is rather fruitless. The efforts of the state organs to distribute the information about international mechanisms of preventing torture and cruel treatment are insufficient. Unfortunately, these problems are not even sketched in the fourth periodic report of Ukraine. Instead the report abounds in declarations that Ukraine steadily follows the policy of the priority of observing interests of individuals. That is why it is meaningless to comment the fourth periodic report, instead the KG has attempted to conduct an independent analysis how the UN Convention against torture is observed.
This report has been prepared on the basis of available official documents, analysis of the Ukrainian legislation, the KG experience in legal aid to persons, whose rights were violated, reports of Ukrainian NGOs (the Sevastopol and Vinnitsa human rights protection groups, regional branches of the association ‘Zeleny svit, Donetsk and Lviv ‘Memorial, Lugansk public committee for protection of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, Lugansk branch of the committee of voters of Ukraine, committee ‘Helsinki-90, Ukrainian section of the International society of human rights, regional branches of the Union of soldiers mothers of Ukraine and other similar organisations) and publications in mass media on facts of torture and cruel treatment of the suspects, convicts, servicemen, refugees and other groups. The review of these information sources is presented in addition to the report, which was published as a separate book (272 pages) “Against torture. Review of the information sources on cruel treatment and torture”. The KG sent the report in Russian and English to the UN Committee against torture and other international institutions that are issued the problem of torture and interested in receiving such information.
In addition, the KG prepared and published the second book “Against torture. International mechanisms on prevention of torture and cruel treatment”. It includes the European Convention on Human Rights and Additional Protocols for it, materials on preparation of appeals to the European Court on Human Rights, European Convention on prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, UN Convention against torture, the third periodic report of Ukraine (1997) and materials of discussion on this report in the UN Committee, commentaries to the third periodic report of the Amnesty International and the Ukrainian NGOs, fourth periodic report of Ukraine.
It should be noted that state officials prepared the fourth periodic report and other like documents without participation of public. In our opinion, it is obviously to open a process of preparation of state reports on human rights and to publish all reports. That is why the KG together with the Information Office of the Council of Europe in Ukraine organised and held the seminar “European legislation on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and improvement of the Ukrainian law” on 17-18 October in Kyiv. On 19 October the KG held a press-conference in the information press-centre IREX ProMedia devoted to torture and cruel treatment.
Four foreigners (two represented the Council of Europe, two represented the embassies of USA and French) and 88 citizens of Ukraine took part at the seminar. 46 out of 88 Ukrainian participants are lawyers, including 13 juridical higher school teachers (from the National Juridical Academy, from the Advocate Institute at Kyiv University, from the Ukrainian Security Service Academy, from the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, from the University of Interior and others), 3 workers of the Academy Law Sciences and 7 advocates-practitioners. 18 participants are state officials (7 from the Ministry of Justice, 3 from the Security Service of Ukraine,2 from the Supreme Rada and Ombudspersons office, one representative was sent by each of the following organisations: the Presidents administration, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defence, the General Prosecutor office, the Main State tax inspection). 37 out of 88 Ukrainian participants are human rights activists. 16 participants are journalists, 3 from them represented juridical editions: magazines “Law of Ukraine” and “Practice of the European Court on human rights. Decisions. Commentaries” as well as the newspaper “The Juridical Gerald of Ukraine”.
Each participant was given the above-mentioned information materials.
