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About KhPG › Annual reports
15.04.2016

KHARKIV HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION GROUP ANNUAL REPORT 2015

   

Contents

1. General notes 

2. Human rights defense through KHPG Public Reception Office  

3. Providing strategic litigations through KHPG Strategic Litigations Center                  

4. Struggle against political persecutions 

5.  Civic campaign torture and ill-treatment 

6. Monitoring implementation of decisions of international bodies 

7. Monitoring and defence of freedom of expression and of the right to privacy  

8. Struggle against discrimination, racism, xenophobia and hate crimes  

9. Security Services in a Constitutional Democracy: oversight and accountability  

10. Dissemination of information on human rights and basic freedoms in Ukraine, civil

education and aware-raising activities  

11. Monitoring human rights violations in the zone of military conflict in East of Ukraine 

12. Studies of history of human rights movement in USSR and Ukraine and

history of political repression in USSR  

13. Development of the Human Rights NGOs Network  

14. KHPG organisational development 

Appendix. List of the grants 

 

 

1. General notes

According to the Strategic Plan for 2012-2015 KHPG works in the following strategic areas:

1. Defense of victims of human rights violations in specific cases. It includes:

a) Providing assistance to individuals whose rights have been infringed,

b) Carrying out investigations into cases of human rights violation;

c) Providing strategic litigations in national and international proceedings.

2. Civic education and enlightenment on human rights, collection and distribution of information on human rights. It includes:

a) Gathering information on human rights violations and sending corresponding data to the relevant persons, organizations and mass media as well as state bodies;

b) Developing human rights education and promoting legal awareness through public actions, educational events and publications.

3. Monitoring, analysis and improvement of the human rights situation in Ukraine, i.e.:

a) Providing analysis of the human rights situation in Ukraine, assessment of current legislation and draft laws from the point of view of their compliance with international human rights law;

b) Monitoring law-applying administrative and judicial practice in the context of human rights observation;

c) Appealing to legislative, executive and judicial authorities on problems concerning human rights.

In addition, KHPG works in the following specific areas:

4. Study of history of human rights movement in USSR and Ukraine and history of political repression in USSR as well as development of KHPG physical and electronic archive on the history of dissident movement in Ukraine.

5. Developing a human rights network which connects local human rights organizations throughout Ukraine. KHPG fulfills a vital function as resource and information center.

6. KHPG organizational development.

Of the full range of human rights KHPG usually selects several key rights and freedoms, which are currently the most up to date, and implements work with them as described above in 1-3. Consideration of individual rights KHPG combines well with the analysis and monitoring of the activities of certain government bodies, considering in this case all the rights and freedoms are violated by these bodies. Accounting main trends of state development, KHPG provides the following programs in 2012-2015:

1. Human rights defense through KHPG Public Reception Office (PRO)

2. Providing strategic litigations through KHPG Strategic Litigations Cases (SLC)

3. Struggle against political persecutions

4. Civic campaign against torture and ill-treatment

5. Monitoring implementation of judgments of international bodies

6. Defense of freedom of expression, access to information and right for privacy; increasing transparency and openness of work of public administration bodies and local self-government bodies

7. Struggle against discrimination, racism, xenophobia and hate crimes

8. Security services in a constitutional democracy: oversight and accountability.

9. Dissemination of information on human rights and basic freedoms in Ukraine, civil education and aware-raising activities.

To improve its performance KHPG should also take care of its organizational development: to improve the organizational structure, management system, fundraising and communication (internal and external), to improve the knowledge and skills of the staff, to ensure the conditions for it to work effectively, to attract young professionals who sharing the values and goals KHPG.

Total expenditures of the Group were 18 935 000 UAH. Please, see list of donors in the Appendix.

2. Human rights defense through KHPG Public Reception Office

In 2015 KHPG has provided consultation and help to 4385 victims of human rights violations (4251 through PRO, 134 – to drug users and people living HIV/AIDS). 2578 (58.8%) among them were women, 1807 (41.2%) – men. 28 among them were victims of torture and/or ill-treatment. 31 were complaining on arbitrary detention, arrest, 101 – on violations during pre-trial investigation. 181 people complained on violation of right to a fair trial, including 105 – on failure to enforce judgments at law, 87 – on arbitrariness, 85 – on abuses of the law of Ukraine “On citizens’ appeals”. 551 people complained on violation of right to housing. 496 were complaining on violation of the right to property, 541complained on violations of customer’s rights, 191 – on violation of the right to labor, 49 – on violation of the right to family life, 63 – on violation of the right to health protection and medical care, as well as 933 – on violation of right to social protection.

Categories of complainers are as follows:

IDPs – 1532,

Homeless people – 3,

Unemployed – 155,

Military men – 94,

Civil activists – 7,

Victims of domestic violence – 4,

Victims of crimes – 12,

Journalists – 3,

Sentenced people and their relatives – 199,

Disabled persons – 288,

Irrational clients – 13,

Minors – 4,

Pensioners – 607,

Suspects, accused persons – 3,

Entrepreneurs – 44,

Budget-sector employees - 29,

Recruits – 12,

Single mothers – 105,

Students – 12,

Undefined – 1408,

Other – 72.

A person or a body which committed a violation:

Management of an enterprise of any pattern of ownership – 599,

Election commissions – 0,

The State executive service – 79,

The State tax administration, tax police – 2,

Educational institutions – 22,

Other – 1272,

Inspection bodies – 56,

Medical institutions – 69,

The Ministry of Interior – 283,

The Ministry of Defense – 84,

Executive bodies – 205,

Local government authorities – 273,

Social protection bodies – 565,

Bodies, which provide building services – 558,

Parliament and deputies – 0,

The Pension fund and its branches – 92,

President – 1,

The Prosecutor’s Office – 160,

Courts – 1130,

Penitentiary institutions – 92.

