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Human rights in Ukraine 2011. XI. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION



1. Overview

The situation with freedom of association is gradually getting worse as compared with previous years. This is a result of overall deterioration of environment for civil society organizations, such as increasing pressure from the bodies of power and lesser possibilities of cooperation with authorities.

In general, Ukrainian legislation does not meet international standards and largely unreasonably restricts freedom of association. The situation was partly smoothed over by positive administrative practice, which forbore from using legal restrictions to the fullest. However, it was down the hill recently, including increased inspections by licensing bodies and higher requirements for registration or re-registration of NGOs, which are extralegal.

The civil society is awaiting new legislation for community and charitable organizations. Two bills were kept under adoption during the year[2].

On November 1, 2010, the People’s Deputies Yuri Miroshnychenko MPs (Party of Regions), Serhiy Podhorny (BYuT), Andriy Shevchenko (BYuT), Yuriy Lytvyn (Lytvyn’s Bloc), Olesia Orobets (Bloc “Our Ukraine — People’s Self-Defense”), Andriy Pinchuk (Party of Regions) submitted the bill “On Public Associations” #7262-1 developed by the civil experts to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine[3]. As a result of the public support campaign the Bill was adopted on the first reading on May 17, 2011[4]. This Bill:

—  widens the range of NGOs’ objectives;

—  increases the number of participants of NGOs;

—  simplifies registration and introduction of changes to the statutes of public organizations;

—  gives the right to determine the territory of their activity on their own;

—  removes restrictions on the types of activities of NGOs.

However, they constantly delayed the preparation of the bill for the second reading. And responsibility lies on the working group of the Committee on State Building and Local Self-Government, whose work on the bill failed to produce results. It is noteworthy that during six weeks the working group managed to consider only five out of the 18 articles of the Bill, while completely changing their wording[5].

Obviously, there remains a possibility to distort the text of the bill and adopt it in the version that does not answer the interests of civil society[6]. However, there is a possibility of positive scenario.

2. Creating associations

There are many obstacles to the establishment of associations, including NGOs. The situation worsens not only due to some laws on public associations that violate international standards, but also due to the lack of clear definition of grounds for refusal of registration. In general, the registration procedure is not clear, allowing the legalization body not to register a public association or delay such registration for many months without any reason.

There is no official statistics on the refusal of registration. According to different experts, there are a lot of refusals. In practice, most often they will return you the documents for revision without refusal, which reduces the number of refusals to register, though it is at variance with legislation.

The only statistics available relates to the activities of the State Registration Service (these functions were formerly performed by the Ministry of Justice). According to the Service data for 2011[7], there were:

—  registered: 81 NGOs (62 All-Ukrainian NGOs, 19 international NGOs), 11 political parties, 28 charity organizations (12 All-Ukrainian charity organizations, 16 international charities), 3 structural branches of public (non-governmental) organizations of foreign countries in Ukraine; and 15 symbols of public associations;

—  legalized by notification on the establishment of 20 public associations;

—  canceled records of registration of five public associations;

—  registered (noted) changes to statutory documents of 164 organizations;

—  denied: 42 organizations in the legalization / registration; 39 in recording changes.

This very statistics shows that the official denial of registration or legalization takes place in more than 40% of cases; however, if we add the unofficial denial like “return documents for revision”, the figure will be much higher. Also, it is logical to assume that the data of the central legalization body are much better than the local data where the registration percentage is much higher.

The All-Ukrainian NGO “Women’s Movement “FEMEN” informed the State Registration Service on its establishment by a written notice. On September 12, 2011 the State Registration Service refused to register, although the legislation did not provide grounds and even the theoretical possibility of refusing registration of the NGO registering by notice. By law, they had to be registered even in case if there were reasons to go to court to ban their activities. But equally amazing was the justification for this decision. Quoting the first paragraph of Article 36 and part three of Article 24 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the state registrator noted that “… the purpose of the association in terms of integration of women in protecting their rights and against discrimination of women in society may be treated as one calling to commit breach of the peace or the rights and freedoms of others.” Such denial is absurd enough to be commented upon, but it shows the sort of illegal demands a person can meet while registering a NGO. However, this was the official response of the central authority of legalization, which generally formed the administrative practice on this issue.