The seminar commenced with the report of Tatiana Termacic, who pointed out that the considered topic was very urgent, and that the efforts of non-governmental organisations, which collect, publish and analyse the data on applying torture in Ukraine, was very important. The report of Oleksandr Pavlichenko, the head of the Informational Office of the Council of Europe in Ukraine, was devoted to the co-operation of Ukraine with the Council of Europe. Various aspects of the activities of the European Committee for preventing torture, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment were elucidated in the reports by Mark Kelly and Vladimir Evintov, the vice-president of the Committee, a Doctor of Law. Mark Kelly made a stress that Ukraine did not agree to publish neither of the three reports of the Committee about its visits to Ukraine in 1998, 1999 and 2000. This position of Ukraine, Mr. Kelly remarked, harms her reputation in Europe and confirms the negative attitude to Ukraine as to a country, which does not want to advance in the sphere of human rights. In his other report Mark Kelly reviewed the practices of the European Court of human rights according to Article 3 of the European Convention on protecting human rights and basic freedoms that protects from torture and cruel treatment. The reports of Roman Romanov, the executive head of the Sevastopol human rights protecting group, and of Yuri Zaytsev, the editor-in-chief of the magazine ‘Practices of the European Court of human rights. Decisions. Comments (published in Russian), were devoted to the court practices according to Article 5 of the Convention. Oleksandr Tolochko, an assistant professor of the National juridical academy, a candidate of law, told about the directions of the improvement of criminal-procedural laws. He made a stress on the fact that the right of a detained to turn for medical aid is not even mentioned in the laws, and the law drafts being prepared do not contain it either. Yevgeniy Zakharov made the brief survey of the UN Convention against torture and its fulfilment in Ukraine.
The participants of the seminar expressed solidarity that the problem of applying torture requires a serious attention both of the state organs and of the society, that changes in laws are needed, in particular, introduction of the independent organ for checking complaints about torture, the legislative prohibition of interrogating a detained without an advocate, the prohibition to use in court the confessions made under duress, etc.
The seminar became a stimulus for discussing the problems in the Ukrainian mass media. The two all-Ukrainian TV channels – ‘1+1 and ‘New channel – informed the public about the seminar and showed the interview with Yevgeniy Zakharov, a co-chairman of the KG. Large articles were published in central and local editions (‘Den, ‘Kievskie vedomosti, ‘Yuridichny visnyk Ukrainy, ‘Kryviy Rig vecherniy, ‘Tiurma i volia – Donetsk, ‘Sobytie – Kharkiv; all publications are appended).
In addition, Parliament Committee on Human Rights observed our materials and decided to hold a parliamentary hearings on how Ukraine observes the UN Convention and the Council of Europe demands about torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and punishment. It was on December 4, 2001. Representatives of the KG took part in the public hearings.
The KG prepared a package of documents for all participants of the hearings. The package contained the books ‘Against torture. Review of the information sources on cruel treatment and torture and ‘Observance of human rights in Ukraine in 2000 (the report of the Bureau of democracy, human rights and labour of the USA State Department concerning the practices in the sphere of human rights in the country with the comments by the KG), as well as the text of the fourth periodical report of Ukraine about the fulfilment of the UN Convention against torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and punishment, the comments by the KG to this report, conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against torture concerning the 3rd and 4th reports of Ukraine. It appeared that MPs have not known the contents of the fourth report and the conclusions concerning it. The MPs were indignant that they got these documents from an NGO and not from the Ministry of Justice. An official from the Ministry of Justice told in his emotional speech that the report was published on the UNO site, besides everybody willing could familiarise with it by addressing the Ministry.
It is worth adding that after the parliamentary hearings representatives of the Kharkiv Ukrainian Security Service directorate appeared in the KG and asked to be given 30 copies of the book ‘Against torture. Review of the information sources on cruel treatment and torture They explained that they needed these books for oblast directorates, which must, according to the order from Kyiv, check the facts described in the book. We shall hope that it will be done not for refuting ‘the slander, but for starting the real fight.
8. 25-TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UKRAINIAN HELSINKI GROUP :
The KG organised and held (together with the publishing house ‘Smoloskyp and Jewish association of Ukraine) a celebration devoted to 25-th anniversary of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group (UHG). UHG was created on November 9, 1976. Writer Mykola Rudenko and general Petro Grigorenko initiated a creation of the UHG.
On 8 November a press conference was held in the building of the informational press centre for journalists of IREX ProMedia. Representatives of practically all nation-wide TV companies and many printed mass media gathered in the hall. The journalists communicated with Mykola Rudenko and Levko Lukyanenko, the founders of the UHG, Vasyl Ovsienko, a long-term prisoner of consciousness and member of the KG now, Osip Zinkevich, a USA correspondent of the UHG, the manager of the publishing house ‘Smoloskyp (in 70sp-80s he was known under the penname Bogdan Klen), and Yevgeniy Zakharov, co-chairman of the KG. Ovsienko, Zakharov, Zinkevich and UHG member Josip Zisels were organisers of the celebration.
