Forbidden to forbid!
On 31 May 2005 Vitaliy Yarema, the head of the Ministry of Interior department of Kyiv, stated that the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine, jointly with Gennadiy Udovenko, the head of the Supreme Council committee in charge of human rights, elaborated the law draft “On the procedure of organization and conduction of peaceful actions in Ukraine”. Mr. Yarema did not say much about the contents of the draft, but enough to express our attitude to some its provisions.
In particular, the draft envisages the prohibition to conduct pickets and meetings less than 25 meters from the buildings of state secretariat (Presidents administration), the Supreme Council and Kyiv city administration.
The institute “Respublika” reminds that Article 39 of the Constitution, which guarantees realization in Ukraine of the right for peaceful assemblies, does not envisage any restrictions of this right either in place or in time, so establishment of any limiting lines around the buildings of state organs, which more frequently are the objects of picketing, is a violation of constitutional norms. Besides, it should be advisable to recollect that these were pickets near the buildings of top state organs, which became one of the most efficient factors of the victory of the “orange revolution”.
Such norm concerning spatial restriction of the right for peaceful assemblies, together with other restrictions, contained in the law draft, which was presented to the Parliament in 2004; deputy Udovenko was one of the authors of this draft. Then the Supreme Council did not approve the law draft. We hope that this time the draft containing the restrictions of the fundamental human rights also will not become a law.
More detailed information on law drafts concerning the freedom of peaceful assemblies can be found on the RUPOR site.