Lawyers of the KHPG PRO prepared 736 legal suits and initiated 132 new court processes. 90 court cases have been won, including 2 cases in the ECtHR. In addition, they have prepared 7 applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). 126 cases for individuals on human rights violations have considered through mediation/negotiation. All these cases have successfully been won.

3. Providing strategic litigations through KHPG SLC

The KHPG legal officers provided assistance and representation in national and international court proceedings of victims of human rights violations in 264 strategic litigations, including 88 cases in national courts and 176 cases in the EctHR. 16 cases in the ECtHR have been won. SLC lawyers drew up and submitted 96 new applications to the ECtHR and 10 applications according to the Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court. 5 picked up at the stage of communication. 24 cases have been won in the national courts. Proceeding 64 cases is continued.

KHPG considers court proceedings on cases concerning drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS as strategic litigations. Results of these litigations are as follows. KHPG lawyers participated in the 80 court processes. 5 court cases have been won. Furthermore, 15 cases of this category for individuals on human rights violations have considered through mediation/negotiation. All these cases have successfully been finished.

A brief description of 264 strategic cases for 2015 is given there:

http://khpg.org.ua/en/index.php?id=1456682396

4. Activities against political persecution in Ukraine

KHPG continued monitoring of political persecutions against so-called separatists, «enemies of Ukraine». This monitoring was conducted with the aim of determination whether in Ukraine there are people who meet the definition “political prisoner” according to the PACE Resolution of 3 October 2012 no1900 (2012) , in particular, whether there are any political motives in the criminal proceedings and if rights and liberties provided in the European Convention on Human Rights have been violated in the scope of the proceedings. The issue of presence or absence of political prisoners in Ukraine is an important aspect of the Ukrainian-Russian relations and constitute the subject of speculations on the part of Russia, where there are statements about hundreds of political prisoners in Ukraine. Simultaneously, this issue is an indicator of the level of democracy in the state. Consequently, specific research on this problem is very important.

It is clear a priori that criminal prosecution under some Articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine have or may have political motives: under Articles 109 (actions aimed at violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order or capturing the state power), 110 (separatism, i.e. encroachment on territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine), 114 (espionage),

258 (a terrorist act), other Articles related to terrorist activities  (258-1, 258-2 etc), Articles 294 (mass disturbances) and 341 (capture of buildings). In addition, the following crimes could be politically motivated: the illegal imprisonment or kidnapping (Article 146), intentional destruction or damage of property (Article 194) and illegal handling of weapons, ammunition or explosives (Article 263). Monitoring of political persecution is aimed at identification of criminal cases with presence of political motives during the investigation of the trial on which there have been violations of Articles 3, 5, 6 and possibly other Articles of the European Convention and its Protocols. Thus, according to the PACE Resolution, individuals who have committed violent crimes (murder) and terrorist acts (bombings, sabotage by general dangerous method), as well as persons who are prosecuted for statements of incitement to violence against any group of persons distinguished by common characteristics (eg, regional or ethnic origin) are not recognized as political prisoners.

Monitoring of political persecution was carried out by the following methods:

A) Conducting search on the Internet and social networks for getting information about criminal cases on the above Articles and their investigation;

B) Establishing communications with lawyers who work on these cases and obtaining from them information on the criminal proceedings, decisions regarding preventive measures etc;

B) Analysis of sentences on the above Articles downloaded from the Registry of court decisions;

D) Media monitoring of relevant media and Internet resources - websites of the Ministry of Interior, the Security Service of Ukraine, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, the court bodies, political parties, etc.

The specifics of monitoring of political persecution consists in the fact that its result can not always be made public due to various reasons - the secrecy of investigation, the risk of harm to a victim of persecutions and others. Publication of these results is made in cases when the prosecution has already got into the public sphere, and/or results of the monitoring are undeniable and/or publication will benefit for a victim of persecutions. Examples of such punlications are as follows:

http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-16/103772

http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/media_law/journalist_rights/pravozaschitnik_evgeniy_zakharov_ruslan_kotsaba_tipichnyy_politzaklyuchennyy/

http://khpg.org/index.php?id=1448371995

http://khpg.org/index.php?id=1452587793

5. Civic campaign against torture and ill-treatment

Development and strengthening a network for preventing torture. We developed quite strong working connections between regional human rights NGOs, journalists and lawyers in order to inform on and investigate of ill-treatment cases. Members of the network have extended advisory aid to the citizens, conducted public investigations within their competence and extended aid by professional lawyers cooperating with KHPG. The reports sent by the network partners were collected, generalised, and published in the specialised KHPG’s site «Proty Katuvan» (Against Torture) and KHPG portal «Human Rights in Ukraine». KHPG workers and other members of the network took part in visits to detention places jointly with the representatives of the Ombudsman’s office according to the OPCAT. Members of the network also held many awareness-raising events in their regions.

After the recent changes in legislation and amendments to the Criminal Executive Code of Ukraine (CEC) the monitors from civil society and journalist may freely carry out the visits without the previous announcement (unexpected visits) to the institutions of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine (SPSU). Articles 24 of CEC postulated that any deputy or his/her assistant or a member of the Public Council at State Penitentiary Service can form a group of three doctors or two journalists and they have the right "freely and without restrictions in time … move through the territory of penal institutions" – it is a new opportunity to monitor the situation with the human rights in the closed for the society penitentiary institutions. In the reported period KHPG has organised a number of visits to the colonies with different regimes (with minimum, medium and maximum levels security level) and to the Pre-trial detention Centers (isolators for the persons under the investigation). We have made 14 visits into 9 penitentiary institutions: 

1)    70 Colony in Berdychiv – 2 visits, (16.01.2015 and 10.04.2015).

