UHHRU taken to court by Ukrainian Federation of Trade Unions
On 28 November 2007 the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union posted on its website an appeal from the National Confederation of Trade Unions of Ukraine [NCTU] under the title: “National Confederation of Trade Unions accuses the Federation of Trade Unions of corruption”.
In its appeal the NCTU called on the President, the Prosecutor General, the Security Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to carry out a wide-reaching investigation into what it believed to be corrupt acts by the management of the FTU.
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union posted the appeal, considering that the information involved was of public importance and should therefore be available to Ukrainian citizens for discussion. All the more so given that this was an open appeal which reached all the public officials to whom it was addressed.
Disagreeing with this UHHRU stand, FTU has lodged a civil suit with the Kyiv Economic Court against the NCTU and the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. The Federation is demanding that the information which was contained in the NCTU be declared defamatory. It is also seeking 10 thousand UAH in moral compensation and that the appeal to the President be recalled.
It should be noted that from when the appeal was posted (28.11.2007) until today, UHHRU had received no requests from the FTU to place a retraction on the website, or a presentation of its position with regard to the issues raised in the appeal. Instead the Federation decided to approach the court, naming UHHRU as respondent in the case and wasting the money of trade union members.
UHHRU will be represented in court by the well-known bar lawyer Viacheslav Yakubenko. We will be informing readers of the progress of the case.
One last question: why is the FTU demanding that the appeal specifically addressed to the President be recalled, when it is clear in the text that it is also addressed to the Prosecutor General, the Security Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs?