14. VULNERABLE GROUPS AS TARGETS OF DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, XENOPHOBIA AND HATE-RELATED CRIMES
In 2012 the government attempted to resolve problems related to discrimination, racism and xenophobia by passing an anti-discrimination law. On 14 May a draft Law on the Principles of Preventing and Countering Discrimination was tabled in the Verkhovna Rada. The bill, drawn up by the Justice Ministry and instantaneously adopted in its first reading, was just as immediately subjected to devastating criticism from civic organizations. MPs did not, however, take the results of public discussion about the bill into consideration, nor did it wait for the opinion from the Council of Europe and recommendations from the European Commission. On 6 September it adopted the law. Not one suggestion from the working group made up of civic organizations and the office of the Human Rights Ombudsperson, created with the agreement of the Verkhovna Rada’s profile committee was taken into account and reflected in the bill passed.
On 13 September 2012 the Coalition against Discrimination in Ukraine, which is made up of 34 civic organizations from various regions of Ukraine, as well as other civic organizations and activists, addressed an appeal to President Yanukovych calling on him to veto the bill. This call was ignored and the law came into force. Human rights organizations now face the task of getting amendments made to it.
Legal issues linked with discrimination have been considered in detail in previous years’ reports. This section analyzes the situation for certain vulnerable groups who suffer most from discrimination, racism and hate-related crimes – immigrants; Roma; Crimean Tatars; members of the LGBT community; drug addicts; and those with HIV/AIDS.
Discrimination against non-Ukrainian citizens can be usefully studied by considering several mutually linked aspects:
- a crisis of tolerance in Ukrainian society and spread of everyday xenophobia against immigrants;
- the activities of radical movements supporting acts of violence against immigrants;
- analysis of the situation as regards immigration in the country;
- the influence of the mass media on the level of xenophobia against immigrants;
- the political component linked with discrimination against immigrants in Ukraine;
- the level to which discrimination against immigrants is countered by the law enforcement bodies, their level of prejudice and distrust of foreigners;
- manifestations of migrant-phobia in normative legal documents and state immigration policy.
1. Crisis of tolerance in Ukrainian society and spread of aggressive xenophobia against immigrants on an everyday level
It can be said that the level of animosity within Ukrainian society to foreigners has over recent years been slowly, but steadily rising and that specifically migrant-phobia has become the most widespread form of xenophobia in Ukraine. Unfortunately Ukrainians are gradually losing features which were previously inherent – hospitality and goodwill in their attitude to immigrants; calm acceptance of other people’s customs; respect for the religious sentiments of foreigners, and others.
Such changes in the attitude to people from other countries are clearly seen in the results of social research. The following are just some examples.
According to research regularly carried out by the Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Sociology, the index of social distance according to the Bogardus scale has risen from 4.4 (the wish to be separate) in 1994 to 5.1 (the wish for isolation).
During the course of a survey carried out among foreign students by the Duma Centre for Legal and Political Research, almost 44% of the foreign nationals asked said that they had, in one way or another, suffered in Ukraine from race-related harassment.
The research carried out by the Institute of Human Rights and Prevention of Extremism and Xenophobia, together with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology showed that 37% of Ukrainian citizens believe it necessary to restrict the presence of foreign nationals in the country; 23% of those surveyed said that only some members of foreign countries should be allowed into the country; while 9% were overall negative towards immigrants to the country. Where immigrants were from a country seen by Ukrainians as poor, 19.4% of the respondents were against them being allowed in.
The same research found that almost 8% of Ukrainian citizens hold radical, extremist views in relation to foreign nationals, which include justifying the possibility of physical violence against them.
Certain types of xenophobia in relation to foreigners can undoubtedly be seen in any country however for Ukraine the main threat lies in the growing popularity within the population of xenophobia in relation to immigrants and support of the idea that discrimination against them is possible, or even advisable. A mentality of migrant-phobia and the possibility of discriminating against foreigners which was previously supported by individual groups in society, but was in practice manifested in covert ways, has gained popularity in recent years. It has become entrenched in people’s consciousness as a norm in their attitude to immigrants, and manifestations of this are gradually becoming more widespread and demonstrative. Such processes can be viewed as a challenge to Ukrainian society which due to certain political, economic and social problems, is presently at the crossroads, and needs to choose between tolerance and xenophobia towards foreign nationals.
At present the range of forms of discrimination demonstrated in Ukraine is fairly broad: from the activities of radical organizations which overtly espouse racism and see their aim as being to push immigrants out of Ukraine, to a supercilious and sneering attitude from average citizens; from overtly chauvinistic speeches from certain politicians to racist graffiti on walls and material seeped in hatred on certain websites which circulate ideas about racial inequality and calls to acts of violence.
The vulnerability of Ukrainian society to the disease of migrant-phobia and its tolerance for acts of discrimination against foreign nationals is demonstrated by monitoring of reports in the mass media carried out as part of the project.
The article “Undeclared war by Sumy skinheads” (the newspaper “Your Chance”] reports of leaflets being circulated in Sumy which call on the population to fight “the foreign plague”. In the leaflets, foreigners are accusing of spreading drugs and contagious diseases in Ukraine, while the increase in unemployment and rise in prices are linked with the arrival of immigrants. #
The website “Ukrinform-sport” informed that the UEFA Disciplinary Committee had fined the Lviv “Karpaty” football club 25 thousand EUR for a racist stunt by its fans. During a European League match in which “Karpaty” played against the Turkish “Talatasaraj”, fans of the Ukrainian team raised a banner with the words in Turkish: “Turkish pigs, get out of Europe!”
According to information from the initiative group “Football against Superstition”, this is not the first racist stunt by fans of the Lviv club. “Karpaty” fans often bring banners to the stadium with images of the Celtic cross which is considered the official neo-Nazi symbol; portraits of Mussolini, etc. It’s stressed that similar banners are not infrequently raised by fans of other Ukrainian clubs.
Many such examples can be cited.
The movement against immigrants in Ukrainian society has been getting stronger by the year and gaining popularity among various groups in society and increasing the number of its supporters. Creating civic formations, they try to act in a more organized and active fashion and influence all sphere’s of public life.
A typical example can perhaps be seen in the civic organization “Stop Immigration!” which aims to get radical changes introduced to migration legislation, including: abolition of the Readmission Agreement; permission to immigrate to Ukraine being granted only to ethnic Ukrainians and people whose immigration is in keeping with Ukraine’s national interests; abolition of the right of children born to foreigners on Ukrainian territory to have Ukrainian citizenship; abolition of the right of spouses of Ukrainian citizens to receive Ukrainian citizenship; a ban on foreign nationals working as vendors at markets; acceptance of refugees only from countries which border Ukraine and ethnic Ukrainian refugees; cancellation of the visa-free regime with CIS countries; cancellation of residence permits and expulsion from Ukraine of foreign nationals whose presence does not bring the country any profit.
Such cases demonstrate that tension in the relations between the Ukrainian public and immigrants is on the increase and discriminatory attitudes are in one form or another supported by a broad part of the population. At present what is widespread in Ukraine is so-called “everyday” xenophobia and discrimination which for the moment is not manifesting itself in wide-scale and overt extremism. Under certain circumstances, however, it could easily and swiftly move into a more radical phase – a skinhead movement – with active use of violence against immigrants.
2. Acts of violence against immigrants
There are a number of organizations in Ukraine of varying degrees of radicalization which espouse either the idea of protecting white race purity as a whole, or the line that “Ukraine is solely for Ukrainians”. These are capable of resorting to planned and organized acts of physical harassment of foreign nationals.
Monitoring carried out by the Kharkiv Human Rights Group identified 62 hate-related crimes, including 27 attacks on foreigners from countries beyond the former USSR. 48 foreign nationals were injured which is considerably more than in 2009-2010 (in 2011 our monitoring of violence against the same category of foreign nationals showed that 35 people had been the victim of violent attacks; according to Interior Ministry data, 33 people suffered, yet not one of those attacks was classified as a hate-related crime.
It is quite difficult to assess the scale of violence against immigrants committed for racist motives for a number of reasons. These include the failings in official statistics from the law enforcement bodies; the lack of an objective investigation into such cases; and the deliberate efforts by law enforcement officers to hide and not make them public, and to classify such attacks as other types of crimes, etc.
Yet perhaps the main factor in the latency of hate crimes is the reluctance of foreign nationals to officially report attacks on them because they don’t believe that there will be a proper reaction to such reports. To some degree this is also the result of the steady rejection by Ukrainian society of a tolerant attitude to foreign nationals, after all immigrants understand that without support from the public the state has no interest in objectively and effectively examining their appeals for protection against discriminatory actions. The public, in tolerating this or that form of discrimination against foreigners accordingly influence the authorities to the same degree as the latter can impact upon the spread of xenophobia in society.
So do the Ukrainian public really have grounds for wariness, and at times downright animosity towards immigrants?
3. Analysis of the situation with immigration in the country
As a rule, xenophobia against foreign nationals is based on the following widespread, yet fundamentally wrong, stereotypes:
1. “There is an unprecedented rise in Ukraine of the overall number of immigrants who arrive in the country in ever greater numbers with each passing year”.
No “immigration boom” in Ukraine over recent years has been seen. 20.2$ of the immigrants presently living in the country came between 1991 and 1994; 25% from 1995-1999; 21.2% from 2000-2004; 25.3% from 2005-2009; 7.3% during the period covering 2010 and 2011. Immigration of foreign nationals into Ukraine is a fairly even process without the likelihood of a significant increase (information published by Oleksandr Feldman, MP and founder of the Institute of Human Rights and Prevention of Extremism and Xenophobia in the article “Sociology against Migrant-phobic Propaganda”, the Internet publication “Ukrainska Pravda”)
2. “Millions of foreigners who come to Ukraine, stay”
In 2011 22.910.848 foreign nationals and stateless persons (hereafter foreigners) were admitted into the country. During the same period the exit from Ukraine was registered of 22.189.032 foreigners (letter form the Administration of the State Border Guard Service from 08.02.2012 №26/М-56 to an information request from the Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement). Thus almost 97% of foreigners who entered Ukraine later left the country. The remainder of 3% or 721.816 people does not indicate the number of immigrants who have remained in Ukraine illegally, but simply the number of foreigners who arrived in the country over the period when the count was undertaken. This figure is relatively small since on average almost 2 million foreigners visited Ukraine each month.
3. “Immigrants seriously worsen the crime situation in Ukraine”
In 2011 3.778 crimes were committed by foreigners in Ukraine, this constituting 0.7% of the registered total number of crimes ((515.833). During this period police brought charges of committing a crime against 225,517 people, of whom only 1,2% (2.651 people) were foreign nationals or stateless persons. We thus see that the ratio between the number of foreigners believed to have committed crimes to the overall number of foreigners who visited Ukraine in 2011 is 0.01% (data from Interior Ministry official statistics)
4. “Immigrants spread “atypical” infectious diseases and threaten the sanitary and epidemiological situation in the country”
The Health Ministry’s Central Sanitary-Epidemiological Station in a letter dated 26.11.2007 informed that over all the years since Ukraine gained independence, there has not been one proven case where immigrants caused an outbreak of “atypical” illnesses in Ukraine.
In a response from 20.02.2012 №03.20/17/34-P to an information request from the Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement, the State Sanitary-Epidemiological Administration informed that the Health Ministry did not keep any statistics regarding outbreaks of infectious illnesses among foreigners.
5. “Immigrants compete with Ukrainians on the job market”.
As of January 2012, only 5,802 foreign nationals who were temporarily living in the country had work permits (statistical data from an Interior Ministry report, form 10-1P). Immigrants may undoubtedly work illegally, however in Ukraine this is not on a wide scale due to the general slump in the country’s economy and the serious liability envisaged by legislation on employers who use foreign nationals’ labour. Furthermore, foreigners usually only get illegal work doing low-prestige jobs which Ukrainians refuse to do.
6. “Ukraine has an ill-considered attitude to granting immigrants permission to be in the country as a result of which at the present time there are a considerable number of foreign nationals living permanently in the country. This constitutes a threat to national security and could leave to the “dilution” of the Ukrainian people”.
As of 01.01.2012 211.143 foreigners were living permanently in Ukraine on residence permits. This is less than 0.5% of the total population of the country whereas according to demographic assessments, the critical mass of immigrants is considered to be 10-12% (statistical data from an Interior Ministry report, form 10-1P).
7. “Ukraine is very easy on asylum seekers and grants refugee status to an unwarrantedly large number of immigrants who later get a certificate giving them the right to permanent residence in Ukraine”.
At present in Ukraine there are 980 refugees on the record (as of June 2010 1,081 refugees were living in the country). In 2011-2012 not one refugee in Ukraine received permission to immigrate (statistical data from an Interior Ministry report, form 10-1P).
8. “Ukraine is an attractive country for immigrants. Having legalized their position in the country, foreigners bring in their relatives and friends”.”
Only 23% of immigrants surveyed said that the standard of living in Ukraine is better than in their country. 21% said that it was worse living in Ukraine, while 31% believe that the standard of living in Ukraine and the standard in the country they are from do not differ significantly. One in four of the immigrants said that it was better in other CIS countries, while 30% said that they did not see any difference between the standard of living in Ukraine and in other CIS countries.
48% of the immigrants surveyed said that friends from their country do not want to leave at all. 21% expressed the opinion that their fellow countrymen would like to move to European countries, but not to Ukraine. Only 15% named Ukraine as a country in which their relatives or friends would like to remain (information published by Oleksandr Feldman, MP and founder of the Institute of Human Rights and Prevention of Extremism and Xenophobia in the article “Sociology against Migrant-phobic Propaganda”).
9. “Immigrants in Ukraine are overwhelmingly people from poor Third World countries, people with another faith, culture and mentality”
Of the total number of immigrants, approximately 87% are citizens of countries within the former USSR, including around 68% who are nationals of Russia, Belarus or Moldova (statistical data from an Interior Ministry report, form 10-1P).
10. “Immigrants who’ve settled in Ukraine are the “social dregs” of society, a poorly educated group of the population inclined to lead a parasitic lifestyle”.
Foreigners who have received permits to immigrate and have documents certifying the right to permanent residence in the country share the same employment rights as Ukrainian citizens. The overwhelming majority of such immigrants (74%) are working. Of the total number not working – 42% are studying; 19% are on maternity leave; and 13% are officially unemployed. 51% of the immigrants have higher education; 22% - secondary specialized; and 34% have completed secondary education (information published by Oleksandr Feldman, MP and founder of the Institute of Human Rights and Prevention of Extremism and Xenophobia in the article Sociology against Migrant-phobic Propaganda”).
11. “Immigrants don’t integrate into Ukrainian society”.
80% of immigrants communicated fluently with the local population in Russian or Ukrainian. 65% of immigrants who have underage children speak to them both in their native language, and in Ukrainian or Russian; 23% speak to them only in Ukrainian or Russian and only 12% speak to them only in their native language. Furthermore, 68% of the children of immigrants go to ordinary schools and 7% to specialized schools. 62% of those surveyed would like their children to get a higher education in Ukraine. 91% of the respondents have friends among the local population to whom they always turn for help. 80% believe that they can count on help from their neighbours.
The index for the level of integration of immigrants in Ukraine, on a scale of 0 to 100 is quite high, standing at 78 points (information published by Oleksandr Feldman, MP and founder of the Institute of Human Rights and Prevention of Extremism and Xenophobia in the article Sociology against Migrant-phobic Propaganda”).
12. “The scale of illegal immigration of foreign nationals to Ukraine is constantly on the increase. Ukraine has become the dumping ground for illegal migrants who can’t get into Europe. There are so many illegal migrants in Ukraine that there’s nowhere to keep them”.
The number of illegal migrants detained in 2011 (13.298) had not risen, but on the contrary had fallen by 8.2% since 2010, and in 2012 it was four times lower than in 2011. On average, temporary holding centres for foreigners of the State Border Guard Service in 2011 were 30-50% full. There was an analogous situation with the numbers in Interior Ministry special centres for keeping illegal migrants. Over 9 months of 2011, the Chernihiv centre was 29% full; the Volyn centre – 27% (letter from the State Border Guard Service Administration dated 08.02.2012 №26/М-56 and the letter from the State Migration Service dated 10.02.20112 №8/3-104 to an information request from the Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement), In 2012 the degree to which the centres were filled was considerably lower than in 2011.
Ukraine’s Accounting Chamber asserts that “the capacity of the temporary holding facilities for illegal migrants significantly exceeded the real need for such units. The situation has developed where there are two guards for one illegal migrant…” (official site of the Accounting Chamber; material entitled “When will the Migration Service begin working?”).
13. “Among illegal migrants in Ukraine, there are a very large number of people from countries in Africa, South-East and Central Asia”.
From the total number of illegal migrants detained in 2011 (13.298), almost 93% (12.341) are citizens of former Soviet republics (statistical data from an Interior Ministry report, form 10-1P).
14. “By signing a readmission agreement with the European Community, Ukraine has got itself into a trap – we will be handed hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants from Europe”.
In implementation of the above-mentioned agreement, 240 foreigners were received from the authorized bodies of EU member states in 2011. In 2009 there were 712 foreigners; in 2012 – 398. (Letter from the State Border Guard Service Administration dated 08.02.2012 №26/М-56 to an information request from the Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement). Over the first 9 months of 2012 only 99 people were received.
Clearly the increase in intolerance towards immigrants is not exclusive to Ukraine. Due to social and economic problems a crisis of tolerance and certain disillusionment with the principles of multiculturalism is being seen in many European countries. However unlike some of those countries, the immigration situation in Ukraine is still far from critical and does not pose a significant threat to national security. Immigrants are not trying to exert influence on the police and processes of state governance; are not demanding that separate economic, religious and cultural privileges be set aside for them through legislation; and they are virtually not competing with Ukrainians for accommodation or employment.
We thus see that the spread of discriminatory sentiments in Ukrainian society is not so much caused by social and economic factors, but is to a greater extent the result of an ill-considered position by the mass media, politicians and the authorities on this issue.
4. The impact of the mass media on the level of xenophobia towards immigrants
The impact of the media on people’s awareness cannot be overestimated, and in fact in many cases it is precisely the media which formulates the public’s position regarding this or that phenomenon. Unfortunately in Ukraine the media usually paint the image of foreigners coming to Ukraine in black colours, presenting the entire spectre of burning migration issues as being solely about illegal immigration. In this they focus attention purely on its negative consequences (which for Ukraine are very often only potential) and broaden negative stereotypes to cover all foreigners as a whole. At present demonstrations of intolerance towards immigrants have become a bad custom. Nor are they only resorted to by little-known publications, with them used also by popular publications and television channels positioning themselves as democratic and liberal.
Over recent years in Ukraine a clear trend can be identified towards reduced sensitivity by the media to public expressions of xenophobic and discriminatory sentiments. In their attempts to gain popularity and increase their audience of information users, journalists and editors quite often ignore certain norms of professional ethics and communicate with the public in language that has clear features of hate speech. Clearly media publications, aside from those with a radical bent, as a rule avoid publishing direct calls to discrimination against immigrants, however they quite often publish material which in a covert manner elicit a negative attitude to foreigners, and thus provoke the public and the authorities to the same kind of discrimination. Both the average person and officialdom begin to believe that immigrants are a potential threat and that therefore certain restrictions of their rights are a blessing for each individual Ukrainian and for society as a whole.
The most widespread methods for such “information diversion” against the image of immigrants are:
1. Publication of material solely on negative subjects: crime; fraud; extremism; illegal migration; the spread of dangerous illnesses; contempt for Ukrainian culture; etc) which creates the idea that their presence in the country is a threat to public safety.
A recent trend should be noted towards a reduction in the number of cases where the media mention the specific ethnic original or citizenship of an immigrant in connection with a crime having been committed. This is undoubtedly a positive factor. At the same time, the press continue to focus attention on the “alien nature” of the alleged offender, with the headlines sensational and creating in the minds of the reader a generally negative image of immigrants – “killer foreigner”; foreigner rapist; foreigner swindler; and foreigner invader.
The following are some of the articles, etc.
«In Zaporizhya a foreigner shoots Ukrainian in the head”,
- «In the Crimea foreigner beats and rapes disabled woman”
- «40-year-old foreigner rapes small girl”
- «Foreigner rapes woman in the toilet of a private café in Kyiv».
- «HIV-positive foreigners allowed into Ukraine”»
2. Use in the article of information from unknown sources or incorrect treatment of data; references to unnamed or “own” experts; manipulation of statistics in order to create the idea that there is a considerable threat posed by the presence of immigrants in Ukraine.
- «Xenophobia on the increase in Ukraine»
- «Most hired killers in Ukraine are carried out by people from the Caucuses – Interior Ministry»
- «Venal problem, or why Ukraine is rejecting its own migration policy” ()
- «Instructions for a propagandist»
3. The use in material of special vocabulary – terms which elicit an unfriendly attitude to immigrants (“occupation”; “invasion”; “colonies of immigrants”); offensive names for the immigrants’ ethnic origin; setting immigrants against Ukrainians.
- “Ari chopped a Ukrainian’s finger off”
- -«Hunt for negroes opened at Ukrainian resorts”
- «Ukraine is turning into a desert inhabited by Africans”
4. Publication of material accompanied by photographs aimed at provocation, with content that is offensive and degrading for immigrants – “foreigner behind bars”; “foreigner – beggar”; “foreigner – foreigner – beast”.
The article “Near “Ornava” “black” blood spilled. Arabs fight with Negroes for our whores” in “New Ternopil Newspaper”, with a photo collage which associates black foreign students with monkeys;
This kind of media position which inculcates a sense of wariness and animosity towards immigrants is for many Ukrainians a kind of justification for the possibility of using violence against foreigners.
The prevalence of discriminatory sentiments towards immigrants in Ukraine is also reflected in the sharp rise in manifestations of so-called cyber-hatred on the Internet. Xenophobic slogans; calls to discrimination against immigrants and to acts of violence against them are freely circulated over the websites of radical organizations, personal blogs and social networks. Judging from the commentaries, they find support in the first instance among young people.
A telling example in this respect is the Ukrainian web resource “Stop Immigration”. This is the mouthpiece for a civic organization of the same name and actively pushes a negative attitude to both illegal immigrants and to the lawful immigration of foreigners to Ukraine.
“No immigrants, illegal or illegal, come here to bring good to Ukraine. Yet this society, which is so attractive to foreigners, was created from the work of many generations of Ukrainians. Giving the right to live in it and the prospect of citizenship, we make migrants co-owners of our national heritage and essentially give away for free what our parents left us”.
An even more aggressive discriminatory position with respect to immigrants is demonstrated by the web-resource of the Social-National Assembly:
«Immigration, both legal and illegal, undermines the vital forces of the Ukrainian Nation and State. It is not for nothing that parallels are drawn between the present situation and the time of Koliyivshchyna (the Cossack and peasant uprisings against Poland in 1768-1769 – translator). On the eve of Koliyivshchyna, like now, the native population was oppressed and exploited through social pressure, and a carte blanche was given to aliens. We all know the outcome. Ukrainians drove out the occupiers. The same thing is happening now too. Ukrainians are being destroyed. Each year there are hundreds of thousands less Ukrainians. At the same time thousands of immigrants (mainly from Asia and Africa) are pouring into Ukraine. We are seeing the planned substitution of ethnic Ukrainians by multicultural rabble. We need to have a new Koliyivshchyna which will put everything in its place”
Despite the fact that Ukraine is a signatory to the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cyber-Crime which concerns criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature carried out via computer systems, the competent bodies in Ukraine are continuing to pay no attention to countering cyber-hate on the Internet.
5. The political component linked with discrimination against immigrants in Ukraine
It must be noted that the problem with the spread of discrimination against immigrants in Ukrainian society is closely linked with the energetic activities of certain political forces which, hoping to increase their electoral rating, publicly resort to statements of unconcealed animosity towards foreigners and suggest that their rights and liberties should be restricted. Ukrainian society is effectively pushed the idea that “love of Ukraine means not loving non-Ukrainians”. Most typical in this respect is the activity of the All-Ukrainian Association Svoboda [VO Svoboda] whose leaders push the idea that Ukraine’s security is endangered by immigration of foreigners; claim that there need to be limits placed on tolerance; and insist on legislative restrictions on the rights and freedoms of immigrants.
In the organization’s declared “Programme for the protection of Ukrainians”, VO Svoboda proposes heightening control over the presence of foreigners in Ukraine; giving privileges to Ukrainian students with respect to hostels attached to academic institutions; and allowing foreigners to obtain Ukrainian citizenship over under exceptional circumstances and after living in Ukraine for 10 years, etc..
“The migration issue is, undoubtedly, a question of Ukrainians’ survival as a nation. Whether we will be the masters of our land, or be inexorably turned into a minority without rights, it is this choice which faces us”, the leader of VO Svoboda Oleh Tyahnybok asserts. “Before our eyes a radical change is being made to the ethnic structure of the country’s population. Our cities are more and more filled with people who have come from the countries of Asia, Africa, the Caucuses - markets, hostels, even entire blocks are becoming zones of their total domination. The issue of migration is not simply immediate, it is flagrantly so. And it needs to be resolved immediately and systematically, and the insurgence of immigrants from Third World countries stopped. Otherwise, in just some two generations, we will disappear as a nation.”».
In their public rhetoric, the leaders of this political force often try to demonstrate the need for “anti-immigration” measures by resorting to unchecked statements; distorted or incorrectly interpreted data; they draw certain parallels with a general European crisis of multiculturalism and assert that rejection of the principles of tolerance towards immigrants is a kind of indicator of “European thinking”..
Since VO Svoboda positions itself as being in opposition to the present regime which is rapidly losing the trust of the Ukrainian public, the ideas of the organization, including those regarding the possibility of discriminating against immigrants supposedly in defence of Ukrainian authenticity and national interests, are becoming more and more popular among Ukrainians.
It should be noted that certain officials also resort to overly discriminatory actions in Ukraine, claiming that this is prompted by concern for the interests of native inhabitants.
In the article “The Mayor of Feodosiya ordered that all negroes be ejected from the embankment” (Internet publication “NEWS.ru.ua) it is stated that “… the Mayor of Feodosiya demanded that negroes not be allowed on the city’s embankment. He stated this at a working meeting of the Feodosiya Executive Committee. “There mustn’t be even one negro there. they pester passers-by and don’t let attractive girls get past at all. They flog them something or other, some kinds of magic suitcases. People shy away, this is not how it should be”.
6. The level to which discrimination against immigrants is countered by the law enforcement bodies. Xenophobia in police bodies
The Ukrainian authorities’ concentration on ensuring effective protection of immigrants from acts of hate-based violence and discrimination remains at an extremely low level. Despite the present position of human rights organizations which are warning of danger and pointing to the prevalence of intolerance towards immigrants and cases where physical force is used against them, Ukraine’s government does not see countering discrimination and xenophobia as one of its priority tasks. As a rule, officials only acknowledge the existence of a problem only at the level of certain cases, referring in their conclusions exclusive to reassuring data from law enforcement bodies which amount only to adding up the number of criminal cases initiated under the Article of the Criminal Code in question (Article 161 Infringement of citizens’ equality on the grounds of their racial, ethnic origin or religious convictions).
According to data from the Prosecutor General’s Office, in 2009 4 criminal cases were initiated under Article 161 of the Criminal Code; in 2010 – 6 ; in 2011 – 2. Of these the following number reached the court and the person was convicted: in 2009 – not one case; in 2010 and 2011 – three cases each year (response from the Prosecutor General’s Office from 17.02.2012 №23-132vykh-12 to an information request from the Association of Human Rights Monitors in Law Enforcement. The Prosecutor General’s Office refused to provide information as to the number of cases where some of those under investigation are foreign nationals, citing secrecy of the pre-trial investigation.
Such figures clearly fail to reflect the real situation regarding discrimination in the country and are to a greater measure evidence of the law enforcement structures’ impotence in countering this negative phenomenon.
Limited application of Article 161 of the Criminal Code is to do with a number of factors, among which it is useful to highlight the main two:
- the lack of specificity in the article itself which makes it extremely difficult to prove intent to commit a crime specifically on the grounds of racial or ethnic enmity;
- the lack of a developed algorithm within the law enforcement bodies for proceedings under this article.
Such an extremely small number of precedents for applying Article 161 arouses doubts as to the point of its very existence, at least in its present form.
People from the Interior Ministry usually explain the passiveness of the police in ensuring criminal prosecutions of people believed to have committed hate crimes by the fact that the initiating of a criminal case under Article 161 is within the competence of the Prosecutor’s Office. Such explanations made some sense before the introduction of the new Criminal Procedure Code [CPC],. However police bodies do not use other possible levers of influence on the situation – for example, Article 67 of the Criminal Code which considers the committing of a crime on the basis of racial, ethnic or religious enmity or discord as an aggravating circumstance. Article 67 can be applied without passing the criminal investigation from the police to the Prosecutor’s Office, while establishing motives of enmity makes it possible for the investigator to make the appropriate additional classifications of any criminal acts envisaged by the Criminal Code, from hooliganism and the inflicting of bodily injuries to destruction of property, desecration of religious places of worship or of graves. However this practice is not widespread within police bodies with this, on the one hand, making the sentences for crimes more lenient, and on the other, reducing the statistical data regarding the real number of hate-related crimes.
As a rule, the law enforcement bodies give attention only to highly publicized cases of physical violence against immigrants. However, even in such cases the police try to treat the motives for the crime as being on an everyday level. If the assailants did not have obvious markers indicating that they’re part of the skinhead culture – the relevant style of clothes; Nazi symbols; tattoos; haircut etc, they don’t view the attack on a foreigner as racially motivated. Even when overtly racist slogans, suggesting with offensive epithets that there is no place for certain groups in Ukraine, are chanted during the attack, the police treat them as everyday insults and not as an indicator of the ideological motivation for the crime.
The law enforcement bodies almost don’t react at all to cases where the rights of immigrants are infringed, unless acts of violence are involved. Insults to the national honour and dignity of foreigners; incitement to enmity through the use of campaigning methods; restriction of rights through the lack of citizenship go unnoticed by the law enforcement people.
The lack of anti-discrimination legislation in Ukraine and the specific features of the structure of legal relations in the link “police-prosecutor-court” encourage the police to consciously change the classification from “hate crime” to “everyday” crimes which are less difficult to investigate, as well as to try to hide them altogether from their records.
Police officers in the Sumy oblast succeeded in arresting people whom they believed to have set fire to a room in a hostel where three students from Nigeria were living. They proved to be an 18-year-old student and 21-year-old guard in a private security firm. Both belonged to a milieu of football and graffiti fans. Despite the fact that near the window of the room which was set alight swastikas were daubed, as well as the clear enough words “Go home”, the police did not find any signs of a hate crime in this case, and initiated a criminal case against the two young men over deliberate destruction or damage to property. The sentence – 2 years and 8 months imprisonment does not seem commensurate with the crime committed. We can cite other similar examples of police reluctance to see xenophobia and racism as motives of a crime.
During a survey of foreign nationals in Kharkiv carried out by the Kharkiv Human Rights Group at the end of 2011, 21% of the respondents said that there was no point in turning to the police for protection since the police don’t respond.
23.1% said that they had come under pressure from the police themselves. 13.2% asserted that the police had insulted them; 9.9% had suffered threats; while 3.3% were subjected to physical violence.
79,1% of the foreign nationals asked had been detained by police officers. In 67% of these cases the police checked their documents; in 13,2% – they demanded money, and in 2.2% they looked for drugs. 7% of the respondents said that the police had stopped them without given any explanation.
More than half of the respondents reported that the police had detained them even when they had had documents with them.
Most often the foreign nationals obtained their release by paying the police money (45% of those surveyed). Only 8.8% of the foreign nationals succeeded in proving that they were right and 6,6% were released after being held for lengthy periods (from 30 minutes to 6 hours).
There is no doubt that false stereotypes and negative prejudices regarding immigrants seen in Ukrainian society are typical of any particular group of people including those united by their work. Nonetheless the police represent an armed body of power which enjoys fairly broad powers to take autonomous decisions, including with respect to applying punishment and coercion. For these reasons, support from police officers of the idea that the interests of Ukrainian citizens can be protected via restriction of the rights of immigrants poses as serious threat to the latter.
The police, like any other law enforcement or enforcement body, are a clearly structured and hierarchical structure built on the basis of single-handed adoption of managerial decisions and their mandatory enforcement by all ranks below. The level of xenophobia among law enforcement officers and the prevalence of cases of discrimination against immigrants are thus directly dependent on the degree to which the Interior Ministry’s heads understand the importance of deliberate efforts in developing a tolerant attitude to foreigners among subordinate personnel.
Unfortunately starting from 2010 the relevant educational work with personnel from law enforcement bodies which had previously been actively carried out by the Department for Human Rights Monitoring within the Interior Ministry (dissolved in 2010 on the order of the former Minister of the Interior, Anatoly Mohylyov) and by the Public Councils under regional departments of the police has at present virtually stopped.
However it would be incorrect to think that law enforcement officers violate the rights of foreign nationals solely due to a negative attitude to the latter. The level of corruption among Ukraine’s police is rather high, and in many cases the police see immigrants as a target for extortion and illegal profit. Even where they are legally in the country, foreign nationals are always in a position of considerable dependence in respect to members of the law enforcement structures.
One of the factors promoting manifestations of discrimination against immigrants within the police force are the wrong accents placed by the Interior Ministry on priorities for carrying out work with foreigners and the excessively strict position on ensuring measures to counter illegal immigration. With respect to immigrants, the law enforcement bodies carry out solely functions of control and punishment with an almost total absence of the functions of providing assistance or consultation.
At present the effectiveness of a police department’s work in the immigration sphere is assessed according to:
- the number of illegal migrants found;
- the number of foreign nationals expelled from the country;
- the number of foreign nationals charged with administrative offences;
- the number of foreign nationals banned entry to Ukraine;
- the number of foreign nationals placed in special police units;
- the number of foreign nationals whose period of being allowed to be in Ukraine is reduced (departmental reporting from the Interior Ministry, form 10-IP)
The Interior Ministry’s management constantly and insistently pushes personnel to achieve specifically these indicators and demands that territorial bodies of the Interior subordinate to the Ministry that their results for identifying foreign infringers are no worse than during the previous year. Clearly under such circumstances the police have a direct interest in their being as many foreign infringers as possible.
We should note that the top people in the Interior Ministry, endeavouring to prove that harsh methods are needed to counter infringements of legislation by immigrants, focus the attention of their subordinates on the negative risks of immigration processes and spread among police personnel traditional stereotypes which create the subconscious image in rank and file police officers of an “immigrant – enemy”.
“In some districts there is a concentration of representatives of certain ethnic groups (Chinese, Vietnamese, countries of the Caucuses and others) whose activities are connecting with trading; lease relations with the use of land; various forms of criminal offences, including spreading drugs. The majority of migrants are not engaged in production, and simple want a leading role in the above-mentioned spheres of activity. Given the present demographic crisis further concentration of such people in particular inhabited areas could lead to social conflicts arising between them and the local population. Moreover, among people from this category there are a good number of carriers of dangerous diseases, for example, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria, etc”.
“Illegal migrants have recently begun penetrating our country more and more often in order, firstly, to use its territory as a transit route for the economically developed countries of Western Europe. Secondly, in order to obtain legalized status in Ukraine for an indefinite period (using procedure for applying for refugee status, as well as student and other channels.
Among those who come to Ukraine in violation of established procedure, there have proven to be people complicit in crimes and other offences. There have been cases where ethnic criminal gangs have been created by illegal migrants” (excerpts from a letter from the State Department on Citizenship, Immigration and Individual Registration Matters of the Interior Ministry, dated 20.04.2011 №49/3-3398, sent to territorial division of the Department in different oblasts).
Such “inoculations of distrust” lead to police officers being prejudiced towards immigrants and carrying out actions with obvious signs of discrimination, of which the following are the most widespread:
- unwarranted refusal to allow immigrants to extend their stay in Ukraine;
- reduction in the period that immigrants are allowed to remain in Ukraine for insignificant administrative faults or for far-fetched motives altogether;
- making demands which restrict the right of immigrants to move freely around Ukraine;
- unwarranted checks of immigrants’ passport documents and taking them by force to police stations in order to carry out a check on lists of offenders;
- unlawfully entering immigrants’ homes in order to inspect them;
- unlawful personal examination of immigrants and of their cars;
- taking the decision to remove an immigrant from Ukraine on trumped up grounds and creating conditions making it impossible to appeal such decisions;
- taking the decision to ban an immigrant from entering Ukraine without the proper explanation of the grounds for taking such a decision.
It is mainly immigrants from the countries of Africa; the Caucuses; Southwest, Central and Southern Asia who mainly suffer from such treatment. Foreign students are especially at risk, as well as people who crossed Ukraine’s border under non-visa procedure. Because the latter do not have a visa stamp in their passports, they don’t have the opportunity to confirm with documents the purpose for coming to Ukraine and the period they plan to remain in the country.
Obviously infringements of immigrants’ rights in Interior Ministry bodies are not solely due to the Interior Ministry leadership’s support for excessively strict measures of influence on the immigrant situation in the country. The level of discrimination against foreigners in the enforcement and law enforcement structures is directly dependent on the legal framework in which they have to work. The normative legal acts, including departmental documents, should not in any way stimulate discrimination but should, on the contrary, be some kind of protection against any of its manifestations appearing.
7. Manifestations of migrant-phobia in normative legal documents and state immigration policy
We should first note that Ukraine, having chosen European immigration legislation and international human rights standards as its model, back at the beginning of independence officially declared its course as towards the development in the country of a national law-based regime for foreigners being in the country, with the latter having, with the exception of certain restrictions, virtually the same rights, freedoms and duties as Ukrainian citizens. This principle of mutual relations is enshrined in Article 26 of Ukraine’s Constitution and Article 3 of the Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals and Stateless Persons.
However, in later development of legislation, which the Interior Ministry was actively involved in, the country’s authorities gradually, yet unremittingly moved away from those declared principles for building mutual relations with immigrants, narrowing and restricting their rights. The government, in spite of its officially declared national legal framework, in practice chose a course of constant restrictive and coercive measures with respect to immigrants, while practically ignoring other more humane, while no less effective, levers of influence on the migration situation – immigration amnesty; a well-considered policy, beneficial to the country, for employment of foreigners; measures to promote their adaptation into the Ukrainian community, etc. The main direction of State immigration policy became aggressive while at the same time not always effective countering of illegal migration with widespread infringements by the enforcement bodies of foreigners’ rights and interests.
The stance of aggressive prejudice and mistrust in their attitude to immigrants which is supported by state authorities has always been condemned by Ukraine’s human rights community which has sometimes forced the government to avoid more progressive normative legal acts which are more favourable for foreigners.
On 25.12.2011 a new Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals and Stateless Persons (№3773-VI) came into force, this being fundamentally new and considerable more humane in its attitude to immigrants.
Among the progressive norms of the new law which bring in an attitude to immigrants by the State which better considers their needs, the following should be noted:
- a decision to prohibit entry into Ukraine is taken with respect to an immigrant not because of an infringement of legislation committed during their previous stay in the country, but solely in cases where the foreigner has not fulfilled the administrative penalty imposed by the court;
- an immigrant shall not necessarily be prohibited from entering Ukraine if the decision is taken to forcibly return him or her to their country of permanent residence, and thirty days, not five, are granted for leaving Ukraine;
- the period during which a foreigner is banned from entering Ukraine after attempting to illegally cross the state border has been reduced from ten to three years;
- the broad list of grounds for reducing the period in which an immigrant is allowed to be in the country has been revoked. It is established that such a reduction in the time period may be made where the foreigner has lost the grounds for remaining any longer in the country;
- a fundamentally new procedure for “voluntary return” of a foreigner to his or her country of origin has been introduced. This is in its essence not an act of coercion, but a measure of assistance since it is carried out at the wish of the immigrant and with the support of the state authorities,. International and civic organizations;
- a norm stipulates that forced return or expulsion of immigrants is not possible to countries where their life or freedom is in danger, where they could face execution, torture or ill-treatment;
- an extended list of categories of immigrants who have the right to receive a temporary residence permit;
- more specification of the procedure by which a foreigner confirms having sufficient financial means which is one of the requirements for the adoption of a positive decision allowing the person to be in Ukraine.
Such changes without any doubt deserve a positive assessment however the new Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals and Stateless Persons has not removed all risks of potential discrimination against immigrants.
The most significant flaws in this normative legal act with respect to safeguarding foreigners’ rights and freedoms are as follows:
– the law continues to grant unwarrantedly great powers in resolving conflicts of interest between foreigners and the State to the law enforcement bodies, and not to the courts. For example, while it is exclusively the prerogative of the court to take a decision imposing a fine on a foreign national for infringing the rules on being in Ukraine (Article 203 of the Code of Administrative Offences), the law enforcement bodies are able to take decisions on reducing the period of time that an immigrant may be in the country; on the person’s forced return to the country of their permanent residence; and a ban on their entry into Ukraine. This is despite the fact that forced return; the termination of registration and a ban on entering the country are much more severe punishments than a fine and cause the immigrant considerably more material and moral damage.
– unlike the previous version, the revised law does not have a separate section “The main rights, freedoms and duties of foreign nationals and stateless persons” with articles on the rights of immigrants to work; education; healthcare; social protection; accommodation, etc, and only states that “foreign nationals and stateless persons who are in Ukraine on lawful grounds shall enjoy the same rights and freedoms, and also have the same duties as Ukrainian citizens with exceptions established by Ukraine’s Constitution, laws and international agreements”. This rejection by the bill’s authors of a more detailed declaration of the rights of foreigners is ill-advised since the range of rights which the immigrants have depends first and foremost on the status under which they are in Ukraine. For example, only foreigners who are permanently resident in Ukraine have the right to engage in labour activities on the grounds and according to the rules of procedure established for citizens of Ukraine. Other categories of foreign nationals must receive a work permit from the relevant authorities. It is also only foreigners who are permanently resident in Ukraine who have the same right to education as Ukrainian citizens, while other immigrants pay for their studies according to separately envisaged rules of procedure. The lack of clear regulation in the new law of the rights and freedoms of foreigners, including with the status under which they are in the country taken into account undoubtedly complicates the mechanism for exercising their rights;
– the law does not contain clearly defined procedure for the enforcement agencies carrying out measures of coercion or punishment with respect to immigrants. This sets the groundwork for discrimination against them by the authorities, with officials retaining the right at their own discretion to pass decisions banning an immigrant’s entry into Ukraine; reduction in the time period that they can be in the country; their forced return or expulsion; justifying such decisions through general formulations like “in order to protect the legitimate interests of persons living in Ukraine; “in the interests of public order”; “due to the need to protect citizens’ health”. The legislators have also retained the norm making it possible to detain and forcibly expel an immigrant from Ukraine merely on the supposition that the foreigner intends to avoid leaving the country following a decision is passed on his or her return to their country of residence.
– the law does not ensure that immigrants have proper access to the justice system. A foreigner is granted the opposition to appeal to the court against a decision passed to forcibly return or expel him or her, but such an appeal does not stop these coercive procedures from being carried out;
– the law does not specify the grounds for refusing to extend a foreigner’s period of stay in Ukraine. At present these grounds are stipulated by an Interior Ministry Order, the provisions of which are excessively strict and fail to comply with the more humane principles of the new law.
Furthermore, implementation of the progressive norms of the new Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals and Stateless Persons is made more difficult by the fact that a number of subordinate acts have not been adapted to comply with it, including normative documents of the law enforcement structures.
Yet perhaps the main threat to ensuring enforcement of the humane provisions of the revised legislation lies in the range of implementers – the state authorities who are made responsible for implementing the legal norms in everyday life. In Ukraine the central executive authority which ensures implementation of State policy in the migration sphere is the newly created State Migration Service. Our analysis of the powers assigned this body and the directions of activities specified for it gives grounds for considering that reform of immigration legislation may become the latest attempt by the authorities to unite what cannot be united – to ensure civilized relations between the State and immigrants while keeping the priority role in creating these relations with the Interior Ministry which has traditionally had a prejudiced attitude to foreigners.
The format for the newly created State Migration Service proposed by the government has not met the human rights community’s expectations. A Presidential Decree from 6 April 2011 State Migration Service №405/2011 passed “Provisions on the State Migration Service of Ukraine” according to which the work of the Service is run on the basis of Interior Ministry orders. Such work is directed and coordinated by the Minister of the Interior who not only proposes a person for appointment as Head of the State Migration Service and agrees the candidacies for heads of its territorial divisions, but also deals with issues of reorganization of the central body’s structure and the divisions of the migration service; delegates representatives of the Interior Ministry to its collegiate body; considers proposals from the State Migration Service on formation of State policy in the migration sphere; agrees the annual plan for the Service’s work and oversees its implementation. Thus, instead of creating a new civilian state body which would merge the fragmentary powers of various departments regarding work with foreigners and would take on functions regarding migration issues which are not appropriate for law enforcement and enforcement structures, yet another body for overseeing foreigners has been created in Ukraine, a kind of “daughter enterprise” of the Interior Ministry.
Under such conditions it is extremely likely that the activities of the State Migration Service will not be focused on implementing the humanitarian missions – promoting immigrants’ social adaptation and monitoring observance of their rights and freedoms by the State authorities – but based on the enforcement and punitive principles seen in the work of the law enforcement bodies with the harsh stance typical of them in treating foreigners.
It is undoubtedly the case that in many European countries the migration service is within the police structure or closely linked to it. However for Ukraine such experience can hardly be considered optimum since Ukraine’s Interior Ministry is not a body implementing general internal policy, but merely an instrument for fighting crime and a means of maintaining law and order, with its own narrow tasks and the priorities in work which these entail.
In conclusion, one can say that at present in Ukraine discrimination against immigrants in the form of unconcealed violence has not for the moment become a large-scale and common phenomenon. However, a trend caused by a number of social and economic factors towards an overall increase in the level of xenophobia in the country, combined with the passive position taken by the authorities with respect to countering this negative phenomenon, gives grounds for predicting a possible sharp rise in the number of cases of radical acts with respect to foreigners against a background of heightened popularity of extremist ideas and marginalization of Ukrainian society.
Ukraine is formally endeavouring to maintain a fairly high level of tolerance towards immigrants with equality of the rights of foreigners and Ukrainian citizens enshrined in the Constitution and in the Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals and Stateless Persons. In international acts aimed at preventing discrimination and racism which Ukraine has ratified, these are recognized as criminal offences, etc. However such intentions are to a large extent declarative, and are effectively rendered meaningless by the lack of a decent anti-discrimination law with algorithms for countering various forms of discrimination; by overtly migrant-phobic provisions of certain departmental normative legal acts; by the inaction of the competent bodies with respect to fighting hate crimes and discrimination; and by the existence of xenophobia within the police.
The government should draw up and introduce a comprehensive range of normative legal, economic, social, promotional and other measures which will not only ensure proper protection of immigrants from violence on the part of radical organizations, but will also prevent discrimination against foreigners within the State authorities and on an everyday level.
Fundamental change is vitally needed in the attitude of the law enforcement bodies to investigating cases of discrimination against immigrants, in the first instance of acts of violence against them. The present system for countering hate crimes in Ukraine is extremely ineffective, including as a result of flaws in existing legislation.
The authorities need to ensure that all forms of enmity or animosity from the public to foreigners are countered, and must actively fight demonstrations of discrimination and xenophobia in the mass media which should not encourage these negative phenomena and understand that xenophobia and hate crimes are closely linked with one another.
According to the research done by the National Institute of the social studies under the President of Ukraine “Assessment of the Ukrainian society tolerance rate: risks and possibilities of achieving national unity” the social distance index with respect to the Roma people ( gypsies) has always been high –from 5.1 in 1994 (reluctance to see this social group members as the citizens of the state, while accepting them as guests) to 6.1 in 2010 (extreme intolerance – xenophobia, total banning them from the country.
The survey carried out by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in February 2010, showed that there 6 ethnic groups, towards which Ukrainians show the tolerance rate less than 50 %: the Germans (38 %), the Gypsies (37 %), the Rumanians (36 %), the Canadians (36 %), the Americans (35 %) and the French (33 %). Ukrainians traditionally do not tolerate Afghanis, Gypsies and Chechens. Taking into account the fact that the majority of population has no dealings with the members of these groups in their everyday life (with the exception of gypsies), this intolerance can be regarded as the result of certain persistent negative stereotypes in mass consciousness, formed by the negative information concerning the situation in the respective countries of origin of these ethnic groups or in the areas of their compact settlements.
The reason for the low tolerance rate of the Roma can be found in the fact that all the prior efforts of the official bodies to regulate the this group’s integration into the social structure of the modern Ukraine disregarded objective life style of the Roma and specific relationship with the Ukrainian citizens of other ethnicities. Legends and myths always surrounded these people, from the moment of their arrival in Europe in the 13th century. And things that we do not understand always breed fear. The whole history of the Gypsies is the story of their struggle for physical, social and spiritual survival, of their uniform desire to search better life in the new lands, for themselves and their families. The people that eventually became the Roma, in order not to disappear completely from the face of Earth, die of hunger and raise their children in the hostile surrounding with different language, religion, traditions and customs, had to offer the fruits of their labor or their talents to the people that surrounded them. When these fruits were rejected by the society, the Gypsies were forced to live “by the right of living creatures on Earth”. That is why the Gypsies were not understood by the majority of people surrounding them, and, therefore, not tolerated. The Roma, which came to Europe from the Balkans in early 15th century, brought a new physical type of person – of medium height, very dark-skinned, with black hair and handsome regular features. They also brought their own language, incomprehensible for the rest of society. Only in the late 18th century the linguists would identify it as a language close to the ancient Sanskrit and all the modern Hindu languages of India.
The Gypsies’ ancestors brought the feeling of freedom and rejection of the legal framework which bound the other nations. They always tried to follow the ancestral law, living autonomously.
In Europe it is common belief that treatment of ethnic minorities is extremely important for the development of freedoms, democracy, fundamental human rights and for the general improvement of social climate, irrespective of how numerous the groups of “non-title” ethnicities are. Modern European standards in ethnic policies stipulate active support of the ethnic minorities and implementation of the political correctness and tolerance in all the areas of public life, from mass culture to staffing and employment policies. Ukraine so far legs behind as compared to the all-European progress in this respect.
It is common knowledge that there is no accurate statistical data with respect to the number of the Roma population in all the countries of Europe, including Ukraine. In 1989, the USSR census results showed that 47 915 Roma lived in Ukraine, while its total population amounted to52 million. It means that in 1989 Roma accounted for approximately 0.9% of the Ukrainian population. In 2001, i.e. 12 years later, according to the data of the all-Ukrainian census, the Roma population constituted about 47 587 persons, while the population of Ukraine decreased to approximately 47 million.
According to the data of the2001 census, the majority of the Roma people live in Trans-Carpathian oblast’(14 004), Donetsk oblast’ (4 106), Dnipropetrovsk oblast’ (4 067),Odessa oblast’ (4 035), Kharkiv oblast’ (2 325), Luhansk oblast’ (2 284) and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (1 896). In some regions, e.g. the Trans-Carpathian oblast’, the Roma, according to some estimates, account for 3% of the population. However, the numerous studies lead us to believe that in fact that figure is much higher. Under the data of the National Academy of Sciences, it amounts to almost 200 000, while some Roma organizations collaborating with ERRC insist that this number is even larger –approximately 300 000 persons.
Currently the scope of discriminatory attitudes towards the Roma is still rather high in Ukraine: from superior, arrogant, stigmatizing treatment of the Roma by other citizens to openly anti-Roma speeches delivered by some politicians, law-enforcers and mass media.
Says vice president of the Roma women’s fund “Chirikli”, EC consultant on the Roma matters Zola Kondur “The current situation of the Roma community in Ukraine is critical, [it] requires direct and serious governmental and public attention”. The mentioned that according to census results, almost 48 thousand Roma live in Ukraine; the Roma NGO, however, claim that between 200 thousand and 400 thousand Roma currently reside in Ukraine. Z.Kondur stated that the majority of the Roma are unemployed, uneducated and have families with a lot of children. She also added that they can be classified as one of the poorest categories of the population. At the same time Z.Kondur mentioned that the actual Roma situation in Ukraine is accounted for by social, political, economical and cultural causes.
Analyzing the Roma situation for 40 years, we arrived at the conclusion that in the course of the last two years we went back to the 90-ies, as the cases of assaults against Roma, their killings and persecutions in Europe have been registered. So far no such cases have been registered in Ukraine, but here we face a different problem – discrimination, inaccessibility of certain services available for the title nation” – “Chirikli” vice president pointed out.
V.Likhachev argues that “due to the social/economic, cultural and historical reasons the major portion of this ethnic group belongs to the poorest walks of society. Persistent negative stereotypes of mass consciousness with respect to the Roma are still alive in the Ukrainian society. Most respectable media are not ashamed to exploit these stereotypes, offering the generalized image of a whole people as drug-dealers and criminals. The law-enforcement bodies sometimes organize preventive actions which can be classified as discriminatory without exaggeration”.
