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Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
№06
2002

Monthly bulletin Prava Ludyny (Human rights)

Politics and human rights

13.12.2002 | Igor Stoliarov, Odessa

Repressions against Odessa youth

   

Andrey Yusov, a member of the union "Ukrainian Brotherhood" and the head of the city resistance committee "For truth", became one of the victims of the present political system.

Young activist A. Yusov participated in organizing many actions in support of Ukrainian national interests in Odessa. Pickets in front of the mayor’s and prosecutor’s offices, actions for renaming a side street after Roman Shukhevich, meetings for holding democratic reelection and meetings in support of the national church – all these happenings occurred not without Andrey Yusov.

The Odessa militia knew about this. As a result, a criminal case was started after the accusation in "group clashes", the young activist was permanently persecuted and threatened.

Andrey Yusov tells:

"Everyone, who attentively followed the events, remembers that the public resistance committee "For truth" took an active part in the political struggle, uncovering misdemeanor of the authorities and making public their illegality.

The power decided to apply the methods it had already tested on the UNA-UNSO activists. The criminal case was started at once after the picket at the Zhovtnevy district court of Odessa; the picketing took place on 1 March 2002.

It was only the pretext of bringing me to interrogations, thus hindering me to prepare to other actions, keeping my family in the permanent fear, threatening with searches, conducting confrontations and organizing visits of militiamen to my university…"

According to A. Yusov, the consideration of the criminal case was activated after his participation in the picket near the building of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine under the slogans on the reelection in Odessa".

Unfortunately, the interrogations of activists of the "Ukrainian Brotherhood" and the organization "Shield of the Motherland" became a routing for local law-enforcers. I remind the reader that the similar pressure is inflicted on Oles Yuanchuk, the head of the Odessa city organization "Shield of the Motherland".

Politics and human rights

13.12.2002 | Oleksiy Svetikov, Severodonetsk

What crimes the tax militia expects from public organizations?

   

The department of pre-investigation checks of the Lugansk oblast tax militia will begin tomorrow the check of the Lugansk organization of the Ukrainian Voter’s Committee (UVC). It is not clear yet, what tax offenses they expect to find in the public organization, which is not a taxpayer.

Yet, there are some grounds to suppose that this time the controllers will not follow either logic or law. The matter is that this check began long ago, a month before the deputy head of the Lugansk oblast tax inspection issued order for the check No. 481/1 of 6 June.

As early as in April the Severodonetsk town tax militia checked the financial activities of several private businessmen, who fulfilled some works for the Lugansk organization of the UVC during the election campaign. The businessmen were asked to help militia without telling them what exactly was the matter. At the same time the Lugansk organization was demanded to present the documents for other checks.

We handed the request asking to explain, which violation of tax laws the militiamen expected to find, and got the answer from G. Orlovska, an inspector of the oblast tax militia. She wrote that they wanted to check, whether the activities of our organization correspond to the status of a non-profit organization. And the head of the department of pre-investigation checks assured us that such check was a usual affair, through which practically all organizations passed.

It is not trustworthy, since such checks are really conducted, but they are conducted by the departments of documented checks of the tax inspection, and militia is usually called in cases of finding tax crimes and for the ODA.

The fact that a check of this kind is not usual for Lugansk tax officers, was confirmed by the first questions of the inspector, who demanded to explain, who ordered the activities of the organization.

Freedom of expression

13.12.2002 | Yuri Narbut

Journalism is a dangerous profession

   

78% of Ukrainian citizens are sure that the journalist profession is dangerous in our country. This is confirmed by the poll, which was conducted by the Ukrainian center of economic and political research named after Razumkov. Since the poll was conducted on 6 June, the Day of journalists in Ukraine, the poll was devoted to the problems of mass media.

The respondents believe that the most probable results of publishing critical materials are: physical violence against the journalist (68%), psychological pressure upon the journalist and the editor (57%) or economic sanctions against the mass medium (47%). Only 4% of the pollees do not regard publication of critical materials as dangerous. Almost 90% confidently answered "Yes" to a rather common sociological question "Does the Ukrainian society need the freedom of speech?" At the same time almost 70% of the respondents acknowledge that the political censorship exists in Ukraine now.

More than 50% of respondents in all regions of Ukrainian answered "No" to the questions: "Can Ukrainian mass media publish critical materials about the President (Supreme Rada, Cabinet of Ministers, local authorities, criminal clans) without negative consequences for themselves?"

The sociological center also made public the assessment of the leading political figures of Ukraine by common citizens. The first place is occupied by Viktor Yushchenko, the leader of the political party "Our Ukraine" (25% in March and 27% in May). He is followed by: communist leader Petro Simonenko (16% and 15% in March and May, respectively), Yulia Timoshenko (11% and 14%), Prime-Minister Anatoliy Kinakh (11% and 12%), social-democrat Viktor Medvedchuk (10% and 11%), socialist Aleksandr Moroz (8% and 9%) and new Parliament speaker Volodymir Litvin (3.5% and 5%).

Freedom of expression

13.12.2002 | Volodymir Pritula, Simferopol

The Crimean authorities press on the local mass media

   

The hard situation with the freedom of speech established in the Crimea, informed the local Committee for monitoring the freedom of the press. In particular, the independent newspapers in Bakhchisaray and Alupka have troubles with the authorities.

In February 2000 one of the oldest Crimean newspapers "Chernomorska zaria" stopped to exist. The conflict between the journalists and the local authorities was lasting three years. The latter won. Irina Khrol, the editor of "Chernomorska zaria", had to leave the Crimea under the pressure of the authorities. In spite of the public support, she did not manage to protect the newspaper journalists. Now a similar situation is developing in Alupka.

For more than a year the conflict is smoldering between town mayor Valeriy Andik and Ragim Gumbatov, the editor of the local independent newspaper "Alubika". As a result, the edition was deprived of accreditation in the town council, it was throttled by numerous controlling and financial inspections, the rent of the rooms, where the editorial board is placed, was called off.

Answering the appeal of journalists and human rights protecting organizations of the Crimea to stop the pressure on the independent newspaper, Mr. Andik stated that "all the accusations are false", and the behavior of the mentioned organizations is "scandalous". Besides, he proposed to Mr. Gumbatov to get the accreditation "in another town council".

The situation in Bakhchisaray is not so dramatic as in Alupka. Here Volodymir Tsyganskiy, the head of the district administration, and Fedor Kozhevnikov, the head of the town council, unanimously refused Ludmila Shchekun, the editor of the independent newspaper "Bakhchisarayskiy Vestnik" in accreditation. The arguments were funny: they said that journalists of the newspaper "Slava trudu" were accredited in the district power organs, that these journalists elucidate the work of these organs completely, so there was no need to accredit some other mass media.

The town authorities refused to give the accreditation to Ms. Shchekun even after the appeals of Mykhaylo Rogozhin, the head of the Republican committee in charge of information of the Crimea, and such organizations as the Committee of monitoring the freedom of the press in the Crimea, Crimean association of free journalists and the Crimean Center of independent political researchers and journalists. In his answer Mr. Tsyganskiy quite seriously proposed to complain against his actions to the President, ombudsperson or to a court.

Freedom of expression

13.12.2002

Ukrainian language disappeared from the FM-air of Odessa

   

The National Council in charge of TV and radio broadcasting of Ukraine again demonstrated a strange attitude. In Odessa, where the FM Ukrainian-language transmissions were infrequent, the Odessa oblast state radio company "Radio na Troitskiy" was deprived of the license. The license was passed to the Russian-language station "Armenian radio-Ukraine" registered in Kyiv. In spite of the fact that two "Armenian radios" operate in Odessa, none of them has any relation to the Armenian diaspora in the Odessa oblast. According to the monitoring conducted by the Odessa representation of the National Council in April-May, the "Armenian radio" broadcasts in Russian (98.9%) and in Armenian (1.1%).

