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The Ukrainian Civic Forum is demanding that Nina Karpachova be dismissed from the position of Human Rights Ombudsperson.

04.10.2006    source:
An Open Appeal stressing the vital importance of restoring public confidence in the independence and impartiality of this important office

(Open Appeal)

To the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
The Guarantor of the Constitution, the President of Ukraine
The Prosecutor General of Ukraine

Recent events developing around the position of the Authorised Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (the Human Rights Ombudsperson) are incomprehensible and unacceptable. We, the undersigned members of the Ukrainian Civic Forum, representatives of civic organizations and citizens of Ukraine, are appalled by the situation which has developed and demand that Nina Karpachova be immediately removed from the post of Human Rights Ombudsperson.

Participation by any human rights defender in political activity on the side of any particular political party automatically means loss of independence and impartiality, and the Human Rights Ombudsperson’s oath according to the law unambiguously demands adherence to these principles. Nina Karpachova should have resigned as Human Rights Ombudsperson back when she was first entered on the candidate list of the Party of the Region and took part in the elections.

By Resolution No. 1234 of the Central Election Commission from 16 May 2006 Nina Karpachova was registered as a State Deputy of Ukraine. As the press service of the Human Rights Ombudsperson reported on 6 June, she handed a written letter of resignation to the Verkhovna Rada in connection with her election to the office of State Deputy.

In the middle of September it transpired that Nina Karpachova wished to remain Human Rights Ombudsperson and that she had handed in a statement resigning from her position as State Deputy of Ukraine.  Recently new contradictory information emerged regarding another apparent change of heart. These political somersaults are an outright violation of the law.

In accordance with Article 8 of the Law on the Human Rights Ombudsperson:

«The Human Rights Ombudsperson may not hold a representative’s mandate or occupy any other office in state bodies of power.

She may not be a member of any political party.

In the event of any circumstances designated in paragraphs one and two this Article, the Human Rights Ombudsperson must remove them within ten days of her / his appointment. Before the said circumstances have been removed, s/he may not take her / his oath.

If the circumstances designated in paragraphs one and two this Article arose during the work of the Human Rights Ombudsperson, they must be removed within ten days of when they first became known.

In the event that it is not possible to remove them within ten days the Human Rights Ombudsperson must make a statement within the stipulated period rejecting any other instructions or powers, except those vested with the Human Rights Ombudsperson.

If within the stipulated period the Human Rights Ombudsperson does not comply with the established requirements, her / his powers shall be suspended and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be bound to dismiss her / him from office».

Ms Karpachova has for four months now combined the positions of Human Rights Ombudsperson and State Deputy of Ukraine which is prohibited under Article 8 of the Law on the Human Rights Ombudsperson. Pursuant to the last paragraph of Article 8, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine must dismiss Ms Karpachova from the post of Human Rights Ombudsperson and put forward, in accordance with Article 6 of the Law on the Human Rights Ombudsperson, candidates for a new Human Rights Ombudsperson.  Nor does Nina Karpachova have the right now to take part in new elections.

We call on the Verkhovna Rada to comply with the norm of the Law and dismiss Nina Karpachova from the post of Human Rights Ombudsperson. 

It is vital that the necessary lack of political engagement of the Authorised Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine be reinstated. Only trust and respect for the Human Rights Ombudsperson from the public can make her / his work effective.

The original Appeal was signed by 47 representatives of different civic and human rights organizations. It has now been placed on the Maidan website where those wishing to are invited to add their signatureю


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