According to sociological studies, the Roma, (the Gypsies) in Ukraine are the most discriminated ethnic group, the least integrated into the society; they face xenophobic manifestations pretty often. This statement is fully supported by the Roma from Myrhorod. E.g. in January of this year a family with children (the husband being Roma, and the wife –Ukrainian) entered a cafeteria. They ordered potato pancakes and pierogis. Before the waiter could save them, they were approached by the militiamen, who ordered them to leave immediately. The Roma couple tried to seek the reason on which they were thrown out of the public catering place, obviously they did nothing wrong, neither did they disrupt public order. The law enforcers, who, naturally, forgot to introduce themselves, provided no explanation and just threatened the family – “if you are not leaving voluntarily, then you are in big trouble…” They also insulted the woman saying that she and “the likes of her spoil the Ukrainian nation”. The family, close to tears, had to take boxes with their food and go home.
Evidently, the correct resolving of the problems related to the Roma situation in Ukraine calls for comprehensive, systematic and long-term program, similar to the programs which proved efficient in other countries of the Eastern Europe (e.g. Hungary and Rumania).
In 2012 Kharkiv Institute for social studies (NGO) conducted a “Study of legal needs of the Roma population” funded by the “Renaissance” foundation. In their everyday life the Roma most often have to deal with the following issues:
getting the appropriate documents;
housing and communal problems;
hostile and prejudiced attitude on behalf of the law-enforcers;
social discrimination as a whole.
The experts identify the following reasons of the said problems: first, the cultural peculiarities, norms and customs of the Roma, which account for their specific mode of life: big families living together, methods of children upbringing, dealings with “gadzho” ( people of other nationalities”, trust to their own families etc. Second, it is negative attitude to the Roma, persistent in the society.
Observance of the Roma rights in the criminal justice
Numerous cases of the abuse of authority by the officials are among the key problems related to the violations of human rights in Ukraine since its independence. The Roma represent an especially vulnerable category of people in this sense, because their treatment by the law-enforcers and the measures used against them are more often than not based on stereotyping and identifying the Roma with criminals.
CERD commented upon the arbitrary actions of militia with respect to the Roma and members of other ethnic minorities,asylum seekers and non-citizens of different origins, i.e. their arrests and searches, pretrial detentions, based on race prejudices and presumption of guilt. The Ukrainian government received the following recommendation: “The Committee proposes the state to strengthen further attention to the trainings on human rights for the militiamen, facilitate investigation in the cases related to arbitrary actions of militia with respect to the Roma and persons of different nationalities, efficiently investigate complaints and petitions, find the culprits, ensure the necessary protection and compensation for the victims and to include the information on the number and specifics of the considered cases, the passed verdicts and recommendations and information on ensuring the necessary protection and compensation for the victims of such actions into the next report. The state was therefore recommended to pay attention to CERD General Recommendation No.27: Discrimination against Roma (2000), pp. 12-14) and CERD General Recommendation No.30: Discrimination against Non-Citizens (2004), pp. 18-24). See UN CERD, Draft Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, UKRAINE, CERD/C/UKR/CO/18, August 2006, p.12.
Prejudice on behalf of the law-enforcers and judicial power is an obstacle the Roma people encounter in terms of their rights, equal to the rights of other citizens, and equality in the face of the law. On the other hand, the Roma community is more controlled by the law enforcement bodies as compared to others. Often hostile and regular contacts with militia enhance the Roma’s vulnerability and the use of illegal (often corporal) punishments against them, even without proven guilt.
The Gypsies’ settlement attacked in Kyiv. The Gypsies themselves claim that they recognized some of the assailants as the law enforcers, who earlier came to the settlement and collected 10-15 UAH from them. The Gypsies set up their camp in the open at Bereznyakivska street in Kyiv. Today unknown individuals shot the dog and set the camp on fire. About 70 Roma, who came to the capital from Berehove, Trans-Carpathian region, lived in this camp. The majority of the residents were children. They set up their tents in a ravine between the Dnipro river and railroad tracks. They earned money collecting scrap metal. Sometimes the local residents helped them with food and clothing. On June 1, 15 plain-clothes men shot from the pistol 8 times, twice – into the air and twice aiming at the dog. They told the Gypsies to get packed and move on, and then set the tents on fire. Almost all the belongings and documents were burnt. According to the Roma, they recognized several militiamen they knew. The militiamen used to visit the camp earlier, collecting 10-15 UAH. Meanwhile the Chief Militia Department refused to provide any comment of the event.
The database compiled on the basis of racial characteristics
The investigation methods used by militia with respect to the Roma and the fact that the Roma community suffers from the excessive and obsessive attention on behalf of the law enforcers confirm that persecution on account of race still exists. The report of the “Traffic stop -2006” organization states that no other country has ever demonstrated such centralized and diligent attempts of the law enforcement bodies in collecting the database using fingerprints and photo-catalogues for the people of the Roma ethnicity. The international observers more than once pointed out these practices. For the first time the European Center for Gypsies Rights published a detailed description of these practices in 1997 report on Ukraine. The organization members interviewed the militiamen in Uzhgorod, who confirmed the existence of such database, claiming that it is a “preventive measure” in crime-fighting. The Roma are regarded as potential felons and one of the officers explained that the database is aimed at resolving social and by no means racial problems. Other international structures also referred to such cases in their reports. E.g., in 1999 and 2002 the European commission against racism and intolerance made a statement to the effect that Ukrainian law enforcement bodies in their operation are using tactics, based on racial profiling. These attitudes seem to be characteristic of the militia practices 15 years later. The situation never changed and today we can tell that there are no positive developments in this area.
Lviv militia discriminates the Roma
The executive director of the European Center for Gypsies Rights Dezideriu Gergei approached the Prosecutor General of Ukraine V.Pshonka and the Minister of Interior A.Mohylyov on account of information that reached the Center, i.e. that Lviv militiamen “illegally fingerprint people” and “verify the documents in a discriminatory way” among the Roma population of the region.
In particular, according to the official site of the Institute of the human rights and extremism and xenophobia prevention, over September and October 2011the Roma living in this area “were subjected to a premeditated campaign of personal data collection (ID checks, fingerprinting, taking photos)”, while the markets and Roma’s dwellings were raided and searched (UNIAN information).
It was stressed that under the law militia can only check the papers and fingerprint people “if there are legal grounds to suspect a person of committing a crime”. Besides, the unlawful actions of the law enforcers not only violate the Constitution, but also break a number of international commitments which constitute an inalienable part of the national legislation of Ukraine, in particular – the European Convention on protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, Conventions on the liquidation of all forms of discrimination and the International Pact on civil and political rights.
There are no bad nations, only bad people
. Last year a lamentable case happened in Myrhorod. Four Roma, who arrived from Luhansk oblast’ to attend a relative’s funeral, were detained at the railroad station several minutes prior to their transit train departure. Their tickets were not used, they were insulted and fingerprinted in the militia precinct, a lot of money was taken away from them, and one man had his hair burnt with a militiaman’s lighter. Despite my appeals, Myrhorod militia refused to recognize the facts of extortion, torture, moral and physical pressure exerted on the Gypsies. The rumors have it, though, that the sadistic officer does not work in militia any more.
The leaders of Myrhorod militia present at the meeting claimed that they have not heard about the said facts before. The Gypsies indeed are usually afraid of filing complaints against the illegal actions of the militiamen, as the supervisors of the culprits can always find a pretext to take their revenge on the claimants for “dishonoring” a law-enforcer.
The printed and electronic mass media contribute to the strengthening of anti-Roma stereotypes which identify the Roma people with crime, drugs and some vague “danger”. Ukrainian mass media publish materials provoking racial discrimination and enhancing negative attitude to the ethnic minorities, the Roma people included; they disseminate hostile stereotypes among population at large. The journalists constantly draw their readers’ attention to the Roma and numerous dangers allegedly represented by them; reporters often advise their public to stay as far away as possible from the Roma, to be alert and avoid any potential contact.
The monitoring of the “hate speech” at the well-known sites and MIU media for the period between April 2011 and April 2012 showed that out of 42 hate contents 31 were targeted against the Roma. We do not want to conclude that the goal of these texts is to create an image of a villainous Gypsy in the public consciousness, projecting this image on the whole group, that the openly discriminatory slogans (i.e. “Do not deal with Gypsies”, “Do not let them in”, “Do not meet their eyes”, “Avoid any contacts”) reflect a well-organized hate campaign, unleashed through militia internet resources. More probably, the information and PR agencies of the MIU simply wanted to warn the public about the cases of certain infringements to avoid their repetition in the future. However, it was done without due consideration or professionalism, ignoring the fact that the law does not allow for the protection of one group by restricting the rights of another.
These texts are degrading for the dignity and honor of the Roma and rouse hostility towards them, thus contributing to the openly biased and negative perceptions with respect to this ethnic group. Such actions can be classified as the intent of inciting interethnic hatred.
The provisions of Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “The violation of the citizens’ equality on account of their racial, national origin or religious beliefs” treat these actions as crimes, while the commentary to it states that “ any actions aimed at significant increase in the feelings of hostility, unfriendliness and disgust of certain groups of population with respect to the other ethnic or racial groups of religious communities, diminishing of positive characteristics of a given nation are defined as the actions aimed at rousing interethnic hostility and hatred, at humiliating national honor and dignity”.
One does not need to be an expert in interracial relations to recognize these materials as intolerant and not contributing to the mitigation of interethnic tensions in the society. The Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On Militia” unambiguously obliges any militiaman to be tolerant, to respect personal dignity, treat every person humanely and protect everyone’s rights irrespective of the person’s ethnic origin, nationality, religious beliefs and convictions.
Discrimination in the accessibility of social and economic services
The major part of the Roma population in Ukraine lives in extreme poverty with minimum access to the basic social services. Although there is no sufficient data on ethnic minorities, the fact that the majority of the Ukrainian Roma are indigent and sometimes, incredibly poor, is evident.
Despite this fact, or may be, due to it, the poorest families not always can get access to public subsidies. E.g. in Poltava region after the hurricane which happened in the summer of 2012, the Roma, due to the discriminatory policies of local bureaucrats never received the state subsidies for the renovation of the houses demolished by the hurricane.
Who is to be held responsible for the actions of the village mayor passing arbitrary judgments in the aftermath of the terrible hurricane, while one quarter of the village population never received any support?
Almost 50 residents (mostly, Roma, and some Ukrainians – one fourth of the whole population in total!) were cheated by L.Rybalko ( the village mayor) “like kittens”, according to Mr. Checehtov description. Like in a kids’ fairy tale she distributed the state subsidies on the principle “This one will get it, and that one will get, but the other one never will”, as if she were distributing her own money! As if she were not a “village mother”, as good mayors are sometimes referred to by the villagers, but a cruel and perfidious stepmother, although her office obliges her to treat all the people with due respect irrespective of their ethnicity or skin color, as they are all equal citizens of Ukraine.
And why “they will never get it”? Because she does not like the Gypsies. Because she promotes xenophobic attitudes – a village farmer and council member, and too active village women shouted calling for burning all the Gypsies’ houses down ( probably, inspired by the TV news about the arson in the Gypsies’ camp on the eve of EURO-2012), charging them with neglecting their vegetable gardens, lack of registration, of disappearing for months (going to Moscow to earn some money-author).
The poor people face serious obstacles on the way to medical care, regardless of their ethnicity. But, unlike the other Ukrainians, the Roma often fall victims to discrimination and prejudice, which bar their access to the social services, including the medical ones. Disregard of the traditional Roma mode of life in the medical assistance also hinder their access to quality medical services.
How the Gypsies live in Kyiv
Everyone was open and friendly. They invited me to their dwellings (I can’t find the right name for those). I was surprised to see that everything was neat and clean inside. I took pictures of the kids, then showed them the photos to their utmost joy.
I don’t know how they will survive the winter. Almost all of them are staying in Kyiv, as they have nowhere to go. We’ll get back to them offering some help.
Due to discriminatory refusals to examine and treat the Roma and to other reasons, mentioned above, the health of the majority of the Roma people is worse than among other categories of the population. Cardio-vascular problems, stresses and contagious diseases, especially TB, are very common in the Roma community, while no efficient state policy addressing these issues is in place.
The Ukrainian Roma in fact are experiencing discrimination in all the areas of life, i.e. access to education, housing services, health care, employment and social services.
There are two most common types of the Roma discrimination. Direct discrimination of the Roma occurs most often due to the contemptuous attitude towards them combined with the disregard of their needs. It is manifested in direct or indirect rejections on account of their race, barring their access to services, information or other benefits which constitute inalienable part of the fundamental economic and social rights. The indirect discrimination is manifested in hindering the Roma access to economic and social rights due to their status of “pariahs” in Ukraine. It is also noteworthy that the Roma women are subject to the double discrimination, on behalf of society – being the Roma, and on behalf of their own community – being females (gender discrimination).
The active stand of the international organizations and the Council of Europe concerning the situation with the Roma, found its reflection in the international legal acts, i.e. recommendations and resolutions of the Committee of ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – recommendations Rec(2001)17 and Rec(2005)4 aimed at rectifying the situation with Roma and travelers employment and economic status in Europe, Rec(2008)5 on state policies with respect to the Roma and travelers in Europe, № 1557(2002) on legal situation with the Roma in Europe, № 1924 (2010) on the Roma situation in Europe and respective actions of the Council of Europe. Another recommendation Rec(2006)10 of July 12, 2006 addresses the countries’ obligation to ensure the best access to the health care services for the Roma.
In 2008 the Council of Europe conducted a number of meetings with the representatives of various ministries and governmental bodies of Ukraine with the goal of better understanding and improving the Roma situation in Ukraine as well as identifying their needs. Later, in November 2008 the Council of Europe held a seminar on the health care for the Roma in Ukraine. It was attended by the representatives of the Ukrainian ministries, UNICEF Children Fund, International Migration Organization, World Bank, Embassy of Norway in Ukraine, National Roma Agency, (Rumania), Romani Criss (Rumania) and Ukrainian Roma NGOs. The participants pointed out the need to address the problems of health care in the Roma communities and stressed that the high morbidity level among the Roma is directly related to the lack of the regular medical check-ups, appropriate and timely medical care, mutual distrust between patients and non-Roma physicians, lack of money and incentives to visit a doctor etc. The seminar resulted in devising and adopting the Declaration “On the need of Roma mediators in health care issues in Ukraine”. The need of the Roma to get adequate medical and social services, provided by the medical professionals and power officials make this work extremely important. The Roma should be treated in a positive, non-discriminatory and respectful way, in the atmosphere of effective dialogue aimed at resolving their vitally important issues. The practice of mediation is widely spread in Europe and all over the world. These services are offered to the most vulnerable categories of society – the disabled, the migrants, different ethnic groups, including the Roma.
The program for Roma mediators already function in the 15countries, including France, Rumania, Serbia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, Finland, Ukraine, Czech Republic et al. In many countries the everyday operation showed the need and efficiency of the mediators in various areas, so that currently such mediators are operating in cultural, educational, health care, employment relations and other areas.
Significantly the international community and international organizations – UN, Council of Europe and European Union – treat the mediation as efficient and natural integration method for the “social inclusion” of these categories of population into social and even public and political life. That’s why lately a number of relevant international documents mandatory for all the member countries, including Ukraine, have been devised.
Since 2011 the program for Roma mediators has been included into the list of the Council of Europe priorities in compliance with the Strasbourg Declaration adopted on October 20, 2010 at the meeting of high officials representing the member countries of the Council of Europe.
As it is known, the Crimean Tatar people in their modern history had firsthand knowledge of tragic deportation of 1944 and decades of forced detention in internal exile on the territories of the Central Asian republics and RSFSR. Their returning to the historical native land––to the Crimea––began in the late eighties and in the 1990s thanks to the mass national movement developed as early as in the mid-fifties. And although the repatriation process is still underway (by different estimations, outside of Crimea there remains up to 150 thousand persons) the main part of the Crimean Tatar people already lives on the territory of the ARC, where its number reaches 280 thousand men.
The repatriation of the Crimean Tatars and their subsequent integration into the Ukrainian society occurred in difficult conditions, when Ukraine as a young state received statehood with the dismantling of the USSR and went about actively transforming the social and economic and political system. The Ukrainian state assisted insofar as it was able battling with its own economic problems, but obviously in volumes that remained insufficient for needs of the people coming back home. The repatriation was not supported by other states formed on the post-Soviet territory, and actually took place thanks to the public initiative of the Crimean Tatars overcoming numerous obstacles: storming economic crisis, questions of citizenship, trouble spots of national tension in places of former residence. But the greatest problems the Crimean Tatars experienced already on their arrival in the Crimea: prohibition and restraint of resettlement in certain regions, unemployment, non-allocation by local authorities of the land parcels for habitation building, ignoring of cultural and educational needs of repatriates, refusal in returning of cult buildings, artificial obstacles at employment etc. Under these conditions the Crimean Tatars did not bring up restitution questions (the restoration of property or rights previously taken away, conveyed, or surrendered during deportation).
And without that the heavy socially-psychological condition of the Crimean Tatars, who were exposed to the most difficult problems, was aggravated with comprehension and sensation of discrimination character of the state policy in relation to them as to undesirable repatriates. Thus, the inequality and discrimination of the Crimean Tatars in various spheres of public life remains in Crimea already throughout more than two decades; according to earlier studies, only forms and acuteness of their display undergo changes.
2012, as well as previous years, was saturated with the facts and events of discrimination character.
1. Social and economic sphere
1.1. Demesne relations
The aggravation of present real-estate problems in Crimea connected with non-allocation by local authorities of the land parcels for habitation building began in 2003-2004, and was caused by a number of reasons.
Firstly, in 1988-1990, a considerable part of the Crimean Tatars returning home, because of restrictions on settlement in a number of regions of the Crimea and bull housing market, settled in off-the-wall areas, where they could purchase a small house or apartment, as a rule, in rural steppe areas. In the prevailing majority those were former city dwellers, so, they could not find here a job matching their education and qualifications. They had to live in unusual social and economic environment without hope to resettle having moved to lived-in parts of the peninsula.
Secondly, a considerable part of repatriates returning to the Crimea purchased transitional housing from 16 to 28 sq m, or built cabins and lived rough. For the past of 15-20 years their families expanded, children of the first settlers became adults, and this time there arose a question of their dwellings.
Thirdly, the economic situation in depressive rural regions following the long period of deterioration began stagnating and edging out excess rural population. As it is known, on the average in the developed countries the rural population makes 7%, in the Crimea this indicator exceeded 20%, 13% of the Crimean peasants in the long term should migrate from villages to areas with better employment conditions. During the division of rural land into shares the repatriates on the average got 2-3 times less land, than local occupiers, and the Crimean Tatars became the first to be hound out of villages and find a place of their own in the Crimean cities and tourist regions where it was possible to get work and support their families.
The authorities of Ukraine and autonomy failed to promptly respond to economic, demographic and national processes in the Crimea. Moreover, the local authorities, as well as 15 years ago, in 2003-2004 began to refuse granting building plots provoking the second wave of an aggravation of the land allocation problem.
Therefore the Crimean Tatars had to resort to their former experience of self-arrangement acquired in the late eighties and early nineties. In the uptown Yevpatoriya and Simferopol, in a number of settlements of Simferopol Region and Big Yalta the Crimean Tatars occupied at self-will plots of land and built prototype models of houses to designate so-called “protest glades” against the stand of the authorities on the land issue. As a rule, those were frameworks of small buildings up to 20 sq m with walls and roofs. In Alushta, Feodosiya, and Leninsk regions the Crimean Tatars as law-abiding citizens applied to allocate them plots in tracts of land on which they wished to settle.
As a result about 15 thousand persons became claimants on the building plots in the cities of Yevpatoriya, Simferopol, and also the Simferopol Region of which about 11 thousand were Crimean Tatars and 3.5-4 thousand of Slavic population. There are housing areas, where Slavic and Crimean Tatar population are half-and-half. They actively cooperate among themselves achieving together allocation of building plots.
Since 2004, the Ukrainian state and, in particular, the Crimean authorities created various governmental commissions and working groups with participation of ministries and departments connected with land issues. But all their total conclusions and suggestions were turned down by the authorities: the decisions were delayed and lame excuses were made, for example, absence of a development plan, belonging of plots to various ministries and departments etc. Even in the areas controlled by a city or settlement the plots were not allotted: they were not transferred to any other users and had the status of reserve lots.
The state didn’t want to satisfy requirement of repatriates for the building plots responded to the seizure of plots and beginning of residential construction by passing on January 11, 2007 the Law no. 578-v “About amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine concerning strengthening of responsibility for unauthorized seizure of the plots of land”. According to this law, the Criminal Code of Ukraine was amended with article 197-1 “Unauthorized seizure of the lots and unauthorized construction”. If earlier the Ukrainian legislation treated the seizure of plots and unauthorized construction as an administrative offence with the maximum punishment in the form of the money penalty at a rate of UAH180, now criminal liability was introduced.
When V.Yanukovych assumed the presidential office all previous groundwork of land commissions was turned down. The Council of Ministers of ARC created a new working commission, and 2010 was spent making an inventory of land areas in the Crimea, were protest rallies prevailed. It prepared about 80 acts of de jure occupation of these areas and was disbanded. In 2011, it was replaced by the land commission of the Council of Ministers of ARC on freeing of illegally seized plots of land. The Crimean Tatars were against such name of the commission; however the Council of Ministers left it as it was explaining that it held good in law while the commission would actually solve the land issues in the Crimea. This commission started working since February 2011 having received powers only on the city of Simferopol and the Simferopol Region. Its limited sphere of influence was explained by the authorities telling that the areas covered by protest rallies in other regions had their users: the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Agrarian Policy, Academy of Agrarian Sciences etc.
Across Simferopol and Simferopol Region, from time to time, the land certification procedure moves ahead a little, but it is not a steady process. For example, the decision of the Simferopol City Rada of February 2011 on allotment to the deported of the area Lugovaya–2 (493 applicants, total area 42 hectares) has not been executed yet. Besides, in this area, where 99% of applicants were Crimean Tatars, Moslems by creed, the city authorities planned building a church and other objects.
In the area Krymavtogaz beyond the loop road Simferopol – Yalta they planned to initiate housing construction. In 2011 the Simferopol City Rada changed the purposive appointment and designated it as a urban green zone. The same the City Rada did in other areas, for example a lot on General Vasilyev Street (17 hectares) having defined it as an industrial storage zone. Now, before allocation of lots in these areas, they have to change their status by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Such actions of the city authorities display the general policy concerning the Crimean Tatar people coming back home.
On the threshold of parliamentary elections, the Crimean power decided to legalize two small areas: Lavandove Pole for 40 plots of land on the territory of microdistrict Fontany and an area for 70 plots of land near the loop road Symeiz – Radhospna Streets. On the occasion the Simferopol city executive board solved its problems having allocated 27 sites for persons on the waiting list.
The City Rada prepares its decision on the lot “Petrovsky heights”: since 2004 there have been 1026 Crimean Tatars and 447 Slavs, who laid claims to land plots here. Despite it, today 1304 sites there are already developed and the city lays claims to 30% of lots. That is, when the claimants need almost 200 lots more, the city administrators wish to take away additional thirty percent of land for urban needs artificial aggravating situation among people of different nationalities and violating their constitutional laws.
Despite the letters of the Council of Ministers of ARC concerning the transfer of territory, for example, a lot on Balaklavska Street, Simferopol, belonging to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which is empowered to transfer the territory, and its ministries do not respond to these claims. The site development level here is about 50%; people with families live in the newly built houses, but things are still where they started with the legalization of the lots.
In 2007, the VR ARC included the new areas on the territory of Mirnovska Village Rada (347 hectares) and Chistenkivska Village Rada of Simferopol Region into the bounds of the city; however, they are not allotted to people yet. Meanwhile there are also good examples in the Simferopol Region, where Trudovska and Urozhaynenska Villaga Radas allotted plots of land to Slavs and the Crimean Tatars.
More complicated is the situation with the land in the Yalta, Alushta, and Sudak Regions. In 2009, Y. Tymoshenko's government declared the 5-year moratorium for any transfer of the territory of association "Massandra" in these regions. While the moratorium is operative, the Council of Ministers of ARC cannot change anything before the alterations are made by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine or the president.
Former Prime Minister Vasyl Dzharty tried to make important improvements concerning the land issues. Within a week he not only endorsed all documents on the Cathedral Mosque of Crimea (22, Yalta St., Simferopol), but also defined the strategy and algorithm of solving the land issues in the Crimea. He publicly repeated that everybody, who acquired a right to a land lot, would receive it, and first of all those who owned capital structures in different degrees of readiness (foundation, frames or house with a roof) and, especially, who already lived in them.
After his death the authorities withdrew from these arrangements and now the decision of the land problem in the Crimea has been stagnating for more than a year.
The new round of tensity around the land issue started with the incident, which took place on the night of December 1, 2012. On one of “protest glades” located along the Moscow thruway near the settlement of Molodizhne of Simferopol Region about 2:00 am more than one hundred small houses were ruined by a big group of youngsters numbering about one hundred persons. On the site there was a militia detachment, which, in fact, provided protection for the thugs. About twenty Crimean Tatars, the participants of the "protest glade”, which did not offer resistance, witnessed the attack fairly believing that the main objective of the night pogrom was provoking the direct conflict.
The responsibility for the incident was taken by the party “Russkoye Yedinstdvo”. Later, in the statement of December 7 the party leadership called the actions “the natural response of our Party to appeals of citizens-proprietors of land plots with the request to assist in clearing the land lots of unauthorized structures». “Russkoye Yedinstdvo” Party leader S.Aksionov told the correspondent of QHA news agency: “The relatives of people having judicial awards, which oblige them to take down structures, turned to the “Russkoye Yedinstdvo” to help them to pull down the unauthorized constructions and structures. All proprietors had judicial awards. In this case, we help them.” S. Aksionov and other party leaders were not confused by neither time, nor methods of "help" to doubtful proprietors (allegedly, they were given certificates already after the “protest glade”), nor possible consequences of such frightening action. It is plain as a pikestaff that having taken the functions of the state executive service this Crimean political organization used the problem land-use situation to promote its political image.
Talking with VR ARC Deputy R. Chubarov S. Aksionov said: the leadership of “Russkoye Yedinstdvo” does not exclude that it will continue “restoring justice” on those territories, where judicial awards exist.
Mejlis Chairman M.Dzhemilev opined on a probable connections of two events of the night: the arson of the watchman’s cabin on the site of future Cathedral Mosque and pulling down of 100 structures on “the protest glade” of Crimean Tatars believing that the administration was somehow involved. In his opinion, the inactivity of security, law enforcement and defense confirms the coordination of the incident with the authorities. Characterizing the latest developments in the Crimea at the instance of the assistant to the ambassador of Great Britain in Ukraine Martin Dey, M.Dzhemilev named them dangerous and reaching critical level of international tension on the peninsula. “No other state in the world discriminates indigenous population like Ukraine,” told the politician. He said that the investigations conducted by the law enforcement bodies of the autonomy with fanfare now are nothing but declarations.