11 TV and radio companies from Odessa, Kyiv, Donetsk and Kharkov took part in the contest for the FM frequency.

The Odessa oblast radio, according to its editor-in-chief Sergey Komar, had the priority right for the license, since it had already operated on that frequency. Besides, it broadcast in Ukrainian, thus fulfilling the orders of the National Council in charge of TV and radio broadcasting concerning the language.

That is why the decision about the license was unexpected. Besides, a request about rendering an FM-frequency must be considered during a month, but not during a year, as it happened this time.

The personnel of the Odessa oblast state radio company turned to the President of Ukraine with their complaint.

Sergiy Komar, the editor-in-chief of the Odessa oblast radio informed:

"We disagree with the decision of the National Council. We have already prepared the claim to the economic court of Kyiv.

We believe that our rights were abused. It is abnormal, when a Ukrainian-language state radio company has to fight for its right to broadcast in court.

FM-frequencies were the only promising perspective for developing the oblast radio, which has been existing for more than 70 years. IN October 1999 Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma personally congratulated us with our 70-year anniversary.

Now we turned to the President with the request to endorse us in these difficult times, to help us to save our radio company. That is strange that such illegal decision was taken on the eve of the Constitution Day".

If the decision of the National Council remains operable, the Ukrainian language will completely disappear from the Odessa FM-air. The personnel of the oblast radio company is sure that the Odessa air will not work for the Ukrainian national interests.

Environmental rights

13.12.2002 | Oleksandr Stepanenko, Chortkiv

Public resistance to atomic adventures

   

In April 1999 Charles Frank, the first vice-president of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), stated that "the EBRD is unaware of the existence in Ukraine of the mass resistance to the projects of the construction of the additional blocks of the Khmelnitska and Rivne atomic energy stations (AES)". It is obvious that the EBRD drew this conclusion basing on the information given by the Ukrainian government. So, there exits the question: is it true that Ukrainians are willing to have on their land two more reactors of archaic Soviet design, or the authorities merely misinformed (and continue to misinform) the international public including the European bank?

The question about the public attitude raises since the procedure of rendering credits from the international banks for large-scale technological projects envisages the obligatory consultations with the public about its attitude to the project. In other words, before giving money for some consecutive "construction of the century", a bank must learn if this construction is really needed by the inhabitants of the country, or the project represents the interests of some agency. The problem of taking into account the public opinion became especially urgent after the international conference in Orgus (Denmark) held in March 1998 approved the European "Convention on the access to information, participation of the public in taking decisions and on the access to justice in the questions concerning environment". Now Europe has the legal document, according to which every state must take account of the public opinion while realizing projects, which may influence the environment. The Orgus Convention was ratifies by Ukraine too, so it is considered as a part of the national legislation. "Atomic energy stations and other atomic reactors, including their turning off and dismounting" is acknowledged by the Convention as a topic, about which the atomic agencies must come to the common view with the people. Ukrainians least of all need to be explained that "the peaceful atom" is not so peaceful.

The mighty public resistance was the reason of stopping the construction of similar additional reactors at the AES in Mochovets (Czechia), which construction was also planned to be realized for the EBRD credit. The Czech government did not dare to go against the will of their people, since during the public consultations the people said unanimous "no" to the project. And have we ever been asked about the Khmelnitska and Rivne AESs (KhAES and RAES)? And if we were asked, did somebody hear our answer?

The public resistance to the further widening of the Ukrainian atomic energy production was formed as a mighty public force in late 80s-early 90s. In April 1990, being influenced by mass protests, the Khmelnitska oblast rada prohibited the construction of the second, third and fourth blocks of the KhAES. In the same year the Supreme Rada approved of the moratorium for constructing or enraging any objects of atomic energy production. Thus, owing to the public pressure and the support of some political movements, the construction of the additional reactors at the Khmelnitska, Rivne, Zaporozhye AES was suspended. Unfortunately, politicians forget their promises too fast: as early as in 1993 the Supreme Rada cancelled its own decision about the moratorium. At the same time the public activity declined because of the deterioration of economic situation in the country and loss of belief in the democratic principles. This enabled the government to finish the construction of the sixth block of the Zaporozhye AES, although at the local level the resistance remained. At the same time the economic crisis impeded not only public activities, but also those of the government. According to "Energoatom", the additional blocks of the KhAES and RAES were already completed for 85%, but there appeared no money in Ukraine to finish the construction. Having great experience to bargain about nuclear weapons, the government began to use Chernobyl as an argument in negotiations with the West. That was the beginning of the project concerning the KhAES and RAES under the slogan of "recompensing" for closing the Chernobyl AES, and the EBRD became involved in the fate of Ukrainian energy production and maybe even democracy. The participation of the EBRD in this project activated public ecological organizations, who interpreted the Bank’s policy concerning the public consultations as a real opportunity to express their worries about the project and to encourage the public protest.

In 1998 more than 80 Ukrainian public organizations took part in the campaign of public hearings and actions devoted to the Ukrainian government project of the additional construction at the KhAES and RAES. In particular, members of the all-Ukrainian public Coalition "For energetic safety, knowledge and citizens’ rights" including 28 public organizations initiated and organized (predominantly for their own expenses) from October 1997 to May 2000 the public hearings in 11 towns of Ukraine: Nikolayev, Severodonetsk, Chortkiv, Iziaslav, Piriatin, Lugansk, Nezhin, Nikopol, Slavuta, Artemovsk and Cherkassy. Besides, the company "Energoatom" held three consultative meetings in Netishin, Rivne and Kyiv in October following the procedure of the EBRD. Some time later the hearings were conducted in Kyiv, Lviv, Rivne and other places. All of them demonstrated the unanimous negative attitude public to enlarging the atomic energy generation.

At the same time signatures were collected and the campaign was organized for addressing the government and the EBRD administration. For example, students of the Chortkiv teachers school and students of the senior grades of the Chortkiv gymnasium addressed more than 300 letters to H. Kjoler, the general manages of the EBRD, expressing their protest against the KhAES-2/RAES-4 project. There were many other initiatives, but they came across the resistance of the authorities, which did their best to prevent the public hearings. For instance, in Dubno, Khmelnitskiy, Kyiv, Zaporozhye, Vinnitsa, Ivano-Frankivsk and Zhytomir the bureaucratic resistance appeared powerful enough to prohibit the hearings. The main goal of the hearings was to realize citizens’ rights for the free access to information about the state of the environment and distribution of this information (Article 50 of the Ukrainian Constitution), for participation in ruling state affairs (Article 38 of the Constitution), in particular, for participation in shaping the state policy in the sphere of using atomic energy and radiation safety (Articles 11 and 20 of the Law "On using atomic energy and radiation safety").

All hearings were conducted according to Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1122 of 18 June 1998 "On the procedure of public hearings concerning the questions of using atomic energy and radiation safety". Unfortunately, during four years the Cabinet of Ministers did nothing for learning and generalizing of the hearings results. For example, the Chortkiv ecological union "Zeleny svit" sent in 1999-2000 the requests about this to the Ukrainian government and the Ministry of ecology and has received no answers until now. The authorities also did not react to the letters concerning the beginning (at the 15th year of the construction!) of the state ecological expertise of the KhAES/RAES project. We have not got any conclusions of the expertise. After all, it is even not known whether the expertise was conducted at all…

In what follows we present a somewhat abbreviate d text of one of our appeals.

Ministry of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine

27 February 2001

No. 16

To Minister Ivan Zaets

Dear Minister,

in the connection with the ecological expertise of the project of the construction of the additional atomic reactors KhAES-2 and RAES-4 conducted by the Ministry of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine we ask you to take into account the opinion about this project of our NGO and the public of our region.

