The Security Service Bill is a direct threat to democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine
SBU remains the successor to the Soviet KGB. SBU was the greatest source of violations of human rights among all state bodies for the last seven years. It carries out the illegal detentions, tortures, forced disappearances, holds the detained persons in custody in secret places. It threatens businesses, runs protection racket on smuggling and engages in other corrupt transactions.
What is next?
The list of shortcomings of the bill, which is now submitted for second reading, can be extended for a long time. They are so large in size that it seems impossible to fix them.
SSU Reform: Challenges and Prospects. The Study
The authors suggested the ways of reforming the SSU, based on the international standards and the best global experience.
The Bill on SBU is unacceptable, it should be buried
The bill No.3196-д in the edition for the second reading concentrates excessive uncontrolled power in the hands of the Security Service of Ukraine. Extremely inaccurate and vague definitions of some basic concepts leave a lot of room for abuse. Despite the declaration of refusal of pre-trial investigation, the SBU is in fact becoming a powerful law enforcement body with much greater powers than other security bodies, which receives levers to control the activities of all other state bodies.
So what will “New SBU” be?
Last week VRU adopted in the first reading the bill “On amending the Law of Ukraine “On the Security Service of Ukraine“ concerning the improvement for the organizational and legal grounds of activity of the Security Service of Ukraine”. Let us try to figure it out, examining the individual blocks of questions about how the “New SBU” is imagined.
What is wrong with the bill on SBU?
Essentially the bill No.3196-d legalizes its transformation into the Soviet KGB under the applause of the people who congratulate us with the long-awaited reform of the special service. Have the deputies of the Parliament read what they voted for?
Application practice of Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine
It can be concluded that the courts corrected the total cruelty of SBU shown during the pre-trial investigation. In general, the case law was humane, if one is to be certain that the defendants sentenced to probation were not used forcibly for the exchange, meaning that the release was not caused by that very need.
Application practice of Article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine
Given the case law it could be said that the statements about the mass political persecutions of the supporters of federalization, division of Ukraine and self-proclaimed “people’s republics” are groundless, although in some individual cases the criminal prosecution can be reasonably called a political one.
Investigation of individual terrorist crimes
In 2013 there were only 4 criminal cases in the SSU proceedings concerning the terrorist acts. In 2014-2019 the investigators from SSU most often used Article 258 of the CC of Ukraine (terrorist act) and Article 258-3 of the CC of Ukraine (the creation of a terrorist group or a terrorist organization) for qualification of terrorist crimes.
The practice of application of Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine
Article 111 punishes for an especially serious crime of the state treason. Judicial practice has shown that the transfer of information to a foreign country or organisation was also interpreted as assistance in subversive activities against Ukraine in the cases when the information did not contain a state secret.
Criminal proceedings under Article 111 of CC of Ukraine against the journalists
The question is – where in Ukraine ends the freedom of expression and starts the state treason? The boundary between them is not defined.