First Deputy Chairman of Mejlis R. Chubarov did not exclude that the part of Crimean militia management had been involved in illegal actions. In his opinion, the explanations of press center of the main headquarters of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the Crimea that militia allegedly, having obtained the real-time data, took public order under protection, were not objective. To offer effective protection they would rather have stopped 100 thugs doing nasty job at night without proper empowerment by the officers of justice. In his interview to "Glavkom", answering the question, whether he intends “to make parliament consider the issue of disputable territories and why the created commissions work so inefficiently, R.Chubarov said: “Certainly, we will. We were just approaching this problem, but someone decided to precipitate the events without waiting until the commission goes into the question at large and starts trading.”
The events of December 1 bevame a dominating theme during the the All-Crimean Rally devoted to the International day of human rights organized by Crimean Tatar public organizations with support of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People in Simferopol on December 10, 2012. More than three thousand persons took part in the rally held under the slogan “My Voice Matters”. The resolution of the rally read: “The on-going discrimination of human rights in Ukraine, open ignoring of necessity of restoration of the rights Crimean Tatars by the Ukrainian state are the main obstacles on the way of Ukraine to creation of the civil society, which should provide for equality, justice and worthy living conditions for all citizens”.
People's Deputy of Ukraine G. Moskal stated that these events were provoked by certain power structures interested in resignation of the chairman of the Crimean government of A.Mogiliov. Crimean expert A. Klymenko thinks that it is necessary to look for the paymasters of these actions outside of “not only Crimea, and Ukraine as a whole”, and “possibly, foreign special services” are behind it. They have for an object to destabilize situation in the Crimea on the large-scale, and maybe in the whole country and consequently the SSU should join militia and participate in investigation of such incidents.
Political analyst S.Kostinsky's believes that Crimea together with all country is included into a strip of economic instability that aggravates existing social and ethno-confessional contradictions, provokes growth of popular protest sentiments and, accordingly, causes radicalization of marginal political forces and social groups. He believes that the deterioration or improvement of international relations in the Crimea directly depend on political will of the republican authorities and resolute, sometimes rigid actions of law-enforcers.
It is necessary to notice that Chairman of the Council of Ministers A.Mogiliov at his press conference on December 11 commented on the political situation in the autonomy and said: “The responsible authorities should give the legal evaluation. I would not advise political office-bearers or figures to get into this theme because it is very sensitive and difficult and can lead to major conflicts in the Crimea”. He also has added that the special commission of the Council of Ministers is working on this problem.
Twenty five years after the start of repatriation approximately 53% of Crimean Tatars have housing problems: they do not have habitation or the condition of their habitation does not meet the minimum standards. In the Crimea out of 300 settlements of dense residential development or residence of Crimean Tatars only 65% are provided supplied with potable water, 30% gas supply, and 87% electric supply. Practically all 300 settlements have no surfaced roads, indoor sanitation, schools, kindergartens, and first-aid and midwife stations etc.
The sharp reduction of financing proceeding since 2011 at the expense of state and republican budgets testifies that the solution of housing problem for repatriates will be their personal business and financial burden.
According to the Republican Committee of ARC on Affairs of Inter-Ethnic Relations and Deported Citizens, as of December 1, 2012 out of UAH45,340 thousand assignable from the State budget and ARC budget on the Program of settlement and provision of the necessary facilities for the deported citizens only UAH15.9 million were allocated in the past year, which made 35.2%.
The Bill of Ukraine “About the State Budget of Ukraine for 2013” submitted by the government for consideration of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the budget item “The settlement and provision of the necessary facilities for the Crimean Tatars and persons of other nationalities which had been deported from the territory of Ukraine” stipulates only UAH10,928 thousand, which is well below the needs of homecomers.
Hence, in the foreseeable future many dense settlements of Crimean Tatars, where dozens of thousands of families of the Crimean Tatars are solving domicile problems on their own, will remain without roads, kindergartens, schools, medical institutions, and gas supply. Against the background of insufficient attention to social problems of the Crimean Tatars the problems of humanitarian development of the Crimean Tatars redouble demanding financial support: the preparation and edition of textbooks for schools with Crimean Tatar training language, development of mass-media in native tongue, preservation and restoration of the monuments of history and culture of the Crimean Tatars etc.
With the adoption and enactment by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the Law of Ukraine no. 4220-VI from December 22, 2011 “About amendments to some acts of law of Ukraine about strengthening of responsibility and improvement of government control in urban development” the new insurmountable difficulties emerged for returning and settlement of Crimean Tatars. According to the norms of the above law, after January 1, 2013 the developers face large penalties and other sanctions if the houses, in which their families live, are not commissioned. Thus, dozens of thousands of Crimean Tatar families, who have come back to the Crimea with huge deprivations and without support of the state, become and object of the unprecedented financial pressure legalized by the state.
On May 18, 2012, the participants of the All-Crimean memorial service in memoriam of the victims of deportation called to the president, parliament and the government of Ukraine for urgent emendation of the law specifying for returnees special procedure of building and putting into operation of individual houses and excluding excessive expenses for them and other payments.
Along with discrimination in land management and problems with habitation the Crimean Tatars have firsthand knowledge of all consequences of the monopolized economy, total corruption and omnipotent bureaucracy. For example, a person receiving a parcel of land cannot start building before obtaining a building design, and the minimum cost of the project makes UAH10-15 thousand. The haywire connection to his strip of land may be carried out if there is a state certificate on land ownership, which can be received in two years at the best. While there is no state certificate, one cannot conclude contracts with the city gas supply and water supply services. For example, in Dobrovsky Village Rada the domestic gas feed and official registration of papers on gas supply cost UAH22,000, power supply line costs from UAH10,000 to UAH15 000. Thus, the developer, besides building expenses, should seek facilities to cover the said initial expenses to the tune of UAH50-55 thousand, which is a crushing sum for a man from the street with low income. It hampers housing construction, increases financial requirements at filing and delays building terms. And after all, having built the house, he has to put it into service, which also carries a price and which is a very bureaucratized procedure. Such situation first of all concerns Crimean Tatars because they own about 80% of houses built.
It is the thorny issue in the South, where prices for lots of land, building materials and services are exorbitant. Only men of means and large building companies can build there; therefore there is a scarce Crimean Tatar population, though before the deportation the density of Crimean Tatar population was the highest in this region.
The discrimination of Crimean Tatars by the authorities is also traced in the issuance of permits for laying supply lines. For example, in Simferopol, outside the airport "Zavodskoye", there is an area with 345 lots, on which 36 houses were built, and on other sites there are foundations and cases of houses. In 18 from 36 houses there are residents, but their houses have no electric power, water, and gas supply lines. The authorities refuse to issue permits for laying utility lines, because the Crimean Tatars settle too close to the airport and intervene with its development. At the same time, nearby there is another not-Crimean-Tatar land area with cottages and garages located already on the territory of the airdrome, the owners of which have all permits for utility lines.
2. Political public sphere
The Crimean Tatars consider the absence of restoration of their rights in independent Ukraine throughout 20 years from the beginning of mass returning to the Crimea from places of compulsory residing in republics of Central Asia and RSFSR as continuation of the discrimination practiced in the USSR.
According to the Crimean Tatars, the only way out of the situation is the adoption by the Ukrainian parliament of special laws. This view was accentuated on January 11, 2012 by Chairman of Mejlisa and People's Deputy of Ukraine M. Dzhemilev during parliamentary hearings “Ethno-national policy of Ukraine: achievements and prospects” while representing the project “Concepts of the state ethno-national policy”. He said: “…the presence of some unresolved questions in this sphere and, in particular, the further ignoring of necessity of the decision of the problems connected with returning, settlement and restoration of the rights of Crimean Tatar people is an essential barrier on the way of development of democracy in Ukraine, assertion of the elements of humanism and democracy in the Ukrainian society, the all-around development of individuals and ethnic communities, formation of Ukrainian political nation”.
By results of parliamentary hearings “Ethno-national policy of Ukraine: achievements and prospects” held on January 11, 2012 in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on human rights, national minorities and international relations at its session on March 21, 2012 confirmed the draft resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine “On recommendations of parliamentary hearings about: “Ethno-national policy of Ukraine: achievements and prospects” and recommended to take it as a basis and adopt as a whole.
Among the recommendations addressed for the leading public figures there were advices to improve legislation on public ethno-national policy, in particular, strengthening of responsibility for the actions intended to kindle national, racial or religious hostility, and also to promptly consider the bill «About restoration of the rights of the persons deported along ethnic lines”.
On May 18, 2012, Mejlis Chairman M. Dzhemilev speaking at the service in memoriam of deportation victims said: “…According to these recommendations two bills on the concept of ethnopolicy in Ukraine developed by Mejlis of Crimean Tatars and Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine were already brought in the parliament. For the first time in the legislation of Ukraine both bills define the notion concept “indigenous people”, which give the chance to pass new acts in future on protection of the rights Crimean Tatars on their native land, as indigenous people of Ukraine. It also gives Ukraine a chance to sign the Declaration of the United Nations on the rights of indigenous people”.
On July 5, 2012, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine considered the resolution “About recommendations of parliamentary hearings about “Ethno-national policy of Ukraine: achievements and prospects”; however it killed the bill. The power-holding faction polled only 42 ayes. M. Dzhemilev thinks that, in the first place, the reason of the failure of the document was the uncooperative attitude of presiding first vice-speaker Adam Martyniuk and all faction of the Communist Party of Ukraine.
The bill “About restoration of the rights of the persons deported along the ethnic lines”, after being vetoed by President L. Kuchma in 2004, repeatedly returned for consideration in the government and committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. President of Ukraine V. Yanukovych, having visited the Crimea in August 2010, requested from the Cabinet of Ministers to consider the bill no. 5510 registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and work out measures for its adoption, which was not fulfilled. The international organizations, including the Supreme Commissioner of OSCE on affairs of national minorities, time and again reminded of the necessity to pass this law.
The bill was considered in parliamentary session on May 16, 2012. The bill failed to poll necessary votes for its adoption in the first reading (177 ayes with necessary 226), the people's deputies voted (366 ayes) to return it to the Committee on human rights, national minorities and international relations as requiring improvement. During discussion it was fiercely opposed by leader of CPU faction P. Symonenko, whose speech was full of insults of national and human dignity of the Crimean Tatars.
People's Deputy M. Dzhemilev thinks that results of voting for the bill “About restoration of the rights of the persons deported along the ethnic lines” on the eve of the 68th anniversary of genocide of Crimean Tatars should be treated as demonstration of disrespect of the parliament of Ukraine to the victims of genocide of Crimean Tatars and obvious unwillingness to restore Crimean Tatars in their rights.
At last, on June 20, 2012 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the first reading passed the bill no. 5515 “About restoration of the rights of the persons deported along the ethnic lines” with 356 ayes out of 420 registered in the sessional hall of the parliament. According to the author of the bill M. Dzhemilev, the yes-vote was due to the intervention of the president, which had supported it two years ago as well, and the position of the Supreme Commissioner of OSCE on national minorities and personally Knut Vollebæk, who had sent to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine a positive expert estimation. M.Dzhemilev also told that definitive acceptance is possible only after parliamentary elections, when the new structure of legislative power of Ukraine will be created. Early in December 2012 109 amendments to the bill were submitted. Chairman of the Standing Commission of VR of ARC on international relations and problems of the deported citizens R.Ilyasov expressed fears that they can emasculate the essence of the document.
The subject of infringements of the rights of the Crimean Tatars is under continuous monitoring of the reputable international organizations. The UN Committee on liquidation of racial discrimination in its final remark following the review of the report of Ukraine about its observance of the International Convention about liquidation of all forms of racial discrimination made on August 17-18, 2011 at the Committee session (on August 8 – September 2, 2011) made a number of conclusions formulated in points 16 and 17 of the section “C. Issues causing concern and recommendations” directly related to the Crimean Tatars.
“16. The committee expresses its concern over the absence of legislation on indigenous people, which would provide realization of guarantees given to the indigenous people and national minorities in articles 11 and 92 of the Constitution (article 2 (2)).
The Committee insistently urges the member-states to adopt the legislation protecting the rights of the indigenous people and guaranteeing them economic, cultural and social development, and also to consider the problem of ratification of the Convention no. 169 about indigenous and tribal people in the independent countries (1989) carried by International Labor Organization (ILO).
17. The Committee is still strongly concerned by the information on difficulties, to which, according to obtained information, the Crimean Tatars, who have come back to Ukraine, are exposed including absence of access to lots of land and employment, insufficient possibilities for studying their native tongue, hate-language statements in their address, absence of political representation and access to justice. The issue of restitution and indemnification for loss of more than 80 000 private houses and about 34 000 hectares of agricultural land as a result of deportation still causes serious concern, especially taking into account that 86% of the Crimean Tatars living in the countryside had no right to participate in restitution of agricultural lands as they did not work at the state enterprises. The committee also is interested in measures on improvement of realization of human rights of representatives of other ethnic groups deported in 1944 (article 5b), d) v) and e) i), iii) and v)).
The Committee recommends the member-state to provide for restoration of political, social and economic rights of the Crimean Tatars, including property restitution, land, or indemnification for its loss according to the Civil Code or the special law which should be adopted with that end in view. Besides, the Committee recommends the member-state to present in its next periodic report the updated information on realization of human rights of representatives of other ethnic groups deported in the past”.
About the necessity of passing special laws helping to restore the rights of Crimean Tatars, including the necessity of indemnification and land allocation spoke during its visit on January 24, 2012 to the Crimea the members of delegation of Advisory Committee of the Frame convention of the Council of Europe on protection of national minorities having familiarized themselves with the complex of problems of the Crimean Tatars. the delegation headed by President of Advisory Committee Reiner Hofmann intended to prepare the estimating report on Ukraine in the context of discussion of issues of protection of human rights in Ukraine and also the rights of national minorities.
On June 1, 2012 at the session of Committee on migration, refugees and displaced persons of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held in the Parisian Office of the Council of Europe Chairman Giacomo Santini (Italy) offered People's Deputy of Ukraine M. Dzhemilev through the Secretariat of the Committee to begin the procedure of initiation of consideration of the Crimean Tatar issue in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
For two years now the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars has been aspiring to involve the international community in rendering assistance to the Ukrainian state in returning, settlement and restoration of the rights of Crimean Tatars. In October, 2011 the accredited representatives of the United Nations, СЕ, EU, OSCE, the governments of the leading European states, Canada, the USA and Turkey, who gathered in Kyiv, supported the initiative of Crimean Tatars about holding the international forum intended to work out and adopt special international program concerning restoration of the rights of Crimean Tatars in their Motherland, maintenance of its safety and development guarantees in Ukraine. The High Commissioner of OSCE on affairs of national minorities also submitted to the top officials of Ukraine corresponding offers on holding in the fall of 2012 in Kyiv an international forum intended to work out and adopt special international program of assistance to returning, settlement and restoration of the rights of Crimean Tatars.
At the second annual meeting of the leaders of Mejlis with heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Ukraine and international organizations held on September 18, 2012 in Kyiv, the activity of the representative body of the Crimean Tatars got further support. In particular, the representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on coordination of programs of cooperation of the СЕ of V.Ristovski assured the leaders of Mejlis that the expressed opinions on current position of Crimean Tatars completely coincided with recommendations of the European community and the international organizations. He said that the СЕ “will continue meaningful dialogue with the Ukrainian power and support the idea of holding the International forum. We think that it can strengthen dialogue between the representatives Crimean Tatars and the government of Ukraine and promote unification and inclusion of the Crimean Tatars into the social and cultural life of the society”.
The law “About basics of the state language policy” passed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in July, 2012 alerted the Crimean Tatars despite the assurances of its authors that it would expand the use of regional languages. According to People's Deputy M. Dzhemilev, if Russian receives the special status in the regions of Ukraine, “the Crimean Tatars, as well as ethnic Ukrainians, will have no stimulus to study their native tongue, because they know Russian not worse than Russians.” The authors’ citation of the European charter about tongues of national minorities is inconsistent, as the charter is directed at protection of the languages which are under threat, while Russian is not a threatened tongue.
By the law, the language can be considered regional if in a certain region there live more than 10% of given language speakers. However, the Verkhovna Rada ARC postponed till the fall voting on granting Russian the status of the regional language in the autonomy. One of the reasons of such step can be that the Crimean authorities wait for amendments to the law when “the passing barrier” for the regional language can be raised from 10% to 30% in the fall. And then the Crimean Tatar language applying along with Russian for the regional status, will not obtain it. This supposition is corroborated by the first steps of the working group created by the order of the President of Ukraine to amend the law. In particular, the document does not provide for the status of regional language for the tongues of national minorities, but only intends to protect them, if not less than 30% of language speakers live in the area.
M.Dzhemilev estimates the law as unacceptable for the Crimean Tatars, and thinks that the situation with Crimean Tatar language should not depend on the number of its speakers. “The Crimea is the national territory of the Crimean Tatars, the Crimean Tatars are indigenous people. by some estimations, during the genocide of 1944 about 46% of the Crimean Tatars were killed out, and we now in the homeland make 13% of the population. Then, if they killed more, we would not have the right to language? Such approach does not suit us”. He sees the way out for the development of Crimean Tatar language in its recognition as one of official languages in the Crimea.
At the same time deputies of VR ARC R. Ilyasov and S. Kadzhametova sent an appeal to the government of Crimea “About granting the equality in the rights of usage and application of Crimean Tatar language and its free development in the ARC by the Law of Ukraine “On the basics of the state language policy” signed by prominent representatives of Crimean Tatar intelligentsia. The appeal reminds that from 1921 till 1944 Crimean Tatar language alongside with Russian had the status of a state language in the Crimea and was not been restored in this status after the restoration of autonomy. The document reads: “At the same time the realities, in connection with the adoption of the law of Ukraine “On the basics of the state language policy”, compel the Crimean Tatars to use as much as possible … the ways of restoration of the status of Crimean Tatar language and its free development in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.” The authors of the document suggested their amendments concerning Crimean Tatar language and the plan of measures on enforcement of the law in ARC.
2.2. Elections and representation in the bodies of state power
The representation of the Crimean Tatars in the bodies of state power of Ukraine in ARC remains at a stably low level and throughout last decade practically does not show the tendency to positive changes.
As it is known, to Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the last two convocations, as a result of elections 2007 (on the basis of proportional system) and 2012 (on the basis of the mixed system), only one representative of the Crimean Tatars––Head of Mejlis M. Dzhemilev––was elected. R.Chubarov appearing in these two election campaigns on the list of the same political force on a passing place failed to get to the Ukrainian parliament. Except for the "Batkivshchyna", no other political party put Crimean Tatars on the passing list. Nobody from the Crimean Tatars won the elections in majority districts though two of them upped to the second place with support from 15% to 19% of voters. The results of elections were manufactured due to such preferences of the voters as “friends”, “ethnically close”. Analyzing the reasons of so scanty representation, the Kurultai of Crimean Tatars noted: “… despite frequent change of the electoral legislation, in Ukraine, unlike many democratic countries, the international experience on maintenance of the guaranteed representation in parliament of the indigenous people and national minorities was not implemented.”
Mejlis Chairman M. Dzhemilev maintains: “Any civilized state should ensure that all social classes, all minority people making the Ukrainian society are presented in legislative body for sure. For example, in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia they use quotas. In Romania there live only about 30 thousand Crimean Tatars; all the same, in the parliament they have one guaranteed seat. Moreover, they can stand for election with a party ticket”. Some experts believe that not only the leaders of the state have no political will to implement the idea of selective quotas for national minorities, but also the society is not ready to it, though at the level of Crimea or some other areas it is feasible.
As a result of local elections in 2010, the Crimean Tatars had 6 deputies in the Verkhovna Rada of ARC that makes 6% of Crimean members of parliament. Four of them had the ticket of the People's Movement of Ukraine and were elected by Crimean Tatars, and two had tickets of the Party of Regions of Ukraine and were elected by Russian-speaking voters.
123 deputies (9.2% of the deputies of this level throughout the autonomy) were elected to the city and regional radas. 870 deputies or about 16% of deputies of this category inn ARC were elected to the rural and township radas. Apparently, on republican and regional (regional and township) levels the degree of representation of the Crimean Tatars is essentially lower, than their share in the population of Crimea (about 13%). And only on the local (rural and township) level the degree of representation is a bit higher that can be explained by public activity of the Crimean Tatars and smaller influence of the big-time politics on relations between ethnic groups in local communities.
However, in the state executive bodies the level of representation of the Crimean Tatars sharply decreased in the last two years that was caused to a considerable degree by “strengthening of discrimination of the Crimean Tatars in public employment, further reduction of already insignificant number of representatives of the Crimean Tatars in the public authorities of the autonomy.”
There was also a noteworthy discussion on October 2, 2012 in Kyiv at a quadrilateral meeting on Crimean Tatar problem with participation of Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey A. Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs K. Hryshchenko, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of ARC A. Mogiliov and Chairman of Mejlis M. Dzhemilev. The hot discussion concerned two issuess: restoration of a dialogue of the government of Ukraine with Mejlis and adequate representation of the Crimean Tatars in all branches of executive power in the Crimea.
The first issue of discussion dealt with the problem that with election of V.Yanukovych the head of state in 2010 such important communicator between the Crimean Tatars and authorities as the Council of Representatives of Crimean Tatars under the President of Ukraine ceased to work. It was created in 1999 by President L. Kuchma as the form of introduction of Mejlis of Crimean Tatars into a legal field of Ukraine and this body should have included only 33 members of Mejlis. In the ruling body reformatted by the Decree of V. Yanukovych in August 2010 there remained only 8 members of Mejlis and 11 more persons representing public organizations in partial opposition to Mejlis were introduced. The Mejlis disagreed with the change of the principle of formation of the Council, the most part of which evades the democratic procedures of election by Crimean Tatars. Therefore the Council of Representatives of Crimean Tatars became an incapacitated body and the direct meetings of the representatives of the people with the president came to an end, “due to results of which the head of state gave instructions to the public agencies responsible for the solution of the most actual problems of the deported.”
During the four-party meeting M. Dzhemilev offered to issue a new decree of the president with restoration of former norm of formation of the Council; however, A. Mogiliov did not welcome the offer and suggested to carry out compulsory registration of Mejlis by the Ministry of Justice as public organization, which would provide a legal basis for dialogue of authorities with the Mejlis. In his turn, M. Dzhemilev rejected the possibility of registration of Mejlis as a public organization as it a representative body of plain folks.
For the matter of representation of the Crimean Tatars in executive bodies of the autonomy, A. Davutoglu noticed that, according to M. Dzhemilev's statement, their number in authorities is within the scope of 3% in spite of the fact that they make about 13% of population of the autonomy. According to A.Mogiliov, the number of Crimean Tatars in the authorities makes not less than 12%. In connection with data divergence, A. Davutoglu suggested to conduct authoritative research to define the exact figures and to take necessary measures, if there is a misbalance.
A. Mogiliov repeated that there is no discrimination along ethnic lines in the autonomous republic and the number of the Crimean Tatars in executive bodies corresponds to their general proportion in the population of the autonomy.
M. Dzhemilev, in his turn, said that the earlier figure of 3% is obsolete, and now the Crimean Tatars are presented in the power structures of an autonomy even less because during last two years further ethnic cleanings of personnel in the administrations were performed. He gave A. Mogiliov the list of 19 Crimean Tatars, which in the past had held responsible posts in the central and regional structures of executive power of the autonomy and had been sacked during last 2 years. Many of them were sacked without prior reprimands. M. Dzhemilev commented: “They were simply told that they “didn't fit in with their new colleagues” and they were replaced by people of other nationalities, and only in two or three cases appointees were Crimean Tatars, though the latter either were ruling party members or opponents of Mejlis of Crimean Tatars.” This list in November 2012 was appended by one more name: Emine Avamileva, the Deputy Chairwoman of the Republican Committee of ARC on the Affairs of International Relations and Deported Citizens, was signed off.
3. Humanitarian sphere
3.1. Education, Crimean Tatar language, TV and radio broadcasting in native tongue
In October 2010 the VR ARC adopted the Concept of Education in Crimean Tatar Language. Though now there are certain legal preconditions for the development of Crimean Tatar language, its position still remains difficult and uncertain.
Now in Autonomous Republic Crimea there are 546 general educational organizations with 175 836 pupils, 33 428 (19%) of them are Crimean Tatars. Out of the total number of Crimean Tatar children only 5498 (16%) pupils can be trained in native Crimean Tatar language: 2919 pupils on the basis of 180 classes at 15 schools with Crimean Tatar training language; 2579 pupils in 223 classes with Crimean Tatar language of training on the basis of schools with 2, 3, and Russian training languages.
The general body of Crimean Tatar children––27930 pupils (84%)––study at schools with Russian and Ukrainian training languages: 19985 (59%) study their native tongue as a subject or optional class 1.5 and 2 hours per week, which it is obviously not enough for studying native tongue and rich native literature; 7845 (25%) pupils do not study native tongue in any form that on 9% exceeds coverage of children trained in native tongue.
In 2012-2013 school year 765 first-graders went to 45 classes with Crimean Tatar language of instruction on the basis of 38 schools: 21 class (356 pupils) on the basis of 15 schools with Crimean Tatar training language; 24 classes (409 pupils) on the basis of 23 schools with Russian, 2, and 3 languages of instruction.
According to S.Kadzhametova, the Chairperson of Association of Crimean Tatar Educators "Maarifchi", as of September 1 of 2011-2012 school year the situation in educational sphere was problematic. So, in areas densely populated by Crimean Tatars the parents of 826 first-graders expressed their desire to train their children in classes with Crimean Tatar training tongue. The first national classes had to be opened on the basis of 59 schools; however 286 children of Crimean Tatar origin were refused for various reasons to go to first classes with Crimean Tatar training tongue at 23 schools. Parents were openly blackmailed and felt under pressure by some departments of education and directors of schools that was direct infringement of constitutional laws citizens.
The number of schools with Crimean Tatar training language did not increase during the last decade; it froze on figure 15, though the “Regional program of development of the general secondary education in Autonomous Republic of Crimea for 1999-2010” targeted at the total of twenty schools. The number of schoolchildren, who are not studying their native language, increases from year to year, because of unsolved organizational questions and other reasons.
Teacher of the Crimean Engineering-Pedagogical University (CEPU) M. Settarova says that if at schools with Crimean Tatar training language have sufficient amount of hours for native tongue and literature, at other schools from year to year there is a reduction of time for studying of language down to 0.5 hour a week or no hours at all. Because of reduced teaching load the number of teachers of Crimean Tatar language was halved. One more problem: insufficient quantity of curriculums, textbooks, handbooks, absence of differentiated programs and textbooks in Crimean Tatar per types of schools. The existing language and literature textbooks are intended for schools with Crimean Tatar language of training and calculated for certain quantity of hours. The language and literature textbooks for schools with Russian and Ukrainian training languages are absent; there are no textbooks for elective courses. The third problem: nobody trains teachers of school subjects, there are no terminological dictionaries, on the basis of which original and translated textbooks on all school subjects could be created.