On 16 November 1998 the NGO "Zeleny svit" initiated and conducted in Chortkiv the public hearings concerning the nuclear safety. The participants of the hearings unanimously expressed the negative opinion to the construction of the blocks KhAES-2 and RAES-4.

Unfortunately, the results of the hearings in Chortkiv were not reflected in a printed report, although the text of the conclusions were sent to the Cabinet of Ministers, Supreme Rada, "Energoatom" and the Kyiv office of the EBRD at the proper time. Neither the organization committee of the public hearings nor our union received any response from the government or the Supreme Rada concerning the problems discussed at the hearings. We received answers from the Ministry of energy production and the Administration of nuclear regulation of Ukraine. These agencies, being limited in their competence, could not answer fully for all our questions.

The NGO "Zeleny svit" is a member of the all-Ukrainian public Coalition "For energetic safety, knowledge and citizens’ rights". We regard the realization of the project KhAES-1/RAES-4 as unreasonable from the ecological, economic and legal points of view. We believe that the modern technological level does not guarantee solving many problems of the atomic energy production, including the main one – the problem of nuclear waste. Taking into account the large-scale crisis of the Ukrainian economy, the opportunity to guarantee the sufficient level of safety at the AESs seems very problematic. In our opinion, the level of danger caused by the errors of designing the KhAES and RAES is not evaluated yet. It is enough to recollect the unsatisfactory geological conditions of the RAES site and the shortage of water for cooling the KhAES reactors. The quality of the main project documents does not agree with operating national laws.

We believe that the further development of the atomic energy stations in Ukraine might be successfully recompensed by using the technologies of energy economy, modern energy sources, untraditional and local fuel. We are addressing the Ministry of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine with the proposition to make public your own opinion concerning the realization of the project KhAES-2/RAES-4 from the viewpoint of nuclear safety and the problems, which may be caused by the development of atomic energy production.

We ask you to inform us about your actions in this respect. The text of the conclusions of the public hearings in Chortkiv is appended.

Environmental rights

13.12.2002

The conclusions of the public hearings on the problems of nuclear safety and atomic energy production

   

On 16 November 1998 the ecological NGO "Zeleny svit" organized in the town of Chortkiv of the Ternopil oblast the public hearings on the problems of nuclear safety and atomic energy production. The hearings were conducted on the basis of resolution No. 364 of 22 October 1998 issued by town mayor V. Pavlishin and according to Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1122 of 18 June 1998. The participants of the hearings were: representatives of the Ternopil oblast directorates of ecological safety, emergency situations and the Chernobyl problems, heads of the Chortkiv district and town councils, heads of the interested organizations, teachers and students of Chortkiv educational establishments, scientists, journalists, representatives of religious communities, etc. Unfortunately, specialists from the National company of atomic energy (NCAE) "Energoatom" ignored the invitation of the organization committee. Six topical reports were delivered at the hearings, nine people out of 87 present took part in the discussion. At hearings the appeal was approved concerning the construction of the Tashlitska GAES.

As a result of the analysis of the information, discussion and open voting the participants of the hearings approved the following conclusions.

1. On the inadmissibility of terminating programs of liquidating the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe and the top priority of the concrete measures for protecting health of the catastrophe victims, first of all children.

2. On the necessity of developing the technological project of closing the Chernobyl AES as an object, which does not satisfy the modern norms of nuclear safety, in the connection with the international obligations of Ukraine.

3. On the expediency of concentrating the financial resources of the state and the external credits, the necessity of the prior scientific and technical provision, legal and economic regulations of the following problems:

a) as fast as possible making the Chernobyl sarcophagus ecologically safe;

b) thorough improvement of the safety level of the operating AES;

c) development and realization of long-term local, regional and national programs of energy and resources economy;

d) immediate development of the technologies of using ecologically pure and alternative energy sources;

e) modernization of the existing non-nuclear sources, in particular the objects of "small-scale hydro energy production" in the West Ukraine.

4. On acknowledgement of the insufficiency and groundlessness of the results of the ecological expertise, economic and legal substantiation of the project of the construction of the energy blocks KhAES-2 and RAES-4, that is on inadvisability of using foreign credits, budget resources and special expenditures for realizing the mentioned project.

5. On the need to conduct the all-Ukrainian referendum on the prospects of the development of nuclear energy production in Ukraine.

The protest actions of the Ukrainian public against the KhAES-2/RAES-4 project still last. On 29 March 2002 the Public committee of national safety of Ukraine turned to the Pecherskiy district court of Kyiv with the claim against the NCAE "Energoatom" about "the right for safe environment". The claimants demanded to stop immediately the construction of the KhAES-2/RAES-4. They affirmed that the construction of these blocks is illegal, since, in contract to the demands of the operating laws, it is conducted without the approval of state ecological expertise, thus violating the right of the plaintiffs for safe environment. On 24 April the court rejected the complaint, since, they said, the claimants turned to court not for protecting their own rights, but "on behalf of the entire society" having no corresponding powers. Thus, the Pecherskiy district court deprived the citizens of their right to protect their interest in court. On 8 May the claimants turned to the Appeal court of Kyiv demanding to guarantee them the right to protect their interests in court and to cancel the decision of the Pecherskiy court about the refusal to accept the claim. Advocate T. Movtian told that the plaintiffs turned to the district court for protecting their own rights, and the "interests of the society" were not mentioned in the claim at all. Oleksiy Tolkachov, a Coordinator of the Public committee of national safety of Ukraine, explained the rejection of the claim by unwillingness of the Pecherskiy court to consider the case, which may disclose the illegality of constructing the additional blocks of the Khmelnitska and Rivne AES and draw the public attention to brutal abuse of human rights in the sphere of using atomic energy in Ukraine. The appeal court will consider case on 12 June 2002.

As one can see, even an incomplete list of public actions enables one to doubt the thesis about the absence of public resistance to the plans of the Ukrainian nuclear agencies. So we have: THE FIRST MYTH or, if to call a spade a spade, THE FIRST GREAT LIE THAT THE UKRAINIANS DO NOT PROTEST AGAINST THE DEVELOPMENT OF ATOMIC ENERGY PRODUCTION. The matter is that there are too many sides, for which it is profitable not to notice these protests.

One of the main demands of the EBRD to the project is the economic advantage of the project compared to other ones. In 1997 the EBRD appointed the independent group of experts for the assessment of the project KhAES-2/RAES-4. The experts drew the conclusion that "the KhAES-2/RAES-4 project was economically expedient" and that "the construction of the two additional reactors was not at that time the most efficient way to waste one billion USD". When this conclusion was drawn, the cost of this construction was estimated as 1.2 billion USD, now it would cost 1.72 billion USD. According to many estimates the most economical project is to invest the money into gas turbine heat energy stations. The expert group also learned that the energy consumption in Ukraine was decreasing, and that the best way to provide the current needs in energy is to improve the energy saving and the administration of final consumption. The development of events in Ukraine confirms the conclusions of the experts. In 1997 the energy consumption in the country decreased by 7%, in 1998 – by 3% more. Ukraine has noticeable redundant energy generating capacities, the total capacity in 1997 was 53.9 GW. Even without the Chernobyl AES we have two times mote capacities than we need.

The reactors KhAES-2/RAES-4 of the type BBEP-1000 were designed in the 70s. They do not satisfy the modern standards of safety and would never be allowed in any Western country. Moreover, "Energoatom" planned to start the exploitation of the reactors without conducting all the necessary safety measures envisaged by the project; they planned to liquidate a number of drawbacks during the first reload of fuel. So, even the planned (but not satisfactory) safety level will be reached only after three years of exploitation. The problems of safety are additionally complicated by the fact that the personnel of atomic stations periodically do not get their wages. Safety never was on the first place for Soviet designers. Almost all AESs were designed with essential errors in choosing sites for the stations. For example, the public ecological expertise headed by academician D. Grodzinski showed the high risk of geological instability in the RAES area because of the presence of tectonic breaks and high activity of karst processes. Besides, all Ukrainian atomic stations are situated in densely populated regions and near air routs, which makes especially tragic the consequences of possible accidents. The problem of safety of nuclear industry becomes very acute also in the connection with the activation of terrorism.

