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06.08.2010

“Stop Censorship!”: SBU must explain interrogation of blogger Shynkarenko

   

The Movement “Stop Censorship!” has issued an official statement over blogger Oleh Shynkarenko having been summoned to the Security Service [SBU] and forced to give a written undertaking.

The full text:

The Movement “Stop Censorship!” demands that the Security Service explain which international and Ukrainian laws the SBU and Prosecutor officers were guided by when they summoned blogger Oleh Shynkarenko for an interrogation and forced him to write an undertaking. We would also ask for an explanation as to the legal force of his statement that “he will no longer criticize the authorities in strong form on his Live Journal blog”, and what sanctions will be applied should he not keep this written promise.

We would also like to know what exactly were the particular elements of a crime set out in the article “a threat or violence with relation to a State or public figure” of the Criminal Code in the statement from the SBU regarding the incident with Oleh Shynkarenko.

“Stop Censorship!” would remind the leadership of the Security Service of Ukraine that the activities of the SBU are clearly regulated by the Law “On democratic civilian control over a Military organization and law enforcement agencies of the State”, and organized taking into consideration the recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] from 1999 and 2005 according to which Ukraine fulfils its duties and commitments arising from its membership of the Council of Europe,  As a member of the United Nations and the Council of Europe Ukraine has accepted the values of these organizations. It signed the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms which clearly indicates that there can be no punishment outside of the law. This right is clearly regulated by Ukraine’s Constitution.

Article 19 of the Constitution

The legal order in Ukraine is based on the principles according to which no one shall be forced to do what is not envisaged by legislation.

Bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government and their officials are obliged to act only on the grounds, within the limits of authority, and in the manner envisaged by the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

Article 7 of the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

No punishment without law

No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed.

Article 10

Freedom of expression

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

The Movement “Stop Censorship!” would ask all SBU officials and other military organizations and law enforcement agencies to pay particular attention to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vilnius Resolution from 2009 on Freedom of Expression on the Internet.

The movement “Stop Censorship” was created on 21 May 2010. It is an initiative by Ukrainian journalists and media NGOs aimed at upholding freedom of speech, preventing censorship, the obstruction of journalists when carrying out their professional duties, and violations of professional standards in covering socio-political issues. It has no political ties or agenda.

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