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About KhPG › Annual reports
11.04.2004

REPORT ON ACTIVITIES IN 1999

   

1. SUMMARY:

In 1999 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 new 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.

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. Besides, KG satisfied 141 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’ and an international conference ‘European legislation on wiretapping and improvement of the Ukrainian law’ in Kyiv as well as ten educational seminars (together with the Ukrainian Centre of Information and Documentation of the Council of Europe) for officers of the law-enforcing bodies devoted to the European Convention on Human Rights and international legislation about torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

KG held (together with the Ukrainian Section of the International Society on Human Rights) a final stage of the third all-Ukrainian competition for the best essay on human rights and first three stages of the fourth competition.

In 1999 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’.

During 1999 KG received 280 written complaints about the violation of human rights by state bodies. Besides, we continued to work with 19 complaints received in 1998. We have finished 101 cases out of 299 and received positive results in 70 cases.

Total budget of the Group was 388, 300 hrivnias (Hr 388,300).

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 Group’s 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 Group’s 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 complainer’s 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 Group’s 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, Yu. Baulin, M. Buromensky, I. Zhilinkova, A. Stepaniuk as well as practical lawyers E. Shchegol, V. Nesterenko, G. Baulina, S.Parfenkov, Yevgeniy Butenko and others. All of them are leading specialists, doctors or candidates of various branches of law or experienced practitioners. Besides, we sometimes use services of the trusted medical doctor: in all needed cases the complainer gets consultations of the highest category doctor Anna Miasnikova. 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 KG’s bulletin PL. In 1999 we have finished the development of the software and 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 300 cases. In 1999 we received 280 complaints in writing. Besides, we continued to work with 19 complaints from 1998. By the end of 1999 we have finished investigations of 133 cases from 299 and received a positive result in 70 cases. We have managed to win two cases in court and two more complaints have been satisfied as a result of surveillance in the Supreme Court. Besides, we have managed to close two criminal cases and to start four criminal cases, after they were closed without due reasons or were not started at all. We also succeeded to terminate illegal actions of state officials in 15 cases. At last, we have managed to satisfy legal demands of complainers in 35 cases.

3. PUBLICATIONS:

Developing Ukrainian human rights network and executing functions of the Centre, KG continued preparation, publication and distribution of the PL issued two times a month in Ukrainian and monthly reviews in English, as well as the monthly bulletin HRE. Along with regular issues of PL during 1999 we prepared, printed and distributed eight special issues: of PL and four issues of the quarterly ‘Freedom of Expression and Privacy’ (FE&P) as well as some special publication of memoirs and documentaries from the KG’s archive.

The bulletins PL, HRE and FE&P were published in 1000 copies, the size — 12 pages of A4 (about foolscap) format (FE&P had 32 pages of A4).

During 1999 KG published nine special issues of the PL such as:

·No. 42. A survey of publications about human rights in the Ukrainian press (January-June, 1998). This issue is intended for a narrower circle of specialists, so it is published in 100 copies, 24 pages in octavo.

·No. 43. ’Human Rights: my own opinion’. It includes texts of the best essays by the participants of the First and Second All-Ukrainian competition on human rights for teen-agers.

·No. 44. Humanisation of correcting minors condemned in Ukraine. This issue contains materials of a seminar at which, first during the independent existence of Ukraine, theoreticians and practicians of the penitentiary system discussed various problems of resocialisation of condemned minors. The seminar was held by the Ukrainian Branch of the International Society on Human Rights. 1000 copies, 104 pages.

·No. 45. A survey of publications about human rights in the Ukrainian press (July-December, 1998). This issue is intended for a narrower circle of specialists, so it is published in 100 copies, 24 pages in octavo.

·No. 46. Prison reform: attempts and achievements. This issue contains the materials of the international seminar ’Prison reform in post-totalitarian countries’, held in Donetsk in November 1998. The seminar was devoted to the exchange of the experience in reforming penitentiary systems, to the co-operation of prison administrations and NGOs in various countries. The issue also contains short statistical data on the penitentiary systems in the countries, whose representatives participated in the seminar. They were heads of penitentiary administrations and representatives of NGOs from 17 countries of the Central and Eastern Europe, and the former USSR. 1200 copies, 120 pages.