During the preparation and conduction of the public hearings, the consequent correspondence with various state agencies and organizations, processing the press publications, meetings with experts and information exchange among the participants of the Coalition, other very important facts were disclosed, namely:the deformed energy production policy is accompanied by the deformed elucidation of the energy industry problems;there is no crisis of energy generating capacities in Ukraine, but the "crisis of non-payments" exists, which may be liquidated by introducing order at the energy market;instead of the 85-90% readiness of the energy blocks KhAES-2/RAES-4 declared by "Energoatom", the Counting Chamber of Ukraine established only 44% at the KhAES-2 and 27% at the RAES-4;now the construction of the reactors is financed at the expense of so-called special extra charge for the electric energy, that is at the expense of all energy consumers, which is a brutal violation of their rights;the expenses given for the construction project are frequently used irrationally or for incorrect purposes;the project of the construction of the KhAES-2/RAES-4 until now has no approval of the state ecological expertise and the technical-economical substantiation; the General Prosecutor’s office, instead of the immediate termination of the illegal construction, repeats the promises of "Energoatom" about these documents;the Ministry of energy production stated that the so-called "international ecological expertise" carried out by the British firm "Moushel consulting" avoids the most disputable questions of the project, does not correspond to the demands of Ukrainian laws and "is not an official document, which might be an argument for approving the construction from the ecological viewpoint";since the documentation of the KhAES-2/RAES-4 project does not include the section about closing the reactors, the construction is illegal and, being continued, economically unprofitable;the increase of the atomic energy production capacities with low maneuverability does not solve the main problems of energy production sector of Ukraine; moreover it creates additional problems: shortage of the expensive energy in peak hours and surplus of cheap energy at night;the further enlargement of the atomic energy production (and it gives now more than 50% of energy) increases the economic dependence of Ukraine on the Russian nuclear cycle; this dependence is stricter than the dependence on Russian oil and gas; so, Ukraine inevitably becomes politically dependent on Russia;instead of finishing the construction of the KhAES-2/RAES-4 the government should focus their efforts at energy-saving and the development of alternative energy sources, trying to get rid of the traditional giant-mania;Ukraine possesses the technologies, knowledge and specialists for introducing the real projects of energy-saving and the development of alternative energy production.

So, we have come to the conclusion about THE SECOND GREAT LIE – ON THE ABSENCE OF ALTERNATIVES TO ATOMIC ENERGY PRODUCTION. This alternative does exist: this is the development of energy-saving technologies and energy production based on renewable sources. If to recollect that the level of energy consumption in our communal sector and industry exceeds the average European level in 3-5 times, it becomes obvious that no other alternative must be discussed. The unambiguous conclusion of Ukrainian public ecological organizations is the following: THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE ATOMIC REACTORS KHAES-2/RAES-4 IS ECONOMICALLY, ECOLOGICALLY AND LEGALLY ADVENTUROUS.

It should be noted that the ecological organizations of Ukraine never demanded "immediate and complete refusal to use atomic energy" and "return to candles", as some opponents try to present their activities. The ecological activists understand the impossibility of the immediate closure of the AES or the termination of the transit of nuclear waste through the Ukrainian territory. Yet, there are no convincing grounds for the further growth of nuclear capacities. The only grounds are the interests of Russia lobby and the myths about ecological safety and economical profitability of the "peaceful atom". It is worth mentioning that the notorious 4th reactor of the Chernobyl AES was decorated with the slogan: "The Chernobyl AES works for communism!" It is difficult to believe that the current nuclear projects are dictated by everything except the urgent people’s interests…

If to say about the access to information concerning the state of affairs in the atomic energy production, here we also have many questions. The Chernobyl catastrophe became possible because of the absence of public information and the general closeness of the society. The modern level of the misinformation and concealment of information is almost the same as in the Soviet times. For the first time our organization, the NGO "Zeleny svit", encountered the problem of limited information during the preparation of the public hearings in Chortkiv. We handed the request to give us the complete package of the documents concerning the KhAES-2/RAES-4 project authored by "Energoatom" for the consultations with public. We got the refusal. The complete package includes such important documents as "The assessment of the influence on the environment" and the Technical-economical substantiation. It appeared that one might familiarize with these documents only in "Energoatom" office, at the AESs and in the National scientific library of Kyiv. The request from the Ternopil oblast council to give the information (since the oblast borders with the zones of the atomic stations) was also rejected. It appeared that "Energoatom" ignores not only the requests of public organizations, but they also do not satisfy the informational requests from National Commission of regulating the energy production of Ukraine (NCREPU)! We propose our readers an excerpt from a document issued by the NCREPU.
RESOLUTION No. 1039 of 10 October 2001

On elimination of violating "The Conditions and Rules of entrepreneurial activities in producing electric energy" by the NCAE "Energoatom"

The repeated requests of the Commission to the NCAE "Energoatom" about providing the information for the calculation of the tariffs for the electric energy in the table from were not answered (letters of the NCREPU No. 05-39-10/2711 of 8 December 2000, No. 05-39-10/328 of 06 February 2001, No. 05-39-10/1054 of 27 April 2001). The needed materials were passed to the Commission only in June 2001 – letter of the NCAE "Energoatom" No. 88 of 26 June 2001. The given materials were classified as "for service use only" and may not be used in the regulatory activities of the NCREPU. Taking account of the above-mentioned, the NCREPU sent the NCAE "Energoatom" letter No. 05-39-10/1852 of 26 July 2001 with the proposition to analyze the given materials as to their confidentiality, to cancel all the ungrounded restrictions and to inform the Commission about the decisions taken up to 31 July 2001. Yet, up to 1 October 2001 the Commission received no answer from "Energoatom".

Moreover, after the NCREPU analyzed the indices of the financial and economic activities of the NCAE "Energoatom", it turned to the NCAE with the letter No. 05-39-10/1830 of 24 July 2001. This letter contained the request to give the corresponding explanations about using finances for incorrect purposes (increasing income and, correspondingly, tax obligations for the account of decreasing the factual expenditures for the electric energy production compared to the planned ones by 34.4%) and to decipher other expenditures from the income, which expenditures equaled 789 million UAH 81% of the income) during 5 months of 2001.

The NCAE "Energoatom" answered with letter No. 10459/04 of 3 October 2001, in which the information was given that did not correspond the demands stated in the NCREPU letter No. 05-39-10/1830 of 24 July 2001.

The comments are supercilious. What can be said, if the principal state document regulating the energy production strategy of Ukraine, "The National Program of developing the energy production up to 2010", which was adopted in 1996 without any public discussions, without scientific, technical and economical substantiation and without ecological expertises, is until now concealed from the Ukrainian people under the classification "for service use only". This contradicts to the Law of Ukraine "On information" and the Orgus "Convention on the access to information, participation of the public in taking decisions and on the access to justice in the questions concerning environment". So, there is another, THE THIRD, GREAT LIE – ABOUT FULFILLING THE EUROPEAN NORMS OF OPENNESS. BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND "ENERGOATOM" REFUTE THIS BY THEIR ACTIONS. IN THE QUESTION OF THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION CONCERNING ATOMIC ENERGY PRODUCTION ONE MAY OBSERVE THE RECURRENCE OF THE "SECRET-MANIA" OF STALIN’S TIMES.

