The Department for Monitoring Human Rights in the Police must remain


As reported here, over thirty Ukrainian human rights organizations have endorsed an appeal urging the Minister of Internal Affairs to refrain from dissolving the Department for Monitoring Human Rights in the Work of the Police. The MIA claim that they are carrying out an order.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs says that it is acting to enforce the President’s order on reducing the central apparatus of the Ministry. Kostyantyn Stohniy, Adviser to the Minister of MIA, Anatoly Mohylev has stated that the reduction in representatives of the Minister for the regions is taking place as part of an instruction from President Yanukovych and Prime Minister Azarov on reducing the MIA central apparatus. However representatives of the human rights organizations that signed the open letter of protest against the plans of the MIA say that they are cutting regional representatives without whom the Department for Monitoring Human Rights is “as if without hands”.

“Reductions are possible where a given body is working inefficiently. However I feel it is a wrong decision to cut efficient structures which made it possible to swiftly react to violations of human rights”, the Head of the Board of the Centre of Political-Legal Reform, Roman Kuybida states.

Human rights groups anticipate that as a result of these changes in the police force, damage will be done to the work of the mobile groups on monitoring observance of human rights in places of detention under MIA control, as well as on work to counter racism and xenophobia, civilization interaction with fans and safeguarding security when Ukraine hosts football matches as part of EURO 2010.

According to human rights defender Yevhen Zakharov, if the MIA ignore the public’s appeal, they will turn to European and international institutions such as OSCE and the Council of Europe.

Oleksandr Savytsky

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