Report on Persecution of Human Rights Defenders: Another gloomy First for Ukraine


The International Federation for Human Rights [FIDH] has pointed to suppression of the opposition and civil society in Ukraine.  This year’s report by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights on persecution of human rights defenders and civic activists throughout the world has an entry on Ukraine.

The report is based on an assessment of cases of persecution of human rights defenders in over 70 countries. FIDH has classified Ukraine as among countries with the most serious pressure on human rights defenders. It joints Latvia, Iraq, Uganda, Ruanda, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Myanmar and most Latin American countries.

The report mentions the search of the flat of Vinnytsa Human Rights Group Coordinator Dmytro Groisman who is suspected of circulating pornography; repressive measures against activists who tried to prevent the felling of trees for construction of a road through Kharkiv’s Gorky Park; the beating up and attempt to initiate criminal proceedings against the Head of the Crimean branch of the civic organization USER  for Disabled Users of Psychiatric Assistance, Andriy Fedosov who had made information public about bad conditions in Crimean psychiatric institutions.

The authors also noted that from the beginning of 2010 to the middle of 2011 the situation in the region noticeably worsened.  Together with Belarus, Russia, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries, authoritarian trends increased sharply in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and Kharkiv Human Rights Group have recently presented the results of a study into political persecution in Ukraine during 2010 and 2011.  They reported that over the year criminal investigations had been initiated for political motives against 50 civic activists and 11 civic organizations. 

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