2)    100 Colony in Kharkiv (Temnivska Colony) – (14.01.2015, 14.01.2015, 23.01.2015, 26.01.2015, 27.01.2015, 25.03.2015) – 5 visits. Press conference was organised after the findings in the Colony-100.

3)    25 Colony in Kharkiv (13.01.2015).

4)    77 Colony in Berdiansk – 1 visit, (05.03.2015).  The press-conference with presentation of the beaten person took place on 11.03.2015.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vd_RgEPmPo . The legal assistance of the KhPG lawyer was provided for the beaten sentenced person O. Molokov, on the demand KhHRG Kyiv Office Ombudsman Office started the investigation of this case. The materials on the visit were transmitted to the CoE Secretary General Torbjorn Jagland and presented by him on the Committee of Minster session.

5)    Visit to 94 Colony (Synelnykivska) – 14.04.2015.

6)    Visit to 45 Colony (Sophiivska) – 15.04.2015.

7)    Visit to 31 Colony (Iziaslav) – 16.05.2015.  The Monitors of Kyiv KhPG Office spent more than 5 hours waiting for the permission to come in the territory of the colony. It was the main objection from this visit.

8)    Visit to 80 Colony (Kryvyj Rig), 01.06.2015.

9)    Visit to the VK-16 (Poltava), 28.06.2015 alleged information on ill-treatment was confirmed after the visit of our monitoring group.

10) Visit to 74 Colony (Odessa), 10-11.07.2015

11) Visit to 51 Colony (Odessa), 11.07.2015

12) Visit to 58 Colony (Izyaslav of Khmelnitsky oblast), 10.11.2015/

In addition, KHPG workers realised visits to the SPSU establishents together with jornalists of the TV-programme “Insider” of the ICTV Channel on 10-13 of October (colony no. 25 in Kharkiv, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezLHFBMXy4Y) and TV-programme “Lustrator” of the STB Channel on 4-6 of November (colony no. 74 for women in Odessa, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN8AxzgkhXQ).  Furthermore, TV-programme «Zhakhittia tiuremnogo zhittia» («The horrors of prison life») on actions of Article 391 of the Criminal Code has been prepared together with the “Lustrator” (see

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o6fVtQdwLo   and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prgYJETVcQY&app=desktop).

These visits serve also to strengthening and development of the network of NGOs, lawyers and journalists, because they provide more opportunities to involve local representatives into the defense of the victims, detained in penitentiary institutions.

Generally speaking, the situation with the right to protection from torture and abuse and the right to freedom and personal inviolability has generally improved. A sociological study conducted in 2015, as part of the KHPG project against torture and cruel treatment, by the Kharkiv Institute of Social Research across five regions of Ukraine not affected by the armed conflict showed a significant decrease in the number of cases of unlawful violence by police officers. The estimated number of such violations over the year, compared to 2011 – the year of the previous study, fell more than twice from 980 thousand (604.4 thousand during detention) to 409 thousand (157.3 thousand during detention). Similarly, the estimated number of victims of torture decreased from 113 thousand in 2011 to almost 63 thousand in 2015. However, these numbers are still very high.

       

Development of the system for legal aid to victims of torture and ill treatment. See previous section on the SLC. KHPG provides the legal aid with the qualified work of KHPG lawyers.

Awareness-raising and educational activities. Along for the reporting period we conducted two the 5-days schools on human rights for human rights activists and two trainings for lawyers as well as two seminars for judges (one seminar - for judges with experience less 5 years, second seminar - for judges of appeal courts). We published and distributed in 1000 copies fourteen titles of publications on different aspects of rights of prisoners in Ukraine: «Observance of human rights in the penitentiary system of Ukraine», «ECtHR Judgments on Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention devoted to prisoners’ rights to a medical care», «ECtHR Judgments on Articles 2, 3 and 8 of the Convention devoted to prisoners’ rights», «Observance rights of prisoners in Ukraine», «International Standards of Prisoners’ rights», «Monitoring unlawful violence: 2004-2015», «Practice of defense in the criminal cases concerning illicit trafficking in drugs, psychotropic substances and their analogues or precursors», «Selected judgments of the ECtHR concerning Ukraine – 2010», «Human Rights in Ukraine – 2014. Human rights organisations report» (in Ukrainian and English) and five issues of the magazine for condemned women «Dim na pivdorogy» («Half-way House»). We held several press-conferences and other public actions devoted to prevention of torture and ill-treatment in Ukraine and abroad.

On 31 March Public Hearings «Human rights protection in the penitentiary institutions of Ukraine» was held. There were more than 60 participants including 22 officers of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine.

On 19 May Working meeting in the Parliamentary committee initiated by MP Yurij Miroshnichenko with the aim to discuss the current problem in this area, establish the communication and cooperation between parliament and civil society representatives. 

On 29 May KHPG organised and held the workshop for 20 young journalists writing on penitentiary issues and NGO activists.

On 3 September 2015 the KHPG carried out a seminar «Providing the right for medical aid in the penitentiary institutions» out in the Office of the SPSU in Kyiv. The seminar has been organized for the heads of medical divisions of Regional Offices of the SPSU, and heads of divisions of the SPSU. Every participant of the seminar has received all the three publications produced by the project.

Analytical, research, law-making and lobbying activities. KHPG experts conduct analysis of national legislation, drafts law and practice on regular basis as well as created own drafts law, such as drafts law on national police, on internal affairs bodies, on traffic police and drafts of amendments to the Executive-Criminal Code, Law on preliminary imprisonment and other penitentiary legislation. KHPG experts analysed law on so-called amnesty, on preventive detention, on lustration, and many others. They studied conditions of the custody of life prisoners and made detailed analysis of five cases of life prisoners with very dubious verdicts. Than they considered a problem of impossibility of a new considering such cases. KHPG experts analysed acting criminal executive law, including internal regulations of the SPSU and proposed six drafts of normative acts concerning rights of prisoners: draft law on amendments of the CEC, draft law on amendments of the Law on preliminary detention, drafts regulation on amendments of the Internal Rules for Colonies and PTC, draft regulation on amendments of «The list of Diseases that are the Basis for Submission of Materials to the Courts for Release from Further Serving of Punishment», and draft amendments of the order on usage of the technic means for oversight and surveillance.