Here is another rather typical example of the registration of Poltava youth public organization “Youth Public Association “Nash Shliakh”. On July 22, 2011, the Main Department of Justice in Poltava Oblast refused to carry out registration, because the organization had failed to notarize the registration papers, and the provisions of its Statude allegedly failed to comply with the law. In particular, it was stated that:

—  The Statute contains provisions that the organization is a legal entity, although such status becomes valid upon registration (only insignificant textual difference);

—  The purpose of charitable and scientific activities was not consistent with the laws on charity and charitable organizations and scientific and scientific-technical activity (i. e., in the opinion of the registrar, the NGO has no right to engage in these activities, which is more than controversial);

—  The requirements of Part 2 and Part 4 of Article 98 of the Civil Code about calling together the general meeting and liquidation of association were not taken into account (in general, it is rather a strange requirement that certain legislation should be duplicated in the statute because the statute does not contradict these rules).

On October 4, 2011, the organization got the mitten again together with the thrice as long list of new defects of the same constituent documents. Thus, the registrar believed that the organization had no right to participate in the protection of monuments of history, archeology, culture, as it was against the law. But the most amazing was the following grounds for refusal:

“item 2.4.4. on organization of exhibitions and fairs does not match section “Subjects of exhibition business” of the Concept of development of exhibition and fair activity approved by the regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 22.08.2007, No. 1065, as the organizers of exhibitions and fairs are the central and local executive bodies, and subjects of economical activity of all forms of property, whose main activity is connected with the organization and holding of exhibitions.”

Obviously, all listed reasons for the refusal of the registration are contrary to international standards and do not fully comply with national legislation. However, such unjustified refusals are a mass phenomenon.

There are many problems created on the stage of amending the NGO’s statute documents or a simple change of manager. In fact, during this procedure the Ministry of Justice conducts a full scan of the organization, which is against the law. Here’s one such example[8].

On September 3, 2010, the All-Ukrainian Youth NGO “Ukrainian Association of Students’ Self-Government” filed an application to the legalization agency of the Ministry of Justice to amend the information about the central management of statutory bodies of the organization. On October 25, 2010, the Ministry of Justice issued an Order No. 2615/5 refusing to take into account these changes.

The procedure of “taking into account of changes in the boards of public associations” and fulfillment of these obligation by NGOs is regulated by the Order of the Ministry of Justice. The same Order instructs to carry out “experts’ report” on submitted documents. The appeal to the Ministry is a prerequisite for appeal to the state registrar on registration of such changes in the unified state register of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs[9]. Although neither the Law “On public associations” nor the Law “On State Registration of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs” as well as the Enactment of the CMU No. 140 from 26.02.1993 “On Approval of Regulation on Legalization of Public Associations” require previous appeals to the legalization agencies in order to enter into the registry the info on their manager. Notably, the procedure for business organizations is much simpler.

Although such procedure is illegal, let us go on analyzing the case. The legal opinion of the Ministry of Justice states that the legal examination has revealed that the documents submitted by the Association do not meet legal requirements, e. g., the extract from the minutes of the General Assembly of the Association of 03.09.2010 submitted to the Ministry of Justice does not meet the requirements of Article 19 of the Law “On state registration of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs.” As report reads, the applicants had to submit an original or a notarized copy of the decision of the authorized body of the department of the legal entity about the replacement of the above individuals and/or duly certified copy of the order document about their appointment. It also indicates that the documents were certified by S., as Head of the Secretariat of the Association, but as far as no info was received by the Ministry on the change of the Head of the Secretariat, it was against the law. Next, according to the materials of registration file of the Association, following the decision of the Board of 17.01.2009, the Secretariat is headed by M. Another reason for refusal in taking note of the replacement of the manager was the fact that “the documents confirming the compliance with the statute of the Association, including minutes of the meeting of the Board of Association, at which decisions were made in accordance with paragraph of the Statute of the Association, were not submitted to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine”; moreover, it “prevents under Article 25 of the Law “On public associations” compliance with the statute of the Association.”

The disclaimer illustrates that when taking note of the change in the governing bodies or registration of changes to the statutory documents the legalization bodies are authorized to request any documents concerning the organization, and actually demand submitting “complete package for registration.” Obviously, the legalization body is not generally entitled to determine the legality or illegality of making the association.

The Law “On public associations”, Enactment of the CMU “On Approval of Regulations on the Legalization of Associations” do not include into the list of obligatory registration documents the info on the new head, mandatory documents on inside statutory activities, such as minutes of meetings of managerial bodies (except for reports of general meetings (conferences, congress), when it comes to changing the statute or replacement of the head) that record the changes of certain members of management. Also, the legalization bodies are not authorized, while taking note of the change of the head, to require decisions of other bodies of public organizations’ management, additional documents, except for those provided for registration of the replacement of manager.

