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21.05.2000 | E.Grinberg, Dnepropetrovsk

If to call a spade a spade

   

Everyday scores of people come to the waiting room of the Dnepropetrovsk branch of the International Union of human rights. Among the visitors come unfortunate mothers whose children committed crimes and became convicts. But a mother’s heart cannot agree with the verdict of the court and with the opinion of the people. Mothers are looking for ways to alleviate the lot of their flesh and blood.

L.I.Praslova came to us not only with this grief. From a transmission of the ‘Deutche Welle’ she learned about the existence of the Odessa human rights protection group headed by V.Denda. She asked him to mitigate the lot of her son. Having looked through the materials of the case, Mr. Denda directed the complaint to the European Court of human rights in Strassbourg. He did not work too much to find proper arguments, so, as a result, he received the answer that his complaint was not sufficiently motivated. I believe that a human rights protector must do his best to aid a complainant and, certainly, he must be competent. The medical principle ‘do not harm’ must also become the ethical principle of human rights protectors too.

Mr. Denda instead asked L.I.Praslova to prepare a complaint which he would forward to Strassbourg. He also demanded to send him a noticeable sum of money. It goes without saying that a human rights protector must help people without remuneration. Such people are known in Dnepropetrovsk: R.Mukhamedjanov, M.Radko, T.Shkrium aid many people, alleviate their troubles without asking for any remuneration. Besides, they are competent unlike V.Denda. If he attentively considered the case, he would immediately see that the answer from Strassbourg should be negative. He even did not know the rules how to determine the time when the appeal may be handed. L.I.Praslova complains that she more than once sent to Denda paper, envelopes and 60 grivnas for counseling. V.Denda did not answer his client until he got our letter in January 1999. So he lost the chance to turn to the ombudsperson which could be done by May 1998.

I think that the problem is how to protect unfortunate people, who need juridical aid, from further exercises of an illiterate and dishonest ‘counselor’.

P.S. Andrey Sukhorukov, the chairman of Ukrainian branch of the International Union of human rights, more than once asked Denda not to use the logotype of his organization on Denda’s blanks. At last V.Denda obeyed. The last letter to our address Denda sent on a blank of the Odessa branch of ‘International human rights protection assembly’.

The human rights protection extortion, quite a new kind of extortion, is going on.



PL commentary.
We believe that a public organization cannot pretend to be named a human rights protection one if it demands remuneration from the people whose rights are abused. We ask readers to express their opinion on this question.

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