Since the beginning the work of the new Parliament KHPG experts started to prepare a weekly review of the bills that are passed in the corresponding week to the Parliament for consideration. Review includes list of drafts law concerning human rights with short preliminary analysis of the threatens for human rights and assessment of the quality of preparation of bills. In 2015 51 weekly reviews have been prepared, published and distribiuted through KHPG portal «Human Rights in Ukraine» http://khpg.org.

KHPG experts conduct analysis of national legislation, drafts law and practice on regular basis as well as created own drafts law in the penitentiary sphere and in the sphere of police activities. They have prepared many expert conclusions and analytical articles in question.

6. Monitoring implementation of decisions of international bodies

Monitoring of the ECtHR judgments against Ukraine and making its translations into Ukrainian. During the monitoring, 89 ECtHR’s judgments of the year 2015 against Ukraine were studied. 17 of them were translated and posted on the KHPG’s website:

1. Ogorodnik v. Ukraine Огородник против Украины

2. Yaremenko v. Ukraine (No. 2) Решение ЕСПЧ по делу Яременко против Украины (№ 2)

3. Kirpichenko v. Ukraine Решение ЕСПЧ по делу Кирпиченко против Украины

4. Lutsenko v. Ukraine Дело "Луценко против Украины"

5. Serikov v. Ukraine Сериков против Украины: изложение обстоятельств дела и вопросы

6. Sokil v. Ukraine Cокол против Украины

7. Lunev v. Ukraine Лунев против Украины

8. Karpiyk and others v. Ukraine Карпюк и другие против Украины

9. Sergey Antonov v. Ukraine Сергей Антонов против Украины

10. Kusch v. Ukraine Кущ против Украины

11. Ustimenko v. Ukraine Устименко против Украины

12. Basenko v. Ukraine Басенко против Украины

13. Syredjuk v. Ukraine Сиреджук против Украины

14. Rodzevillo v. Ukraine Родзевилло против Украины

15. Tikhonov v. Ukraine Тихонов против Украины

16. Andrey Zakharov v. Ukraine Андрей Захаров против Украины

17. Basyk v. Ukraine Басюк против Украины

Analysis of implementation of the ECtHR judgments was made according to the Law of Ukraine “On implementation of the ECtHR judgments and using the Court’s practice”.

The analysis was conducted by monitoring of the Council of Europe Ministers Committee’s website and Ukrainian governmental and non-governmental Internet resources: website of the Ministry of Justice, website of the Supreme Court, website of the High Specialized Court on criminal and civil cases, website of the High Administrative Court, websites of the Courts of Appeal, website precedent.ua, websites of lawyers’ unions and non-profit-making human rights organizations. Lists of the ECtHR judgments against Ukraine in related to imprisonment cases were made and published in two books: «Judgments of the ECtHR on violations of prisoners’ rights on Articles 2, 3 and 8 of the ECHR» (600 pages) and «Judgments of the ECtHR against Ukraine on Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention on violations of prisoners’ rights for medical aid» (560 pages). A research on implementations of the ECtHR’s judgments towards prisoners was conducted on the ground of these publications: «Implementation of the ECtHR judgments in penitentiary (2013-2014) ».

Additionally, an analysis of implementation of the ECtHR judgments on the KHPG lawyers’ applications was made by filing informational requests to the Ministry of Justice and judicial bodies.

Also some relevant for Ukraine judgments were translated into Russian:

Case of Ramishvili and Kokhreidze v. Georgia

Chiragov and Others v. Armenia

Examples of successful implementation of the ECtHR judgments in the KHPG’s projects.

The KHPG lawyers permanently use the ECtHR practice as legal grounds in their reasoning in national courts cases. Types of cases:

- choosing of preventive measure for an accused person;

- re-considering of sentences by the higher courts on the basis of the ECtHR’s judgments on violations of Article 6 of the Convention in a part of inadmissible evidence using;

- reasoning the position of defense by the ECtHR’s practice at courts of all instances.

It is important to publish information about successful for the KHPG’s lawyers ECtHR judgments to develop the process of its implementation in national legal system. We pay to it more and more attention. Links to publications are following:

Думка прокурора – не закон

Громадянин України 10 років намагався відстояти свої права в судах

Адвокат ХПГ домігся умовно-дострокового звільнення для підзахисного!

Адвокатская победа: домашний арест вместо содержания под стражей.

І знову стаття 307, проте – не з «класичним» завершенням

Як з адвоката зробити злочинця

Ми вміємо захищати журналістів, які пишуть правду!

Права людини і суд над Геннадієм Корбаном: чи сумісні поняття?

Адвокат Литвин знов допомогла людині вийти на свободу

О том, как прокуроры сами себя перехитрили

Адвокаты ХПГ способствуют повышению уровня правовой культуры в украинских судах

Ми прагнемо допомогти тим, хто зневірився знайти справедливість в Україні!

Осторожный оптимизм в оценке судебных реформ

Справедливый суд в Украине есть!

Вариация на тему вопроса национальной безопасности

Суд, коли захоче, творить правосуддя!