This is a great pity that the six-year epic with the question about crediting the KhAES-2/RAES-4 project by the European Bank developed according to the laws of detective genre with fulfilling all conspiracy rules. As to the public, it was given the role of a remote spectator… As early as in October 2001, Yu. Nedashkovskiy, the president of the NCAE "Energoatom", informed about fulfilling the all demands of Europe concerning safety and about new prospects of modernizing the blocks at the expense of the credit of the EBRD, Euroatom and the bank "Societee General". Unexpectedly, in November of the same year the information appeared about the complete termination of the cooperation with the EBRD in these projects, and in December the Russian-Ukrainian agreement was signed about rendering Russian credits for finishing the construction of the reactors.

It seems plausible that "Energoatom" merely could not guarantee the observation of the European safety norms. The Russian partner, most probably, would not complicate the matter with the additional expenditures for the controlling systems and multi-step protection of the reactors. The logic is simple – "to give the energy to the country as soon as possible", but is this logic correct?

As to the public resistance to the attempt to pull Ukraine into another atomic adventure, this resistance really exists. Maybe, it does not look so resonant as the protests of our East-Europe neighbors against the AESs in Mochowec and Temelin, but it does exist. Only those, who do not want to react to public opinion on principle, may not notice this resistance. The attitude of the Ukrainian public to the KhAES-2/RAES-4 projects has not changed: "UKRAINE DOES NOT NEED NEW NUCLEAR REACTORS! WE HAVE QUITE ENOUGH OF THEM!" Sooner or later the power must heed the public opinion and achieve some mutually acceptable decisions. Such complicated and potentially dangerous technologies as atomic energy production need not only professional knowledge, high technologies and great investments. They can be afforded only by a highly organized society. By a society, in which the freedom of information, human rights and democratic are not suppressed. Are we moving in this direction? May we afford the permanent fruitless opposition? And, finally, how great is the risk of a new Chernobyl?

For preparation of the material we used the information of the electronic conference ([email protected]) and "The review of the campaign of public hearings concerning the project of the construction of the KhAES-2/RAES-4" of the Coalition for energetic safety, knowledge and citizens’ rights, information of the Press center of the Public committee of national safety of Ukraine ( [email protected] ), etc.

Environmental rights

13.12.2002

THE GREENS APPEAL TO RUSSIA NOT TO FINANCE TO CONSTRUCTION OF THE AESs IN UKRAINE

   

On the eve of a consecutive inter-state negotiations to be held on 21 June in Kharkov representatives of public ecological organizations turned to Mikhail Kasyanov, the Prime-Ministrer of the Russian Federation, and to the deputies of the Russian State Duma with the appeal not to render the financial aid for finishing the construction of two atomic reactors. The appeal was signed by representatives of the ecological group "Ekozashchita" ("Ecological protection"), World Service of Information on Energy Production (WSIEP) and the Anti-nuclear campaign of the Social-Ecological Union. In the opinion of the greens, the construction of the KhAES-2/RAES-4 may result in new nuclear catastrophes and leakage of radiation. Besides, it does not correspond to the interests of Russian taxpayers.

We want to remind that earlier this year Russia promised to give Ukraine about 150 million USD for this construction. During last five years the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) discussed the opportunity of giving the credit for realizing this project, but did not come to a positive decision. Along with it, one of the EBRD expertises came to the conclusion that the construction of new AESs in Ukraine is not economically sound, and that other, cheaper, scenarios of the development of energy production industry exist. The bank evaluated the construction about 1.5 billion USD, and Ukraine intends to spend twice less.

"The design of the blocks KhAES-2/RAES-4 does not correspond to the modern international demands for AES safety. Since the readiness of the construction is already 80-90%, is it impossible to modernize the blocks", commented Vladimir Sliviak, a co-chairman of the group "Ekozashchita", who signed the appeal to the Russian government. "The KhAES-2/RAES-4 were designed before the Chernobyl catastrophe, when the majority of the modern safety systems did not exist yet".

The greens believe that the investments into the KhAES-2/RAES-4 project are linked with a high financial risk for Russia, since the Ukrainian market of electric energy is very unstable. Besides, the financing and construction of the KhAES-2/RAES-4 are illegal, since there are no results of state expertises demanded by Ukrainian laws. Now a claim is handed to the Pecherskiy district court of Kyiv from six Ukrainian citizens against the state company "Energoatom", which constructs the atomic reactors. The consideration of this claim may cause the termination of the construction of the KhAES-2/RAES-4.

Additional information: (095) 776-62-81, 776-65-46 — Vladimir Sliviak, Alisa Nikulina; e-mail: [email protected]

Our site in the Internet: <http://www.antiatom.ru>

Moscow, 18 June 2002

Environmental rights

13.12.2002

Claim demanding to stop the construction of the atomic station

   

On 29 March 2002 six Ukrainian students, members of the Public committee of national safety of Ukraine, turned to the Pecherskiy district court of Kyiv with the claim against the National company of atomic energy "Energoatom". The students demanded "to realize the right for the safe environment" and to immediately stop financing of the construction of the second energy block of the Khmelnitska atomic energy station (AES) and the fourth block of the Rivne AES. The plaintiffs affirm that the construction of these atomic blocks is illegal, since it was not confirmed by the state ecological expertise, so it violates the right of the claimants for safe environment and menaces their health, thus violating operating laws.

On 24 April the Pecherskiy district court rejected the claim since, they said, the claimants turned to the court not for protecting their own rights, but on behalf "of the entire society", for which they had no officially confirmed rights. Thus the Pecherskiy court deprived the citizens to fight for their rights in court.

On 8 May 2002 the plaintiffs turned to the Appeal court of Kyiv demanding to guarantee them the opportunity to protect their rights in court and to cancel the decision of the Pecherskiy court about the rejection of their claim. In particular, Tetiana Movtian, the advocate of the claimants, told that the latter turned to the district court with the claim about protecting their own rights, and the "entire society", referred to by judge Olena Umnova, was not mentioned in the claim at all. Representative of the plaintiffs Oleksiy Tolkachov, a Coordinator of the Public committee of national safety of Ukraine, explained the rejection of the claim by unwillingness of the Pecherskiy court to consider the case, which may disclose the illegality of constructing the additional blocks of the Khmelnitska and Rivne AES and draw the public attention to brutal abuse of human rights in the sphere of using atomic energy in Ukraine.

On 12 June the Kyiv appeal court canceled the decision of the Pecherskiy district court. So, now the district court will have to consider the claim of the six students.

Press center of the Public committee of national safety of Ukraine

44 B. Khmelnitski St., Kyiv; tel. 568-29-67; fax: 265-51-80; e-mail: [email protected]  

Court practices

13.12.2002

Three-day wages for a life.

   

Ukrainian ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva is indignant with the attitude of the Lviv oblast prosecutor’s office concerning recompensing the damage to the parents of Yuri Mozola tortured to death in the preliminary prison of the Lviv oblast USS. On 28 May the Frankivski district court of Lviv satisfied N. Karpacheva’s claim and ruled to collect the compensation equal to 130 thousand UAH, in particular, from the oblast USS -- 50 thousand UAH to each of the parents and from the oblast prosecutor’s office -- 13 thousand UAH to each.

N. Karpacheva informed that she was revolted by the attitude of the prosecutor’s office, whose representative, Yuri Makogon, stated during the trial that they were ready to recompense the moral and material damage equal to Yu. Mozola’s wages for those three days when he was kept in the preliminary prison. It was a liberal proposition, since the prosecutor’s office might subtract from the compensation the wear of torture tools. So, he said, the prosecutor’s office would protest against the decision to the appeal court. N. Karpacheva expressed her pity about such decision of the prosecutor’s office. At the same time N. Karpacheva pointed out the humane attitude of the USS to the victim’s parents: at the end of the trial a representative of the regional USS told that the USS would obey the court ruling. The USS representative informed that the officers guilty of Yuri Mozola’s death were condemned to various terms of incarceration. The ombudsperson believes that this approach testifies about the democratic changes in the USS activities.