As far as the help of the state in the development of education in Crimean Tatar is practically not felt, the unwillingness of local authorities to coordinate the decisions in sphere of education with representatives of the public is perceived very painfully. So, Association “Maarifchi" regarded the appointment by the Simferopol City Rada to the post of director of school no. 42 Eskender Tarhan as brazen interference of authorities with the development of education and violation of the rights of Crimean Tatars on education in native tongue. As a powerful argument the "Maarifchi" named his lack of line-of-business education, absence of necessary experience in the sphere of school management, knowledge of Crimean Tatar language, knowledge of problems of schools with Crimean Tatar training language.”
The local authorities are in no hurry to support efforts of the public founding preschool institutions. So the symbolic is the history of the kindergarten no.1 "Sevinch" with two groups groomed in Crimean Tatar and two groups groomed in Ukrainian opened in Bilohorsk on September 1. Earlier in its building there was the Crimean Tatar school no. 4 closed down in 2003 by the order of the Bilohorsk City Rada despite the protests of parents and public. After repeated appeals the regional administration promised to open a Crimean Tatar kindergarten under condition of attraction of investors by Crimean Tatars. The reconstruction of the building was carried out due to inspiration of Mejlis and Association «Maarifchi» and support of Turkish Agency for international cooperation and development (AICD), and in 2009 its official presentation took place. However the executive committee authorized the opening of the kindergarten only three years later, on the eve of September 1, 2012 having changed its status. Under instructions of Chairman of the District State Administration O. Rusetsky, the decision contradicted standard documents and standing of educational institutions in native training language; therefore more than half of Crimean Tatar kids had no chance to go to the kindergarten.
3.1.2. Crimean Tatar language
CEPU lecturer M. Settarova maintains that the application field of Crimean Tatar language is mainly family circle, partially in education, limited in mass-media––some newspapers and magazines, broadcasting time on radio and TV. In her opinion, the reasons of such situation originated in the post-deportation period, when absence of education in native language in places of exile led to native tongue oblivion among the most active part of the society––youth. The Crimean Tatar students in high schools of Ukraine and Crimea are also deprived of possibility to be trained in native language. Today in rare young families the Crimean Tatar language environment is created.
The discrimination of Crimean Tatar language triggered deep assimilation. Here’s a conspicuous fact. 746 schoolchildren go to Chystensky teaching and educational center-gymnasium near Simferopol; more than half of pupils, teaching staff and employees are Crimean Tatars. Despite it, the first Crimean Tatar class was opened only in September 2011. The supervising teacher Elzara Nimetullayeva told in her interview about difficulties she ran into: “Times were difficult; the children neither spoke, nor understood the language of their people. It was necessary to speak more Russian and stage by stage to pass over to Crimean Tatar. Gradually children started mastering Crimean Tatar language.”
The disastrous condition Crimean Tatar language listed by UNESCO as one threatened by disappearance was discussed on June 17, 2012 at the meeting of the leaders of Mejlis with President of the PEN International John Ralston Saul. The Mejlis expressed its opinion that substantially this situation was connected with the state of education in Crimean Tatar, the development of which was rendered impossible due to official barriers and which held up exclusively thanks to the public initiative and enthusiasm of Crimean Tatars and their public bodies.
The 4th International conference of PEN International Urals-Altai held in Simferopol from June 18 till June 21 adopted the draft resolution on a pitiable situation with Crimean Tatar language. The final motion was supposed to be accepted in the form of the separate document during the International PEN Congress in Seoul in September 2012. The conference zeroed in on the necessity of observance by the states of the norms of international law in the sphere of language rights of indigenous people and national minorities. The reform of education system in Ukraine does not allow for the condition Crimean Tatar language and urgent measures to be taken for its revival; therefore there is a real threat of language assimilation of Crimean Tatars.
The same is the estimate of the condition of Crimean Tatar language made by Academician of the NAS of Ukraine, head of department of the O.Potebnia Institute of Linguistics of the NAS of Ukraine, Honored Worker of Science and Technology of Ukraine, Doctor of Philology, Prof. Hryhoriy Pivtorak: “In Ukraine only three languages need protection: Karaim, Gagauz, and Crimean Tatar.”
3.1.3. TV and radio broadcasting in native tongue
Early in June 2012 the management of the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company KRYM demanded that the editorial staff of Crimean Tatar edition include into the "Haberler" ("News") program broadcasting only 13 minutes daily the coverage of activity of the central authorities, in particular, of the president of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Fulfillment of this requirement would lead to cuts in timing of "Haberler" with no time left for coverage of events of political, social and cultural life of Crimean Tatars and Crimea.
This event triggered the all-round discussion in mass-media; the situation was reviewed at the meeting of the leaders of Mejlis of Crimean Tatars with the management of the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company KRYM paying attention to the extremely unsatisfactory material and technical basis of creative association of Crimean Tatar programs of the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company KRYM and unfairly small volume of broadcasting of the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company KRYM in Crimean Tatar language: 26 minutes daily (on Sundays there’s no broadcasting in Crimean Tatar).
3.2 Historical memory and toponymy
In 2012 the three-year discussion and adversarial position of public bodies to the initiative of the group of aviators “Vatan Kanatlary” (Wings of the Motherland) suggesting to name the International airport “Simferopol” after twice Hero of the Soviet Union Amet-Khan Sultan went on. Two years ago, in October 2010, the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea turned down the suggestion of the action group. However, the given initiative drew a wide response of Ukrainian and international public. The subsequent numerous appeals of the action group to various departments and state structures of Ukraine and ARC were fruitless. Answers of some Crimean officials were overtly amateurish; their arguments had nothing to do with the requirements of Ukrainian legislation. For example, they said that the issue of naming Simferopol airport after Amet-Khan Sultan should be decided at a local referendum, while the legislation of Ukraine does not provide for conducting referenda concerning assignment of names of outstanding people to such objects.
Chairman of “Vatan Kanatlary” N. Beytulayev at his press conference on February 1, 2012 said that it is a problem of discrimination. He underlined that the initiative in support of airport renaming was not a display of Crimean Tatar nationalism, and the thing was that Amet-Khan Sultan was not only the Crimean Tatar, but, first of all, the outstanding pilot and the native of Crimea, the only Crimean Tatar twice awarded the title of the Hero, and the society should be proud having such a Hero. The draft decision about naming the International airport "Simferopol" after twice Hero of the Soviet Union Amet-Khan Sultan was registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in September 2012. The project was submitted by People's Deputy Gennady Moskal for consideration of the Committee for culture and spirituality and Committee for Transport and Communication.
The same is about immortalizing the Crimean Tatar heroes of the WWII and the facts adduced at the session of the Standing Commission of the Verkhovna Rada of ARC for International Relations and Affairs of Deported Citizens March 29, 2012. The case in point was the creation of the Alley of WWII Heroes, natives of Crimea. In Simferopol, in Gagarin Park, in 2010, on the orders of the city rada the Alley of Fame was created featuring ten stelas with inscribed names of 60 Heroes of the Soviet Union; however, only ten of them are natives of Crimea. In its turn, out of these 10 Crimean names only two names belong to the Crimean Tatars: twice Hero of the Soviet Union Amet-Khan Sultan and Abduraim Reshidov, where the name of the latter was misspelled as Abraim. “At the press conference in 2010, where I mentioned the names of eight heroes of the Great Patriotic War of Crimean Tatar origin, many of those present doubted this fact and seemed surprised,” noted Chairman of the Standing Commission R. Ilyasov.
Against the background of indifference and counteraction to the establishment of monuments immortalizing the outstanding Crimean Tatar figures the Crimean authorities consider it possible to attend the ceremonial inauguration of the commemorative sign to the Russian Field Marshal Count Peter von Lacy, under whose command the most atrocious campaigns of the Russian Empire in Crimea were carried out in first half of 18th century. Early in December 2012, in the Nizhnegorsk Region, the ceremony was attended by the permanent representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea V. Plakyda, Minister of Culture of Crimea A. Plakyda, Minister of Regional Development and Trade of Crimea S. Verba, Chairman of the Republican Committee for Protection of Monuments L. Opanasiuk. Expressing his indignation with actions of government officials, head of deputy fraction "Kurultai-Ruh" in the VR of the ARC R. Chubarov declared: “So, while one party searches for ways to dialogue and evaluation of the past with a view of mutual cooperation for the sake of the future of Crimea and all its inhabitants, another party consisting of government officials hastily erect new barriers and obstacles to the consent.”
Another kind of discrimination of Crimean Tatars in the cultural domain is ongoing disregard of government bodies of the problem of restoration of historical toponymy of the Crimea. Crimean historian O. Gaivoronsky defines its importance as follows: “The issue of revival of historical toponyms of Crimea is not about the tactical political trading, but about the restoration of the most valuable non-material monument of cultural heritage.”
The authorities keep silence and the Crimean Tatar public initiates and realizes its own initiatives. So, on June 13, 2012 the International public organization «Bizim Kyrym» turned to the authorities of the autonomy and suggested to start restoring historical toponymy as a protected object of the non-material cultural heritage of Ukraine. The members of the public organization ask the Verkhovna Rada and Council of Ministers of ARC to make corresponding decisions on installation at the entrance to the settlements of AR Krym of information-index signs with their historical place names along with preservation of the existing official names assigned at the times of USSR.
There were precedents for it already, though not without vandalism. So, on June 30, 2012 the inhabitants of the urban village Gvardeyskoye once again restored the taken down road sign with the historical name of their settlement Sarabuz. According to the local Mejlis (national Crimean Tatar self-government body), the first time this index stood for two days, but then unknown persons took it down. It was restored, and the second time it stood for fourteen months. For the purpose of preservation of the unique historical name the urban village rada decided to name Sarabuz the area, which had been earlier called Vokzalny.
3.3. Hatred speeches
At the session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, during the discussion of the bill no. 5515 “On the restoration of the rights of persons deported along ethnic lines” on May 16, 2012, that is on the eve of the regular anniversary of the memory of victims of deportation of Crimean Tatars, head of parliamentary fraction of CPU P. Symonenko delivered a speech justifying crimes against Crimean Tatars committed by the Stalin’s regime in the USSR, i.e. deportation of people on May 18, 1944 from their native land and forced detention in exile for several decades.
Citations from P. Symonenko's speech:
“…The reasons for deportation consisted, first of all, in the fact that the events of 1941-1944 on the occupied territory in Crimea gave grounds to the Soviet government to make such decision. The majority of Crimean Tatars fulfilled their duties of soldiers and went to the fronts of the Great Patriotic War and were killed in action and their deeds we honor today, as well as those, who was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union; at the same time, for the defense of Crimea 2 divisions, and it’s more than 20 thousand men, of Crimean Tatars were completely armed and the task was posed to defend the Crimea.”
“…The same day they went to the side of Hitler and swore to Hitler to fight on the side of Hitler, the same 20 thousand. These representatives helped to uncover and hand over to enemies all caches prepared for guerrillas in Crimea, they were on patrol in concentration camps in Crimea, where hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers and innocent citizens, I mean, first of all, civilian population perished. They ripped up stomachs of pregnant women, the evidence of which was given to all courts, where they were convicted for their evil deeds and crimes. In 1944 the Soviet government decided to divide guilty and innocent; this forced exile of the Crimean Tatar people was intended to rescue Crimean Tatars and take them out of the Crimea. Why? Because these evil deeds would necessarily lead to a civil war. And I do not doubt that the consequences might be much more serious. At the places of exile, they received education, they became academicians, they headed major enterprises, and so this operation was carried out for rescue of the Crimean Tatars.
The speech scandalized and aroused a wave of indignation among the Crimean Tatars, strong attacks and comments followed. The All-Crimean mourning meeting in memoriam of the Crimean Tatar victims of genocide on May 18, 2012 in Simferopol adopted the manifest “On the threat of revival of Stalinism in Ukraine and protection of foundations of democracy in Ukraine and the world”. The participants of the meeting riveted attention to the fact that “the justification from the platform of the parliament of Ukraine by People's Deputies of Ukraine of the criminal deportation of Crimean Tatars and national minorities, which had been carried out by the Soviet regime, direct insults all Crimean Tatars, individual citizens and their descendants.” The meeting demanded that public authorities and law enforcement bodies “express their official position in connection with the said statements in the parliament of Ukraine both in the form of political statements, and in the form of procedural decisions and actions according to the current legislation of Ukraine.” The resolution also called upon the governments of democratic states, PACE, OSCE and EU parliament to forbid P. Symonenko entry to the countries of Europe.
There were also similar statements of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars, Crimean Tatar political and public organizations.
SSU ex-head, Chairman of the political advising committee of the party “Nasha Ukrayina” V. Nalyvaychenko demanded that “the Prosecutor-General institutes criminal proceedings against the head of the Communist Party Peter Symonenko for his shameful attempts to use the parliamentary platform and justify the crime of deportation, which led to death of more than 46% of the evicted Crimean Tatars”.
The former political prisoners of the Communist regime of the USSR also stood up for Crimean Tatars: “Deputy Symonenko is ready smear the whole nation and once again to condemn it without evidence shamelessly repeating the arguments of NKVD agents and chasteners. The communist Deputy is against justice in relation to victims of injustice. He shamelessly accuses and not in the buffet where comrades mess around, but from the platform of national parliament. And the high-ranking officials––the President and the Chairman of the Government––keep silence. And everybody is shocked by the bald lie of the political villain.”
However, neither the President of Ukraine, nor the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, nor other representatives of public bodies of Ukraine and ARC expressed their attitude toward the “hatred speech” of Ukrainian communist #1 from the high parliamentary platform. It is necessary to notice that similar xenophobic statements P. Symonenko's pronounced in one of his public addresses in 2010.
On August 22, on the central square of Simferopol, CPU leader P. Symonenko conducted a meeting with three hundred of his constituents in Crimea. The Crimean Tatars revolted with thecynical and offensive statements of P. Symonenko uttered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on May 16, 2012 also began to move in. The Crimean Tatars held national colors and banners with inscriptions: “No to fascist revival in Ukraine!”, “Bring Petro Symonenko to trial!”, “Symonenko, get away from Crimea!”. During P. Symonenko’s speech they chanted "Fascist", "Shame", and threw chicken and quail-finch eggs at the orator. After the action P. Symonenko escorted by the special detachment of the Ministry of Internal Affairs urgently left the square.
First Deputy Chairman of Mejlis R. Chubarov commented on the event: “In any normal country the politician, who tried and justified the acts of genocide against anybody, from the moment of his stepping down from the platform would cease to exist as the public politician. The tragedy of Ukraine, tragedy of Crimea consists in the factthat the moral monsters justifying mass acts of atrocity against anybody––Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, Jews––can use his status of the People's Deputy of Ukraine and drive about the country under the protection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and address people, who are not aware of the scales and perpetrators of those crimes that befell the previous generations…”
The example of intolerance of the top officials towards the Crimean Tatars on the brink of elementary ignorance, disrespect and even the insult was demonstrated by Chairman of the Rada of Ministers of ARC A. Mogiliov. So during his press conference after the session of the Crimean government on May 29, 2012 in Simferopol, answering a question of a journalist, he declared that he considered the Crimean Tatars as a diaspora living on the territory of the peninsula. A .Mogiliov underlined that in Crimea there is a “big enough diaspora of Crimean Tatars”, which have the right to file applications, complaints and other documents in Crimean Tatar. When the QHA journalist attempted to correct the prime minister, A.Mogiliov began insisting on his understanding of the term: “From my point of view, the diaspora is the nationality living in any territory which is defined along language, ethnic lines and so on. I am firmly convinced that any people, who are not the prevailing population in any territory, may be called by others a diaspora. I think so; I have a right to consider so.”
The statement of the Head of the Council of Ministers started a new wave of protests among the Crimean Tatar public. The known Ukrainian and Crimean experts offered some versions of such "slip": ignorance of definition of the term "diaspora"; perception of Crimean Tatars as a "continuation" of Turkey and Turkish diaspora that is understood by the official as a certain threat (Igor Semyvolos); “communicative failure” of Mogiliov testifying to its political incompetence (Olexandr Bogomolov); lack of understanding by officials that Ukraine is a polyethnic and polyconfessional state, ambiguity of concepts “the title nation”, “the indigenous people” (Gulnara Bekirova).
The situation with A.Mogiliov's statement that the Crimean Tatars living on the peninsula belong to diaspora reemerged on June 6 at the press conference in Simferopol on the occasion of signing by the Council of Ministers and the government of Komi Republic (Russian Federation) of the cooperation agreement. The journalist of ATR television channel asked the Head of the Republic Komi Vyacheslav Gayzer if he names ethnic Komi living in the republic a diaspora as far as they are in minority. V. Gayzer answered in the presence of A. Mogiliov: “Certainly not; what does the diaspora mean? It is the indigenous people, the Komi Republic is one of the centers of Finno-Ugric world and accordingly, under our constitution, Komi language is the state language.”
On June 29, 2012, during a talk show "Gravitation", Leader of Coordination Committee of Russian Organizations of Sevastopol and Taurida Vladimir Tiunin, understanding that the audience of ATR television channel includes mostly the Crimean Tatars, expressed ideas fomenting international discord. He did not consider the deportation of 1944 as an infringement of the rights of Crimean Tatars, because “the reason for deportation of Crimean Tatars, in my opinion, consisted in mass treachery and collaboration, in killing of Russian people in concentration camps.”
On July 27, V.Tiunin held a rally on the Lenin Square in Simferopol with participation of Russian and "Cossack" organizations of Crimea, which numbered 30 persons. Over there V. Tiunin expressed his negative attitude to the bill about deported having told that the victim of political repressions were not supposed to get any financial grants and denied the fact of deportation having named it a "resettlement" to “the blossoming warm Uzbekistan”.
The Crimean Tatar public figures and lawyers T. Gafarov and R. Osmanov applied to the Office of Public Prosecutor of ARC about the commission of the crime specified by p.1 Art. 161 of the CC of Ukraine: “infringement of equality of citizens depending on their racial, national identity or religious beliefs.”
Earlier the criminal case on V.Tiunin was opened under article 161, part 1 “Fomenting international discord” as a result of the picket organized by him on the building site of the Cathedral Mosque in Simferopol on July 29, 2010 under the slogan of “No to building a mosque on the blood of our children.” In July 2012 the Central District Court of Simferopol sentenced V.Tiunin accused of fomenting international discord under art. 161 p.2 of CC of Ukraine to two years and six months of imprisonment with a trial period of one year, and depriving him of the right to occupy posts of the head of public organizations and associations for a period of three years. However, in September the Appeal Court of Crimea reversed the judgment of the Central District Court and submitted the case to retrial having agreed with the lawyer that there had been one-sidedness and incompleteness of judicial examination, and actually justified the conduct of pro-Russian activist.
The position of the Simferopol District Militia Department, which decided to look into the application about perpetration of a crime in the days of the Great Patriotic War, may be called rather strange, legally doubtful and offensive for the Crimean Tatars. The appeal was authored by the activist of pro-Russian organizations, chairman of the Crimean organization of a marginal party “SPAS” (Social-patriotic assembly of Slavs) G. Sivak, who asked to examine and institute criminal proceedings against Crimean Tatar collaborators guilty of war crimes in the days of the Great Patriotic War. G. Sivak wrote in his appeal about 15,000 Russian citizens of the USSR allegedly killed in the concentration camp "Krasny" in the Village of Mirnoye, Simferopol Region, by collaborators from the 147th and 152th Tatar voluntary SD battalions. According to the central administrative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in ARC, after verification of evidence the case will be submitted to the Office of Public Prosecutor for adoption of a decision. From there the materials were redirected to the SSU, which in August 2012 refused to commence proceedings. Then G.Sivak appealed the decision in the Kyiv District Court of Simferopol adding a new provocative and xenophobic statement at the press conference, which was hastily broadcast by the information agency showing no special tolerance toward the Crimean Tatars.
The head of the Ukrainian government also showed the demonstrative presentiment towards the Crimean Tatars. On October 18, 2012, while visiting Crimea and answering questions from the hall on the state of financing of the Government program of returning and settlement of the deported citizens, Prime Minister of Ukraine M. Azarov urged the Crimean Tatars to stop calling themselves deported. “Just stop calling yourselves deported,” answered the Prime Minister. “You joined our population, became its organic part.” After these words the audience started applauding. People's Deputy M. Dzhemilev made a neatly remark: “Certainly, we are the Crimean Tatars, and deported is not our nationality. But the budget, which is signed by Azarov, has an item: “the expenses connected with settlement of the deported persons”. The Prime Minister should read attentively the documents, which he is signing. But we have other fish to fry: Azarov has gathered a special sort of public at the Russian theater. He would like very much to please this audience before the elections. The majority here are chauvinists, and his statement got the hands…”
On November 27, 2012 the press conference under the slogans “Nobody is forgotten! Nothing is forgotten! Nobody will forget the collaborationism of 1941-1944!” was held at the information press center of Simferopol; it was staged by the Leader of Coordination Committee of Russian Organizations of Taurida and Sevastopol V.Tiunin and the Chairman of Russian Society of Crimea A. Los. They have expressed a regret that “Crimean Tatar collaborators had safely avoided the deserved punishment having hidden behind the back of the people. The Stalinist regime had to punish in succession and ruthlessly those from them, who were guilty and involved in killing of the Soviet people. However, instead of carrying out of thorough investigatory actions for finding-out of a full picture of participation of the Crimean Tatars in punitive actions against local population and prisoners of war, establishing of all guilty persons … the Crimean Tatars were resettled in densely populated areas of Moslems with the subsequent domestication with write-off of concrete incriminations.”
On November 28, 2012, during the session of the Crimean parliament, during examination of the question on the announcement of the territory of the former concentration camp in the state farm "Krasnyi" a historical monument of local value Deputy of VR of ARC from Party of Regions Greek woman O. Kovitidi hinted that the Crimean Tatars were not without guilt. After the film showing about the concentration camp at the state farm "Krasnyi" she told: “With all due deference to Chubarov, it seems to me that one cannot take the floor after such piece of art. My grandfather was tortured to death at the state farm "Krasnyi". And one more thing about traitors… There were no Greek traitors. All deported did not deserve that deportation: they were Greek, Bulgarian, Armenian, and German. Some know, for what they had been deported. We, Greeks, do not know it till now. There are things about which it is better to keep silence.” It is known that the Stalinist regime deported the Crimean Tatars, Germans, Greeks, Armenians and Bulgarians from Crimea. In her unambiguous phrase O. Kovitidi pointed at the Crimean Tatars, who, in her opinion, were deservedly deported.
On November 29, 2012 during the talk show the “Open Policy” the State TV and Radio Company "Crimea" broadcasted the activity of Islamic party “Hizb-ut Tahrir” and the ex-deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea and pro-Russian public figure O.Rodivilov named the program “a feast of illegal immigrants”. He opined that the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars and "Hizb-ut Tahrir", between which the basic discussion took place, were "not legalized". O.Rodivilov characterized the Mejlis as “the organised criminal group” and in in strong terms addressed the self-settlers in Myrny Village (former Sarayly Kyyat) and warned that if “... Avdet, Sebat, and others do not withdraw” from the territory of the former concentration camp in the village, they “will be pitchforked”. O. Rodivilov was behind the creation of memorial complex in Myrny Village, where on the territory of state farm "Krasnyi" the Nazi concentration camp was set up during the WWII. In reply to such statement the guest of the program Deputy of Verkhovna Rada of Crimea R.Chubarov and representative of public organization “Human Rights Movement of Crimea” E. Kadyrov announced about their intention to go to the public prosecutor's office.
Late in November, 2012 in the Simferopol gymnasium no.11, the teacher of Russian language and literature with more than 20-year experience of work E. Menshova insulted sixth-graders the majority of which were Crimean Tatars. The sixth-graders waited for the lesson to begin behind the closed door of the study-room. One schoolgirl recorded the insults of the teacher addressed at first to one pupil, then all pupils and at last to all Crimean Tatars. “I have remembered this mug for a long time. I would like to box him on the ear to draw blood. I’d kick you out of the house, leave school myself and let you burst in shivers, because this society does not need you all the same. Lo, theses Crimean Tatars run the show here. Wonna go to the Tatar school? Plumb out of here!” After the parents' meeting and intervention of the Ministry of Education and Science of ARC the teacher gave in her resignation.
The similar incident occurred at the Simferopol house for aged people, managed by former Soviet dissident A. Seitmuratova. During her on-the-spot check at the house for aged people the SES employee Yanakina started drawing up the formal note on violation of the rules of storage of the foodstuffs delivered as humanitarian supplies. A. Seitmuratova disagreed with the note formulation and refused to sign it. The discussion between the manager and employee of the sanitary-and-epidemiologic station ended with the statement of Yanakina: “The Crimean Tatars are traitors, they sold Crimea”. The incident became a point of issue at the session of the Standing Commission of Verkhovna Rada of ARC for international relations and affairs of deported citizens.
3.4. Religious discrimination
As is known, the allocation of fixity area in Simferopol in March 2011 to the Spiritual Guidance of Moslems of Crimea (hereinafter referred to as RBMC) for erection of the Cathedral Mosque became the central event in the religious life of 2011. In several months the RBMC received the state certificate on this building site area and opened competitive bidding for the draft design of the future Cathedral Mosque. It was the end of senseless opposition of the Simferopol city rada to the aspiration of the Crimean Moslems to receive in a lawful way the building site for the main temple on the peninsula. However, despite this happy news, the religious sphere in 2012 remained one of the most discriminating for the Crimean Tatars.
In 2012, the conflict concerning the plot of land in the area of Buky Dobrovsky Villaga Rada, which had been earlier allocated for building a mosque and later taken away by local authorities, went on. The Village Rada has transferred the given plot of land to the books of local housing office, which, in its turn, used to organize various fairs there. Soon followed the arrest of Housing Office Chief S. Korniyenko for taking a UAH10,000 bribe; his second job was the Chairman of the Local Organization of the Party of Regions. The residents of the Dobrovsky Valley collected more than 338 signatures under the appeal to the authorities of the autonomy to resolve the dispute.
The Dobrovsky Village Rada actively involved local "Cossacks" in its “struggle” against legitimate rights of local Moslems for carrying out gatherings of citizens. Having received the notice from Moslems about their intention to organize a gathering of residents, it informed the representatives of the Cossacks and the latter immediately made an application for their actions in the same place and at the same time. The similar scheme had been tested Dobrovsky Village Rada earlier, on the day of namaz for Kurban-Bayram on November 6, 2011.