The journalists, mainly young people, were sitting in the hall side by side with old political prisoners. Some of them did prison terms counted in decades. The total prison term of 43 members of the UHG is more than 550 years. Such figures were unthinkable of in any other republic of the former Soviet Union. On the one hand, the reason was the extreme cruelty of the Ukrainian KGB, on the other hand – the intrepid courage and self-sacrifice of the UHG members. In fact the UHG members firmly knew that they would be arrested and convicted. Even those, who were ill and physically weak, for whom a prison term meant a death verdict – Marchenko, Stus, Tykhiy – entered the group without hesitation. They did it to inform the whole world the neither the freedom of speech, nor the freedom of public organisations, not the rights of national organisations existed in the USSR.
The UHG considered the problem of national and cultural rights as a basic one. The UHG members fought with russification, insisted on the right of free emigration from the USSR, protected rights of national minorities and ‘refuseniks, mainly Jews, who wanted to go to Israel.
In order to assist the public to learn more about the connection of the UHG with the modern times the seminar ‘Human rights in Ukraine: yesterday and today was organised on 9 November in the building of Kyivo-Mogylianska Academy. Nina Karpacheva, the Ukrainian ombudsperson, and representatives of Ukrainian public organisations, such as Amnesty International, International society of human rights, association ‘Zeleny svit, KG and others, took part in the seminar. Yet, both at the seminar and at the celebration devoted to the UHG jubilee (held in the same evening) the same phenomenon was observed: differences in the assessment of modern times, power and its officers, of the potential of the Ukrainian state.
The celebration held in Kyivan House of Teachers (former House of Central Rada) is an extraordinary event in our life. The hall with the capacity for 500 people, where once hetmans declared their edicts, was overcrowded. The UHG members, who could come to Kyiv, made speeches. They were 14 out of 29 members, who are still alive. Other 14 members died before the jubilee… Among them there were such figures as Valeriy Marchenko, Vasyl Stus, Oleksa Tykhiy, Yuri Litvin, tortured to death in Soviet concentration camps, Mykhaylo Melnik, who committed suicide after the confiscation of the 800-page manuscript in Ukrainian history and on the eve of inevitable arrest, Volodymir, the Holy Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyivan Patriarchy), who died under doubtful circumstances in summer of 1995, Viacheslav Chornovil, the acknowledged leader of national-democratic movement, who also perished under obscure circumstances and many others. Everybody felt that the UHG members are bright personalities today too, who are somehow pushed out by the modern establishment.
The portraits of the dead UHG members were exhibited on the stage. The meeting began with a one-minute silence for each of them. We understood that each original of the portraits is acutely needed by the modern Ukraine, which is so short now of bright, independent and active people. Those present were a few, who managed to survive under duress, although the communist authorities did everything possible to destroy them physically. 14 out of 29 is not so few, taking account of the fact that some former UHG members live abroad and others could not come because of bad health: old age, prisons, concentration camps and the hard life now did not add health to the former political prisoners. The most interesting were the speeches of Irina Senik, Petro Sicko, Petro Rozumny. I. Senik stayed in prisons and concentration camp for the total term of 34 years, P. Sichko – 15 years.
Each UHG member got commemorative medal from radio ‘Liberty and Amnesty International, commemorative diplomas from the publishing house ‘Smoloskyp, a 4-volume collection of documents and materials of the UHG, published to the date by the KG. The relatives of the late members got the same presents.
N. Karpacheva, present at the celebration, handed the commemorative address and her first report (the book devoted to the state of observation and protection of human rights and freedoms in Ukraine) to Mykola and Raisa Rudenko.