According to Article 25 of the Law “On public associations”, which is referred to in the legal opinion by bodies legalizing public associations and monitoring their compliance with their statute, their representatives may be present at events held by the associations of citizens, require necessary documents and get explanations. The article of the Law does not specify that the legalizing authorities may or must perform such control during the submission of documents about the change of the manager; especially as such procedure is not fixed by this Law “On public associations”. The same is not specified in other legislative acts; they do not require that in the meantime the authorities control the organization or may ask for additional documents.

In fact, the practice is such that while taking note of the replacement of the manager, there exists the right to request additional documents on the activities of the NGO which are not legally mandatory, or perform an inspection of the organization. However, such administrative practice means interference in the internal affairs of social organization, which is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Not to mention that this practice is in principle contrary to the laws of Ukraine.

3. The pressure on organizations, their leaders and members

Since 2010, the incidence of pressure or harassment of NGOs or their managers has increased significantly. As far as we know, the info on such actions of the authorities was received in the Foundation of Regional Initiatives, Ukrainian Association of Students’ Self-Government, All-Ukrainian Youth NGO “Democratic Alliance”, Centre for Legal Protection of Odesa, NGO “Class”, Independent Students’ Union “Priama Diya”, All-Ukrainian Association “Tryzub”, All-Ukrainian Association “Svoboda”, Crimean Tatar Mejlis and others[10].

In September 2011 the heads of city district administrations, town and village heads received letters from the oblast state administrations with “instructions” to immediately begin monitoring of the social activities of NGOs. The instructions read as follows:

“Taking into account the growing social and political activity in the region, emergence of social, political organizations aiming at provocative political activity, please, pay particular attention to the rapid information about planned and carried out social and political measures in the regions and oblast towns.

You should urgently boost the monitoring by local authorities of applications (notifications) to organize protests, rallies, public meetings, and distribution of printed matter submitted by socio-political associations and individuals.

You should intensify tracking statutory activity of political parties and public organizations that have a political bias (meetings, conferences).

Please, promptly inform the management about the planned implementation, progress and results of these measures.

The information should be free of descriptive generalizations and contain detailed background of the progress and results of the event: names and positions of the organizers, number and categories of participants, slogans, banners, list of speakers and the main theses of speeches, evaluation of the response of local authorities (which local executives met demonstrators, what did they decide), results (resolution of participants, letters sent to the leaders of the state, oblast), further actions, involvement of people’s deputies, leaders of oblast level.

All distributable printed propaganda should be scanned and immediately transferred to the Department in electronic format.”

Such attention from the authorities may be regarded, of course, in different ways, but “tracking statutory activities” in practice often leads to quelling the activity of NGO disliked by the authority. In fact, it is about data collection about anti-government organizations and activists. Later such activists and organizations often run into problems with law enforcement or legalizing bodies, company management or higher school administration, etc.

Below we cite examples of pressure and persecution.

3.1. “Case of the Democratic Alliance”

On June 12, 2010, the SSU officer, who introduced himself as Senior Lieutenant Yuriy Skryl, without prior official invitation met with Head of Mykolaiv Oblast Branch of All-Ukrainian Youth NGO “Democratic Alliance” Yuliya Hrechka and made inquiries about the activities of the organization and direct action “Exit from Democracy: Password 2450” and kept finding out the possibility of further cooperation.

On June 15, 2010, the officers of the SSU (introduced himself as Olexandr Rybalka) and Ministry of Internal Affairs met with the organizer of the action “Exit from Democracy: Password 2450” in Cherkasy, Head of Cherkasy Regional Branch of the organization Taisiya Plakhuta. The law enforcers gave a call and asked the activist of Democratic Alliance to come down into the yard, where they met her.

At the end of July 2010 the Head of Chernihiv Oblast Branch Igor Andriychenko received a phone call from the SSU officer asking for a meeting. The activist of the Democratic Alliance asked him to send him formal invitation. Then the alleged SSU officer asked several questions about the activities of the Branch, including the number of registered members.

On September 21, 2010, the SSU officer, who introduced himself as Yevhen Volodymyrovych, called the home phone of the previous leader of Cherkasy Oblast Branch of Democratic Alliance and had an informal meeting with Vitaliy Lutsyk, who had been a member of the previous Board of the local organization of Democratic Alliance in Cherkasy. It was his home address that had been previously referred to as legal registration data of the Branch. During the meeting the representative of the SSU tried to get info on funding sources at both local and central levels.