On December 6, 2011, the Simferopol District Court (judge Tomashchak A.S.) found guilty of carrying out of unauthorized mass actions two Moslem citizens––D. Ibragimov and I. Abdulayev, punishment––penalty at a rate of UAH200. Actually both were condemned for the Mohammedan prayer organization––namaz––on a place of future building of a mosque in the area of Buky: D. Ibragimov during celebration of Kurban-bayram and I. Abdulayev a little later. D.Ibragimov and I.Abdulayev learnt about this decision at the turn of January 2012 from court orders sent to their addresses; i.e. they had not been informed in advanceabou the forthcoming sitting of the court. The review of the cases of D.Ibragimov and I.Abdulayev confirmed the absence of notices of appointment or subpoenas. In connection with infringement of procedural rights by district court the Moslems went to the Appeal Court of ARC with request for restoration, on a good reason, of the missed terms on appeal. In the middle of February 2012 the Appeal Court of ARC taking into account the disregard of the legal procedure by the district court recalled the sentence.
The similar situation is observed in the Village Heroyskoye, Saky Region, where local authorities delayed for 8 years the allocation of the land plot for building a mosque. When the religious community prepared all necessary documents to get the state certificate, the newly elected village chairman came to a conclusion that this land would rather be used for other purposes and suggested to compromise an action on another plot of land.
In the kindergarten no. 8 "Berezka", Old Crimea District, during the nap time, in the presence of head manager Natalia Zaytseva and tutor Galina Plaksina the orthodox cleric baptised by aspersion both children and premises on January 19. In this group 17 out of 28 children were Crimean Tatars, whose parents practice Islam. Tutor Emiliya Mamut tried to interfere with carrying out of this ceremony, however her actions were suppressed. Next day the manager in the rough form demanded the tutor to write the letter of resignation of her own free will. E.Mamut said that she considerd the actions of administration of the kindergarten illegal, violating constitutional religious rights of citizens and their children. She appealed to the mayor, Office of Public Prosecutor of the Kirov Region, state labor inspection of ARC, Kirov MRO GU SSU in ARC, Kirov RO GU of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in ARC, RBMC. On the given fact the Office of Public Prosecutor decided to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the administrator of the preschool center. The Office of Public Prosecutor opined that the actions of the kindergarten administrator and the cleric violated the current legislation of Ukraine on regulation of religious relations.
On April 19, 2012 the same ritual was performed in the comprehensive school no.43 of Simferopol. The clergyman visited the school on the Easter eve and sprinkled with holy water grade schoolchildren among whom there were both Christians and Muslims.
In his appeal to the Minister of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of АR of Crimea V. A. Dzoz, Head of Simferopol and Crimean Diocesan Administration of UOC Lazar E.Ablayev, Mufti of RBMC, expressed his protest against such wrongful practice, because the Muslim creed of children and their families does not anticipate fulfillment of any Christian rituals, church chanting, reading of psalms, prayers etc. Similar rash actions affecting Moslems cause trouble and conflicts that can lead to interreligious confrontation. Moreover, such actions are illegal under art. 6, 28 of the Law of Ukraine “On preschool education”, art. 6, 8, 9 of the Law of Ukraine “On education”, and contradict requirements of art. 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine. E. Ablayev asked to take immediate measures to stop the above incidents and explain the managers of preschool and school establishments, and also priests of Simferopol and Crimean Dioceses of UOC the inadmissibility of infringement of the rights of Muslim pupils guaranteed by the Constitution.
The officials of the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Crimea lent their ear to the appeal. In his response Minister V. Dzoz informed that the director of comprehensive school, I-III levels of accreditation, no.43 of Simferopol N. V. Andreychuk was reprimanded for his permission to perform the ritual of sprinkling water at school. The minister noted that “in order to stop further interventions of religious organizations into the teaching and educational process of educational institutions of the autonomy the order no.431 “On observance of legislation of Ukraine while carrying out actions in educational institutions of ARC from 4/20/2012 was sent down to the city and regional boards of education.”
on March 7, 2012 at the press conference in Simferopol the Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchy Klyment announced in everyone's hearing about deliberate fueling of conflict by the authorities between the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians. So in February the deputies of the City Rada decided to refuse to allocate the plot of land confirmed in 2008 for building the Cathedral of the Redeemer near the Ukrainian gymnasium on Kyiv Street explaining that in 2011 the general plan of town development changed. Then the City Rada officials told the archbishop that because of the "unauthorized acquisition" by Crimean Tatars, which occupy about 200 hectares, there was a great need in land for building of apartment houses. And this very site of 1.5 hectares solves all questions of building of these apartment houses accommodating three thousand people. They advised the archbishop to come to an agreement with the Crimean Tatars and convince them to free the illegally seized land, on which the apartment houses would be built, and afterwards the UOC KP would get the promised plot of land. The head of UOC KP in Crimea underlined that it was already the second attempt of the authorities to cause a clash between Ukrainians and the Crimean Tatars instead of structurally dealing with the question of allocation of the building site for the church.
In September 2012 the group of parents of 18 pupils of the Krasnogvardeysky spiritual educational institution––madrasseh of hafiz––maintained that their children were deprived of their rights to receive secular secondary education guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine: the local evening school refuses to admit them to school. One of parents Yunus Reshitov informed that they are “constantly intimidated with annulment of parental rights”, while trying to close the madrasseh. Madrasseh teacher Rustem Memetov regarded such actions as discrimination along religious lines. The administration of the evening school refused to comment on the situation for the RBMC press-service until the chief of regional management of education would permit it, but unfortunately there was no way to get him on the phone. The parents of pupils sent the joint letter to the President of Ukraine, Minister of Education of Crimea and Ukraine requesting to intervene. Before this event the madrasseh was continuously inspected by all kinds of organizations––SES, complex commissions of representatives of Krasnogvardeysk Regional Administration including department of education––and parents of pupils were constantly pressurized. In this connection the RBMC addressed to the state leaders describing the technology of pressure upon the spiritual educational institution intended to close it. The RBMC riveted attention to the local policy of double standards: counteraction to revival of traditional Islamic spiritual education of Crimean Tatars and at the same time indulgence towards Islamic radicals. Head of the Department of Education of Krasnogvardeysky District State Administration Vladimir Tchertkov invented nothing better than naming the facts of RBMC on hafiz madrasseh as "fictions".
The assistant to the mufti of Crimea A. Ismailov in his interview to Radio Freedom told that the officers of SSU and local authorities threatened parents with revocation of parental rights, if they did not take away their children from the madrasseh. The parents of their own will send children to study the Quran and basics of the world religion––Islam. Therefore here the officials hamper the realization of individual rights of people on studying of their identity, their religion”. The participation of law enforcers in this campaign suggests that it is something more than the local initiative probably intended to close all five Islamic educational institutions under the RBMC in Crimea.
In Crimea, the fact of the use of religious factor in election campaign of the nominee of the Party of Regions B. Deych was noticed as well. So in the “Sudak” special of the republican newspaper “Krymskaya Gazeta” from 10/9/2012 the third page featured the article “Boris Deitch is the peacemaker, who had never offended neither national, nor religious feelings of Crimean Tatars” allegedly authored by the Assistant to the Mufti of Moslems of Crimea A. Ismailov. In this connection A. Ismailov issued the statement, in which he told that he had not given this material to the newspaper and categorically protested against tampering with his name and ecclesiastical rank for electioneering of a nominee or political party in order to attract the voices of Moslems. He also emphasized that the RBMC as the religious organization according to the Law of Ukraine “On the freedom of worship and religious organizations” does not take part in election campaigns of any political parties and majority nominees.
On December 1, 2012, about 5 am, in Simferopol, the unknown persons attacked the cabin of the security guard on the building site of the future Cathedral mosque with Molotov cocktails. The cabin took fire from one of such petrol bombs, but the guard managed to put the fire off. The Religious Board of Moslems of Crimea regarded this attack as one more display of xenophobia in relation to the Moslems of Crimea, provocation of certain forces, which are against stability and peaceful co-existence on the territory of the peninsula.
3.5.1. Conflicts around projects on old Muslim cemeteries
Since 2008, the Moslems of Simferopol Region kept demanding from the Dobrovsky Village Rada to prevent building of an orthodox temple on the territory of the old Muslim cemetery in Lozovoye Village. Numerous requests addressed to the former and present Chairmen of Dobrovsky Villaga Rada came to nothing. On December 21, 2011 the session of Dobrovsky Villaga Rada under the chairmanship of I. Budanov, despite protests of Moslems of the Dobrovsky valley, decided to give a further effect to the decision of the 18th session of the 5th convocation passed on June 18, 2008 “On permission granted to the Simferopol and Crimean Diocese to carry out design and exploratory work for temple building in Lozovoye Village” (former name: Village of Eski Orda).
The RBMC press-service DUMK stated that “I.V.Budanov's intolerant position is an example for some local haters of Islam from among the Cossacks, which, having dried behind the ears, began demanding to remove the Tatar cemetery from the Village of Krasnolesye.” Mufti of Crimea E. Ablaev wrote the official letter to Metropolitan of Simferopol and Crimea Lazar with the request to prevent building on this territory. Metropolitan of Simferopol and Crimea Lazar in the letter from February 8, 2012 wrote to Mufti E. Ablaev and Head of Dobrovsky Villaga Rada I. Budanov stating that the Simferopol and Crimean Diocese refuses to build church on the plot of land allocated by local authorities, where Muslim cemetery had been in the earlier times.
The conflict situation around the former Muslim cemetery in the Village of Semenovka (former: Village of Kyten), Lenin District, continued in 2012. The local authorities issued the state certificate on the plot of land near the Azov coast located on the territory of the former Muslim cemetery for building of the diving center. During execution of earth-moving work the bone remains of burial places were found. The criminal case was opened against activist , Zevid Gaziev, who tried to protect the old cemetery from modern vandals; the complaint in this case was filed by the Mysovsky Villaga Rada. The court obliged Z.Gaziev to take down the memorial sign earlier erected on the territory of the graveyard. The court of appeal instance left the decision in force. Z.Gaziev refuses to take down the memorial stone; the enforcers of the judgment and State Land Control Service fined him for a total of UAH1190 and ordered to take the memorial stone down during 10 days.
This year the intolerable situations were created by old and ongoing intentions of the enterprise “Krymavtotrans” to build a public toilet or other structures on the territory of the old Muslim cemetery in Alushta. On April 13 in Alushta the rally was held against vandalism on the former Muslim cemetery, where today there are coach station, row of shopping stalls, café, and bars. Earlier the city authorities conducted exploration on the prospective building site and found human bone remains.
On April 17 the city rada considered the issue together with the representatives of the RBMC, executive committee of Alushta and local activists, which conference was ignored by the “Krymavtotrans” enterprise. The City Rada decided to suspend civil works and study the situation from the point of view of legislation. Contrary to public opinion and position of Executive Committee of the City Rada of People's Deputies the “Krymavtotrans” enclosed the territory of the future toilet with a fence. The Religious Board of Crimea requested that the city authorities of Alushta allot this plot of land on on the territory of the old Muslim cemetery to the RBMC for erection of the memorial sign "Djurbe" (Muslim memorial). Mayor of Alushta S.Kolot responded with the letter suggesting that the RBMC should come to an agreement with the "Krymavtotrans" about transfer of a part of the territory of the old Muslim cemetery to the books of RBMC.
In June 2012 in the Village of Verkhnesadovoye (former Village of Duvankoy), Nahimovsky District of Sevastopol, the fact of mass vandalism in the past in relation to the old Crimean Tatar cemeteries was elicited. So, during repair work (replacing windows and doors) in the apartment house built in 1952 many tombstones called bashtash (10 whole and 5 splinters) were found, the earliest of which was dated 1800. Such finds in the village became typical at carrying out of repair works in their housing estates by local residents. Before deportation the majority of residents of the Village of Duvankoy were Crimean Tatars (750 families). big Muslim cemetery "Azizler" was situated behind the mosque in the village; after deportation of Crimean Tatars the new villagers used tombstones for domestic needs.
3.5.2. Vandalism on Muslim burial ground
On March 20, 2012 the new act of vandalism came out: the unknown perpetrators ruined and violated tombs on the Muslim cemetery of the Village of Mirnoye (former Village of Sarayly-Kyyat), Simferopol Region. As a result of pogrom the tomb of Gulsum Mamet, b. 1920, was completely destroyed, on a tomb of Seitkhalil Amet-ogly the gravestone was broken, on two other monuments there remained traces from attempts of their destruction. Besides, two more tombs were run down by a truck. The RBMC regarded this and previous acts of vandalism as purposeful attempt of destabilization of interdenominational world in Crimea and requested that the law enforcers take immediate measures and determine the identity of perpetrators and punish them according to their deserts according to the existing legislation of Ukraine.
On March 21, 2012 the Simferopol Regional department of the Headquarters of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Crimea announced that the militia established the identity of the pogrom suspect. However, the announcement was accompanied with unpersuasive version about casual and unintentional character of perpetration. The version maintained that the car of the Mirnoye villager, b. 1979, which decided to visit the tomb of his relative on this cemetery, skidded and damaged several gravestones. The investigating officers ignored other obvious traces of attempts of destruction on remained tombstones, which couldn’t be linked to the run-down. At the same time, according to RBMC lawyer I.Kajmakan, this case is unprecedented, because for the first time in many years the law enforcers managed to catch the malefactor. Usually the criminal proceedings are instigated on the fact of perpetration, but the guilty persons are never found and do not bear responsibility as set forth by laws.
3.5.3. Destruction of monuments to the Crimean Tatars
Late In the evening on March 18, 2012 the vandals scoff at the monument honoring national hero Alim Azamat (Crimean Robin Hood) on the roadside of the highway Bilohorsk––Feodosiya near the Village of Cheremysovka (Kopürlikoy). The unknown persons left traces of their "revel" around the monument, shot at lanterns from their hunting guns, sent a bullet from a government-issued weapon through the metal charity box. N. Yunusov, Head of Bogatovsky Villaga Rada, informed the neighborhood militia inspector about the case, however it came to nothing.
On May 22 the unknown persons vandalized the territory of the burial place of righteous man Eskender located in 3 km from the Village of Novoulyanovka (former Village of Otarchyk), Kuibyshev Village Rada and known as "Karly Aziz". Both the bashtash and gravestone were completely destroyed. The character of the damages allows asserting that blows were inflicted with a sledge hammer, the monument fragments were not found. The RBMC representatives on the scene of the crime filed an appeal to the law enforcement bodies with request to instigate criminal proceedings on the given fact. The tombstone had been already broken by vandals in the small hours of August 13, 2011 and fragments had been thrown into the water reservoir nearby. Also the fence and two benches were broken. Though the criminal case was opened and investigation started, the perpetrators were not found. The tomb of the righteous person was restored by local Mejlis and Muslim community.
In the small hours of May 28, 2012, near the Village of Alekseyevka, Pervomaisky Region, on the site of the former Village of Kyyrk Cholpan the unknown persons destroyed the gravestone on the grave of Kyrk Aziz erected in 2006. The kind of destructions of the relic also indicated that a sledge hammer, crowbar and other heavy tools were used. The militia instigated criminal proceedings under art. 297 of the Criminal code of Ukraine “Violation of a tomb”.
In the small hours of July 17 the memorial board to Twice the Hero of the USSR Amet-Khan Sultan in Simferopol, immured on the house on the square of the same name was profaned. The criminal proceedings were instigated upon the fact of desecration under p.2 art. 296 of the Criminal code of Ukraine, i.e. hooliganism. On July 19 on this area the action initiated by the Crimean public organizations “Youth against vandalism” with more than seventy participants took place.
Also in early August 2012 the memorial complex in memoriam of victims of deportation of the Crimean Tatars in Salgirka Park in Simferopol was vandalized one more time. The unknown persons covered with violet paint the plates with the names of republics to which the Crimean Tatars were deported, and on the fences of botanical park of TNU painted Nazi symbol–– swastika. The vandals did not touch the plate with the inscription "Russia". On asphalt near the plates there were painted inscriptions: “Ukraine where?”. The Head of the Secretariat of Mejlis Zair Smedliayev and members of Simferopol regional Mejlis came to the crime scene, videotaped and photographed daubs on the monument, and also informed about the case the Kyiv branch of the headquarters of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in ARC.
In Bilohorsk the new act of vandalism took place on a burial site of three sacred ulamas of 9-12 c. In the small hours of September 1, 2012 the unknown persons destroyed the fence of the burial place "Azizler" and painted a swastika on the memorial stone. The militia officers drove to the crime scene only after the phone call of Deputy of the VR of ARC S. Kadzhametova to the Head of the Regional State Administration O. Rusetsky. The officers of SSU and RDIA drew up the report, videotaped and photographed the damage. The criminal proceedings were instigated under p.1. art. 297 of the CC of Ukraine––violation of a tomb.
Social and demographic characteristics
According to various public surveys conducted in different countries in different periods of modern history homosexuals constitute between 1–2% and 5–6% of every country’s population, irrespective of political regime or religious culture. Thus, e.g. according to the results of the research carried out between early 19th and late 20th centuries in the USA and Australia, the share of people who consider themselves homosexual varied from 1 to 10%. The discrepancies in the obtained data can be explained by difficulties in organizing surveys and establishing sampling criteria, lack of terminological clarity.
Sociological surveys in Ukraine show that the number of homosexuals can be assessed between 420 thousand and 1.2million, i.e. 0.9 to 2,6% of total population.
Under the results of the research conducted in 2009 by the Ukrainian NGO “Nash svit” [Our world], the number of men having sex with men varies between 95 and 213 thousand men at the age between 15 and 49. Taking into consideration the error factor, their average number can be estimated at approximately 150 thousand. The earlier publications based on statistical data quoted the figure of 1 million homosexuals in Ukraine.
These substantial differences in figures are due to the fact that not all homosexuals are ready to make their sexual preferences public, while the majority of homosexuals tend to conceal their status, fearing condemnation and persecution. Some scholars believe that the number of homosexual men is 3-4 times larger than the number of lesbians, but these claims are difficult to verify, as there are no accurate data with respect to LGBT community in our country.
Currently it is believed that young gays and lesbians represent a high risk suicidal group, as they face a lot of problems in their interaction with environment. They can be misunderstood by their families, neighbors, classmates or co-students, or persecuted by aggressive heterosexuals. The specialized publications also mention that persons with homosexual orientation are more prone to alcohol or drug abuse.
Attitude of society
The surveys of public opinion conducted in the years 2002 and 2007 showed that 33,8% and 46,7% of Ukrainians respectively considered the equalizing homosexuals’ rights with the rights of other citizens impossible. In September 2010, on the other hand, sociological Center “Socis” found out that 65% of Kievites believe that homosexuality is a kind of perversion or mental disease. Meanwhile sociological surveys conducted by Gorshenin Institute showed that 74.7% students-respondents found homosexual relations inacceptable, and 72% of Ukrainians were negatively predisposed towards sexual minorities’ representatives.
The surveys conducted among militia staff in 2003-2004 by L.Moroz and S.Yakovenko within the framework of the British Council program in Ukraine, aimed at promoting tolerance towards marginal groups of society among militiamen, revealed that the main reason for prejudice is lack of knowledge and irrational perception of those who are different – in skin color, language, beliefs or sexual preferences.
These attitudes are deeply rooted in the history and culture, religious and political aspects of public life. Homophobia as the consequence of public negative attitude towards LGBTcommunity is, on the one hand, a very common phenomenon, but, on the other hand – a very complicated one, due to its varied manifestations. Today Ukrainian researchers identify several types of homophobia. With reference to O.Mostyaev’s book “Homophobia as psychological and social problem in modern Ukraine” we will describe some of them.
1. Teenage homophobia. Teenagers are characterized by aggressive non-acceptance of homosexuality. Teenage groups willingly participate in the persecution of the adult gays or their peers, who are different, thus trying to prove their own conformity with masculine or feminine stereotypes, overcome their own homosexuality. Fear of homosexuality is a cause of psychological trauma for heterosexual teenagers as well, especially for the attractive ones, i.e. boys looking like girls or girls with masculine way of walking, dressing up and entertaining themselves.
2.Homophobia as a disguise, popular among homo- and bisexual individuals, allows them to conceal their needs from the others, condemning homosexuality. This type of homophobia is a means of averting any suspicions of their homosexual preferences.
3. Internalized homophobia is also typical of homosexuals and bisexuals who are afraid of homosexuality or find it disgusting, as they cannot either face their own homosexuality or exclude homosexual behavior from their options. Some of them suppress homosexual desires and aspirations (latent homosexuals), while the others do not do that, by suffer from negative emotions, i.e. fear, anxiety, guilt with respect to their families. Hypocrisy and bigotry are the main causes of this type of homophobia. Some most ardent homophobes have been known to practice homosexual behavior and sanctimoniously hide it.
4. Compensatory homophobia can develop in women as an emotional compensation for the lack of personal life. Both personal experiences of homosexuals rejecting sexual intercourse and lack of emotional and erotic feelings during women’s intercourse with men can contribute to this type of homophobia.
Most often homophobia is manifested in two ways:
- Hate speech, degrading certain person or a whole social group on the grounds of their sexual orientation; homosexuality is identified with perversion, disease or unnatural phenomenon;
- Homophobic actions aimed against LGBT and heterosexuals, resembling LGBT or supporting them.
The human rights activists believe that lack of information, domination of patriarchal family, traditional or newly acquired religious zeal, governmental approval of anti-homosexual movement contribute to the high level of homophobia in Ukraine. The educational institutions and mass media responsible for bringing up of public awareness ignore these issues.
Attempts of institutional discrimination
In late 2006 the head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church cardinal Huzar proposed amending law in force with provisions which would define the notion of “matrimony” exclusively as a union between man and woman, and also define the term “sexual minority”. He claimed it would stop legalization of same-sex families and marriages in Ukraine, prevent child-bringing up in such families.
On May 15, 2007 a regular meeting of all-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations presided by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was held. It adopted the Declaration “On negative attitude towards homosexuality and attempts to legalize the so-called same-sex marriages (i.e. registration of the same-sex partnerships)”.
On June 10, 2010 the Christian Churches of Ukraine issued a Declaration “On negative attitude towards sin of homosexuality, its propaganda in the society and attempts to legalize the so-called same-sex marriages”, which reads as follows: “…we are definitely against the interpretation of homosexual way of life and behavior as something natural…against considering homosexuality a human right, …against its promotion as just another way of sexual life… “. 
On 28.09.2010 Kyiv Mayor L. Chernovetsky by his instruction № 768 ordered preferential treatment of public movement “All together!” and obliged municipal state administration and other departments to support the festival of the said movement. During this festival the stage was erected in front of the mayor’s office, while the speakers called for introducing criminal liability for homosexual propaganda, and disseminated homophobic slogans, e.g. “Homosexuality = AIDS”, “Registration of the perverts’ partnerships is a threat to the state security of Ukraine”.
Practically for the whole period between 1991 and 2008 the requirement for the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine to submit the official statistical form (№7) to the State Committee on Statistics remained in force. This form contained the data on “persons of homosexual orientation” as a group of high risk for HIV-infection. This statistical document inherited from the soviet times was officially abolished in 2008; in practical operation, however, the agencies counteracting human trafficking still keep this statistics, justifying their actions by professional expediency stipulated by the law.
In 2009 the Ukrainian government recognized that men having sex with men are one of the high risk groups with respect to HIV-infection ( “National target program for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for the HIV-positive and AIDS patients for the years 2009-2013”). At the same time Article 10, p.21 of the Law of Ukraine “On militia” determines that militia officers according to their competences should identify persons belonging to high AIDS risk groups and duly inform the health care institutions about such persons; on health care institutions’ motion and prosecutor’s sanctions these persons should be brought in for compulsory examination and treatment. It means that militia is charged with the task of identifying homosexuals, which can be interpreted as state interference into the private life and illegal collection of confidential personal information.
On September 7, 2012 the Eparchial council of Sumy eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church made an official statement protesting against the registration of “Gay-alliance” association in Sumy (The decision on registration of the local branch of all-Ukrainian “Gay-alliance-Ukraina” association was made by the Chief directorate of justice in Sumy oblast’ on August 22). The UOCh clergy protested against official registration of “depraved organization which desires to pass a hideous vice for public activity”.
Crimes against LGBT
Over the years 2010-2011 LGBT activists have registered 83 crimes and hate incidents, 7 of which included hate speech, 6 – rape of the victims, and 18 consisted in homophobic manifestations which had negative consequences for the victims.
The analysis shows that the following homophobic infringements are the most common:
- Homophobia with hooliganism and body injuries. The hooliganism is rooted in the instincts of aggression and self-assertion.
- Homophobia with assault or robbery. Here the lucrative motives prevail. Young criminals assault the persons who visit traditional homosexuals’ meeting places, not expecting serious opposition or resistance and hoping for the law-enforcers’ connivance. Their declared motive is to “to teach perverts a lesson”, assert themselves among their peers, but also to have some material gains.
- Blackmail and extortion with the goal of achieving some political, economic or other goals, or just getting some money by threats to make the sexual orientation of the blackmailed persons public. The blackmail might consist in accusing the heterosexuals in high official positions of alleged homosexuality, thus causing undesirable political, legal and economic repercussions for them, their discredit, or removal of economic competitors.
- Heinous homophobic crimes – rapes (of lesbians by males; of homosexuals or androgynous or effeminate men – with the help of bottles, sticks etc.), and killings caused by pathological hatred. The killings of gays are characterized by unusual bestiality - they are accompanied by tortures, stabbings, and mutilations as a “punishment” for person’s sexual orientation.
- moral and psychological blackmail of the homosexuals with the threats to reveal their orientation. Then the victims face public degradation and violence, even from their family and friends. A teenager recognized as gay in the family might be subject to isolation, physical violence, attempts to “cure” him/her; in some cases parents renounce their parental rights, so the teenager is condemned to loneliness and even suicide.
Violent crimes against homosexuals are often perpetrated by the individuals with low social and economic status, young adults (up to 28 years of age) from bad neighborhoods, with no education, work or family; members of various subcultures (skinheads, ultra-nationalists, religious fanatics), sadistically- inclined persons, criminal elements.
Unfortunately the representatives of the official bodies, and, first of all, of the law enforcement entities, too tolerant with respect to the crimes against LGBT communities, are often involved in the crimes.
On November 20, 2010 an LGBT NGO “Insight” organized a number of events to commemorate the transgender victims of violence. One event included a movie which was to be shown in the Modern Art Center of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. At the time of the event about 10 masked people tried to enter the center. Luckily they were detained by the “Insight” activists at the entrance. Two of the activists were injured by the assailants. Besides, the assailants tried to spread tear gas from several cans at once; some of the viewers were affected by it. When the felons understood they would not be able to get into the movie-hall, they disappeared.
The militia detachment called from Podil district militia department (Kyiv) was very reluctant to take evidence from the victims and refused to take the statement from those involved in the incident. The commandos from the ultra-rightist organization “National union” were probably responsible for the assault, as it was on their site that the information sustaining that assault was committed by “the unknown patriots resembling the activists of the “national union” appeared next day.