Some speakers told that the authorities did not notice and did not celebrate the UHG jubilee (although MPs A. Matvienko, L. Taniuk and others were present at the meeting). However, it seems to me that if the authorities took part in the celebration, it would put the UHG members in a embarrassing position, since very few of the present assessed the current situation in Ukraine as positive. As we have said, the most positive evaluation was made by Rudenko and Rozumny: ‘Thanks God, the independent Ukraine exists, now we must make her such as we want and always wanted to see.
If the celebration was supported by the authorities, that if would be even less comprehensible for the Ukrainian citizens, who could hardly understand for what purpose the group was created, what were its goals and tasks. Yet, the UHG jubilee did not pass unnoticed, and it is good! It is also good that people, who stayed in prisons together for years, could gather, recall the past and, on 10 November, visit the cemetery and to express their respect to those, who gave their lives for their convictions. Funeral prayers sounded in the Baykovo cemetery over the graves of Yuri Litvin, Oleksa Tykhiy, Vasyl Stus, Ivan Svitlychny, Viacheslav Chornovil and Oksana Meshko. Then the participants went to the village of Gatne to the grave of Valeriy Marchenko.
9. SPECIAL RESEARCH PROGRAMMES:
9.1. ACCESS TO GOVERNMENTAL INFORMATION IN UKRAINE :
KG issued legislation on access to official information and practice of its using. Attention to readers we propose summary of this research.
The access to the information that is owned by the organs of state power and local self-rule is extremely unsatisfactory. Progressive laws “On information”, “On state secret” and others, regulating the access, which were adopted in the early 90s, were actually cancelled by sublegal acts and illegal practices that is characterised with the wide usage of the illegal classification restricting the access. In particular the classification is: ‘not for publishing, ‘not for printing, ‘for service use only. These concepts are not defined by law, the procedure of working with the documents classified as ‘not for publishing, ‘not for printing is not determined by any registered normative acts, the Instruction on the procedure of working with the documents classified as ‘for service use only is written in the spirit of the old good totalitarian times and practically blocks the access to such documents.
The state protects the information ‘that makes state or other secret stipulated by law, confidential information owned by the state, open information important for the state, regardless of where this information circulates, open information important for a person or society, if this information circulates in the organs of state power or local self-rule, National academy of sciences, Armed Forces, other military units, law-enforcing organs, at state enterprises, establishments and organisations‘. Only the concept of the state secret is defined by law. The lists of information items protected by the state are compiled only for the information being state secret and confidential information owned by the state (classified as ‘for service use only). Yet the lists of the information ‘for service use only are not published, and “List of information items that belong to state secrets” (LIISS) was published immediately after its adoption in 1995, and later was made secret, as well as all further changes in it. Thus, the decision on restricting the access to information is taken not on the basis of an open normative act, as it must be in a country-member of the Council of Europe, but depending on the personal decision of a state official, who is responsible for protecting such information.
We made an attempt to learn how widely are these illegal classifications applied. To this end, we analysed all the documents issued by several central agencies in 2000 and 2001 to learn the number of documents thus classified. For this we used the computer juridical system ‘Liga-Zakon. The results are shown in Table 1. It is easy to see that most such documents are issued by the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers, the President in most cases using the classification ‘not for publishing, the Cabinet of Ministers – ‘not for printing, and agencies – ‘for service use only. Besides, the titles of all the documents classified as ‘for service use only are listed in the database, from which one can at least roughly understand what is the document about. On the other hand, the documents classified as ‘not for printing or ‘not for publishing are represented only by numbers and dates of adoption, so it is impossible to understand what is the content of these documents.
The great number of untitled documents issued by the President and the Cabinet of Ministers made us investigate the dynamics of their adoption over a longer time. It appeared that the wide use of the classifications ‘not for printing and ‘not for publishing began as early as in 1994, still before the pre-term presidential and parliamentary elections. One observes obvious bursts of issuing such documents by the President and the Cabinet of Ministers. Although any strong correlation between these bursts is not observed, but in most cases they coincide with election campaigns and all-Ukrainian referendum. The number of such documents is reached 7% of the total number. It is clearly seen that the President makes secret much more documents than the Cabinet of Ministers or any other agency.
