Open list to President Viktor Yushchenko on termination of practice of illegal classification of normative-legal acts.
I sent you the appeal (letter No. 07/05 of 31 January 2005) on termination of the practice of illegal classification of normative-legal acts, which was received by the Secretariat of the President on 3 February.
During the period from 28 January to 1 March your Edicts got the illegal (not envisaged by any laws of Ukraine) classification «not for publishing» (the list of these edicts are attached), so these documents were concealed from the society contrary to the demands of Articles 6, 19 and 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine and the principle of openness of power declared by you. Unfortunately, we have to state that there has been no response to the appeal, which is a brutal violation (as we understand, because of the lack of respect to the law or negligence of workers of the Secretariat) of the Law of Ukraine «On citizens appeals», which stipulates the term of one month for reaction. During this time signatures under the letter were collected through the site of «Maydan» www.maidan.org.ua. The letter was signed by 32 citizens associations and 580 persons, not indifferent to the problem of openness of power: lawyers, programmers, state employees, journalists, scientists, businessmen, students, artists, literary men, actors, musicians, etc. The comments to the signatures evidence that almost all these people were active participants of the election campaign and the Orange revolution: they voted for you, our President.
We believe that you have nothing to conceal from us. Yet, your edicts are willfully and illegally classified by some officials of the Secretariat. So, that time I am sending you the collective appeal.
We hope that your words about openness and transparency of power, which are so shamelessly trampled by unscrupulous officials, will become true: the illegal practice of classification will be stopped, and all illegally classified normative-legal acts will be made public.
In our opinion, the most important moment is publication of such acts, issued by the gone power, since, we reckon, these documents conceal either privileges and corruption activities of top officials, or lobby political agreements.
Respected President Yushchenko!
We supported you during the election campaign and support now, connecting with President Yushchenko our hopes for the progress in transformation of Ukraine into a jural state, responsible to citizens, the state, where the basis constitutional principle of superiority of right would be realized. That is why we consider the probable turning to court as a deplorable, forced, but necessary for the protection of Right and spirit of the Orange revolution, step. Yet, maybe it would be the only possible way to make the officials, who, consciously or subconsciously, discredit the new power, obey laws.
At the same time we are sure that your immediate and legal decision will settle the described problem in full.
With true respect,
co-chairman of the Kharkiv group for human rights protection, head of the board of Ukrainian Helsinki Union of human rights, member of the board of international union «Memorial»
To co-chairman of the Kharkiv group for human rights protection E. Zakharov
Respected Mr. Zakharov!
On the instruction of the President of Ukraine I am informing you that your request on realization of citizens right for information has been considered.
As it is known, President of Ukraine V. Yushchenko more than once pointed out the necessity of strengthening of the principles of openness, publicity and transparency in the activities of the President of Ukraine and the organs of state power. The head of the state believes that the relations between the power and citizens must be based just on these principles.
Introduction of this approach into the activities of the head of the state and the organs of state power is one of the guarantees of realization of the constitutional right of citizens to take part in management of state affairs, as well as the right to collect, store, use and distribute information orally, in writing or by other means at their own discretion. At the same time, it should be taken into account that, according to Article 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine, realization of citizens right for information can be restricted, in particular, in interests of national safety, territorial integrity or public order.
Taking into account this constitutional norm and Article 57 of the Basic Law, according to which it is obligatory to bring to notice of population the laws and other normative-legal acts that stipulate rights and duties of citizens, Presidents decree No. 503 of 10 June 1997 establishes the order of official publication of normative-legal acts and their coming into force. At that it is envisaged that the acts of the Supreme Council, President of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which have no social significance, may be not published by the decision of corresponding organ. These acts and the acts with restricting classifications are officially published by sending to proper state organs and organs of state power and bringing by them to the notice of establishments, agencies, organizations and persons, to whom these acts apply (Article 7).
Presidents Decrees of 28 January 2005 Nos. 116 and 117, which are mentioned in your request, are not connected with rights and duties of citizens, are not normative-legal acts, so they have no features, according to which they must be obligatorily published. These Decrees also have no social significance, but are the acts of individual character concerning the appointment and dismissal of heads of regional organs of the Ukrainian security service. Under such conditions publication of the mentioned Decrees was carried out by sending them to corresponding agencies and organizations, as well as to the persons, on which their action extends.
At the same time, I am informing that the President of Ukraine has ordered to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to prepare, taking into account the provisions of international legal acts and world experience, the propositions on the improvement of laws that regulate the relations in informational sphere, for the purpose of improvement of normative-legal provisions of transparency and openness of the activities of the head of the state, the organs of state power and organs of local self-government, prevention of ungrounded restriction of realization of citizens right for the access to information.
Moreover, on the commission of the Head of the state, the instructions have been changed in the Secretariat of the President of Ukraine, which instructions artificially and baselessly restricted the access of citizens to information.