On November 5, in Kharkiv, the SSU officer held an informal meeting with the activist of “Democratic Alliance”. The Security Service officer took interest in the activities of the oblast branch of the organization and labored the question of leadership. Another meeting of this sort was held on March 6, 2011.

The SSU informed NGO “Democratic Alliance” that the meetings with its activists were held “solely on the basis of and within the authority and in the manner envisaged by the Constitution and Legislation of Ukraine.”

3.2. “The Case of Andriy Fedosov”

In 2009-2010, the Crimean republican organization of the All-Ukrainian organization of disabled persons and consumers of mental health care “User” managed by Andriy Fedosov monitored the fulfillment of rights of disabled persons and mental health care consumers in six state mental hospitals in the Crimea. This monitoring brought out serious violations of human rights. In April 2010, on his Facebook page, Andriy Fedosov published information about his intention to file an application to the prosecutor about the living conditions of three patients at psychiatric facilities, which he had visited the previous week. Then he began answering threatening phone calls.

According to the human rights activist, on April 25, 2010 he received two phone calls. The man, who introduced himself as Nikolai Vasilyevich (w/o his last name), warned him against his submitting an application. Otherwise, he said, Andriy Fedosov’s health may be at risk. For the reason of this fact, the human rights activist informed the prosecutor about these threats and left the Crimea for safety reasons.

In May 2010 he was assaulted and beaten by unknown persons. The police refused to register the application and took no measures to investigate the crime.

In July 2010 he was detained for a day in connection with an offense allegedly committed 10 years ago. Thus, at the time of the registered offence Andriy Fedosov was 15 years old. On September 20, 2010 he was exculpated in connection with the fact that at the time of execution of crime he underwent treatment at the closed children’s hospital.

On October 8, 2010, Chief of Eupatorian Municipal Department of the MIA of Ukraine in the AR of Crimea O. Osadchiy sent the request to the Chairman of the All-Ukrainian public organization of disabled users of psychiatric support “User” Ruslan Imereli to submit copies of the financial and accounting documents of the organization and documentation of the project, implemented by this organization. The request was made to verify the intended use of funds for the project of monitoring of human rights violations in psychiatric facilities in the Crimea.

In November 2010, Andriy Fedosov’s health deteriorated. His official diagnosis was “myelopathy and flaccid paresis of the lower extremities.” Andriy Fedosov could not felt his feet and was bedridden.

In the fall of 2011 Andriy Fedosov was once more assaulted and beaten. No investigation of this case ensued and the police refused to initiate criminal proceedings.

Forced to hide from his attackers, he went abroad, where in January 2012 he received a refugee status.

3.3. “The Case of Yuriy Kosarev”

In the evening of May 22, 2011, in the Volnukhino Village, thee Kosarevs with their friends Serhiy Ignatiev and his wife Iryna grilled their shashlyks in the backyard of the house belonging to Yuriy Kosarev, member of the NGO “Luhansk Human Rights Group.”

Earlier, in his line of duty, on May 5, 2011, Yuriy Kosarev lodged complaints to various instances against violation of labor and environmental laws by the Uspensky Karyer JSC.

The black jeep (number BB BX 1122) drew up to the house and three men hopped off. After talking with them Yuriy Kosarev said that those were CEOs of the Uspensky Karyer JSC, which required termination of his activities (“stir up trouble”) and threatened him with problems.

Soon two cars drew up to the house: the said jeep and white “Lada”, three men in police uniform hopped off. Yuriy’s wife, Iryna Kosarev maintains that one of them, approaching them, held a pistol in his outstretched arm.

“They wanted to apprehend Yuriy, but he disagreed, required to be served a notice, because the next day, on May 23, in the morning, there had to be an investigation at the Lutuhino public prosecutor’s office into the materials of illegal activity of the Uspensky Karyer. Yuriy offered to meet them in the morning and find out everything in Lutuhin. Then one of the militiamen said on the phone: “I’d rather fix the fucker,” said Iryna Kosareva. This scene was videotaped and uploaded to the site “Luhansk. Media style.”

Then the militiamen knocked Yu. Kosarev down, handcuffed him it and started kicking him. The assailants were men from the jeep (Haponenko Olexandr Olexandrovych and his bodyguard Andrievsky N.V.). S.Ihnatov stuck up for Yu. Kosariev.