Ні слова неправди від бійця Національної гвардії України – касаційний суд

Доля лікарні у Бірках – чергова маленька перемога

Коли виникає загроза життю засудженої людини

Честь и достоинство ректора зооветеринарной академии Валерия Головко не нарушались – определение апелляционного суда

За скаргою адвоката суд зобов’язав прокурора відкрити кримінальне провадження

Ректорові ХДЗВА в задоволенні позову відмовлено

Провокація злочину – не підстава до засудження

Одинадцять відмов у порушенні кримінальної справи "коштували" державі шість тисяч євро

Черговий раз українській владі вказали на необхідність реформування пенітенціарної системи. На цей раз - Європейський Суд

Провина українських судів у перешкоджанні ув’язненим можливості подачі скарг до Європейського Суду черговий раз визнана Страсбургом

Адвокат Литвин знов допомогла людині вийти на свободу

Європейський Суд виніс чотири рішення у справах, підтриманих юристами ХПГ

Європейський Суд виніс рішення про порушення права на свободу мирних зібрань у справі "Карпюк та інші проти України"

Зізнання «по-харківськи». Європейський Суд зафіксував ще один випадок катування у міліцейському відділку на Харківщині та призначив компенсацію

Протистояння Держави та Здорового глузду – перемогу у Європейському Суді з прав людини відзначає літній доктор наук

Дело Ушакова и Ушаковой против Украины

"Ушаков та Ушакова проти України"

Парадокси бувають двох видів: вивченням одних займаються науковці, інші ж створюють прокурори

7. Defence of freedom of expression, access to information and right for privacy; increasing transparency and openness of work of public administration bodies and local self-government bodies

KHPG experts continued to prepare amendments to basic information laws «On information», «On access to public information», «On personal data protection» and others as well as to monitor the situation in regions with the access to public information and transparency of the local authorities. In cooperation with 10 regional partners Kyiv Office of the KHPG launched the second round of the monitoring which provides the study of the classified information held by the local authorities under the reason “for service use”. Received from the partners’ information helped to form the materials for the study sessions and seminars for public servants in different regions of Ukraine.

8 seminars were organized in 2015 for the public officials on the access to public information (Kherson (12.03.2015), Mykolaiyv (13.03.2015), Sumy (03.04.2015), Morshyn (Lviv region), (23.04.2015), Ternopol (24.04.2015), Kovel (Volyn region), (21.05.2015), Odessa (29.05.2015), Severodonezk (Lugansk region) (19.06.2015).

About 450 public servants participated in the seminars, they were provided with the last KhHRG publications related to the access on public information.

KHPG representative O. Pavlichenko participated in the work of the working group on preparation of the text of the draft law on amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On access to public information” (he is among authors of the text of the law http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc77?pf3511=55238), the draft law was registered under No. 2913 on 25.05.2015 

http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=55238

Two publications were prepared and printed for the

Case law of the European Court of Human Rights related to the access to information. Compilation and introduction by O. Pavlichenko (Selected cases – 17 decisions of the ECtHR).

Freedom of information in Ukraine: theory and practice (updated by R.Stadnyk and O. Pavlichenko) – manual for the public officials.

KHPG continued the litigation processes related to the disclosure of the information. The litigation procedures were supported by KHPG (Odessa CVU, “green” NGOs), aimed to get the information from the public authorities (Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, City Councils, Ministry of Defense). In particular, KHPG supported the appeal claim against the State Financial Inspection, lodged by our partner in the Project O. Stepanenko and related to the refusal to provide the NGO with the information about the results of the inspection of the state` reserve Dnipro canyon.

Journalist Investigations Bureau carried out 24 anti-corruption journalist investigations. Human rights KHPG experts also prepared and published 12 articles on journalist investigation human rights violations. The articles on the results of investigations were produced and posted on the KHPG site http://khpg.org and http://tema.in.ua.

8. Struggle against discrimination, racism, xenophobia and hate crimes

KHPG monitors and monitors from the partner organisations continued to gather and check information on facts of discrimination, hate crime and hate speech from the side of state bodies in all regions of the country including occupied territories and ATO zone. We worked with domestic monitors in different regions of Ukraine and used reports of the monitoring missions to the liberated territories of ATO Zone. We also used reports of Crimea field mission and Crimea Human Rights Protection Group about situation on the territories occupied by RF: Crimea and Sevastopol. We also investigated the information in media and Internet, and analyzed the treatment of people who moved from the occupied territories of Donbass and Lugansk regions and liberated hostages. The monitoring involved identifying “hate crime”, “hate speech”, as well as xenophobia and racist behaviour especially by state officers or public persons and the response of the authorities, in particular the law enforcement agencies to such cases. Monitors have provided 836 legal aid consultations in cases on discrimination, xenophobia and hate crimes including 623 consultations of IDPs.

Second component of the campaign is to conduct public discussions in question joined with music festival «Art of Tolerance». KHPG held 16 events in 10 regions of Ukraine in 12 cities. The representatives of IDPs, national minorities, ethnic-cultural organisations and other civic organisations, volunteers, journalists, representatives of state bodies and local authorities visited the events. We have prepared and published 10,000 leaflets: «Rights of IDPs» in Ukrainian and Russian. We have prepared and published of 1800 human rights posters “Art of Tolerance” against xenophobia and discrimination and placed them on the billboards in the festival cities: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Poltava, Kremenchuk, Kramatorsk, Odesa, Mykolayv, Lviv, Drogobych, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lutsk, Rivne. More than 2,000,000 people saw our posters, big boards, city lights. In such a way KHPG passed this information to people, mass media and organisations involved.

40 musicians from Poland, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Armenia, Azerbaijan and different cities of Ukraine took part in the events. Artists-IDPs from Crimea and Donbass and artists who lives on occupied territories also took in the festival: Shevket Zmorka (IDP from Crimea), Dmytro Bondarev (IDP from Donetsk), Elvira Saryhalil (Crimea), Rustem Skybin and Lilia Islyamove (IDPs from Crimea). Total audiences of the events were about 6000 people. Passive audiences (via mass media) were more than 2 million.