·No. 46. The English version of the book ‘Prison reform: attempts and achievements’. 330 copies, 96 pages.

·No. 47. A survey of publications about human rights in the Ukrainian press (January-April, 1999). This issue is intended for a narrower circle of specialists, so it is published in 100 copies, 16 pages in octavo.

·No. 48. Human Rights Observation in Ukraine in 1998. It is a Ukrainian version of the US Department’s report on the status of human rights in Ukraine in 1998 that was prepared by the US Embassy in Ukraine. KG added a preface and commentaries for the report. 1000 copies, 48 pages.

·No. 49. Wiretapping in the international law and legislation of 11 European countries. 1200 copies, 152 pages. This book attempts to survey the laws of a number of European countries on wiretapping and their agreement to the norms of the European right. At first a definition of wiretapping according to the international right is given, then the decisions of the European Court on human rights (up to the beginning of 1996) are described, and standards are formulated, with which national legislation must agree to observe Article 8 of the European Convention on human rights. Then the comparison is given of the principal statements of the international right and national legislation regulating wiretapping in 11 European countries (the UK, Germany, Finland, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine). The corresponding laws of each of the above-listed countries are compared with the aim to answer the following questions: Which legal basis has the state power for wiretapping? Which is the procedure of getting a permission for wiretapping? Which are the control procedures to make wiretapping obey the law? To what extent are the procedures accepted in each country comparable with the standards established by the European Court on human rights? Further the book describes the international and national projects aimed at controlling the information in electronic communications: on the intercontinental system ECHELON, the European Council project ENFOPOL, the USA law on the assistance to law-enforcing bodies in the sphere of communications, the Russian system SORM, etc. The Appendix contains the translation of the German law on telecommunications, one of a few national laws that regulate the development of modern electronic communications.

·No. 50. Freedom of expression in Ukraine (1997 - 1999). A survey of publications in the Ukrainian press (1997 - 1999). This issue is intended for a narrower circle of specialists, so it is published in 100 copies, 16 pages in octavo.

During September-November KG published the European Convention on Human Rights in 2000 copies (official translation) for participants of the fourth competition on the best essay on human rights.

KG has started the publication of memoirs and documentaries from the Group’s archive. The series is intended to elucidate the tragic past of our people and desperate attempts at resistance. The first book of the series is: Yuri P. Poltavtsev. A white spacing on officer’s shoulder straps (1000 copies, 176 pages). Yuri P. Poltavtsed (1908-1998) was a Kharkiv advocate who did many years in Stalin’s concentration camps. It the terrible 1930s he defended the victims of political processes and saved from death not a few people. His memoirs tell about several such cases.

The second book of the series is ‘Advocate’s notes’ (2000 copies, 352 pages) by Dina Kaminskaya, an outstanding Russian advocate, who defended dissidents in 60-70s. We continue to prepare for publication other editions devoted to the history of political repressions in the former USSR. We also printed the booklet devoted to the 10th anniversary of re-burial of the remnants of Vasyl Stus, Oleksa Tykhiy and Yuri Litvin. The run is 2000 copies.

It should be noted that all the above-listed publications were prepared and printed on the equipment provided by the National Endowment for Democracy (USA).

4. The THIRD AND FOURTH Ukrainian competitionS for

the best essay on Human Rights:

The third competition was dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the UNO. It began in September 1998.

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 European Convention on human rights with additional protocols (the first 300 orders were satisfied). Upon the whole the Committee received 1817 claims and 997 essays, mainly from Ukraine (882 essays); 13 came from Russia, 11 from Belorus and 1 from France. Pupils of 9-11 grades of the high schools, gymnasiums and lyceums sent 685 essays, students of colleges and vocational schools sent 60 essays, students of higher schools sent 158, and working young people - 4 essays. The higher activity of school pupils can be explained by the fact that the two previous competitions were held exclusively for school pupils. It was for the first time that we invited college freshmen to participate.