We carried out a kind of experiment on ourselves, checking to what extent we can get the access to official information. We and our partners, participants of the Human Rights Network, turned to different local and central authorities with requests about various pieces of information for 1998,1999, 2000 and first half of 2001 needed for analysis of the status of human rights in Ukraine and the preparation of the annual report on this status.
We requested the data on mortality and its causes, on the number of suicides, the data on the survival minimum and on the consumers basket, the histogram of pensions received, the data on wages in various industries and in the budget sphere, on the unemployment structure, the data on medicine and medical aid to population, the data on high and higher education, the data on strikes and hunger strikes, the data on the environment pollution in Ukraine, the data on mortality and desertion in the Armed Forces and the reasons of death, the data on the level and structure of crime, the court statistics, the data on the number of preliminary and common prisons, on the diseases and mortality rate in penitentiary establishments, about the number of the TB- and AIDS-infected, on the expenditures for upkeep of convicts, the data on the number of legal and captured illegal immigrants, on the number of refugees, on the number of representatives of the repressed peoples, on the size of the aid to refugees and migrants and other data.
Not a single state organ, where we turned, did not answer during 10 days as the law “On information” stated. We received a satisfactory answer during a month only from the Ministry of Justice and the State department in charge of nationalities and migration. The responses from the Ministry of labour and social policy, Ministry of Interior, Ukrainian Security Service (USS) and Ministry of education did come, but with a long retard. The Ministry of defence, Ministry of health protection and Commission on mercy at the President administration did not answer at all. The received answers were incomplete, we got much advice to turn to other agencies, more frequent – to the State committee of statistics. Really, all state organs pass the information in the proper format to the committee of statistics. Yet, we turned to the agencies that collect and process the information according to their profile, and we requested namely that kind of information that is absent in annual statistical records. Upon the whole we received more or less full answers only from the Ministry of Justice, the State penitentiary department and the State department in charge of nationalities and migration.
Some actions of state organs may be regarded as oblique answers to our requests. For instance, the USS declassified the LIISS after our request about the legality of classifying the list as secret, active exchange of letters and phone calls. Yuri Smirnov, the Minister of Interior, publicly announced the data for 2001 about the violations of laws by militia officers (186 militiamen were brought to criminal responsibility and near 50 thousand were punished disciplinarily). As we know, such data were not made public before. The Commission of mercy at the President administration regularly informs the press about the number of the pardoned since autumn 2001.
Upon the whole it seems that the attitude of state organs to the Ukrainian law ‘On information, which obliges a state organ to inform all interested parties about its activities, is somewhat disrespectful. It proves that the state organs still disrespect the society, which entrusted them to execute some functions and has the right of control.
9.2. ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION ON PRESS AND PRACTICE :
In the reported period we prepared an analysis of the legislation on mass media. For analysing we are going to use the monitoring technique, which includes:
analysis of the internal law (the Constitution, laws, sublegal acts) connected with functioning of the mass media;
analysis of the corresponding law-applying practices (decisions of administrative and judicial bodies);
preparation of the analytical report, which also will include suggestions for fighting with ungrounded restrictions of freedom of the mass media.
We have analysed the following resources of information:
a) constitutional aspects of freedom of press in Ukraine;
b) the Ukrainian laws: “On information”, “On printing media in Ukraine”, “On TV and broadcasting”, “On state secrets”, “On communication”, “On information agencies”, “On national archive foundations and archive bodies”, “On scientific technical information”, “On protection of information in the automatic systems”, “On the procedure of making public the information on the activity of bodies of state power and local administration in Ukraine”, “On the state support of mass media and social protection of journalists”, “On the conception of the national program of information processing” and others;
c) Resolutions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine devoted to mass media, in particular, resolution of the parliaments hearings on freedom of speech;
d) numerous Decrees and Resolutions of the President of Ukraine concerning mass media;
e) Resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers and normative acts of other state executive bodies devoted to mass media;
f) accessible national court practices concerning the mass media: court decisions of district and regional courts, decisions of the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court;
g) accessible decisions of the administrative bodies concerning the press;
h) reports and periodic editions of other organisations defended the freedom of press: IREX ProMedia, Institute of mass information, European institutes of mass media, the Committee “Equality of opportunities”, regional media clubs and others;
i) publications in the mass media devoted to the freedom of press;
ii) letters and appeals to human rights protecting organisations on abuses of the freedom of press.