Participants of the festival are accomplished musicians and artists, whose creative work is based on multiple ethnic cultures. They combine folklore with jazz, classical and modern music in attempt to preserve unique cultural traditions contributing at the same time to multiculturalism. Their creative work represents intense and organic cultural dialogue. Ethnically distinct traditions of expressing music are used interchangeably to create unique and rich musical style “Global Music”. Although relatively new, it rapidly becomes a vital part of world culture due to its multicultural semantic inclusive nature and aesthetic tolerance.

Results of the monitoring were summarised in the books «Hate crime in Ukraine: July 2013 – December 2014» and «Hate crime in Ukraine – 2015». The printed version of the first book has published and distributed. Second book will be published in the first half of 2016.

It should be noted that level of xenophobia is significantly increased due to the occupation of the Crimea, the military conflict in the East of the country and a large migration from the Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk regions to other parts of the country.

9. Security Services in a Constitutional Democracy: oversight and accountability

KHPG members carried on monitoring human rights violations from the side of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), analysis SSU’s activities in the fields of defense state secrets and other classified information, analysis SSU’s activities in the fields of wiretapping and other forms of interception of communications as well analysis SSU’s activities against terrorism and separatism. It should be noted that KHPG is only organisation in Ukraine that conducts monitoring the SSU activities in order to prevent violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Results of monitoring showed that there was misuse of law in criminal cases concerning terrorist acts and separatist acts as well as treason on motherland. For example, cases of Ruslan Kotsaba and Andriy Zakharchuk, which were charged with state treason, are examples of typical political persecution. Very dubious cases were criminal persecutions of member of voluntary batalions.

The most serious violations were actions of the SSU concerning exchange of prisoners of wars and hostages. The process of release and exchange is totally closed from the public and monopolized by the SSU which cites the need for secrecy. Who it is that takes decisions about exchanges is presently unknown. It is however known that the SSU is forced to create a so-called ‘exchange fund’.  People are charged with ‘separatism’ under Article 110 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, or with another crime.  A written agreement is taken to be part of an exchange (sometimes this happens during the trial), the criminal proceedings are terminated and they’re held in custody in the SSU somewhere until the exchange takes place. This disgraceful practice is absolutely beyond the realms of law, however in Ukraine they are force to resort to this in order to free hostages and prisoners.

It is obvious that KHPG has to continue to monitor SSU activities in all spheres.

10. Dissemination of information on human rights and basic freedoms in Ukraine, civil education and aware-raising activities

In 2015 permanent PR-service has actively worked. In the reported period permanent PR-service has developed and actively worked. KHPG videoarchive was created: https://www.youtube.com/

KHPG updated own portal “Human Rights in Ukraine” http://khpg.org on a daily basis (in average 5-7 new materials in Ukrainian or Russian and 5-7 new materials in English per day), specialized site «Against Torture!» http://maidanua.org/special/pk/ for victims of torture and ill-treatment in a daily basis (3-4 new materials per day), site http://library.khpg.org (virtual library on human rights) on a weekly basis (4-5 new books per week), and site http://archive.khpg.org (virtual museum and archive of dissident movement in Ukraine) on a weekly basis (1-2 new materials per week). The most interesting materials were disseminated in the social networks.

About half of visitors (49.15%) of our portal http://khpg.org are English-reading readers. It should be noted that an average number of visitors of the KHPG portal http://khpg.org is decreased on 15% in comparison with 2014 and reached 2600 visitors per day (3042 visitors in 2014). In our opinion, it can explaine by using mobile telephones and tablets for visits to site in more than 30% visits. Our sites are suitable for reading only for desktops. Thus, it is necessary to create a new version of the site. 

Furthermore, KHPG prepared published and distributed a bulletin «Prava Ludyny» («Human Rights») two times per month and the monthly English bulletin «Prava Ludyny», extract from these two issues, as well as monthly bulletin «Human Rights. Civic Education» (each bulletin consists of 12 pages A4 format) and quarterly «Freedom of Expression and Privacy».

We have published 45 books (list of the books see Annex 2) and 58 newsletters

In addition, we sent information materials and books produced by KHPG to NGOs and individuals according to the requests. The KHPG library with open access (more than 12,000 books on law, human rights, history, political sciences, political repressions, etc., and periodic editions) permanently is functioned.

KHPG also held two 5-days School on Hyman Rights for 30 human rights activists each on 26-30 May and 9-13 December. They were enrolled in lectures and seminars on concept of human rights, mechanisms of human rights defence, NGO management, fundraising, and preparation of project applications.

KHPG held weekly public discussion on actual topics with simultaneously translation in the Internet and participation of speakers from several cities of Ukraine. Results of each discussion placed to youtube and several websites in view of WORD-transcript of the discussion. Such discussion have been held in Kharkiv and Kyiv, for example, discussion joined together with Kopelev Forum (Cologne) devoted to destiny of Lev Kopelev, discussion devoted Varlaam Shalamov «Crime without punishment or punishment without crime» (on crimes of communist soviet regime and victims of political repressions in USSR), «What does in mean “Decommunisation”?» and others.

Yevgeniy Zakharov, KHPG director, visited Cologne on 17-20 April and Berlin on 21 April as well as Brussels on 22-23 June. The aim of the visits was to inform Germany state officials, experst and civil society representatives on and discuss with them the situation with the Human Rights in Ukraine with the particular accent on political persecutions, on the preparation of the constitutional amendments, and on war conflict with Russia. In Brussels he took part at the workshop devoted to reforms in Ukraine, in particular, struggle against corruption. These visits helped to share and discuss with the officials, counterparts and representatives of the civil society the existing violations and general contemporary threats for the Human Rights in Ukraine. Workshop in Brussels was organised together with Germany NGO «European Exchange» and with assistance by Rebekka Harms, head of the Green Faction in the European Parliament.