On December 11, 2010 in Kyiv downtown an “AntiYolka” action was conducted by several leftist and one LGBT organizations. The goal of the action was the protest against the current social policy of the Ukrainian authorities, while LGBT were directly mentioned only a couple of times – in the slogan “LGBT rights – human rights” and on rainbow flag. First the action was planned in a different venue, with more pronounced anti-homophobic agenda, but Kyiv branch of the nationalistic party “Svoboda” [Liberty] announced their own counter-action at the same venue and time. Despite the fact that the action was moved to another venue and its agenda became more socially targeted, a group of young people who called themselves “Christian youths” attacked the action activists after the event, shouting homophobic slogans.
Illegal actions of law enforcers
Some crimes and violations of human rights are committed by the Ukrainian law enforcers themselves. The “Nash svit” report states that, over the year 2010, 43% (35 incidents) out of 79 registered violations of human rights of homosexuals were committed by the law enforcers. 
Thus, in April 2010 Ihor B. was beaten severely by the militia officers right in the lobby of the Central MI Department in Donetsk city, with dozens of people witnessing the incident. Ihor just requested that militia officers adhere to the legal procedure for detention. Eventually he abandoned the efforts to defend his rights, as both he and his mother were threatened by militiamen. He was also forced to sign the papers claiming that he had no grievances against militia.
In January 2010 Olexander Z. was detained by militiamen from the Pervomaysky district militia ward (Chernivtsy) only because he happened to be in the venue of regular gay meetings. Apart from the fact that no legal procedural norms were observed during his detention, he was photographed and fingerprinted without any grounds.
In March 2010 a Mykolayiv resident Kh. was summoned to militia ward to testify in a homicide case, in which a gay person was killed. After the official deposition which proved that Kh. did not know the victim, he was taken to another room, where four militiamen proceeded to insult and humiliate him, threatening to divulge the fact of his sexual orientation to his family and demanding the information about all the gays he happened to know. Illegally they confiscated his cell phone and wrote down all the numbers they found there. They let him free only after several hours.
The results of human rights’ violations’ monitoring for 2008 addressing the accessibility of the basic services for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support for men who have sex with men, conducted by the Center of Social Expertise on UNDP request show that “the overwhelming majority of respondents- men who have sex with men (60 %) - had over the last 4 years to deal with law enforcement bodies staff on various issues, and only one third of respondents (27 %) felt no prejudiced attitude in the course of this interaction”. The most common infringements committed by the law enforcers included the following:
- Unjustified, in respondents’ opinion, verification of papers or personal search, especially in the venues of meetings between men who have sex with men (29 %).
- Extortion of bribes to avoid personal problems, according to 11 % of respondents;
- Violation of procedural norms at inquest and pretrial investigation stages – non-sanctioned detentions in militia wards, unwarranted searches, forced photographing and fingerprinting (9 % of the respondents);
- Coercion to get information on other men who have sex with men, or illegal copying of numbers from the cell phones (9 % of the respondents);
- Blackmail with threats to divulge the facts of sex with men or commercial sexual services (8 % of the respondents).
Legal regulation of the relations between LGBT and society, official response to LGBT needs
On March 31, 2010 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe unanimously adopted “Recommendations for counteracting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity”. The document recommends the countries – members of the Council of Europe a range of measures for introducing changes into the law and policies ensuring LGBT rights in such areas as labor relations, education, freedom of associations and peaceful gatherings, private and family life, health care, sports; taking into consideration homophobic factor in dealing with felonies and determining respective liability. Ukraine’ support of this document means that for the first time in history our country has recognized at the international level that sexual orientation cannot constitute the grounds for discrimination.
On April 29, 2010 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, following the suite of Committee of Ministers adopted two more documents condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. They are the Resolution 1728 (2010) and the Recommendations 1915 (2010). Both documents, as well as the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendations, are aimed at providing for LGBT civic equality ЛГБТ and counteracting the violations of human rights and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, and hate crimes against LGBT in the countries – CE members.
The changes introduced to the CC of Ukraine in force can be classified as steps towards recognizing the acceptability of homosexual relations alongside with heterosexual ones, specifically – the part of CC of Ukraine enumerating the types of felonies does not any longer treat voluntary sexual relations between same-sex persons as socially dangerous crime.
Nevertheless, the general state of things with LGBT legal protection leads us to conclude that the country has not achieved significant progress. Thus, the national legislation still does not ban the discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The passing of the Law of Ukraine “On public morality” and development of draft laws envisaging obvious repressive measures “for homosexual propaganda” confirm that the authorities are unready to provide guarantees for all the groups of population.
The departmental documents of the ministries still contain discriminatory norms. E.g. the Ministry of Health order №385 of 01.08.2005 prohibit homosexual persons from becoming blood donors. The Ministry of Health order №60 of 03.02.2011 directly mentions homosexuality as counter indication for sex correction.
The judicial practices reflect the status quo. Not a single court of any jurisdiction has ever ruled in favor of LGBT on cases instigated because of the sexual orientation of the plaintiffs.
In early October 2009 commandos from nationalistic organization “S.Bandera Trident” organized an attack on participants and guests at the presentation of the homosexual poetry book. The assault included insults, physical violence, throwing of furniture etc. The joint petition of Ukrainian LGBT organizations submitted to the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of Interior in Kyiv was answered only 8 months later. The Kyiv militia administration advised that no corpus delicti was found in the assailants’ actions, so there were no grounds for instigating proceedings against them.
In July 2010 Kharkiv city council filed a claim with the circuit administrative court on banning a peaceful gathering of the sexual minorities. The court, having considered the road inspection information that potential march could disrupt traffic and even lead to casualties, satisfied the claim.
We can give only isolated positive examples of judicial practices in protecting LGBT-community interests. Thus, the ruling of the Donetsk court of September 2010, finding guilty a militiaman who had beaten a gay, became a second ruling of this nature in the whole Ukrainian history. This case, by the way, became known not only because the gay decided to openly oppose militiaman, but also due to the claim, filed by the victim’s attorney under Article 161 of the CC of Ukraine, stating that the violation of the victim’s rights was of discriminatory nature.
Raising public awareness with respect to LGBT issues
The letter sent to the country leaders by LGBT organizations in 2007 was one of the first attempts to draw attention to the problem. It contained six requests:
- Legal banning of discrimination based on sexual orientation in all areas of public life;
- Legalizing common-law partnerships for homosexuals;
- Granting social and economic rights in full scope, equal to the rights of heterosexual partnerships, to homosexual families;
- Recognizing same-sex marriages between Ukrainian and foreign nationals contracted in other countries or registered in the civil registry offices abroad, as legal;
- Implementing nationwide programs for gays’ and lesbians’ social support;
- Taking heed of gays’ and lesbians’ rights in developing and implementing normative/legal acts.
The letter was signed by all the renowned Ukrainian LGBT-organizations, i.e. “Gay-Forum of Ukraine”, “LiGa”, ‘Gay-alliance”, “Chas zhyttya+”, “Women’s network” Center, and “Nash svit”. Although the letter encountered officially reserved and reasonably tolerant reaction with regards to LGBT problems, the commentary by the former head of the Committee for human rights, national minorities and inter-national relations L.Hrach is most indicative in this context. He announced that ‘…homosexuality is an abnormality brought to life by immoral and vicious human nature. And, although the rights of these people really need protection, society treats them as pariahs.”.
On October 2, 2009 public hearing on observance of human rights by the law-enforcement bodies was held in the Ukrainian House. At the plenary meeting the “Social action” coordinator M.Butkevich drew attention to the instances of aggressive homophobia registered in Lviv and Kyiv, while O.Zinchenkov, who represented LGBT organizations “Nash svit” informed about the cases of homosexuals’ rights violations, committed by the law enforcers. The leader of “Gay-Forum of Ukraine” S.Sheremet explained these incidents by ignorance and erroneous understanding of homosexuality as pathological phenomenon by the law enforcers.
On January 18, 2010, at the 45th session of the UN Committee for the liquidation of all forms of women’s discrimination, the shadow reports of the Ukrainian NGOs were made public. Specifically, they pointed out that the Ukrainian legislation did not envisage the banning of discrimination based on sexual orientation, although homosexual women face a lot of violations of their rights and freedoms. Hence the crimes against these women are not qualified as hate crimes. On the reports’ results the Committee members addressed 9 questions to the Ukrainian delegation with respect to the observance of LBT women’s rights in Ukraine.
On April 10, 2010 Ukrainian LGBT-organizations for the umpteenth time submitted a petition on amending the first draft of the Labor Code of Ukraine (№ 1108 of 04.12.2007) to the speaker and the heads of specialized committees of the Supreme Rada. Taking into consideration the Cabinet of Ministers’ Recommendations, leaders of LGBT community proposed amending the list of “discrimination at work place” criteria with sexual orientation and gender identity. However, this time, as opposed to prior occurrences, they did not receive even a formalized answer from the Ukrainian Parliament members.
In 2011 the permanent advisory group on LGBT issues approached the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine with the proposal to set up inter-agency working group under the ministry, with the aim of monitoring the adherence to human rights, responding to violations, devising respective recommendations, training Ministry of Interior staff on LGBT issues. The Ministry of Interior, however, refused to set up such a group.
The efforts of LGBT community to publicly denounce the discrimination against its members always meet resistance and end up with violence. Attempts to organize May gay parade every year were either banned or disrupted by militant homophobes. The disruption of gay parade in 2012 in Kyiv which was to be held within the framework of the international forum-festival “KyivPride 2012” and the mugging of a leader of the Ukrainian LGBT community S.Sheremet in May 2012 became the most renowned events on this list..
Within several weeks the social networks were swarming with communications “Gay parade will not happen”, “Let’s get ready to defend the capital”, who invited “strong men to defend the city from gay propaganda”. The sexual minorities’ representatives were scared for their life and decided to abstain from mass street actions involving slogans and megaphones.
On schedule hundreds of protesters carrying the slogans “We are for the real families!”, “No to vice!” gathered near the metro station. Masked young people with gas containers, believers with the crosses, icons and slogans of degrading content were among them.
According to “Segodnya” [Today] newspaper, the action started with the reporters’ meeting in a secret place. “For security purposes let’s get together at the exit from “Darnitsa” metro station – invited one of the action organizers A.Marchenko. The militiamen just in case chased away all the peddlers in the station vicinity; they kept asking the passers-by about their destination. In a couple of hours the organizers advised that the march was revoked as too many people might be subject to violence”.
“The action was to take place on the Embankment. 150 gays from all over Ukraine had to march 300m towards Poshtova square with slogans demanding freedom of speech and equality” – announced the organizers.
Immediately, right in front of us, an unidentified masked man assaulted the action curators and with the words “You moron…Go…” sprayed the contents of gas container into the crowd. Then, according to organizers, eggs were thrown at them inside the metro station, and the leader of “Gay-Forum of Ukraine’ S.Sheremet was assaulted by six masked individuals who kicked him with their feet”.
At the end of the day the organizers announced that gay parade had happened. “We will conduct it annually in hope to be finally heard” – stated S.Sheremet.
The sociologists are positive that xenophobia towards LGBT community is deeply rooted in the backwardness of Ukrainian society. “We are a rather closed patriarchal society, which is most intolerable to everything different. Sexual minorities can expect tolerant treatment only when our people would go abroad more often, observe similar mass actions and start to take them for granted” – opines sociologist I.Bekeshkina.
The photograph reflecting the beating of S.Sheremet was the only Ukrainian picture among the 45 Most Powerful Photos of 2012, clearly testifying to the striking contrast between the Western and the Ukrainian attitude to LGBT community.
DISCRIMINATION OF PEOPLE WITH DRUG ADDICTION
Social group of people with drug addiction and its peculiarities.
Special research shows that in Ukraine the actual number of drug users exceeds 500 thousand persons. Results of other research give an even more staggering number – 1 million persons, and half of them are injecting drug users.
Even the official statistics of the twenty years of combating illegal drug trade in Ukraine shows that the number of people that use drugs illegally is growing steeply. For comparison, in the early years of independence of our country, in 1991 the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine had on file 31 thousand persons with the history of drug misuse, in 1995 there were already 55.7 thousand such persons on file, in 2001 – more than 91 thousand persons, and as of January 1, 2012 – 151.7 thousand persons. The share of persons with drug addiction officially on file has grown from 0.18% of the total number of the population of Ukraine in 2001 to 0.33% – in 2011. In reality, as we can see, these numbers are manifold larger. This is a huge part of the nation with its own physiological, marginal and other peculiarities.
According to all attributes (steadiness of the community, peculiarities of the role and place in the system of the society's social connections, consolidation based on a certain objective attribute, etc.) people with drug addiction constitute the social group with a series of certain peculiarities.
As this group's way of life fails to comply with the customs characteristic of the society these people belong to but does not violate its legal norms, it gives grounds to state that this social group is marginal.
According to the provisions of the national and international legislation, drug addiction is a disease, and so it is a disease that is one of the major objective attributes of the above-mentioned social group. Besides drug addiction, members of this social group are on a wide scale afflicted by other concomitant diseases connected with injection drug use. These are, first of all, HIV/AIDS and hepatitides. The share of injecting drug users in the overall number of the HIV-infected constitutes about 70%. As the statistics show, the share of people with drug addiction among the newly identified cases of HIV infection is gradually declining, but the absolute number of new HIV cases among this category of people is growing.
According to the stance of the European Commonwealth, people with drug addiction are victims of the organized drug crime. For the sake of their own personal gain, drug sellers keep expanding the circle of their clientele and hook on drugs more and more new victims, whom they recruit predominantly among the youth. Drug pushers seek, first and foremost, solvent clients, that is why drugs are also consistently making their way to the environments of youth from well-off and wealthy families (in prestigious educational institutions of all levels, etc.).
The environment of people with drug addiction is characterized by proselytism. People that already are using drugs need new people introduced to this addiction. They require them as the environment, in which everybody stays in the same intoxicated condition; as clients, to whom they push drugs; and finally, as test subjects, on whom the single dose of a new drug is tested. It is believed that during the time of his or her drug «career», each drug addict introduces 13-14 persons to drug addiction.
As the environment of people with drug addiction, due to their physiological and marginal peculiarities, is easily susceptible to committing transgressions of the law, the criminal organizations use these peculiarities for their benefit. People with drug addiction do their bidding by committing robberies and murders and pushing drugs.
People with drug addiction fall victim to stigmatization and discrimination. Persecution by the authorities and aggression by the regular population render a person with drug addiction an outcast in the society. For such person, it is easier to keep using drugs and stay among others with the same problem than to try to deal with their addiction and quit. As a result, in its turn, the whole issue tends to be swept under the rug, what significantly increases the risk and conflicts with the societal interests. Failure to observe the rights of people with drug addiction, in particular, of those who live with HIV, impacts negatively efficiency of the control over proliferation of drug addiction and HIV infection in Ukraine.
The absolute majority of people that suffer from drug addiction are unable to adequately protect their rights due to physiological and other peculiarities.
Social group of people with drug addiction as an object of discrimination
The state policy of counteraction to drug addiction exhibits a rather strict nature, repressive towards people with drug addiction. Under the current drug policy, a legitimate existence in the society of a social group of injecting drug users is deemed inadmissible. Under such conditions, people with drug addiction experience severe discrimination both from the society in general and from the governmental agencies, in particular.
Moreover, due to their vulnerable position, they are virtually deprived of the possibility to insist on redressing of their violated rights and bring to responsibility the ones guilty of such violations. When analyzing the reporting statistics of the prosecutor's offices', what sticks out is actual absence of criminal cases it would have initiated, within its competence, based on the facts of illegal actions of the police against people with drug addiction, or blatant violation of rights of people of this category for getting medical help, including those that caused grave consequences. The analysis of the judicial statistics also suggests that the degree of actual judicial protection of rights and lawful interests of people with drug addiction is extremely low.
Discrimination in the sphere of labor relations
When it becomes known (officially or otherwise) about the person's drug addiction, in predominant majority cases his or her employment gets terminated. As a rule, formally the dismissal is conducted due to different grounds, say, like reduction of personnel, reorganization of the enterprise or organization, the employee's neglectful attitude to duties, uncovering of other violations. The list of bogus reasons in each concrete case differs what creates an appearance of the lawfulness.
When drug addicted people apply for a job they are, as a rule, rejected.
Discrimination in the social and household sphere
Most people with drug addiction are unemployed but they, being unable to enjoy their rights, do not apply to employment agencies, do not receive unemployment benefits or social welfare, cannot get their application for utility bills subsidy processed. And if they still do apply they are predominantly rejected. Were these issues resolved it would have significantly mitigate negative consequences of drug addiction, but availability of social services for this social group in the country still is rather problematic.
Another wide-spread problem is that people with drug addiction often get groundlessly deprived of their parental rights and their children are not allowed to attend children's institutions.
The right of people with drug addiction for housing is being consistently violated. Such violations include seizure of their housing by criminal organizations through schemes and machinations, losing their housing due to the court decisions, illegal eviction from their place of residence by close relatives or guardians.
Discrimination in the sphere of health care services
As a result of stigmatization, medical doctors' negative attitude to this social group of the society and doctors' incompetence, accessibility of health care services for people with drug addiction constitutes a significant problem. For a drug addicted person or a person with the positive HIV status, it is often extremely difficult to get emergency medical treatment or to have a surgery. They systematically encounter refusals to be admitted to hospitals; they get forcibly discharged as soon as their status becomes known, or they get medical services of a very low quality, what is extremely inhumane and impairs even more their health, which was not great to start with. The emergency ambulance refuses to transport people with drug addiction and people that live with HIV/AIDS. In some cases it is possible to arrange for medical assistance by paying for services that are otherwise to be rendered free of charge.
When health care workers refuse treatment and professional assistance to citizens with drug addiction, as a rule, they refer to various reasons, like, for instance, absence of necessary equipment, lack of medications, necessity of registration or getting into a queue and other groundless motives.
Refusal of admission to hospital in case of the overdose goes along with referral to a specialized ward of a psychiatric hospital, even though in distant locations and towns there are no such wards.
Requests for emergency medical treatment for drug addicted people made according to the established procedure are not responded to properly. Such requests are systematically met with refusals to send an ambulance to the specified address and with recommendations to turn to the specialized ward of a psychiatric hospital. Such failure to provide timely medical help sometimes leads to lethal consequences.
When women with drug addiction give birth, the medical personnel tries to get them discharged as soon as possible and explain this by reduction of the risk of possible contracting of the HIV infection.
Confidential data of the examination results of drug addicts with the status of people that live with HIV get disclosed rather often.
The fear of disclosure of their status and getting on file is also a valid reason for people from this social group to be reluctant to seek medical assistance and undergo necessary examinations.
Discrimination by the law-enforcement agencies
People that suffer from drug addiction have a compulsive psychophysiological need to use psychoactive substances. This means that because of their diseased condition they, no matter what sanctions threaten them, they will regularly use narcotic substances or psychotropic drugs, at least in the minimum amount necessary for them, to prevent the substance withdrawal, which causes them suffering of both physical and psychological nature.
Based on the results of the 18th International AIDS conference, which took place in July 2010 in Vienna (Austria), more than 17 thousand persons signed the Vienna Declaration, which calls for global decriminalization of people with drug addiction. In compliance with the legislation of Ukraine and the World Health Organization documents, drug addiction is a disease, and that is why application of criminal penalty, and, moreover, such strict one as deprivation of freedom, that is caused by a disease (according to the international classification, the underlying cause), possesses all attributes of discrimination on the grounds of the state of health. The European Convention and the UN Treaties on civil and political rights and on economic, social and cultural rights obligate the participant states, and Ukraine being one of them, to secure the rights stipulated therein free of any discrimination.
At the same time, the old repressive approaches to conducting the so-called war on drugs predominate in Ukraine now. In the «crimes-drug addiction» chain, the state's effective drug policy, as well as the provisions of the criminal, criminally-remedial, criminal-labor and administrative legislation place emphasis not on combating drug addiction (substance addiction) as a disease and not on combating proliferation of drugs, but on criminal prosecution of sick people with drug addiction.
High criminalization by the effective legislation of Ukraine of actions of sick people with drug addiction is one of the most significant reasons of cruel discrimination of persons of this social group by the law-enforcement agencies, in particular, by the police. This discrimination goes along with a series of kinds of systematic violations of drug addicts' rights. At that, due to their vulnerable position, persons of this social group are virtually deprived of the possibility to have their violated rights redressed and to bring those guilty of such violations to responsibility. And impunity of the police impunity leads to recurrences.
Discrimination of persons with drug addiction through the lens of the structure of crime in Ukraine
According to the data of the official statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 2011 the total of 515,833 crimes was recorded, and of them – 53,539 crimes in the sphere of illegal drug trade, what constitutes 10.3% of the total number. In the general structure of crime in Ukraine, drug-related crimes hold the second place (the top place by numbers is held by offenses against property).
In some regions of Ukraine, this indicator is significantly higher than the average in the state – to create an impression of the vigilant war on crime. In particular, the Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Cherkasy region during 2011 recorded the total of 11,182 crimes, of them 1,815 crimes connected to illegal drug trade, what constitutes 16.2%. In the records of the Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Lugansk region, the share of drug-related crimes constitutes 14.9%.
Almost one third of the indicators concerning the official field activities of the Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine at the Southern Railway is formed at the cost of drug-related crimes. In 2011, this subdivision recorded the total of 1,891 crimes, of them 556 crimes in the sphere of illegal drug trade, what constitutes 29.4%. A similar situation can be observed in activities of the Administrations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Prydniprovska, Lviv, Odesa, South-Western Railways, where the share of drug-related crimes registered in 2011 constitutes 16.3%, 19.0%, 19.3%, and 22.6% of the total number, respectively.
In the state-wide structure of crime connected to illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, illegal actions with narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (purchase, possession, manufacture, production, traffic, shipping) committed without intent to sell in connection with personal consumption (Article 309 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) hold the leading position (54.2% of the total number of recorded drug-related crimes). In 2011, 27,289 such persons were brought to criminal responsibility, what constitutes 73.8% from the number of persons brought to responsibility for all drug-related crimes, and 12.1% from the number of persons brought to responsibility for all crimes. This circumstance shows that the indicators of official field activities in the sphere of illegal drug trade are achieved predominantly not by combating drug business and distribution of narcotics, but by confiscating drugs from users.
In some Administrations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Chief Administrations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) of Ukraine, the priority of repressions against people with drug addiction is even more expressed. For instance, during 2011, the officers of the Chief Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the city of Kyiv recorded 4,554 crimes in the sphere of illegal drug trade, of them 3,397 (74.6%) were crimes without an intent to sell in connection with personal consumption. That is, 8 out of 10 crimes concerned people with drug addiction.
A similarly pronounced repressive tendency against people sick with drug addiction can also be observed in activities of the police in Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv and Kharkiv regions, as well as on Donetsk, Odesa, Prydniprovska, and South-Western Railways (respectively, 60.1%, 66%, 67.7%, 58.4%, 48.2%, 70.8%, and 61%).
The police's discriminatory repressive treatment of people with drug addiction is also manifested in the official statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs concerning the number of persons brought to criminal responsibility and taken in custody.
For commitment of all crimes (under all Articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), in 2011 the total of 225,517 persons was brought to criminal responsibility. For committing crimes in the sphere of illegal drug trade, during this period 36,960 persons were brought to criminal responsibility, what constitutes 16.4% of the total number, that is, almost one in every six persons.
In some regions this tendency is even more obvious. For instance, in the city of Kyiv for crimes defined in all Articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the police brought to criminal responsibility the total of 11,103 persons, of them 3,559 persons were brought for drug-related crimes, what constitutes 32.1%, that is, one in every three persons.
In 2011, of all people brought to criminal responsibility (under all Articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) 41,610 persons were taken in custody. During this period, 8,343 persons were taken in custody for committing crimes in the sphere of illegal drug trade, what constitutes 20.1% of the total number. In particular, in Zaporizhzhia region, of those taken in custody one in every three was charged with illegal actions with narcotic drugs. On Lviv Railway it was almost every other.
For committing criminally prosecuted offences in the sphere of illegal drug trade without intent to sell them, in 2011 3,764 persons were taken in custody, what constitutes 44.9% of the number of those taken in custody for all drug-related crimes, and 9.0% of the number of those taken in custody for all crimes defined in the Criminal Code of Ukraine. In some regions and on some railways this indicator is significantly higher.
When analyzing the official statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it is important to keep in mind that, besides illegal production, manufacture, purchase, possession, traffic or shipping of narcotic drugs without an intent to sell in connection with personal consumption (Article 309 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), the legislation also stipulates criminal responsibility for some other actions connected with illegal drug trade. Among them there are also some other offenses connected with personal consumption of drugs, and these criminal offenses are predominantly committed by people with drug addiction. These offenses, too, contribute to the statistics of the police activities.
Use of funds earned through illegal drug trade (Article 306 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) is rather often incriminated to people with drug addiction who use money from selling a dose of narcotic drugs to buy ingredients for manufacture of the same narcotic drug for themselves to cope with withdrawal symptoms. In 2011, 121 crimes qualified under this article were registered, and this constitutes 0.23% of the total number of recorded drug-related crimes.
In 2011, 2,731 facts of sowing or growing of white poppy or cannabis were registered (Article 310 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), this constitutes 5.1% of the total number of recorded drug-related crimes. Based on these facts, 2,547 persons were brought to criminal responsibility, which is 6.9% of the total number of people brought to criminal responsibility for drug-related crimes. Of them, 132 persons were detained, which is 6.9% of the total number of people taken in custody for drug-related crimes. Yet, the official statistics does not answer the question as to in how many cases those who committed such illegal action were people with drug addiction, who were growing these drug-containing plants for personal consumption.
The same can be said concerning organization or running of a location for illegal consumption, production or manufacture of narcotic drugs (Article 317 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). In 2011, 1,965 crimes of this category were registered, which is 3.7% of the total number of recorded drug-related crimes. For these crimes, 1,496 persons were brought to criminal responsibility, what constitutes 4.1% of the total number of persons brought to criminal responsibility for drug-related crimes. Of them, 521 persons were taken in custody, which is 6.2% of the total number of persons taken in custody for drug-related crimes. In the police activities, the subjects of this category of crimes are predominantly people with drug addiction, who undertake these criminal actions for personal consumption of drugs. For this reason we can assume that police activities to investigate this category of crimes are predominantly criminal prosecution of people with drug addiction.