We have prepared the analytical report on the results of the monitoring in a view of the book “Law and Practice of mass-media in Ukraine”. The structure of the book is corresponded to the scheme proposed by the British NGO “Article XIX”:
1. Relevant Constitutional Provisions
2. Distribution of Powers between Central and Regional Bodies
3. Role of the Courts
4. Status of International Human Rights Treaties in National Law
5. Statutory Framework
6. Regulation of Ownership
7. Registration Requirements
8. Regulation of Import and Export of Publications
9. Mechanisms of Press Self-Regulation
11. Invasion of Privacy
12. Right of Reply and/or Correction
13. Insults to Government Institutions or Officials
14. Official Secrecy and Access to Government-Held Information
15. Access to and Disclosure of Court Documents and Proceedings
16. Access to and Disclosure of Legislative Documents and Proceedings
17. Commercial Secrecy and Access to Information held by Private Parties
18. Prior Restraints
19. Protection of Sources
20. Restrictions on Offensive Language against Identifiable Groups
21. Blasphemy, Obscenity and Protection of Public Morals
22. Restrictions on Advertising
The book will be printed in 2002.
It should be noted that joint efforts of several organisations, including our group, which analysed the projects of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and fought for cancellation of five odious articles that essentially restricted the freedom of the press, were successful. Four articles out of these five are excluded from the final version of the Code adopted on 5 April. In particular, the article about insulting honour and dignity of the Ukrainian President stipulating the punishment up to 7 years of incarceration was dropped. Slander and insult were also decriminalised and, in our view, all the cases concerning slander (Article 125 of the Criminal Code of 1961) were closed after the new code came into effect (on 1 September 2001).
Monitoring the information conflicts in 2001 was carried out basing on the official information obtained by our group, the analysis of the Ukrainian laws, court and administrative practices, the experience of the Kharkiv Group for human rights protection (KG, in what follows) in rendering help to journalists and mass media, whose rights were violated, the information given by the correspondents of the periodical editions of the KG: ‘Prava ludyny and ‘The freedom of expression about the informational violations in Ukraine, messages and periodicals of other Ukrainian NGOs, which deal with the protection of the freedom of speech (the Program of legal protection and enlightenment of mass media IREX ProMedia, Institute of mass information, European institute of mass media, Crimean Centre of independent political researchers and journalists, Poltava media club and others) and publications in the press. The review of these information sources is given in the appendix to this report, which was published as a separate book ‘The review of messages about the violations in the informational sphere in Ukraine (2001). For this we frequently use the method suggested by the Fund of protecting glasnost (Russia, Moscow).
In 2001 we registered 315 conflicts, among them 172 conflicts, in which, as we believe, the freedom of expression of opinion was violated, and 143 conflicts, when journalists and/or mass media were accused of violations laws (one of the main sources was the data of the Program of legal enlightenment and protection of mass media IREX ProMedia about 98 conflicts in the informational sphere). In six cases journalists and/or mass media were at the same time both victims and offenders. In our opinion, these data cannot be regarded as exhaustive: in fact the number of conflicts was much larger. Yet, many of them do not become public. In particular, the court statistics do not separate trials, where journalists and/or mass media were one of the sides, and such trials become widely known only post factum. For example, only few criminal cases on slander (Article 125 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine-1961) became publicly known, whereas, according to the data of the Ministry of justice, in 1998-2000 and during the fist half of 2001 the number of such cases was 372, and 8 people were condemned to incarceration.
In should be noticed that the printed mass media participate in much more conflicts than electronic mass media: the latter were involved only in 29 conflicts (without accounting the attempts at journalists and mass media). 10 of these conflicts concerned licensing, and almost all remaining are linked with the National TV and radio company of Ukraine, which got many well-grounded, in out opinion, civil claims, and the radio ‘Liberty, whose retranslating was blocked in a number of oblasts last year. Upon the whole, the electronic mass media (except the Internet editions) are much more obedient and disciplined than newspapers. This can be explained by their greater dependence on the owners and the power organs and by a more diligent control over their functioning.