Oleksandr Pavlichenko, KHPG deputy director, participated in the following meetings with the representative of international institutions and missions with the exchange of views on Human rights in Ukraine and in the following international events:

Meeting with the Council of Europe Secretary General Torbjorn Jagland on 17 March,

Meeting with team of the PACE Monitoring Committee Mailis Reps and Jeaques Mignion on 25 March,

Meeting with the Council of Europe Commissionaire for Human Rights Nils Muzhnieks on 29 June 2015,

Meeting in the OSCE, discussion of the umbrella platform for Ukrainian non-governmental initiatives (Alan Scurbaty, EUAM) on 20 January,

Meeting with the Swiss Embassy representative Greuter Simon (EDA GRESI) on 18 June 2015,

Participation in Eurodig-2015, Sofia, Bulgaria on 4-5 June.

11. Monitoring human rights violations in the zone of military conflict in East of Ukraine

KHPG continued to monitor the situation with the human rights in the Eastern Ukraine, the Kyiv Office started to participate in the monitoring missions to the eastern regions and prepare the reports on the situation.

11.1. Monitoring of the situation with the illegal deprivation of liberty, tortures, inhuman treatment and killings in Donbas

25-29 August KHPG representative Oleksandr Pavlichenko participated in the monitoring mission “Via Donbas basement” – visits to the places of illegal detention on the territory of Donbas and met the victims, detained in 2014 by pro-Russian terrorists. The report on the detention places in Donbas, the cases of tortures and inhuman treatment was prepared and presented on 25 September 2015 in Warsaw, Poland, in OSCE HDIM. O. Pavlichenko has an intervention in HDIM plenary session on 24 September and participated in presentation of the report “Survived the Hell – testimonies of the victims of illegal detention area in Donbas”:

http://khpg.org/http://khpg.org/files/docs/1444128406.pdf

The full version of the report was prepared and presented on 21 of December in Kyiv.  

11.2. Monitoring of the humanitarian situation on the territories of Donbas, that were influenced by the military actions in this regions.

Two missions of the KHPG were organized jointly with Russian “Memoria“ representatives and NGO “Russian-German Exchange” (Berlin, Germany). Two separate reportw on the situation with the civil population in the Donetsk region have been prepared and presented on 26 November 2015 in Bundestag (Germany, Berlin).

The first mission to Donetsk Region was realized on 01-5 September (Slaviansk, Artemovsk, Svetlodarsk, Myronovskoye, Luganskoje). The issues related to educational process, internally displaced persons (IDPs), destroyed or damaged building and constructions in the zone of the Anti-terrorist operation were monitored and reflected into the report with the recommendations to state institutions, local self-governments.

The second mission to Donbas region was organized on 28 September-5 October 2015. The monitors from KHPG, Memorial (Moskow, Russia), Russian-German Exchange (Berlin, Germany) visited Mariupol, Sartana, Volnovakha, Krasnoarmeisk, Krasnogorovka, Marijinka, Slaviansk, Nikolayevka, Kramatorsk, Sviatogorsk, Krasnyj Liman. In the report were presented observed problems with the humanitarian situation, destroyed and damaged by military actions buildings, situation with the IDPs, living conditions in this zone, conditions in schools. The findings and recommendations were presented in the report, prepared on the results of this mission.       

12. Studies of history of human rights movement in USSR and Ukraine and history of political repression in USSR

KHPG continued to collect archive documents on dissident movement in former USSR and Ukraine and program of oral history (interview with ex-dissidents). We continued to translate biographies of dissidents and interviews with them into English as well as to digitize audio tapes and photos. We created the systematic physical archive of dissident movement in Ukraine and electronic archive. In total, we have translated into English and placed on website http://archive.khpg.org 135 biography references, 70 interviews. We digitized 210 oral interviews and 2600 photos. Documents and other materials were allocated by archival fonds. Description of 4 fonds was made. Also the materials of one of the archival fond (Vasyl Ovsiyenko’s fond) were digitized in 5400 files.

Furthermore, we organised and held 40 public events on this question including 17 TV and radio programs. In addition, KHPG organized two public exhibitions “The Others. Dissidents of Eastern Ukraine” in the framework of Lviv Book Forum on 9-13 September and National Memorial-Museum “Tiurma na Lonskogo” in Lviv on 15 September – 14 December. This exhibition consists of 12 banners with data on dissidents and 12 boxes with rare exhibits from KHPG archive. Exhibitions also included all KHPG publications on 80 shelves.

13. Development of the Human Rights NGOs Network

Special network directed to police reform

In 2015 KHPG jointly with more than 40 NGOs continued realisation of the pilot project of police reform in Lviv oblast. Database of messages by «102» with visualisation on the map of the Lviv oblast has been created. It fills since 1 May. Each month there were more than 10 thousand messages. Also database «116000» (it is unique all-European telephone number for seach children) for tracing missing children has been created by KHPG jointly with the NGO “Magnolia” Sambir experiment on creation of police for urgent reaction started on 9 June and gave very positive results. Since 1 August this model of police bodies is verified in 10 districts (5 districts in Lviv oblast, 2 districts in Kyiv oblast, 1 district in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts). Pilot work in 10n districts convincingly proved that there is very effective model of safety of public order. KHPG together with partners has finished Action Plan for implementation of the Strategy for Development of Police in Ukraine.