From the application of Yu. Kosarev to the European Court of Human Rights: “They refused to show their documents, I told them that in case of refusal to show documents proving that they were militia officers and appropriate court order I had the right under existing legislation to turn them away from my estate and defend myself in case of illegal entry. Instead, they invaded my estate, knocked me down, handcuffed and began beating black and blue.”

Yuriy Kosarev, Serhiy Ignatov and his wife Iryna were arrested and taken to Lutuhino public prosecutor’s office; Iryna Kosarev managed to escape. Back in Luhansk, she lodged an application to Luhansk Oblast Prosecutor’s Office.

From the complaint of witness Iryna Bimbat to the public prosecution office: “They brought me to Lutuhino public prosecution office. Then they drove me, Kosarev, Ignatov, militiaman Melnikov and two more officers for medical checkup to Lutuhino hospital. There I saw Yuriy Kosarev. His face bore traces of injuries: bruises and bumps. He complained of pain in the ribs. I saw no visible injuries or damage in men in militia uniforms. I overheard one of the militiamen criticizing his friend: the blood test showed the presence of alcohol. Then this militiaman was excluded from the list of victims allegedly beaten by Ignatov and Kosarev.”

From the appeal of Serhiy Ignatov to the European Court of Human Rights: “I was taken to Lutuhino Regional Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Luhansk Oblast without my consent. Kosarev Yuriy several times called for an ambulance. He had visible traces of beating; he complained that he had a headache and broken ribs.” Yuriy Kosarev maintains that the docs were not let to examine him. He said the militia feared that his body still bore traces of injuries.

On May 22, 2011, the Lutuhino District Militia Department of MIA of Ukraine received three phone calls complaining of bullying on the part of Yuriy Kosarev. Two criminal proceedings were instituted against him under Article 342 (resistance to a law enforcer) and Article 345 (threat or violence against law enforcer).

Head of the Public Relations of the Department of MIA of Ukraine in Luhansk Oblast Tetiana Pohukay officially announced that Yuriy Kosarev intentionally uploaded that self-serving video. “Why did this video not show how he and his friends assailed the militiamen and beat them?” Also, Tetiana Pohukay suggested that Yuriy Kosarev attacked the militia because he was drunk. “He provoked the conflict. Even his video shows where he stands with his shovel,” she said.

On June 21, 2011, Yu. S. Kazan, Deputy Head of Personnel Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine signed the formal response #6/6-2984 to the appeal of D.Snehiriov, President of the Charity Foundation “Support of Ukrainian Initiatives”, which read: “The info on the website “Luhansk. Media style” in the article “I can fix the fucker” charges Luhansk militia of carrying out the bumpman’s order which has been partially substantiated with the fact of rough and tactless behavior of some law enforcers of Lutuhino Regional Department during their conversation with Kosarev Yu. M., for which they have been brought to disciplinary liability. The materials of the check-up have been sent to the Public Prosecutor Office of Lutuhino Region for consideration in accordance with the laws of Ukraine.” However, the response stated that the checkup revealed that Yuriy Kosarev threatened N.V. Andrievsky with violence. According to the document, Yu.Kosarev and S.Ihnatov “obstructed the militia and inflicted light and severe injuries” to law enforcers. The response names not three, but two militia officers: Potapin O.G. and Melnykov O.S.”

Iryna Imbat reported pressure on her as a witness. “I was questioned by the investigating prosecutor Melnyk S.V. He said that the owner of the quarry gave him three thousand dollars to jail Kosarev. And if I don’t witness that Kosarev attacked the militiamen, he will jail me as well for five years for assaulting militiamen.”

On June 9, in Lutuhino court, the preliminary hearings in the case of Yuri Kosarev and Serhiy Ignatov were held, which led to a guilty verdict. At the time of preliminary hearing both defendants were in the hospital of the investigative isolation ward (Yu. Kosarev after depletion by starvation, S. Ihnatov underwent surgery). The official observers from “Luhansk human rights group”
Andriy Vasylenko, Aide of the Deputy Anatoly Yahoferov, and human rights activist Iryna Oleynikov were not allowed to be present during the hearing.

According to Iryna Kosarev, officers of Lutuhino District Department of the MIA of Ukraine O.Melnykov and O.Potapin entered the office of the judge. Then they were joined by the representative of Lutuhino Public Prosecution Office. The official observers kept waiting for the start of the trial for several hours. Subsequently, Judge Vasyl Shpychko informed them that the hearing had been held already and the sentence had been handed out.

During the hearing the defendants expected to submit an application to change the preventive measure and engage new witnesses, but they had no such opportunity because the hearings were conducted in their absence. Iryna Kosarev filed a complaint against the judge.

