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10.07.2012

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly calls on Kyiv to release all political prisoners

   

In the Monaco Declaration just adopted, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly urges Ukraine to resolve issues of rule of law, human rights and democracy, in line with its OSCE Human Dimension commitments, before taking over the OSCE Chairmanship in 2013;

On Ukraine

1. Bearing in mind the resolutions adopted by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly at its Annual Sessions in 2007 (Kyiv) and 2008 (Astana) regarding political freedoms and the holding of democratic elections,

2. Concerned by the generally deteriorating political situation in Ukraine with regard to upholding its commitments in the field of human rights, the rule of law and democracy, and in particular the ongoing detention and incidents of mistreatment of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as also expressed in statements during the most recent OSCE Winter Meeting,

3. Stressing that in the 1990 Copenhagen Document the OSCE participating States recognized the independence of the judiciary as an essential element of the Human Dimension with regard to the full expression of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all human beings and that the Ministerial Council in 2005 declared that the right to a fair trial, the right to an effective remedy, and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention constitute the basis of the rule of law,

4. Supporting the work of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine,

5. Noting that the majority of European heads of State refused to participate in the 18th Summit of Central European countries, which was scheduled for 11-12 May 2012 in Yalta (Ukraine),

6  Closely following the criminal proceedings and convictions in connection to allegations of abuse of office, misappropriation of funds and other charges against a number of former government officials, including former Interior Minister Juriy Lutsenko, former Acting Defence Minister Valery Ivashchenko, former Environment Minister Heorhiy Filipchuk, and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as well as other senior members from the previous government,

7. Taking note of the numerous shortcomings (such as, inter alia, a lack of independence of the judiciary, excessive recourse to, and length of, detention on remand, and inadequate legal reasoning by the prosecution and courts in official documents and decisions)in these criminal proceedings which may have undermined the equality of arms between the prosecution and defence as well as the possibility for the defendants to obtain a fair trial within the meaning of Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which negatively impact Ukraine’s future European integration,

8. Welcoming the invitation from Ukrainian authorities to the OSCE and other international organizations to monitor the electoral process in Ukraine’s upcoming parliamentary elections;

9  Reaffirming the importance for Ukraine of respecting the OSCE commitments, including the principles of transparency, equal opportunities, freedom of expression and fulfilment of the requirements of fair and free elections 

10. Calls on Ukraine to guarantee a functioning, independent, and transparent judiciary by fulfilling its OSCE Human Dimension commitments, particularly with regard to the effective right to fair trial and the respect of the principle of equality of arms in criminal proceedings, as well as to adequate treatment of convicted persons;

11. Reaffirms that there should not be any political prisoners in the OSCE area and calls on Ukraine to free all political prisoners;

12. Calls on the Ukrainian authorities to reinforce the position of the ombudsperson, and to ensure that the post is occupied by an individual with relevant experience in human rights;

13. Emphasizes that Ukraine, which is going to hold the Chairmanship of the OSCE, has a particular responsibility to provide a good example with regard to respecting these commitments;

14. Urges Ukraine to resolve these issues of rule of law, human rights and democracy, in line with its OSCE Human Dimension commitments, before taking over the OSCE Chairmanship in 2013;

15. Calls onUkraine to amend its Criminal Law and its Constitution if necessary in order to avoid the existence of politically motivated trials, and specifically to revise articles 364 and 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine in line with the Council of Europe’s standards, as well as to reform the Prosecutor’s Office, devolving its excessive powers to other relevant institutions;

16. Urges the Ukrainian authorities to ensure the health and guarantee the medical treatment of a number of former government officials currently in prison, including Lutsenko, Ivashchenko and Tymoshenko, and to allow, without preconditions, medical examinations and, if necessary, treatment by independent doctors outside the prison and outside Ukraine;

17. Expects Ukraine to live up to its OSCE commitments for democratic elections by ensuring that all political forces and political leaders, including those who are imprisoned, are able to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for 28 October 2012 in a free and fair environment;

18. Recommends that the Parliament of Ukraine avoid making changes in the legislation on parliamentary elections shortly before election day;

19. Expects that the upcoming parliamentary elections will again meet OSCE standards;

20. Calls on OSCE participating States, as well as other relevant international institutions, to participate fully in the election observation mission in Ukraine on 28October 2012. 

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