Different regions of the country are represented in the competition not in the equal degree: 58 essays came from the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, 19 - from Vinnitsa region, 12 - from Volyn region, 104 - from Dnepropetrovsk, 103 - from Donetsk, 22 - from Zhytomir, 2 - from Transcarpathia, 77 - from Zaporozhye, 61 - from the city of Kyiv, 47 - from Kyiv region, 33 - from Ivano-Frankivsk region, 1 - from Kirovograd, 21 - from Lugansk, 70 - from Lviv, 14 - from Nikolaev, 64 - from Odessa, 20 - from Poltava, 7 - from Rovny, 36 - from Sumy, 40 - from Kharkov, 4 - from Kherson, 31 - from Khmelnitskiy region, 22 - from Cerkassy, 8 -from Chernovtsy, 5 - from Chernigov. Not a single essay came from Ternopil region.

The essays received were divided among 25 experts: professional lawyers, teachers of law in high and higher schools, NGO activists. At first 65 essays were selected which later were read and assessed by every of 11 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), O.P.Bukalov, the Head of the Donetsk branch of ‘Memorial’, V.F.Dubrovsky, Candidate of Pedagogical Science, L.G.Zablodska, Candidate of Law, Deputy Director of the Ukrainian Centre of human rights, E.E.Zakharov, Candidate of Technology, a Co-Head of the Kharkiv Group of human rights protection, E.O.Kravets, a member of the Ukrainian Branch of the International Union of human rights, T.P.Kudlay, Doctor of Law, Professor, N.D.Kusaikina, Executive Director of the Kharkiv educational centre in human rights, L.T.Masenko, Candidate of Philosophy, V.M.Siniov, Doctor of human rights and liberties law, Professor, 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). On 17 February an open conference of the Jury was held which selected the best 15 pupils’ essays, 5 students’ essays and victors in two nominations: ‘the best pupil’s essay’ and ‘the best student’s’ essay. All the codes of the authors of 65 best essays were decoded. According to the Jury’s decision, the victors among pupils became Nadiya Trach (the village of Zadnistriansk of Galych district of Ivano-Frankivsk region), Irina Narayevska (the village of Kalynivka of Makarivsky district of Kyiv region), Volodymir Brushchenko (the town of Donetsk). Among the students the victors were: Marina Laktionova (the town of Berdiansk), Maksim Bespalov (the town of Lugansk), Dmitro Lapko (the city of Kharkov).

On 29 of March the victors and participants of the finals of the Third Ukrainian Competition of students of high and higher schools on human rights were awarded. The Kharkiv Group of human rights protection gifted to every from 20 laureates and to teachers-consultants of 15 laureates a small library of books on human right and related topics, including brochures ‘Human Rights. Actual Sheets’, the collection ‘Freedom. Equality. Human Rights’, the American manual ‘National Standards of Citizen’s 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’, Evhen Sverstiuk’s ‘At the Holiday of Hope’, a collection of poetry ‘Goldylocks’ by Vasyl Stus, a collection of articles ‘Ukraine: a Road through Desert’ by Myroslav Marynovych. Besides, the Kharkiv Group awarded Nadiya Trach for a high artistic level, Olexandr Gulak (from Makarivska secondary school No. 2) for profound understanding of the idea of human rights and Nadiya V.Ashchenko (a teacher from the same school) for high achievements in education of socially conscious members of civil society. They were given a three volume collection of Albert Camus, books from the series ‘Ukrainian Literature of the 20th century’ - a three-volume collection of culturological works by Yuri Sherekh (Sheveliov), a thick volume of poetry ‘The Everlasting Word’ by Igor Kalinets, and a two-volume novel ‘Path in the Grass’ by Valery Shevchuk. The majority of the above-listed books was published by KG.

The three pupils and Marina Laktionova were awarded with a journey to Vienna with visiting the UNO offices in April 1999.