The claim against the prosecutor’s office and the USS was handed by ombudsperson Karpacheva on 4 February 2001. In her claim N. Karpacheva asked to recompense the moral and material damage inflicted by the loss of breadwinner in 1996.

On 27 March 1996 the 26-year-old Yuri Mozola was detained on the suspicion in several murders committed in the Lviv oblast. He was placed to the preliminary prison of the Lviv oblast USS directorate, where he died of torture three days later. Week later law-enforcers detained the serial murderer Anatoliy Onoprienko. N. Karpacheva has pointed out in her claim that Yu. Mozola’s parents appeared in a difficult financial state caused by the loss of breadwinner, they have great debts for communal services, Mozola’s mother is an invalid of the 3rd group and Mozola’s father is inspected by a medical commission for getting the 3rd group of invalidity.
Our informant

Penal institutions

13.12.2002 | Viktor Beloded, Yuzhnoukrainsk

Where there is a will, there is a way

   

The problem of crime in the Ukrainian society is so acute that not a single Ukrainian politician, including the President, could avoid it in their statements. To tell the truth, these speeches did not affect the solution of the problem, and the growing statistics of the offenses seem to ignore the good intentions of the political leaders. Most mass media also publish the materials on this topic on their columns. The sensational details, striking the imagination of common citizens, raise unhealthy interest and increase the run. These materials seem to be the continuation of TV thrillers and serials on the local background. All this makes the reader to get accustomed to the idea that this is natural and inevitable. The absence of the negative assessments of crime and violence willy-nilly creates a certain charm of crime. "Aspect", an edition of the Donetsk "Memorial", elucidates the questions of crime from some other, constructive facet. The materials of the magazine focus the attention on the consequences –penitentiary system. They also mention the corresponding international legal norms. But really the phenomenon of crime is much more profound and diverse.

The magazine published a very important, in my opinion, confession of V. Levochkin, the head if the Ukrainian penitentiary directorate. In spite of the efforts made for reforming our penitentiary system, "there are no grounds to speak about the decrease of the number of the condemned and incarcerated", he said. His Russian colleagues have similar difficulties. "Solving the problem of the upkeep of the suspected and accused exceeds the economic resources of the state", wrote A. Yatsentiuk, the head of the department of the preliminary prisons and prison of the penitentiary directorate of the Ministry of Justice of Russia. As one can see, it is a serious matter: either crime will exhaust and bankrupt the state or the state will have to apply tremendous efforts to force crime to decrease. The penitentiary system tries to solve their problems both through the construction of new penitentiaries and through diminishing the number of the incarcerated by amnesties, reducing prison terms, introducing alternative punishments. In my opinion all these measures are nothing but drops in the flooding sea of crime. When their terms finish, the same jailbirds return to the society. They know the price of the words about fair court and punishment, they are enriched by the experience and they did not come better. If there even were some positive shift in the statistics, I would rather relate it to the higher qualification of criminals.

In many materials published in the bulletin the problems common to human rights protection and penitentiary personnel are considered, their joint wish to influence the situation, to diminish the growth of crime, which inevitable leads to overcrowding of penitentiaries and, as a result, the violation of elementary rights of convicts. Unfortunately, the problems involved do not cover all the phenomena. In my opinion, the joint efforts concern only the iceberg top, in many respects this resembles the fight with the consequences, not the roots. And the roots of crime in our society are rather deep. The crime cannot be explained through a primitive class approach, the unemployment is not an exhausting cause. The crime cannot be also explained on the social and economic levels, as the authorities try to do. The reason of such explanations is the thesis "existence determines consciousness", the logical continuation of the erroneous opinion about the animal origin of man. This approach generates rather erroneous conclusions, unable to explain, for example, the growth of crime in the well-to-do countries.

I am convinced that the sources of this phenomenon should be sought in the absence of important moral qualities of citizens. The criminal outlook is especially typical to a person bred in the Soviet times. Historically this education began with the glorification of "ex’s" (expropriations) – that is the restoration of justice by transporting the property from the exploiters to the exploited. According to any laws, these actions were always classified as robbery. The methods of governing the country were, for many years, also similar to the relations inside a criminal group based upon the personal devotion, authority, closeness and concealing the ends. The leaders were criminals. It is sufficient to tell that the successful party career of Stalin began with the robbery of a Tiflis bank.

The masses tried to imitate their leaders. Workers and peasants lived for a long time according to the principle: all belongs to kolkhozes, so all belongs to us. And although the kolkhozes disappeared together with socialism, the outlook remained the same. But the main reason of the crime was the 70-year-long propaganda, which led to the mass atheism. Any appeals to lead a moral life are annihilated by the confirmation that all will be finished with the physical death, that is why, people thought, one must take from life as much as possible. After the inevitable crash of the communist ideas our compatriots still cannot understand why on earth should they be honest. The Constitution does not answer this question either, when declaring some international norms. Laws, in their turn, fix the permissible actions of citizens. So, most of the citizens find mitigating reasons to violate laws "quite a bit". Then a little more… Professional criminals have their own justificatory philosophy. As a result the both categories of citizens get behind the bars.

F. Dostoevskiy convincingly showed how any crime begins. At first sinful thoughts appear in one’s head, and then, following the mental rut, an actual crime is committed. A crime is the easiest to prevent on the first stage. Yet, the state remains aloof to the prophylactics of crimes, and later is obliged to pay for the upkeep of convicts. The government ignores the crime propaganda in mass media, distributing video and audio production about violence, pornography, occultism and criminal life at all. Have we a right to address the state as a subject of this process? I think no. The power as it has been formed, is not responsible for permanent policy. There are any groups within state agencies that conduct their permanent policy. It is clear that these efforts are directed for catching fragments of the state budget.

In the course of their activities law-enforcers and penitentiaries have accumulated a lot of difficult problems, for example during investigation.

The independence of courts generates the impunity of corrupted judges. Another topic is the attitude of a convict to the verdict. Even if one assumes that the investigation and the court procedure were irreproachable, all the same the some problems having a decisive role for the criminal remain unknown to the court. That is why the criminal always regards the verdict as unjust.

All these circumstances are in fact solvable through the clean consciousness of investigators, judges, prosecutors, advocates and penitentiary officers. Yet, the state does not set the task of breeding such functionaries. The problem of reforming criminals and the prophylactics of crimes is not also set.

The positive experience of the work of church with the incarcerated is not mentioned even by human rights protectors. The penitentiary administration does not want the additional problems, they have enough as it is. In order to cooperate with church and NGOs the penitentiary administration needs some organizational efforts and good will to act for the sake of the entire society. This is not the only reason, but this difficulty and many others may be overcome if there is a will. So the problem is not in the absence of the way out, but in the unwillingness to search it. We have to make a choice: either to have what we have or to follow the high Biblical standard, when God interferes.

http://www.yu.wildpark.net/~ded/Publizist/Aspekt 

Human rights protection

13.12.2002 | Nadiya Sherstiuk, Kyiv

Violence in family: how to solve the problem on government and non-government levels

   

One of the most urgent problems in Ukraine is now the problem of violence in family. Ukrainian and foreign human rights protectors, lawyers and psychologists share this opinion. Yet, this problem is not regarded as a serious one by representatives of the court system. The prosecutor’s office, for example, often refuses to start criminal proceedings concerning torture in family, even if the victim got serious traumas. However, recently the Law of Ukraine "On preventing violence in family" has come into effect.

Human right protectors and representatives of non-governmental women’s organizations regard the adoption of this law as san important step in the direction of solving this important problem. Yet, this law, in their opinion, in spite of its importance, has many drawbacks.

