Ukraine rejects UN Periodic Review recommendations on selective justice
The Ukrainian Government has accepted in full 115 out of the 145 recommendations from UN member states for improving the human rights situation in Ukraine put as part of the Universal Periodic Review [UPR] procedure. It partially accepted three others, and rejected 27 recommendations.
The rejected recommendations include those made by the USA in connection with selective justice and politically motivated prosecutions. Nazar Kulchytsky, the Government’s Representative at the European Court of Human Rights told the BBC Ukrainian Service the following:
“We consider that there are no problems at the present time with selective justice in Ukraine. The European Court of Human Rights in the case of Lutsenko v. Ukraine found that there had not been political motives in his arrest and remand in custody. It is therefore not clear to us on what basis such criticisms are made”.
It is regrettable that this comment was not corrected since it is absolutely untrue. The European Court of Human Rights not only found that Lutsenko’s right to liberty under Article 5 of the European Convention had been violated, but also added violation of Article 18.
(104) In these circumstances, the applicant’s submissions made at the initial stage as to the possible political pressure on him before the upcoming elections, as well as his complaint that one of the reasons for his detention had been his communication with the media and his public disagreement with the accusations against him, are sufficient reasons to examine the issue of the applicant’s detention from the viewpoint of Article 18.
109. … the Court cannot but find that the restriction of the applicant’s liberty permitted under Article 5 § 1 (c) was applied not only for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence, but also for other reasons. 110. There has accordingly been a violation of Article 18 of the Convention taken in conjunction with Article 5.
Ukraine’s Government also rejected the recommendations on the rights of sexual minorities; introduction of quotas for women in certain fields; and ratification of a number of international agreements. Nazar Kulchytsky stated that this was based on a realistic assessment of the country’s present possibilities.
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union issued an appeal before the meeting calling on the government to review its decision. It speaks of “ the highly baffling position taken by Ukraine’s Government in rejecting the recommendations regarding ratification of important international agreements such as the Roman Statute of the International Criminal Court; the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances; the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families; the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence; the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and others. It is important that even recommendations which did not speak of ratification, but only of Ukraine considering the possibility of ratifying international agreements have been rejected. One can thus conclude that the Ukrainian Government not only has no intention over the next four years of ratifying the above-mentioned international documents, but is not planning to make any attempts to move towards ratifying them. This is unacceptable for a country which has set protection of human rights as one of its priorities. “