At the first stage of the fourth competition (in October 1999) the Kharkiv Group will prepare and distribute the information on the competition and the topics of the essays. They are:

1. The European Convention and the European Court are efficient tools of struggle against abuses of human rights by the state. Do you agree with this statement?

2. Which obstacles and threats exist in your country for realisation of the Convention on protecting human rights and main freedoms?

3. Which of the human rights, in your opinion, should be protected especially well?

4. International and national legislation: How do they, as you think, co-exist in your country? Compare the Constitution of your country and the European convention.

5. What are the relations between human rights and duties before the state (one of the examples is obligatory military service).

6. Man’s dignity and army service.

7. Human rights at school: How are they abused and how are they protected?

8. Town youth and village youth: The rights are the same and the opportunities are different. Do you see discrimination here?

9. The idea of human rights in belles-lettres.

10. A free topic corresponding to the general direction of the competition.

There were 1820 claims. KG printed 2000 copies of the European Convention on human rights with all additional protocols (the official translation) and organised distribution of the Convention among the contestants.

At the second stage (November – December, 1999) the essays received will be divided among 20 experts: professional lawyers, teachers of law in high and higher schools, NGO activists. They selected 81 essays which later would read and assessed by every of 11 members of the jury. List of members of the jury has not changed.

5. ALL-UKRAINIAN CONFERENCE “PROBLEMS OF CIVIC EDUCATION AND FOSTERING HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE”:

It was on March 29-30 in Kyiv. 122 representatives from all regions of Ukraine took part in this conference.

In the beginning KG sent about 150 letters with a questionnaire prepared for selection of participants. We used the database ’Partners’ that KG created four years ago and permanently updated it. We would like to invite mostly teachers of history and law from secondary schools. The questionnaire contained questions about a contact address and telephone, experience of applicant, topic of a probable report at 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 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 Political Rights

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

14. First steps

We received 102 responses and invited 100 participants. We prepared the agenda of the conference based on the completed questionnaires. Each participant received a package with materials according to the corresponding questionnaire, a leaflet about KG activities and two books published by KG (’Human rights: my own opinion’ and ’National Standards of Democracy for Civics and Government’), as well as bulletins ’Prava Ludyny’ Nos. 5,6 and ’Civic Education’ Nos. 1,2. There were many interesting reports about experience of the participants in the field of human rights education. We intend to publish it in the bulletin ’Civil Education’. Specialists from KG demonstrated with great success a fragment from a computer game ’European Convention on Human Rights’. Participants agreed about co-operation and joining their efforts, as well as co-ordination of holding publication, seminars. All participants asked to send them editions of KG.

Immediately after the conference KG sent about 100 letters with the information about the conference to those teachers of high schools whom KG was unable to invite, because of physical limitations. We also asked these teachers to fill in our questionnaire. We have received more than a score of responses, and they continue to come. We sent to those, who filled in the questionnaire, the same package of literature as was given to the participants of the conference (two books published by KG, ’Human rights: my own opinion’ and ’National Standards of Democracy for Civics and Government’, as well as bulletins ’Prava Ludyny’ Nos. 1-10 and ’Civic Education’ Nos. 1,2). Besides, we sent in accordance with response to questionnaire materials on human rights such as above-mentioned.

6. COMPUTER GAME “EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS”:

By the conventional classification of computer games, the genre of ’Convention’ can be defined as quest (adventure). Its plot is a fantasy based on the fight of Good and Evil forces in the Universe. Inhabitants of some other planet have interfered into Earthmen’s affairs, thus threatening to distort the relations between people, between states and between people and their states. The aim of the player is to prevent the Aliens to force Earthmen to live without observing human rights. To this end, the player must fulfil a certain mission. The success of the mission is determined by the extent of the player’s knowledge of the problems connected with human rights.

