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21.05.2000 | I.Shevchenko, Odessa

Welder, guard and waitress

   

Several years ago I was advised to turn to Valentin M. Denda, the chairman of the Directorate of the International Union for Human Rights (IUHR). An organization with such a loud name deserves better administrators. The chairman of the Directorate is a welder, his first deputy, Leonid Brik, is also a rather illiterate man, a former guard of a shop, the secretary of this Union, Alina Gulinskaya, is a former waitress. There is not a single lawyer in this Union, and they have their ‘office’ in a basement of the building of a Sunday school.

The above-listed Directorate could not answer my question. Instead they asked me to become a member of their organization for a solid entrance fee. I did not agree because I think that within such an organization a lawyer must be present or at least a person having great practical experience in human rights protection.

Later I learned that Denda quarreled with his colleagues, and his office was expelled from this basement. Now Denda works alone with address unknown and practically he does nothing. He only introduces himself as the chairman of IUHR. I believe that this position must be occupied by someone with higher education. Denda and his assistants cannot compile a claim or an official letter to some agency. At first I thought that secretary Gulinskaya could write a claim correctly, but it appeared that she could only take tips and carry trays. Some time later I learned that one more human rights protection organization existed in Odessa. It is called ‘We shall defend ourselves’. In 1998 I came there and saw the same people. It appeared that Gulinskaya works as a secretary in IUHR and the deputy chairman in the society ‘We shall defend ourselves’. Again I asked her to compile a letter. She replied that I had to pay the entrance fee which, according to the order of the self-appointed chairman V.Biriukov, equals 12 grivnas for pensioners and two times more for other people. Then the former chairman S.Fayer came up to me and told that they should not demand any fees, except a symbolical sum from 50 kopecks to one grivna. The lawyer, recommended to me by Fayer, explained what to do and compiled a claim and a letter to the prosecutor’s office. As far as I understood, the only acting person in the organization was S.Fayer. I was told that he was the former chairman. I do not know why he lost his chairmanship.

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