The Luhansk Oblast Prosecutor’s Office in its response to a request for information states that on the basis of the results of investigation the public prosecutor confirmed the conviction of Yu. Kosarev and S. Ihnatov and the case has been sent to court for consideration on the merits. At the same time the response states that after consideration of the application of Yu. Kosarev about injuries inflicted by militia officers the Lutuhino Department of the Ministryof Internal Affairs and Prosecutor’s Office denied him in criminal proceedings against militiamen.

Yu. Kosarev and S. Ihnatyev submitted applications to the European Court of Human Rights.

4. Temporary prohibition of activities and liquidation of associations

The Ministry of Justice continued filing lawsuits to liquidate political parties.

On November 24, the Ministry of Justice announced the cancellation of certificates of registration of the Party of Radical Breakthrough, political party “Pragmatic Choice”, Party of Muslims of Ukraine, Green Party of Ukraine and Party of Development, Party of human rights protection. This was done by the decision of the Okrug Administrative Court of Kyiv. The certificates were canceled due to the fact that these parties did not nominate their candidates for the Presidency in 2004 and 2010, listed no deputy nominees during regular elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in 2002, 2006, and a snap election in 2007. Article 24 of the Law “On Political Parties in Ukraine” stipulates that in case of failure by a political party to nominate their candidates in the presidential election in Ukraine and people’s deputies of Ukraine in the course of ten years, the authority that registered this political party must apply to court to annul the registration certificate[11]. However, such grounds for liquidation are quite dubious in terms of international standards and Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Also in 2011, they continued examination of, maybe, the only case on the prohibition of public organization.

On November 9, the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine granted the appeal of the prosecutor’s office of Kharkiv Oblast about the forced liquidation of the public organization “Eurasian Union of Youth”. You may remember that on November 6, 2008 the Kharkiv District Administrative Court j decided to liquidate the NGO “EUY”. The organization filed the appeal. On July 6, 2009, the Kharkiv Appellate Administrative Court overturned the decision on liquidation and decided to dismiss the claim. The decision is still not available in the registry, but earlier this process was initiated by formal matter, in particular, absence at the official place of registration of the organization, as well as violation of the territorial status of the organization. In particular, the organization was accused of being registered in the Kharkiv Oblast, she picketed the Security Service of Ukraine and during the temporary ban it actually carried out some of its actions[12]. All these grounds for dissolution of the organization do not comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.

5. Recommendations

1. To change the current Law “On Associations of Citizens” by passing the Law “On public Associations”, which shall comply with the European Convention on Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe “On the legal status of NGOs in Europe” (CM / Rec (2007) 14).

2. To eliminate Article 186-5 of the Code of Administrative Offences introducing the responsibility for directing or participating in unregistered associations of citizens.

3. To amend the law on publishing activities in order to allow nonprofit organizations, not just businesses, to establish publishing houses and carry out publishing activities.

4. To adjust administrative practice of the Registration Service of Ukraine and other authorities legalizing public associations in accordance with European standards.

5. To thoroughly investigate cases of persecution of civil activists and public associations.



[1]    Prepared by Volodymyr Yavorsky, Member of the Board of UHHRA. The section also makes use of materials and commentaries by Tetiana Yatskiv, Social Bar Center (Lviv).

[2]  On Bill adoption campaign see:

[3]  See the Bill:

[4]  For more details see: Litmus Papers of European Integration: the new law on NGOs, “Dzerkalo tyzhnia. Ukrayina” No. 17, May 13, 2011,

[5]  “The adoption of the Bill “On NGOs” may be frustrated this year”,

[6]  Public appeals to the top authorities not to distort the Bill on NGOs, 24-09-2011, Telekrytyka,

[7]  See: The net result of the activities of the State Registration Service of Ukraine for 2011, show/1625

[8]  The information and its analysis were submitted by Tetiana Yatskiv, Social Bar Center (Lviv).

[9]  According to the Order of the State Committee of Ukraine for regulation of policy and entrepreneurship, Order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine from 27.02.2007 No. 23/74/5 “On approval of Regulations concerning data transfer on legal entities by the Ministry of Justice and its territorial bodies”.

[10]  See in more details: The interim statement of the UHHRU “Persecution of civil society in Ukraine in 2011”,

[11]  The certificates of five parties were annulled. The Press Service of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, 24.11.2011,

[12]  See more in the reports “Human Rights in Ukraine: 2009-2010” and “Human Rights in Ukraine: 2008.


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