Yevhen Zakharov: Statement
As reported by the Ukrainian media, my candidacy for the post of Human Rights Ombudsperson was endorsed yesterday by 113 deputies from the BYUT and Our Ukraine factions and the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Volodymyr Lytvyn passed the signatures to the profile parliamentary committee. The leader of the BYUT faction, Andriy Kozhemyakin stated that “we consider that Mr Zakharov will in this post represent the opposition forces in Ukraine”.
I am grateful to the Verkhovna Rada deputies who supported my candidacy. However I would like to stress in connection with this that the fundamental requirements which Parliament should be guided by in electing a new Ombudsperson are impartiality, independence, competence, pluralism and accountability. The Human Rights Ombudsperson must not be affiliated to a party, must be independent of party influence and represent all parliament, and not only the opposition. The Ombudsperson should defend human rights regardless of political affiliation, political or other convictions, citizenship, ethnic or social origin, financial or other position, post, type and nature of activities, place of residence, race, skin colour, gender, language, religion.
This undoubtedly includes protection from political persecution, including against members of the opposition. Political persecution is a flagrant violation of human rights.