The game is localised in Europe and Centres on the role of the European Convention of Human Rights. The plot is a chain of real-life situations, in which the player has a choice of various patterns of behaviour. These situations reproduce actual circumstances of some cases considered by the European Court on Human Rights (all in all, 14 such cases are incorporated). The correct decisions of the player need not only the formal acquaintance with the conventional rules, but the exact knowledge of the norms of the European Convention. These decisions concern both the player’s own behaviour and the behaviour of other people, whom he supports, gives advice and so on. Besides, the game contains various tests of the knowledge of hard facts. For example, the code needed to unlock a door is the year when the Convention was adopted, a missing digit in a telephone number is the number of some article of the Convention and so on. However, the tests and puzzles are not always connected with the main problem and may be merely recreational (for example, passing a maze, shooting, etc.). The game contains a database, turning to which the player can find correct decisions. The database contains: a) the text of the Convention; b) chapters from some Ukrainian textbooks on human rights; c) a ’Guide for the European Convention’ by D. Gomien; d) fragments from publications of the Kharkiv Group for human rights protection; e) fragments from two films on the Council of Europe (presented by the Council of Europe information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine). A game scenario has been composed. The plot of the game and its basic tests are based on materials of 27 cases examined by the European Court. Game situations to a certain degree concern with basic articles of the European Convention (Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Article 5, Article 6 and 6.13, Article 7, Articles 8 and 12, Article 10, Article 1 of protocol 1, Article 14) and also contain general information on the problem of human rights (history, basic documents, etc.).

Reference material included in the game (parts of available textbooks, texts of the Convention and other legal documents, comments, etc.) has been prepared and systematised.

Illustrative material (photographs, video, graphical material) has been selected too.

7. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON WIRETAPPING:

KG jointly with the Council of Europe information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine organised the international conference ‘European legislation on wiretapping and improvement of the Ukrainian law’ in Kyiv. The conference was held on 22 – 23 September and was oriented to lawyers and special services officers; the conference was devoted to the international and national legislation on wiretapping. The conference was held in the framework of the programme of interaction of the Council of Europe with Ukraine in the sphere of human rights protection and within the international project ’Security Services in a Constitutional Democracy’, in which KG represents Ukraine.

Exactly 100 people participated in the conference, 83 citizens of Ukraine and 17 foreigners. 48 out of 83 Ukrainian participants are lawyers, including 20 higher school teachers (from the National Juridical Academy, from the Advocate Institute at Kyiv University, from the USS Academy, from the National Academy of Frontier Guards, from the University of Interior and others), 30 are state officials (16 from special services, 5 from the Supreme Rada, 2 from the President’s administration, 5 from various directorates of the Ministry of Interior, 3 from the security service of Ukraine, 3 from the State Committee in charge of communication and information, 5 from the State Committee in charge of frontier defence; one representative was sent by each of the following organisations: the Council of National Security and Defence, the Constitutional Court, the State tax inspection). Thus, each structure having the right to carry out ODA was represented. Besides, 37 participants were NGO activists and 8 were journalists of the prominent Ukrainian newspapers. Out of 17 foreigners 2 were from the Council of Europe, 3 represented three embassies of Finland, Germany and the USA, 2 were from Russia and Moldova, the rest were the participants of the project ’Security Services in a Constitutional Democracy’, experts from Belarus, Czechia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, Sweden, the Netherlands and the USA.

Each participant was given the following information materials:

·the European Convention of principal rights and freedoms of man (the official translation of the latest version of the Convention including the 11th Protocol, in Ukrainian);

·the list of the Conventions of the Council of Europe signed and ratified by Ukraine by 20 July 1999 (in Ukrainian);

·security services under constitutional democracy: principle of control and responsibility (in Russian and English);

·the quarterly ’Freedom of expression and privacy’, Nos. 1 and 2 (in Ukrainian);

·the booklet ’Observance of human rights in Ukraine in 1998’ (special issue of the KG bulletin ’Prava ludyny’, No. 11 (48), in Ukrainian);

·the book ’Wiretapping in the international right and laws of 11 European countries’ (special issue of the KG bulletin ’Prava ludyny’, No. 12 (49), in Russian);

·the information on the work of KG (in Ukrainian and English);

·the agenda of the conference (in Ukrainian and English).

