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Appeal of the participants of public hearings on the Law “On rehabilitation of the victims of political repressions in Ukraine”.

Chairman of the hearings Evhen Zakharov Kyiv, 21 June 2004

On 21 June 2004 the public hearings on the Law of Ukraine “On rehabilitation of the victims of political repressions in Ukraine” were held in Kyiv. The Council of Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations; Kharkov group for human rights protection; members of the board of the international society “Memorial” (from Voronezh and Saint-Petersburg); head of the project on the questions of rehabilitation Jan Raczinski (Moscow); representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, USS, Supreme Court, prosecutor’s office, archives, all-Ukrainian union of political prisoners and the repressed; representatives of the commissions in charge of restoration of rights of rehabilitated, Kyiv and regional branches of V. Stus “Memorial” ; scientists from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and MPs of Ukraine (head of the Committee of human rights G. Udovenko and head of the Association of researchers of the famines in Ukraine L. Lukyanenko) took part in the hearings.

Participants of the hearings state:

The Law “On rehabilitation of the victims of political repressions in Ukraine” was approved on 17 April 1991, before the declaration of independence of Ukraine. The political status of Ukraine has changed during past 13 years, as well as the social-political conditions, so this law is, obviously, outdated. Firstly, the legislators could not predict everything; secondly, it contradicts now the normative base of the Ukrainian state in the sphere of social protection; thirdly, it discredits the Ukrainian citizens in comparison with rehabilitated citizens of the Russian Federation and other states – former republics of the USSR.

Since 1994 the MPs of Ukraine-former political prisoners and other MPs carried out a great amount of work for improvement of the operating law or development of another text of the law, but these efforts did not have the desired effect, since some part of MPs regarded the independent Ukraine as a continuation of the UkrSSR. For these MPs the declaration of independence in 1991 was not the rapture with the bygone occupation regime. Under their influence some courts still call the warriors of the Ukrainian Rebellious Army traitors, and they believe that rehabilitation is a mere correction of mistakes in the framework of new order.

Some MPs do not agree with changes of the law of 17 April 1991 not only in the part concerning the rehabilitation of the participants of the armed struggle for independence of Ukraine, but also in the part of application of the law to the persons, who suffered from political repressions of their parents or tutors. These MPs do not reckon that the pension paid to the former URA warriors, which is equal to 85 hryvnas (about 16 USD), is humiliating and beggarly and do not want to increase these pensions to the level of the pensions of the WW2 veterans. They do not want the restoration of fairness in our society.

Taking into account everything above-said, the participants of the public hearings are turning to the Supreme Rada of Ukraine with the appeal to consider, as soon as possible, the drafts of the Law “On rehabilitation of the victims of political repressions in Ukraine” and

-  to stop the political discrimination of fighters for independence of Ukraine and to recognize their merits before Ukraine;

-  to stop the economic discrimination of fighters for independence of our motherland and to grant them pensions on the level of the WW2 veterans;

-  to include in the new text of the law the solutions of all problems, which are not settled by the operating law, but are elaborated in the presented law drafts.

To entrust MP L. Lukyanenko, a participant of the public hearings, the author of one of the law drafts, with the task to familiarize the Supreme Rada of Ukraine with this Appeal.

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