In 2000 the NGO "Minnesota protectors of human rights" conducted a complex investigation concerning the violence in family. Many of the women-respondents stated that violence in family is not limited with physical torture only, it includes also moral, psychological and emotional humiliation.

Although violence in family has become a subject of research and discussions in Ukraine only recently, this problem has managed to mix with many prejudices. For instance, until recently such violence was regarded as a private affair, so many crimes committed by husbands against their wives remained unknown. Besides, the opinion is common that often women provoke violence themselves, which results in beating or rape. Such a behavior named as victim one lies in the base of the Law "On preventing violence in family".

The human rights protection organization "Amnesty International" regards that in this respect the Law contradicts the norms of the international right. Natalya Dulneva, a coordinator of Ukrainian programs of "Amnesty International" worded such opinion:

"The Law in some respects contradicts the international right, since it includes the item concerning the victim behavior. The victim behavior is, in general, a legal term explaining why the victim was attacked. Yet, it may not be an argument to mitigate the attacker".

Women are often unwilling to make public the cases of violence in their families. In the opinion of human rights protectors, lawyers and psychologists, such reaction is connected with numerous social taboos.

According to the investigation of "Minnesota protectors of human rights", violence in family is widely spread in Ukraine and concerns women of all social layers. Lilya Guk, a coordinator of the program of preventing crisis situations at the Lviv regional center "Woman for woman", shares this opinion. "Every fourth woman among those, who phone to us, suffers from various kinds of violence in family ", she affirms. Ms. Guk stated: "Actually, violence over women has neither national, nor social, nor economic, not religious, nor professional, nor educational ties or barriers. It might happen in any family of any social or educational level. 59.5% of women, who suffer from violence in family have higher education".

According to lawyer Olena Kustova, a representative of the NGO "Winrock international", now the experiment is conducted in the framework of the program of preventing and fighting violence in family using Polish experience in this sphere. "In Poland the documents that register cases of intruding militia into family violence are called blue cards, we call them special cards. Such an experiment was conducted in Dnepropetrovsk in the first quarter of the current year. A similar experiment is being conducted in one district of Lviv. According to this experiment, the proportion of women-victims is 84%. The special blanks of protocols have been prepared, whose filling in by militia is simplified. The victim of family violence is also explained where she may turn beside militia".

NGO activities

13.12.2002

A seminal of ecological NGO was held in Kharkov

   

On 26-27 June 2002 a seminal of Ukrainian ecological NGOs was held in Kharkov. The topic of the seminar was "The use of informational and communicative technologies for the cooperation of ecological NGOs while preparing to the conference "Kyiv-2003"".

On 27 June the seminal was opened with the TV-talk with the UNO representation in Kyiv. The ecologists from all regions of Ukraine, who gathered in the hall of Kharkov polytechnic university, had a chance to talk with Mr. Gardner, the head of the UNO mission, and with his colleagues. The talk was conducted using the Internet and video-tools, which is substantially cheaper and more convenient than usual TV-bridges. Through this TV-bridge the ecologists and the UNO representative discussed "The UNO Declaration of the millenium" in its ecological and cultural aspects; they also considered the questions concerning human rights protection.

Such a TV-bridge using the Internet was held in Ukraine for the first time.

NGO activities

13.12.2002 | Oleksiy Svetikov, Severodonetsk

Round table of town problems

   

On 29 May the "round table of town problems" for town political and public organizations was held in Severodonetsk in the office of the Lugansk oblast branch of the Ukrainian Voter’s committee. Representatives of town organizations of the Communist party, Socialist party, Slavonic party, Social-Democratic party (united), People’s Democratic party, Democratic union, and of some public organizations ("Zeleny svit", "Vidrodjennia", "Rada bagatoditnykh materiv", "Souyz robitnykiv", town council of trade unions and Ukrainian Voter’s committee) took part in the round table. The goal of the round table was to organize the common civil lobbying for solving acute town problems, which are not controlled by the town authorities. Several problems of this kind were singled out at the meeting: on reduction of green plantations in the town ("Zeleny svit"), on additional ways to aid to families with many children ("Rada bagatoditnykh materiv"), on providing textbooks to the Ukrainian-language town schools (Socialist party). It was decided that the initiators of these questions would prepare projects and propositions for the town council, which propositions would be discussed at the next meeting of the round table. The round table of town problems will be conducted in the first Wednesday each month, and more often, if needed. By its essence the round table is the successor of the council of public organizations, which existed in the town in 1994.

NGO activities

13.12.2002

Summer school "Applying the European Convention on protecting human rights and basic freedoms"

   

On 18-23 June 2002 the 10th final session of the theoretical and practical training for Ukrainian advocates "Applying the European Convention on protecting human rights and basic freedoms" was held in Pushcha-Boditsa near Kyiv.

This session was conducted in the form of a summer school. During the school the participants conducted the "court sessions" on hypothetical cases, modeling trials in the European Court of human rights.

The main goal of the training was to master the methods of considering cases in the European Court of human rights http://www.echr.coe.int/ and to interpret and apply the European Convention on protecting human rights and basic freedoms 

The summer school was organized by the Union of Advocates of Ukraine jointly with the International center of human rights juridical protection INTERIGHTS http://www.interights.org/ (London). The school was supported by the International fund "Vidrodjennia", Foundations Network, Institute of constitutional and legal policy (Budapest), UK government (UK embassy in Ukraine), American Association of lawyers (ABA CEELI) and the Council of Europe.

After the training Roland Hedley Smith, the ambassador of the United Kingdom in Ukraine, handed diplomas to the participants.

More details see by the address http://ageyev.org/bar/summerschool2002.htm  

NGO activities

13.12.2002

An International collegium of advocates created

   

On 13-15 June 2002 the Conference was held in Montreal (Canada) for creating the International collegium of advocates at the International criminal court. The Conference was endorsed by the European commission, Ministry of Justice of Canada, Ministry of foreign affairs and international trade of Canada, Ministry of Justice of Quebec, German federation of advocate collegium, Collegium of advocates of the Netherlands and other organizations. The participants of the Conference counted more than 350 delegates from 84 countries, including representatives of 68 international, regional and national advocate collegiums, individually practicing lawyers and representatives of NGOs. At the Conference the decision was taken about the creation of the International collegium of advocates in charge of criminal cases -- International Criminal Bar (ICB). The Conference also took the Resolution defining the actual goals of this organization. The ICB will be situated in the Hague (the Netherlands). Advocate Viktor Ageev ("Ageev, Berezhnoy and partners") took part in the Conference as a representative of the Union of advocate of Ukraine.

NGO activities

13.12.2002 | Diana Dutsyk, "Telekritika"

Mass media and the civil society

   

These days the round table "Influence of mass media on developing the civil society" was held in the framework of the Forum of public organizations. The organizers of the event were the Association "Common space" and the Committee "Equality of opportunities" – the organizations well known in journalist and political circles, especially concerning this discussion, which was provoked by Volodymir Litvin during the election campaign.

This round table generated a number of thoughts, maybe too subjective, but… First, I want to draw your attention to some wistful, at least for myself, phenomena. Our society as a whole is still unaware of the ideas of civil society, especially to assess the role of mass media in these processes. Unfortunately, it is confirmed by the level of many public organizations. With the great astonishment I learned that some of them have their own, rather original and quite unprofessional, concept of civil, or, if to follow the Ukrainian laws, social, broadcasting, which is a part of civil society. This concept consists in the thesis: "All public organization must have equal share of the air at the public TV for elucidating their activities". I am unwilling to comment this thesis. It is proper to say here that we, journalists, did not fulfil our function fully. It is mass media, who must conduct such enlightenment. Yet, Ukrainian mass media are now busy with problems of political establishment, and not with problems of civil society.

