Circulating untruthful information – the new MIA approach on human rights
To the President, V. Yanukovych
The Minister of Internal Affairs, A. Mohylyov
Dissolution of the Department for the Monitoring of Human Rights in the Work of the Police [the Department]
Dismissal, with flagrant violation of labour legislation, of the Regional Human Rights Assistants to the Minister
Misleading the President with regard to retention of the Department;
Cynical disregard for the appeals from human rights organizations regarding the importance of public control;
Ignoring of a number of letters from members of the MIA Public Council on Human Rights regarding the need to hold a meeting of the Council;
Suspension of the work of the mobile groups on monitoring human rights in the work of the police;
Destroying the seeds of transparency in the work of the police.
The list can be continued, and all of this is accompanied by the circulation of untruthful information aimed at vindicating the behaviour of the present leadership of the Ministry.
The latest example is an interview given by a member of the MIA Collegiate Edward Bagirov to the newspaper “Kievskye vedomosti” on 13 July.
When the journalist said that the media had reported that they were planning to liquidate the Department for the Monitoring of Human Rights in the Work of the Police [the tense in the question was wrong since the deed is done – translator] and asked whether this would have a negative impact on the human rights situation in Ukraine, Mr Bagirov answered:
“No one has dissolved the Department on monitoring rights, this structure is working and the necessary normative legal acts are currently being prepared. There will soon be a press conference about the work of this department and there will be a document which will help Ukrainian citizens regarding protection of human rights”.
These lies are being circulated
when THE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN DISSOLVED.
when, back in March 2010 the new staffing structure of the Minister’s Office was approved, there was no place for this Department.
when in June the absolute majority of Minister’s Advisers were made redundant (which is confirmed by the entries in their work records) and almost all employees of the Department.
when international organizations have terminated their cooperation programmes with the Department because it has been dissolved.
What do Mr Bagirov and his patrons hope to achieve?
Are they hoping that they can lie with impunity?
that they can ignore civic organizations?
that they can fail to answer letters and appeals from members of the public?
that the inclusion of businesspeople and those running enterprises on newly created public councils can change human rights groups’ critical attitude?
that they can present self-advertising as defence of human rights?
that there will be a new wave of human rights violations by the police, murders and “accidental” deaths of citizens after being detained?
How much can you hope to deceive yourself, society, the leaders of the country, international organizations and the world community?
We demand that the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- refutes the misleading information without delay
- and that it gives former employees of the Department and members of the MIA Public Council on Human Rights the opportunity to attend the press conference which Mr Bagirov is promising;
- hold a meeting of the MIA Public Council on Human Rights to consider the human rights situation and cooperation with human rights organizations.
Y. Zakharov, Co-Chair of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Co-Chair of the MIA Public Council on Human Rights (on ensuring observance of human rights in the work of the police)
K Levchenko, President of the International Women’s Human Rights Centre La Strada – Ukraine, Member of the MIA Public Council on Human Rights
B. Khmelnytsky, “Freedom” Human Rights Centre, Member of the MIA Public Council on Human Rights.
The letter is open for endorsement at: http://www.helsinki.org.ua/index.php?id=1279019409