Wiretapping, at first, was considered at the conference as a part of two broader problems:

1) What are the bases for the state interference into the informational exchange?

2) How must security services act in democratic countries in order not to violate human rights?

The KG constitutional expert, the assistant professor of the National Juridical Academy Vsevolod Rechitskiy delivered the report ’Freedom of information exchange in the context of modern philosophy of the law’ devoted to the first problem (’Prava ludyny’ readers will be able to read this report in the near bulletin), the second problem was elucidated in the report of Andrzey Rzeplinski, professor of the right of Warsaw University and a member of the Polish branch of the Helsinki Foundation of human rights. The report was titled ’Security services under constitutional democracy: results and prospects’. Another report by doctor of the law Kate Martin (USA) titled ’Principles of oversight and responsibility of security services in democratic societies: a survey’ was devoted to the same problem. After this the experts of all countries represented at the conference reviewed national legislation and wiretapping practices in their countries speaking not only about wiretapping, but on the information control in various communication systems. Doctor of the right Stephen Livingstone from Great Britain, being also an expert of the Council of Europe, made a report on judicial decisions of the European Court of human rights concerning wiretapping. Aleksandr Pavlichenko, the director of the Council of Europe information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine, made a report ’Ukraine is a member of the Council of Europe: achievements, prospects, problems’. Several reports concerned various aspects of the Ukrainian legislation and law-applying practices concerning telecommunication networks.

8. EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS ON PREVENTION OF TORTURE:

During 1999 we held (together with the Ukrainian Centre of Information and Documentation of the Council of Europe) ten two-days educational seminars in Sevastopol, Simferopol, Vinnitsa, Khmelnitskiy, Zhitomir, Lviv, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Cherkassy and Chernigiv. Seminars were devoted to the European Convention on Human Rights and international legislation about torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and also the organisation of right protecting monitoring and principles of mutual relations of right protecting organisations with the authorities.

The goal of each seminar is distributing information about international standards on tortures and a mechanism of the work of the European Commission on Human Rights among the Ukrainian lawyers and HR activists.

Participants of the seminars were attorneys, judges, prosecutors, officers from regional departments of the MIA, Ukrainian Security Service, Prosecutor office, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists, students, etc.

The agenda of each seminar was such.

1. Review of the European Convention on Human Rights. The procedure of preparing complaints to the European Commission on Human Rights.

2. European Convention for the Prevention of torture and procedures of their 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. HR Protection organisations in Ukraine and their relations with authorities.

Each participant of the seminars received the following special issues of the bulletin ‘Prava Ludyny’:

·No. 30. Against torture (we printed the second edition of this book prepared in 1997);

·No. 33. European standards of holding under custody;

·No. 46. Prison reform: attempts and achievements;

·No. 48. Human Rights Observation in Ukraine in 1998;

9. SPECIAL RESEARCH PROGRAMMES:

9.1. SECURITY SERVICES IN A CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY:

In 1999 KG focused their analytical researches on the topics of the Project: access to information, civil control of special services activities, wiretapping, Internet and Security Services, etc. Besides, we prepared two analytical reports ‘Protection of personal data and the security services’ and ‘Security Clearance’.

We believe that one of the most important directions of the Project is informing the Ukrainian public, state agencies and professional lawyers, describing the Western experience. In order to develop our Project in this direction, we have fulfilled such works:

1) translation of some materials published by the members of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign from English into Ukrainian, in particular, ‘The Internet is uniquely suited to promoting democracy and inherently resistant to government controls’, ‘International survey of law and practice concerning privacy’, ‘The introduction and use of personal identification numbers: the data protection issues’ and others;

2) translation from English into Ukrainian of the brochure ‘Case-law concerning Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights’ prepared by the Directorate of Human Rights of the Council of Europe;

3) translation from English into Russian, preparation for printing of a book on comparative analysis of the laws of 11 European countries on wiretapping, the corresponding law practice, review of the law-cases in the European Court concerning wiretapping and related topics. The book was printed in 1200 copies in Russian.