So, with whom do journalists and mass media conflict? The most strenuous relations they have with the organs of state power, especially of the executive power. It is the organs of the executive power that violate the freedom of expression most frequently, the same organs have claims against journalist and mass media most frequently (62% of the total number of conflicts without accounting the attempts at journalists and mass media; here the organs of the executive power include the organs of prosecutors offices and the USS). The second place is occupied by private persons (10.1%), the third – by deputies of different levels (8.9%), they are followed by mass media administrations (4.8%), representatives of the opposition and business (4.4% each), political parties (2.9%) and judges (2%).
9.3. HISTORY OF THE DISSIDENT MOVEMENT IN UKRAINE :
During January – March KG finished to prepare the Ukrainian part of the Dictionary ‘Who is who in dissent of the Central and Eastern Europe and former USSR that includes a short description of the dissident movement in Ukraine (approximately 30, 000 characters), 120 biographies (approximately 600, 000 characters), a photo of each person and related bibliography. In March all materials were passed to the centres ‘Karta (Poland) and ‘Memorial (Moscow). All 120 biographies have been translated into Ukrainian for the planned edition of the dictionary in Ukrainian.
The details of the editions prepared in the framework of the programme are given in the Section ‘Publications. The Kharkiv Group has been preparing the list of Ukrainian political convicts of the after-Stalin period since 1991. By the present time it counts about 3,000 names. The publication of the book is planned on the second quarter of 2002. Besides, another group of memoirs and documents was prepared by the Kharkiv Group on the basis of the Groups archive and other sources. These publications are devoted to the resistance to the totalitarian regime in the USSR. We plan the following publications:
· the book of memoirs by Stefania Petrash (a political prisoner of the Stalin period, the wife of Petro Sichko, who was a political convict both in Stalins and in Brezhnevs rule; she is mother of Vladimir and Vasyl Sichko, who were political prisoners in Brezhnevs time); the manuscript is set and is being corrected;
· the book devoted to two outstanding Ukrainian linguists V. V. Gantsov and E. Ya. Kurilo, victims of the Stalin terror; the main materials are gathered; Yuri Sherekhas article on the importance of their scientific results is being translated from English to Ukrainian;
· the book of Feliks Rakhlin ‘On Boris Chichibabin and his time rough make-up is sent by the author after correction;
· the book by Inna Melnitskaya ‘The Ukrainian train, the dilogy on the violent transfer of the youth to Germany during WW2 and on the extermination of Jews by fascists in Kharkiv;
According to our plans these books will be published in 2002-2003.
We continue to take audio-interviews from the former dissidents included into the Ukrainian part of the dictionary, as well as from the people from their closest environment. We also transcribe the interviews. During 2001 we transcribed 64 cassettes, 90 minutes each. These are interviews from 38 people. Besides, we copy and arrange related materials for our archive.
The materials obtained in the framework of the programme were printed in the PL and other editions, including all-Ukrainian newspapers, such as ‘Den, ‘Ukraina moloda, ‘Fakty and others.
10. FINANCIAL INFORMATION:
In 2001 KG worked according to the grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (USA), the MacArhtur Foundation (USA), the European Commission, the International foundation ‘Renaissance (the Ukrainian department of the Open Society Institute, two grants), the Directorate on Human Rights of the Council of Europe, the US Embassy, American Bar Association (Central and Eastern Europe Legal Initiative, three grants: ). Here we indicate the amounts that we spent in 2001.
The total budget of the Group was $98,954.82. It was separated in such a way:
Salaries (including income tax) $25,915.21
Fees (contractual services) $ 6,961.19
Social taxes (37.5% from salary plus fees) $12,387.82
Supplies & Equipment $13,910.72
Communication & Postage $13,160.30
Travels $ 6,623.59
Other direct costs (space rental, accommodation, meals, etc.) $19,995.99