First Meeting of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Public council for the Observance of Human Rghts
On 28 December the first sitting of the newly created Public council for observance of human rights at the Ministry of Internal Affairs was held.
This Council is a consultative-advisory organ which renders consultative-methodical assistance to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and exercises public control over the activities of law enforcement bodies. The council includes 14 employees from the Ministry, namely the Minister, all his deputies, the head of the Ministry administration, several Ministers councilors and also 13 public figures representing various civic organizations, 11 from Kyiv and 2 from Kharkiv. The joke was heard at the round table that “Ukraine without Kuchma” had finally the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but by peaceful means, since the initiators and heads of the action from both sides were represented in the public council. The Ministry of Internal Affairs was represented by co-chairman of “Ukraine without Kuchma”, Minister of Internal Affairs Yuri Lutsenko, and the public – by three out of four initiators of “Ukraine without Kuchma”: Oleg Levitskiy, Mykhaylo Svistovich (press-secretary) and Volodymir Chemeris (co-chairman).
At the first sitting the members of the public council elected as their co-chairpersons the co-chairperson of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, Evhen Zakharov from civic organizations, and the Minister, Yuri Lutsenko – from the Ministry of Internal Affairs . The Deputy Minister, Oleh Sadykin was elected executive secretary responsible for organizing the everyday cooperation of the Council with agencies and departments of the central apparatus of the Ministry, main directorates of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the regions, the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, Kyiv and Sevastopol and on transport, as well as for organizing and holding sittings of the council, organizational-technical and document provision of its activities. Oleg Levitskiy, a lawyer from the town of Irpen, the Kyiv region, became a secretary of the council from public.
The participants also elected the heads of seven groups for work in seven directions of human rights protection: rights of the detained – lawyer from the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection GroupArkadiy Bushchenko; electoral rights – head of the Voters committee of Ukraine Igor Popov; freedom of peaceful assemblies – member of the Board of the Institute “Respublika” Volodymir Cheremis; right for privacy – director of the program “Rule of Law” of the International Foundation “Vidrodjennia” Roman Romanov; problems of violence in family – vice-president of the international women human rights protection center “La Strada-Ukraina” Olga Kalashnik; work with citizens appeals – head of the all-Ukrainian public association “PORA” Mykhaylo Svystovich, rights of refugees – the place is vacant.
The names of all groups are as yet tentative, and composition of the council is opened for replenishment from public. This decision was taken at the first sitting. Besides, the documents on activities of the Council will be changed too, and new documents will be prepared in the nearest future. These documents will be elaborated by members of the Council as homework, and will be presented at the nest sitting.
Similar councils will be also created in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, all regions, in the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol.
Members of the Council listened to the information of Doctor of Law Katerina Levchenko, a councilor of the Minister of Internal Affairs on human rights and gender questions, on the work of mobile groups realizing the monitoring of observance of human rights. Such groups were created in all regions of Ukraine by Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine No. 536 of 7 July 2005. These groups include representatives of human rights organizations, higher education establishments of the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs , department of internal security and other subunits of the Ministry of Internal Affairs . Katerina Levchenko communicated that the best results of the monitoring were observed in the regions, where representatives of human rights organizations took part in the mobile groups. In her opinion, one of the primary tasks of the Council should be reinforcement of the mobile groups with such representatives and their training. The Council decided to develop the mechanism of involving of public organizations into the work of the mobile groups.
At the end of the sitting Evhen Zakharov stated that the Council would be able to fulfill its tasks, if it worked actively between the sittings, and the sittings should only approve already prepared decisions. He suggested that all discussions be held by email, which the others supported.
The members of the council resolved to discuss the questions of widening of its composition, basic directions of work of the seven groups, increase of number of members of these groups, forming of mobile groups, etc.