The announced topic of the round table was not in fact scrutinized. Maybe, it should be discussed in some other format, since it is very specific. Besides, in opinion, it remains until now a theoretical idea, not a practical one. The Ukrainian reality dictates its conditions, and it leaves very little space both for civil society and for independent mass media. Vitaliy Shevchenko, a deputy of the Supreme Rada of the former composition and now a consultant of the parliamentary committee in charge of the freedom of speech, set a very apt question: what importance of mass media for the civil society may be discussed after the recent election, when the people voted contrary to the mass media appeals and recommendations? It is obvious that journalists have very little time to improve the attitude to mass media before the coming presidential election. Today neither opposition nor pro-power political forces do not want mass media to be independent (here I fully agree with Vladimir Skachok, who wrote about this in "Kyivskiy telegraf"), because they need the weapons of mass propaganda in their struggle with each other.

One more thing makes me vigilant. Talking about mass media in the context of the civil society, everybody speaks only about the necessity of creating public broadcasting. Yet, the role of mass media in the development of the civil society is not exhausted by this function. This role must include a wide spectrum of activities, from raising the legal and political culture of the population to understanding this role by journalists themselves.

Karl Deutch, one of the creators of communicative theory, wrote about the importance of the availability in a society of communicative tools, sufficient to make an individual to acknowledge his belonging to the people. The acknowledgment of this relation is an important contribution to shaping a nation, building a democratic state and civil society. People must fell themselves as part and parcel of the community, where they live, to make this community strong. Mass media help to draw an individual to social processes. In fact, mass media is a conductor of information from government to society and on the contrary. Mass media is a connecting link.

Certainly, this is theory. And, certainly, this is an ideal. But there are ideals, which are worth of achievement.

We remember

13.12.2002 | Vasyl Ovsienko, Kyiv

A public committee in defense of partly rehabilitated

   

This is the name, which assumed the public organization consisting of four people. The committee set a concrete goal to achieve the rehabilitation of the two former political prisoners: Georgiy Moskalenko and Viktor Kuksa, who had been condemned according to Articles 62 and 222 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (UkrSSR).

According to the data provided by the All-Ukrainian union of political prisoners and the repressed (AUUPPR), about 30 thousand of former political prisoners are registered now in Ukraine. Only a part of them were rehabilitated according to the Law of the UkrSSR of 17 April 1991 "On rehabilitation of victims of political repressions in Ukraine". This part mainly consisted of those, who were condemned after Article 62 ("anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda"), 187-1 ("spreading false rumors that discredit the Soviet state and social system") and after some other articles. Other categories of former political prisoners and, in particular, the participants of the armed struggle for independence, are not rehabilitated yet by this independent country. Other fighters against the Soviet system still bear the brand of criminals. Especially those, against whom the criminal accusations were fabricated from political reasons ("resistance to militiamen", "dealing with narcotic drugs", "violating the passport regime", "attempt of rape", etc.), as well as those, who had "accompanying" accusations like the "May pair".

The essence of the case is as follows.

In the small hours of 1 May 1966 Viktor Kuksa, a 26-year-old worker, and Georgiy Moskalenko, a 27-year-old worker and student of the evening department of the Kyiv institute of people’s industry (now Kyiv national economic university), took the red flag from the roof of the institute and replaced it with the yellow-blue one. The braves thought that in the morning many people would see the flag, since it was the place, where the columns of students and workers were formed for the May demonstration. The flag was sewn from two women scarves, in the middle of the flag they fixed the national trident and wrote a passage from the national anthem:

"The Ukraine is still alive,

It is not murdered yet!

DPU"

This invented abbreviation meant "Democratic Party of Ukraine" (to lead the suspicions from the OUN underground), and the passage from the anthem meant that the struggle for independence continued.

The flag was taken off as early as at 8 a.m. and passed to the KGB. The criminal case was opened at once. The "criminals" were found only 9 months later. They were arrested on 21 February 1967 and condemned on 31 May by the Kyiv oblast court to 3 (Moskalenko) and 2 (Kuksa) years of incarceration in strict regime colonies. They were also accused of carrying arms. The "cold steel" was the knife, with which V. Kuksa cut down the red flag, and the "fire-arm" was a metallic tube packed with match heads. This "weapon" was intended for warning the man on the roof in case of some danger, but it was not used.

According to the Law on rehabilitation, the Plenum of the Supreme Court of Ukraine ruled on 20 May 1994 to cancel the court decisions concerning the verdict against G. Moskalenko and V. Kuksa after Article 62 part 1 of the Criminal Code of the UkrSSR. The criminal casein this part was closed basing on item 2 Article 6 of the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine because of the absence of corpus delicti. Yet, the two dissidents are still considered the convicted after Article 222 of the CC UkrSSR. This means that, owing to the political rehabilitation, they became pure criminals!

The described fact is not unique. For example, Volodymir Marmus and his friends also displayed four national flags and 19 leaflets in Chortkiv of the Ternopil oblast on 22 January 1973. They were also rehabilitated after Article 62. Yet, they had some weapons, from which they trained to shoot in the forest. The criminal record after Article 222 was cancelled five years after their release that is in 1987. But V. Marmus’ son might not enter a military institute in 2002 because of the criminal record of his father! He is a son of an "enemy of the people"! After this it is not clear whether our state is Ukrainian.

That is why on 18 March 2002 the public committee for rehabilitation of the "May pair" was created in Kyiv. The committee members became: Sergiy Tauzhnianskiy, the co-head of the Kyiv Rada of Unions of Citizens (KRUC), Volodymir Grysiuk, the head of the Kagalitskiy district organization of the Green Party of Ukraine, myself, Vasyl Ovsienko, a former political prisoner and now a coordinator of the program of the Kharkov Group for human rights protection, and Valeriy Kravchenko, a former political prisoner, the head of the Kyiv oblast organization of the Democratic Party of Ukraine (DPU), who initiated the campaign. The committee gathers in the office of the Kyiv oblast organization of the DPU by the address: 3-Б Yaroslavskiy passage, Kyiv, 04070 (Ярославський пров., 3-Б, Київ, 04070), tel.: (044) 229-20-66.

The committee wants to create a precedent of the complete rehabilitation of these two repressed to have the opportunity to demand later the rehabilitation of all the people of the described category. The reason is that out country is Ukrainian only nominally, and every concession must be taken by force from the enemies of our country, who remained in power. The former communist judges occupied seats under the yellow-blue flag and trident, and the people (heroes!), who fought for these symbols, are still criminals in their eyes! Mr. Leonid Kuchma, who had never dreamed in his nightmares to become a Ukrainian President, has another opinion about who are real heroes of Ukraine. They are: Heroes of the Soviet Union, Heroes of socialist labor, deputies of Supreme Soviets of the UkrSSR and USSR. In fact, they are the bitterest enemies of the independent Ukraine and the most faithful servants of the occupants.

Understanding that now there are no juridical grounds to rehabilitate G. Moskalenko, V. Kuksa and other people of that category, the Committee began to from the public opinion around this problem. The goal is to change the law or at least to make courts reconsider such cases and issue non-guilty verdicts. Because the oppressed people have the right to fight for independence not only with kitchen knives and metallic tubes stuffed with match heads, but with real weapons.

The Committee organized a number of radio transmissions and press publications (see, for example, the newspapers "Shliakh Peremogy" of 15 May and "Ukraina Moloda" of 23 May 2002). On 1 May the Committee, jointly with the KRUC, DPU, AUUPPR and the chorus "Gomin", organized the meeting, where G. Moskalenko and V. Kuksa delivered speeches. In order to attract the public attention to our campaign we plan to conduct the following acts: meetings with the students of Kyiv economic university, press-conference, displaying a stand and collecting signatures, picketing state agencies and even a spot action – a Marathon along Kyiv streets with slogans for rehabilitation of the political prisoners.

Monthly bulletin Prava Ludyny (Human rights), 2002, №06

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