Elaboration of the “National Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan for 2015-2020”

The work on the National Human Rights Strategy was started in December 2015 and Kyiv Office of the KHPG was deeply involved in its elaboration. Separate working session with participation civil society was organised on 03-05 July, the fin

al text of the strategy with the elements of the National Action Plan was prepared and submitted later to the Ministry of Justice. National Human Rights Strategy was approved by the President’s Edict on 25 August. In September 2015 several working meetings on the preparation of the Action Plan were organised by the Ministry of Justice, O. Pavlichenko was elected as a Head of the working Group 1. The working group considered all proposals and elaborated unified text on 4 chapters of the Action Plan. This Action Plan was without changed accepted and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in last days of 2015:

http://www.kmu.gov.ua/control/uk/cardnpd?docid=248740679

Preparation of submission to the International Criminal Court

In April-June KHPG was involved in the work on gathering materials and preparing the text of submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) jointly with other Ukrainian NGOs and lawyers. Representatives of the KHPG worked on two chapters of submission: “Torture of protesters” and “Relevant proceedings in Ukraine”. The submission was sent to Hagur and is now single document requesting the investigation of human rights violations during the Maidan time. The KHPG participated in meeting with teams of experts from the Office of the Prosecutor of the International, IFHR (International Federation of Human Rights) who came to Ukraine to discuss the materials submitted to the ICC. KHPG representative Oleksandr Pavlichenko participated in preparation of the text of submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC), that was openly published in Ukrainian and in English as the Report of Human Rights NGOs Coalition on crimes against humanity in the Maidan time (“Price of Freedom”). http://www.irf.ua/knowledgebase/news/zvit_cina_svobody/

Ratification of the Rome Statute by Ukraine

Among other commitments before the EU Ukraine has to ratify the Rome Statute, which was signed by Ukraine but not yet ratified. KHPG together with a coalition of human rights NGOs joined in the platform "Human Rights Agenda" has prepared a number of steps with the aim to promote the ratification of the Rome Statute – meetings with MPs and experts, written appeals to the MPs. The number of initiatives were also elaborated and developed by the KHPG within the “Human Rights Agenda” with the aim to promote the Ratification of the Rome Statute by Ukraine.

On 19-24 November there was a trip to Hague with the aim to study ICC work and discuss the questions about the collection of evidences for submission to the ICC.

Human Rights Agenda

In September-October 2015 non-formal network of Ukrainian NGOs decided to work out the Human Rights Agenda with the aim to underline the most dangerous zones where human rights are violated. KHPG participated in the working meetings and prepared several selected chapters of this Agenda.

In the context of the HR Agenda Kyiv office of KHPG continued the analytical and think tank work providing the expertise and opinions on current draft law texts, especially related to personal data protection, freedom of speech. Furtermore, KHPG prepared the expert opinion on creation of the Ministry of information in Ukraine.

14. KHPG organizational development

KHPG has made new versions of the following management documents:

a) Financial policy and procedures;

b) Procurement policy;

c) Fraud policy;

In addition, KHPG has created and started to use the new management documents:

a) Assets management;

b) Procedures and systems of the internal control of the transfer of money between the Projects;

c) Regulation on performers of the KHPG projects.

These documents are implemented into day-to-day KHPG activities.

In January-February 2016 KHPG successfully conducted an international audit for 2015 by the LLC «Audit and Consulting Group “Compass” ».

In 2015 average salaries of the staff increased more than five times in comparison to 2012. Now it is 12500 UAH. Each staff member of KHPG has an individual career development plan including career goals and increases owh potential through training and education. All 21 staff members took part in 42 educational events, including 7 events abroad with working language English. 14 workers of the KHPG continue studies English twice a week (1.5 hours). In total there were 129 lessons in the reported period.

APPENDIX

List of the grants fulfilled by KHPG in 2015

We use the following abbreviations:

IRF – International «Renaissance» Foundation (Kyiv, Ukraine)

OSF – Open Society Foundation

EC – European Commission

SIDA – Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

NED  – National Endowment for Democracy (USA)

MATRA – Human Rights Fund of the Embassy of the Netherlands

UNHCHR – United Nations Higher Commissioner on Human Rights

Information on current grants is given in the following table.

Title of the project

Project period,

day/month/year

Donor

Donor’s

contribution

Creation of human rights defence mechanisms in Donetsk and Luhansk region

15/12/14 – 28/02/15

UNHCHR

$ 19 000

Creation of human rights defence mechanisms in Donetsk and Luhansk region

01/03/15 – 39/04/15

UNHCHR

$ 8 240

Observance of human rights in the penitentiary system of Ukraine with the accent on observance of the right to health protection and medical assistance

01/09/14 – 31/08/15

MATRA

477000 UAH

Defence of freedom of expression and right for privacy

21/12/12 – 20/06/15

EC

€ 75 067,38

Civic campaign against torture and ill-treatment

12/06/14 – 11/06/16

EC

€ 260 000

Providing Information and Analysis of Human Rights in Ukraine

01/05/14 – 30/04/15

NED

$ 47 200

Monitoring and defence of the rights of prisoners to medical care

01/07/14 – 31/03/15

U.S. Embassy

$ 13 774

The Strategic Advisory Group on MIA and Police Reform in Ukraine (PoR-SAG)

01/01/15 – 30/11/15

IRF

$ 150 000

Core Support

01/01/15 – 31/12/15

SIDA

€ 332 000

Human Rights Defence of Internal Displaced Persons in Ukraine with focusing Kharkiv oblast

20/06/15 – 19/06/16

EC

€ 1 789 055 (KHPG –

€ 109 000)

Protecting Human Rights Through Improved Access To Legal Aid (subgrant for support of the KHPG PRO)

01/05/15 – 31/12/15

DFATD, Canada Government

€ 10 000

Institutional Support for 2015

01/01/15 – 30/12/15

OSF

$ 99 000

Legal assistance to IDPs and conflict-affected population in Ukraine

01/02/15 – 30/04/15

Delegation of the Danish Refugee Council

462 480 UAH

Legal assistance to IDPs and conflict-affected population in Ukraine

01/07/15 – 31/12/15

Delegation of the Danish Refugee Council

1 014 060 UAH

European civil monitoring of human rights in the Eastern Ukraine

01/07/15 – 31/12/15

German Foreign Affairs Ministry

€ 26 674

Co-operation in realization of the project “Kiev Dialogue”

01/09/15 – 30/04/16

German Foreign Affairs Ministry

€ 9 200

 

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