Besides, we are preparing for publication a book ‘Freedom of Expression and Privacy in Ukraine’ including materials on access to official information, state secrets, protection of the personal data, files of the former secret police, universal ID-code of person, restrictions of access to Internet and national security, electronic surveillance and so on.

We began to publish a new special quarterly edition for Ukraine with the focus on the topics listed in the previous paragraph. We called this edition as ‘Freedom of Information and Privacy’. We have published and distributed in 1000 copies first and second issues and prepared both third-fourth issue. These issue include above-mentioned materials (positions 1,2) and articles concerning human rights abuses in the sphere of freedom of speech and freedom of information in Ukraine.

During 1999 KG carried on a monitoring of human rights abuses in the sphere of freedom of speech, freedom of information and other topics of the Project. Review of publications on these topics in the Ukrainian mass-media has been prepared, published and distributed.

KG organised an independent observation for election campaign to the position of the President of Ukraine in June-November. Regretfully we found the team of President L.Kuchma to use special services for struggle against opposition. We presented results of the observation in some articles published in the Ukrainian mass-media.

The abuses of human rights related to the Project are described in our bulletin ‘Prava Ludyny’ and common mass-media. In particular, we published in the most popular newspaper ‘Day’ articles concerning new draft of a Penal Code of Ukraine in connection with restrictions of freedom of speech and freedom of information, court decision on closing newspaper ‘Politika’ and court processes concerning libel and others.

9.2. 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 more than 2,000 names. The publication of the book is planned on the second quarter of 2000. Besides, another group of memoirs and documents was prepared by the Kharkiv Group on the basis of the Group’s 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 Stalin’s and in Brezhnev’s rule; she is mother of Vladimir and Vasyl Sichko, who were political prisoners in Brezhnev’s time); the manuscript is set and is being corrected;

·the two-volume reminiscences of Mikhail Kheyfits, the well-known literary figure and historian, the former political convict; all text and illustrations are prepared;

·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 Sherekha’s 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;

·the book by Konstantin Shtepa and Hans Hautermans on Stalin’s purges; the book is translated from English to Ukrainian and edited.

According to our plans these books will be published in 2000.

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 1999 we transcribed 42 cassettes, 90 minutes each. These are interviews from 27 people. Besides, we copy and arrange related materials for our archive.

Upon the request of the International Society of human rights (Germany) we prepared a list of 54 Ukrainian dissidents who need material aid. For each person from this list we briefly described the participation of them in the dissident movement, as well as their today’s state. Before the New Year we got information from Germany that to each one from our list they will render a one-time aid worth of $40 (this is approximately the equivalent of 4 average monthly pensions in Ukraine). The first sum for 25 persons has been received. The money will be passed to the addressees by our workers in the first quarter of 2000.

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 1999 KG received grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (USA), TACIS Democracy programme, the International foundation ‘Vidrodjennia’ (the Ukrainian department of the Open Society Institute), the Directorate on Human Rights of the Council of Europe and, as Ukrainian partners of the international projects, subgrants from the Polish Centre ‘Karta’ and Helsinki Foundation on Human Rights (Poland). Besides, we realised join editing projects together with the Ukrainian Section of the International Society on Human Rights and the Donetsk ‘Memorial’ (special issues of the bulletin PL No. 9 and No. 10, respectively) and received some money from these NGOs.

The total budget of the Group was Hr 388, 300 or $83,411 + 28,000 FF. It separated in such a way:

Salaries (including income tax)               $13,690
Social taxes (37.5% from salary)           $ 7,970
Space and Utilities                                $ 2,669
Supplies Equipment                              $10,735
Communication Postage                        $ 8,287
Missions                                               $ 3,401
Contractual Services                            $14,226
Ten educational seminars
on prevention of torture                        $13,500
International seminar on wiretapping      $2,000
+ 28,000 FF
Other direct costs                                 $ 6,933

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