Russian-occupied Crimea and Donbas close to North Korea in Freedom House rating
After seven years of open or effective Russian occupation, Crimea and Eastern Donbas rank close to the worst of the worst in Freedom House’s report Freedom in the World 2021
Ukrainian legislators plan ‘foreign agent’ bill analogous to repressive law in Russia
One of the main factions in the governing coalition is planning to table a bill on registering ‘foreign agents’ in Ukraine. The move is purportedly aimed at protecting ‘national interests’, however human rights groups are unconvinced
Presidential Administration Says Law Requiring Activists to Disclose Assets Is Invalid and Unenforceable, but Ukraine’s Activists Aren’t Buying It
For more than a year, Ukraine’s government and activists have been at odds over a March 2017 law that requires activists to disclose their assets online in the same way that public officials do
Ukrainian ‘C14’ Neo-Nazis openly offer to act as thugs for money
Ukraine’s far-right ‘C14’ organization is trying to entice ‘donors’ by offering to make trouble for the latter’s ‘enemies’. The advertisement on their Facebook page may not break the law, but is certainly alarming from an organization which at least one Kyiv local authority is using to help ‘keep the peace’.
Poroshenko signs anti-Maidan law against NGOs & journalists fighting corruption
President Poroshenko has signed into law a dangerous bill which could be used to put pressure on NGOs, investigative journalists or activists, especially those most actively seeking to expose and eradicate corruption. He has in short allowed a law which his predecessor, now in hiding in Russia, would be proud of.
Czech humanitarian NGO banned from Kremlin-backed militant-controlled Donetsk oblast
People in Need’s office in Donetsk has been visited by representatives of the so-called ’Donetsk people’s republic’ and told to leave immediately
Court in Hague sent report on international crimes in Russian occupied Crimea
International and Ukrainian human rights groups have compiled an important report entitled International Crimes in Crimea: An Assessment of two and a half years of Russian occupation.
Center.UA under attack, other NGOs next in line?
With Ukraine’s leaders having systematically removed most controls and transparency with respect to vast amounts of taxpayers’ money, the mere suggestion that the NGO Center.UA should be accused of money laundering might seem comical. The background, unfortunately, is much more sinister
On unlawful harassment of civic activists
Many well-known public figures, journalists and NGOs, including KHPG, the Centre for Civl Liberties and othersare concerned that a criminal investigation is being used solely to obstruct the civic activities of Maxim and Kostyantin Latsyba and to use them as an example to intimidate all activists
Efforts likely to discredit civic activists and journalists
Oleh Rybachuk, leader of the civic movement CHESNO, believes that in the near future there may be a wide-scale campaign aimed at discrediting civic activists and journalists
Law on Civic Organizations passed
The law, passed with a large majority, removes two major restrictions: civic organizations may now protect anybody’s interests, not only their members, while the restrictions on geography have gone
Oleksy Svyetikov from the Luhansk Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine reports a worrying increase in interference as well as downright unlawful behaviour by Luhansk police officers with respect to civic activists
The Highest Standards
Volodymyr Yavorsky has contributed enormously to the development and work of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and we hope that he will continue to do so in his capacity as member of the Board. He will be much missed
New UHHRU Head of Board and Executive Director
At a general meeting of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union on 25 January, Yevhen Zakharov was elected Head of the Board, while Arkady Bushchenko leaves this post to become Executive Director
Report on Persecution of Human Rights Defenders: Another gloomy First for Ukraine
This year’s report by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights on persecution of human rights defenders and civic activists throughout the world has an entry on Ukraine
EU raises the pressure
The EU is continuing to seek levers of influence on Ukraine’s leaders, while in Brussels support is being increased for NGOs in the EU’s East European neighbours who can put pressure on the authorities, demanding democratic reforms
Ukrainians seek replacement for parties in NGOs
Each year more and more Ukrainians say that the country needs active NGOs. If in 2005 such a view was expressed by 41 percent of respondents in all regions of the country, now the figure has almost doubled (76 percent).
19% of NGOs receive foreign grants
According to the Director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Iryna Bekeshkina, charities helping the disabled, the elderly, etc are supported by local business. The latter, however, would be frightened to support organizations monitoring the activities of the authorities
Amnesty International – 50 Years of Vital Work
Amnesty International at 50: Global call to action aims to tip scales against repression and injustice. Events to mark the 50th anniversary are taking place in almost 60 countries
Why is the government afraid of Ukraine’s civic organizations?
This was the key question at a press conference called in connection with recent proposals from the Party of the Regions to ban financing of NGOs from abroad, as well as with the possible consideration by parliament on 12 May of the draft Law on Civic Organizations (No. 7262-1).