Human rights protectors demand immediate reforms for strengthening of human rights and fundamental freedoms


“New President of Ukraine and government should realize the immediate reforms aimed at strengthening and guaranteeing of human rights and fundamental freedoms”, reads the open letter of human rights protectors to the new power, which letter was made public on 22 January 2005. In particular, the authors of the letter draw the attention to the immediate reform of informational and criminal-procedural legislation, revision of constitutional reform and introduction of efficient mechanisms for public control over the power.

The association of human rights protecting organizations “Ukrainian Helsinki Union of human rights” congratulated, in its letter, President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko with accession to the post. At that the human rights protectors reminded to the new Ukrainian power about the sad heritage of systematic and mass violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which had been committed in Ukraine from the very moment of declaration of independence, and appealed to initiate the immediate reforms, which would guarantee the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The human rights protectors suggested a number of concrete steps aimed at improvement of the situation in this sphere. In particular:

1.  To start immediately the investigation of the facts of violation of human rights, which were committed in the past. This especially concerns such crimes as persecution of journalists, disappearances and political murders, persecution of people because of their political views and public activities. It is necessary to publish the results of these investigations and to restore justice regarding the victims of these illegal actions.

2.  To declassify immediately the legal acts by the President of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, General Prosecutor’s office and other power organs, which are concealed under the illegal classifications “for service use only”, “not for printing” and “not for publishing”, since these documents contain the information about their corruption activities. To promote the changes in informational legislation in order to make impossible future illegal classification of legal acts.

3.  To reconsider the adopted changes to the Constitution, since they, in our opinion, are contradictory, impede the efficient functioning of the power and diminish the guarantees of human rights and fundamental freedoms, to initiate introduction of changes into the Constitution of Ukraine with the aim to make possible the ratification by Ukraine of the Roman Statute of the International Criminal Court.

4.  To initiate changes to the Law of Ukraine “On Constitutional Court of Ukraine” for the purpose of giving to citizens the right to hand individual complaints against unconstitutional character of the legal acts issued by power organs.

5.  To elaborate the new draft of Criminal-Procedural and Criminal-Executive Codes of Ukraine on the basis of constitutional guarantees and international standards of human rights protection, as well as on the basis of positive international practice.

6.  To present the legislative initiatives on the creation of public TV and radio broadcasting in Ukraine.

7.  To guarantee the protection of rights of language, national and religious minorities, the observance of rights of refugees and finders of refuge in accordance with international obligations of Ukraine.

8.  To initiate the efficient public control over the activities of law-enforcing organs of Ukraine and public monitoring of penitentiary establishments.

“At the fulfillment of the above-listed tasks the new power should turn special attention to the observance of the principle of political pluralism and guaranteeing of the right of political opponents to free peaceful expression of their views”, point out the human rights protectors.

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