In 2011, only 15,578 crimes were registered in the sphere of illegal trafficking in drugs (Article 307 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), what constitutes only 29.3% of the total drug-related crimes. For these crimes, 6,478 persons were brought to criminal responsibility, what constitutes 17.5% of the total number of persons brought to criminal responsibility for drug-related crimes. But if we analyze the aggregate of people brought to criminal responsibility for selling drugs even with such correlation of the recorded crimes based on Articles 309 and 307 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, we will find out that the majority of the convicted sellers are people with drug addiction, who were committing the so called «forced» sale to obtain the funds necessary for purchase of a dose of narcotic drugs for mending the withdrawal symptoms. As to the number of sellers who are in the illegal drug business and do not use drugs, that is, those involved into the so-called «clear» sale, in inconsiderable.
The statistical and other data presented above show quite clearly that modern combating with illegal drug trade in Ukraine is directed predominantly not against drug business, but against its clients – the people suffering from drug addiction.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs’ official statistics does not answer the question concerning the number of falsified criminal cases and the number of other cases, where the due procedure was disturbed by gross violations of the fundamental rights of people with drug addiction. For this reason, responses to such questions are to be found in other sources, in particular, mass media, results of surveys and focus groups, etc.
Violation of rights of people with drug addiction at formation of statistical indicators of official field activities
In Ukraine, the underground narcotic market is very well developed. Even more, we can already state with surety that in our country there is a drug business, which diffused into all agencies called to fight this phenomenon, and became a high-profit industry developed by officials of very high levels.
Combating against drug trade is significantly complicated by the fact that the criminal structures in Ukraine are merging with the analogous transnational criminal structures, and for production of drugs they involve the technological and scientific potential of the national chemical industry. They create underground laboratories where new types of drugs are being produced. There are corruption links between the drug business ring leaders and representatives of executive, legislative, and judicial power, as well as the law-enforcement agencies. Under such circumstance, activities of the law-enforcement agencies in the sphere of illegal drug trade are predominantly directed not against the drug business, but against its victims, people suffering from drug addiction.
A high level of criminalization of people with drug addiction, among other things, is used by the bodies and subdivisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine to form statistical indicators of their official field activities and to mislead the society about how successfully they really counteract the crime.
According to Article 2 of the Law of Ukraine «On Police», identification and investigation of crimes, as well as finding people who committed them, is one of the major tasks of the police. For this reason, one of the important indicators for evaluating the efficiency of the activities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is the ratio of the crimes solved in general to the number of crimes that have been processed during the reporting period. According to the results of 2011, this ratio is 55.3%.
In total in 2011, 578,000 crimes were processed, 237,224 of them remained unsolved. The number of the crimes in the sphere of illegal drug trade that were processed is 58,860 (10.2% of the total number). The crimes of this category are actually quite obvious (solved) since the moment they are detected and the people who committed them are detained, and for this reason at the cost of such cases the agencies artificially inflate the ratio of resolved crimes in the reporting period.
In compliance with the established criteria, a crime is considered solved if the investigation of the criminal case is over. Yet it is quite clear that confiscating drugs in the amount of a daily dose of consumption from a person with drug addiction and finishing the investigation of the criminal case associated with it is significantly easier than identifying a person who committed some other crime, even if this crime is quite grave, when the culprit is not obvious.
Police is also reluctant to make efforts to identify unknown people who committed crimes in the sphere of illegal drug trade, as well. People with drug addiction, detained for possession of drugs for personal consumption, as a rule, testify that they purchased the drugs from unidentified people. Yet the investigators are reluctant to start new criminal cases against some unknown people involved into selling of the narcotic drugs. Such actions are violation of both the Criminal Code of Practice and the registration discipline, concealing unresolved crimes from registration with the goal to receive positive official statistical indicators. Such a situation is caused by the current system for evaluation of the efficiency of the police activities.
The circumstances mentioned above are the major factor that brings the police to discover as many crimes as possible in the sphere of illegal drug trade committed by people with drug addiction, who, according to the EU position, are victims of the organized drug crime.
As observations over the police daily activities show, a considerable part of statistical indicators of the official field activities concerning combating illegal drug trade is conducted with falsifications and other malversations that go along with systemic violation of the basic rights of people with drug addiction, who, due to their physiological peculiarities, are unable to adequately protect their rights.
The major typical violations of the rights people with drug addiction in the police activities include:
- Conducting proceedings in absence of the relevant proceeding documents;
- Conducting proceedings without witnesses;
- Using the condition of drug intoxication when conducting proceedings and when composing the proceeding documents;
- Using the condition of withdrawal (withdrawal symptoms) when providing investigation and field procedures, pressuring individuals to the point where they, due to their physical sufferings, are forced to confess to a crime they did not commit, take the blame themselves or slander other individuals, etc.;
- Forcing to confess against themselves, in violation of Article 63 of the Constitution of Ukraine;
- not explaining their rights to the accused, as required by the procedural legislation;
- depriving people of the right for defense, in particular, refusal to provide the services of a lawyer, failure to inform about the right to have a legal defender, or informing about this with a delay;
- illegal use of physical force and special measures against the detained individual during inquest or investigation;
- creating the relevant conditions and forcing to pay bribes;
- use of torture, knowingly illegal detainment, knowingly illegal initiation of criminal case, and conducting other forms of abuse against people with drug addiction.
Falsifications at bringing drug addicted individuals to responsibility
Falsifications are one of the most common means the Ministry of Internal Affairs uses to achieve the statistics indicators with, at the cost of violation of the basic rights of people with drug addiction. Quite often, drug users are being brought to criminal responsibility for the actions they never committed; they are often used for various provocations. Numerous publications in mass media show the scale and motivation of such actions by the law enforcers.
After the publication ‘Police planted drugs on «golden youth» and then demanded money’ as of February 11, 2011, the head of the department of combating illegal circulation of drugs of Suvorivskyi Rayon Department of the Administration of Ministry of Internal Affairs in Khersonska oblast, and two his subordinates were detained for systematically coercing drug addicts to plant drugs on other drug addicts. The police officers committed these illegal actions both to achieve the statistical indicators and also to blackmail and demand bribes for not bringing the victims to criminal responsibility.
The publication «In Kyivska oblast, policeman plants drugs to get the plan done» informs that the acting head of the City Department of Obukhiv Rayon department of the Chief Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kyivska oblast, to achieve his statistical indicators, forced a dug addict to confess illegal storage of drugs, gave him 12.5 g of cannabis and drew the relevant falsified documents to bring the drug addict to criminal responsibility. The publication “Shevchenkivskyi Department for Combating Illegal Drug Circulation” speaks about falsification of criminal cases in the sphere of illegal drug circulation.
The police officers of Dnipropetrovska oblast were brought to criminal responsibility for planting drugs on a woman. Threatening to start a criminal case against her, they demanded her to pay them USD 1000. This is what the publication «Police planted drugs on a woman» is about. The publication «Drug addicts are being tortured» tells how police officers of Bakhchysaraiskyi district police department of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea used torture against individuals addicted to drugs to receive their confessions for the crimes they never committed.
The provided examples are characteristic to all regions of the state, and such cases are very widespread.
In police practice, when confiscating the drugs, the detainee is first searched, then handcuffed or otherwise restrained, and delivered to the police station, where such detainee is brought to one of the service rooms. After this, attesting witnesses are invited, restraints are removed, and “personal examination” (in fact, a search) is conducted, during which they “find” the drugs. At that, the detainee’s claims that the drugs have been planted are, as a rule, ignored.
Because an official opinion of an expert is required on the quantity and nature of the confiscated substance to initiate a criminal case, and preparing such an opinion can take certain time, police officers perform the detainment procedures not in the order specified in the provisions of the Criminal Code of Practice of Ukraine, and to avoid court control later, they falsify the underpinning for the administrative detainment according to the procedure specified by Article 263 of the Administrative Offences Code of Ukraine.
Among other types of falsification, falsification by police officers of weight of the confiscated narcotic substance is a rather widespread one. Packaging of the confiscated material evidence is conducted in such a manner that it allows further falsification of the package’s weight content at any stage of the pre-investigation check. The substance confiscated with violation of the legislation is sent for further examination to criminalistic subdivisions of the agencies of internal affairs, and weighting of the substance by the experts is conducted without attested witnesses, which enables them to regulate the weight to meet the necessary minimum sufficient for initiating a criminal case. With the criminalistic experts’ existing dependence from the heads of agencies of internal affairs, it is impossible to mend the situation and secure proper control over legality of their actions. In addition, due to lack of the criminalistic subdivisions’ technical capabilities for precise weighting of the confiscated substance we should consider arguable the legality of bringing individuals to criminal responsibility. For an example we can refer to the procedure for establishing the weight of acetyilized opium, where an amount of 0.005 grams is enough to initiate a criminal case, yet there are no licensed devices or scientifically underpinned methodology for identifying such weight.
It is not uncommon that police officers in their pursuit of positive statistics stoop to provocations to bring drug-addicted individuals to criminal responsibility for selling drugs. Abusing their investigators’ rights, the operatives create situations where the drug addicts are forced to sell their «fix» under the instigating policemen’s control.
Of great concern is falsification of materials of field purchases to bring drug users to criminal responsibility for selling drugs. The problem of provocation and falsification of crimes by police officers who exploit imperfections of the existing application practice of field purchases and use their results as evidence has a national scale. This can be seen from the numerous reports of Ukrainian and international organizations, publications in mass media, and complaints of individuals.
Analysis of the statistical and other data shows that the prevalent majority of the field purchases is conducted in relation to drug users, at that in most cases the volume of drug that was presumably sold does not exceed the limit of average daily amount of consumption. Considering the procedure of field purchase, we can assume that in case of confederacy of two operatives, they can officially compose the materials sufficient to initiate a criminal case, without any actual field work. The scale, at which such methods are used, is disturbing. The consequences of using the evidence received through falsifications of field purchases are destructive for dozens and hundreds of individuals with drug addiction, who are accused of crimes based on such grounds. The facts described in the article «Drug addicts provocateurs as a new weapon of police» are a typical example of field purchases falsification, which is characteristic for all regions of the country, without any exceptions.
A similar typical example of how the materials of falsified field purchase are used as proper and sufficient evidence is provided in the article «The mincemeat of justice».. The irrefutable evidence provided in this article shows that the accusations against the resident of the Nova Kakhovka city, Khersonska oblast, is built on the materials of a falsified field purchase. As a consequence, the accused is under arrest for more than a year already, and the existing practice of court proceedings does not allow to make a just resolution and to award an absolutory sentence. This case is yet another evidence of mass bringing to criminal responsibility of drug addicts based on falsified materials of field purchases and of the social hazard generated by such falsifications.
The nature of the social hazard of the existing practice of using in court of the materials of field purchases is rather objectively described in the article «JSC Voroshylivskyi Department for Combating Illegal Circulation of Drugs» and in the commentaries to this publication. The provided facts show how widespread is the use of this investigative measure by officers of the law enforcement agencies for extorting bribes from drug addicts.
Torture of people with drug addiction
In Ukraine, police brutality against people with drug addiction and police torturing drug addicted is not uncommon, and such actions constitute a gross violation of the international treaties of Ukraine, such as the European Convention on the addicted Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Conventions against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and other international treaties, as well as of the national legislation of Ukraine.
The marginal status of the people of this category makes them easy prey for police officers forming the statistical indicators for their investigative and service activities. Police uses drug addiction as a tool for forcing the people with drug addiction to testify: the prospect of suffering from withdrawal makes such people very vulnerable and easily to subdue under the pressure of police.
In its turn, a high level of stigmatization of this social group causes, as a rule, impunity of police officers, who commit illegal actions. Still, there have been several separate cases when police officers and officials were brought to criminal responsibility for abuse of people with drug addiction. For instance, three officers from Bakhchysarayskyi District Police Department were condemned to serve different terms in prison for torturing people with drug addiction to receive their confessions.
Economic consequences of discrimination of the social group of people with drug addiction
The statistical data provided above gives grounds for statement that the present-day war on illegal circulation of drugs in Ukraine comes down to repressions against clients of the drug trading business, the people suffering from drug addiction, not against the drug trade business itself.
The mere expenses for investigation, court proceedings and keeping in prison the people with drug addiction cost the government hundreds of millions UAH.
The taxpayers’ funds are being spent not on fighting against the drug trade business, against spreading drug addiction and the infectious diseases associated with it, not for treating the people suffering from drug addiction and for promoting healthy lifestyle, but for criminalistic and administrative procedures in relation to the people suffering from drug addiction, keeping dozens of thousands of them in prisons, for financing the drug addiction-related corruption and the system of extortion that prosper under the façade of «combating drug-related crimes» in the agencies and divisions of the internal affairs.
Therefore, discrimination and excessive criminalization of people with drug addiction is a heavy burden for the economy of Ukraine, and considerably reduces the efficiency of measures taken to fight the organized illegal drug sale business. The existing system of combating the illegal circulation of narcotic drugs in Ukraine is built on the repressive governmental policy towards the people with drug addiction, which is inefficient and overly expensive.
If the level of discrimination and criminalization of the people with drug addiction is reduced, the funds spent for investigations, court proceedings and keeping the drug addicts in prisons can be used to resolve burning social issues, in particular, for treatment and prevention of drug addictions.
Negative impact of discrimination and excessive criminalization of persons with drug addiction on health of the country population
The HIV/AIDS proliferation rates in Ukraine are among the highest in the world. Today, the epidemical situation with the HIV infection in Ukraine is characterized by the increase in AIDS morbidity and mortality indicators. As of July 1, 2011, health care institutions of Ukraine had 115,275 HIV-infected persons under dispensary observation, of them 16,764 persons were diagnosed with AIDS.
According to the UNAIDS estimates, the indicator of incidence of HIV infection is at least 1.4 % of the adult population, that is, at the level of more than 360 thousand persons in the age cohort from 15 to 49. Among the countries of Europe, Ukraine remains most affected by the HIV epidemics.
During the entire period of observation over the epidemics, 22,607 persons have died from the diseases associated with AIDS. Ukraine still belongs to the category of countries with the concentrated stage of the HIV epidemics, where the concentration of the disease is observed in specific high risk groups of population, in particular injecting drug users. It is the injecting drug use currently that is the driving force of the HIV epidemics (58% of all officially registered cases), and the epidemics of hepatitis C.
At the same time, discrimination of drug users and excessively high criminalization of their actions is one of the main barriers in the way of stopping and controlling proliferation of drug addiction in Ukraine and its side-effects, in particular, the HIV/AIDS epidemics; moreover, it also promotes rapid growth of the number of persons with drug addiction and HIV-infected people.
Negative impact of discrimination of persons with drug addiction on the criminogenic situation in the state.
In addition to the devastating impact on health of the people, drugs influence the general criminogenic situation in the state. Every year, people under influence of drug intoxication commit about 4 thousand lucratively inclined violent crimes, among which homicides and attempted homicides, causing grave bodily injuries, assaults related to robbery, robberies, thefts.
Drug addiction is closely related to crimes and is, metaphorically speaking, a fruitful soil for committing various crimes, first of all those lucratively inclined and violent ones. Illegal purchase of drugs requires considerable financial expenses. The price of drugs at the black market exceeds pharmacy prices, for the most common types of drugs, by dozens and hundreds times.
Drug addiction is closely related to violent crimes. Drug use causes unmotivated, feeling of anxiety, subconscious fear, and rather often it causes aggression. Being in the condition of drug intoxication, people with drug addiction often commit crimes against person: murders, bodily injuries, rapes, hooliganism, and so on. Such crimes are more and more often motivated by the drive to obtain drugs, or money to buy them.
Because proliferation of drug addiction is in direct proportion to discrimination and excessive criminalization of actions of persons with drug addiction, deterioration of the criminogenic environment in the country also comes as a consequence of this discrimination and excessive criminalization of persons with drug addiction.
- People with drug addiction form a social group with peculiarities specific to it, in particular:
- members of this social group are stigmatized and discriminated against, and suffer predominantly in the spheres of labor relations, social amenities, health care services, and by the law-enforcement agencies;
- their disease (drug addiction) is the key objective attribute of this social group;
- this social group is a favorable environment for proliferation of concomitant diseases connected with injection drug use, – HIV/AIDS, hepatitides, etc.
- members of this social group are the victims of the organized drug crime;
- the absolute majority of members of this social group, due to physiological and other peculiarities, are unable to adequately protect their own rights;
- this social group is marginal;
- this social group is characterized by proselytism and desire to recruit new members;
- the number of people involved into this social group is constantly growing;
- this social group is a favorable environment for breaking the law, and is used by the criminal structures for their purposes.
- Discrimination, stigmatization of people with drug addiction and excessive criminalization of their actions causes negative economic consequences, and is a heavy burden for the economy of Ukraine. Hundreds of millions UAH are spent by the government just for investigation, court procedures and holding in prison of people with drug addiction. These are the funds that should have been spent on combating the illegal drug trade, prevention of proliferation of drug addiction and of concomitant infectious diseases, treatment of drug addicts, and promotion of healthy way of life.
- Discrimination, stigmatization of persons with drug addiction and excessive criminalization of their actions promotes rapid growth of numbers of this social group, proliferation of HIV/AIDS and of other dangerous infectious diseases – like hepatitides, etc., as well as negatively impacts the overall criminogenic situation in the country.
- Failure to take immediate and coordinated actions concerning making impossible these negative phenomena will inevitably cause:
- Increase of forced governmental expenses to eliminate the consequences of this discrimination;
- Rapid growth of the number of individuals involved into this social group, proliferation of HIV/AIDS and other dangerous infectious diseases, like hepatitis, etc.;
- proliferation of drug addiction and deterioration of the overall criminogenic situation in the country.
Conclusions and recommendations
Summarizing, one can conclude that the discrimination of the vulnerable categories of society in Ukraine has developed some permanent characteristics, became common phenomenon and is often manifested by open violence. The main areas of the discrimination are employment, education, and health care, social and legal areas. Ethnic or social background, as well as the skin color provides main reasons for the discrimination.
1. Priority measures in this matter should include immediate amendments to the law on counteracting discrimination and their implementation in the Ukrainian society.
2. Efficient measures for preventing and counteracting discrimination based on race, ethnicity or other characteristics in the judicial areas, including due punishment for the said infringement, should be introduced.
3. Efficient legal assistance in the cases of discriminatory actions against the vulnerable categories of society in employment, education, health care, social and civil activity, housing, should be promoted.
4. Making public the information on counteracting the discrimination of the vulnerable categories of society, promoting clear understanding of the fact that racism and xenophobia are not to be tolerated in the country.
5. Promoting collaboration between the members of the vulnerable groups of society and militia departments in every oblast’.
 For example, O. Tyahnybok’s article: “The Readmission Agreement is a crime against the nation” , the article by S. Udovychenko “Vietnamese people beat up adolescents with sharpened pikes” and others.
 Prepared by N.Kozarenko, UMHR Association
 State Committee on Statistics of Ukraine, all-Ukrainian census of 2001.
 Elvedin Chubarov, senior fellow at the Research-and-Development Center of the Crimean Tatar Language and Literature (Department of History) of the Crimean Engineering and Pedagogical University.
 Address by President of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Mustafa Dzhemilev delivered at a meeting of board members of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience /
 Elvedin Chubarov. The review of problems on inequality and discrimination in Ukraine. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea //Report "The Crimean Survey", no. 3-4 (21-22) 2003, р. 191-229.
 The survey of demesne relations was carried out on the basis of the interview with Chairman of Land Commission of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People Zevdjet Kurtumerov.
 Law of Ukraine "On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine on greater responsibility for unauthorized occupation of the land plots" / http://zakon3.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/578-16
 Aksionov sees no provocations in pogroms in Molodizhny / http://qha.com.ua/Aksionov-ne-vidit-provokatsionnih-deistvii-v-pogromah-v-molodejnom-119599.html
 The Mejlis has a list of illegal settlements where "Russkoye yedinstvo" can set up future pogroms / http://krymtatar.in.ua/index/article/id/573
 In pogroms of illegally seized lots Dzhemilev sees the "the muzzle of power" / http://crimea.comments.ua/news/2012/12/03/135742.html
 “No other state in the world discriminates indigenous population like Ukraine,” told Head of Mejlis Mustafa Djemilev /
 Chubarov: If the Crimean militia leaders, who knew of the impending pogrom in Molodizhny, are not named and punished publicly, we may conclude that the illegality had been agreed and approved by the authorities /
 Rafat Chubarov: The Crimean militia sides with the bandits / http://glavcom.ua/articles/8884.html
 Resolution of the All-Crimean Rally devoted to the International Day of Human Rights /
 Who is behind the ethnopolitical situation in the Crimea? http://radiosvoboda.org/content/article/24787495.html
 Expert predicts a deterioration of inter-ethnic climate in the Crimea / http://kianews.com.ua/node/50923
 Mogiliov on the demolition of buildings in the Molodizhny / http://qha.com.ua/Mogiliov-o-snose-postroek-v-molodejnom-119900.html
 In 2012, the program of provision of the necessary facilities for deported citizens was financed at 35% / http://krymtatar.in.ua/index/article/id/590
 Mustafa Dzhemilev: "The State Budget of Ukraine for 2013 should provide at least UAH50 million for the resettlement of Crimean Tatars" /
 Speech by Chairman of the Mejlis Mustafa Dzhemilev meeting with diplomats accredited in Ukraine /
 The Law of Ukraine “About amendments to some acts of law of Ukraine about strengthening of responsibility and improvement of government control in urban development” / http://zakon3.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/4220-17
 Resolution of the All-Crimean meeting in memoriam victims of the genocide of Crimean Tatars, deportation of May 18, 1944, and decades of enforced confinement in places of exile: "The removal of obstacles in the legislation of Ukraine for the return and resettlement of Crimean Tatars" / http://avdet.org/node/6081
 The Bill on the concept of the state ethno-national policy / http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb_n/webproc4_1?id=&pf3511=42769
 M. Dzhemilev: ignoring the rights of Crimean Tatar people hampers the develop,emnt of democracy in Ukraine / http://avdet.org/node/5332
 Protocol no. 69 of the meeting of the Committee of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations of March 21, 2012 / http://kompravlud.rada.gov.ua/kompravlud/control/uk/publish/article?art_id=47203&cat_id=46329
 Address of Chairman of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars M.Dzhemilev to a rally on May 18, 2012 / http://avdet.org/node/6081
 The ruling coalition is to blame for the failure / http://avdet.org/node/6291
 The Verkhovna Rada killed the bill / http://avdet.org/node/6082
 The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the bill of Ukraine "On the restoration of the rights of persons deported along ethnic lines" in the first reading / http://qtmm.org/новости/1549-верховная-рада-украины-приняла-в-первом-чтении-законопроект-украины-о-восстановлении-прав-лиц-депортированных-по-национальному-признаку
 Ilyasov: more than 100 amendments of the bill on deportees were received / http://krymtatar.in.ua/index/article/id/591
 The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Reports submitted by member-states under article 9 of the Convention. Nineteenth to twenty-first periodic reports due in 2010. Ukraine [January 8, 2010] / http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/CERD.C.UKR.19-21_ru.doc
 The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Seventy-ninth Session, August 8 - September 2, 2011. Consideration of reports submitted by member-states under article 9 of the Convention. Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Ukraine. / http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G11/454/84/PDF/G1145484.pdf?OpenElement, in addition, the UN recommended Ukraine to ensure the rights of the Crimean Tatars /
 The visit of the delegation of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities /
 The Head of the Mejlis proposed to start an investigation procedure by the PACE of the situation with the solution of Crimean Tatar problem / http://qtmm.org/новости/1502-глава-меджилса-предложил-начать-процедуру-расследования-комитетом-пасе-ситуации-с-решением-Crimean Tatar-проблемы
 The offices of the European Union and the Council of Europe in Ukraine support the idea of the International Forum /
 Mustafa Dzhemilev: For Crimean Tatars the adopted law on languages is unacceptable /
 Timur Tarpan. Legitimate "arbitrariness" / http://avdet.org/node/6468
 According to the new redaction of the "language law", the tongues of national minorities will not obtain the regional status / http://avdet.org/node/6540
 Mustafa Dzhemilev: Russian chauvinism is well-rooted in Mogiliov /
 The deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea Remzi Ilyasov, Safure Kadzhametova and representatives of the Crimean Tatar intellectuals appealed to the leadership of autonomy /
 Resolution of Kurultai on Election of People's Deputies of Ukraine and the tasks of the national self-government bodies of the Crimean Tatars /
 Dzhemilev: Ukraine needs real change of electoral laws / http://radiosvoboda.org/content/article/24771091.html
 Report of Mustafa Dzhemilev / http://avdet.org/node/6334
 Address of the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars M. Dzhemilev to the rally on May 18, 2012 / http://avdet.org/node/6081
 Ibidem / http://avdet.org/node/6081
 Soon there will be no Crimean Tatars elevated to dominant positions / http://avdet.org/node/6409
 Four-party meeting on the Crimean Tatar problem /
 Avamileva was replaced by Sumulidi Junior / http://qha.com.ua/mesto-avamilevoi-zanyal-sumulidimladshii-119179.html
 Aider Adzhimambetor, Yunus Seitkhalilov. VR ARC adopted the Concept of Education in Crimean Tatar Language / http://poluostrov.com.ua/novosti/krym/745; see also: Concept of Education in Crimean Tatar Language in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea / http://rada.crimea.ua/app/1032
 It's good that the parents began to recognize their duty to the children and the people, and demand to ensure the constitutional right to instruct their children in the mother tongue /
 Emine Musafarova. «Maarifchi» will complain to Wallebek about the administration of Akmesdzhit / http://qha.com.ua/maarifchi-pojaluyutsya-vollebeku-na-vlasti-akmesdjita-114586.html
 The new Sevinch Kindergarten with two training languages has been inaugurated in Karasubazar / http://avdet.org/node/6543
 The decline of the number of Crimean Tatar language teachers / http://avdet.org/node/6264
 High-day farewell to ABC book was held in the village school Adzhy-Kal (clean) / http://qtmm.org/новости/1481-праздник-прощания-с-букварём-прошел-в-школе-села-аджы-къал-чистенькое
 President of the PEN International John Ralston Saul visited the Crimean Tatar Mejlis / http://qtmm.org/новости/1541-меджлис-крымскотатарского-народа-посетил-президент-международного-пен-клуба-джон-ралстон-соул
 PEN: There is a real threat of linguistic assimilation of Crimean Tatars / http://avdet.org/node/6209
 Expert: in Ukraine Karaim, Gagauz, and Crimean Tatar languages need protection / http://krymtatar.in.ua/index/article/id/533
 Conference on the development of the creative association of Tatar Programs of the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company KRYM / http://qtmm.org/новости/1507-совещание-по-вопросам-развития-творческого-объединения-крымскотатарских-программ-гтрк-крым
 Appeal to A.V. Mogiliov / http://avdet.org/node/5380; Премьер-министру Украины Азарову Н. Я./ http://avdet.org/node/5761
 The unwillingness of the authorities to name the airport after A.Sultan is nothing but discrimination. / http://avdet.org/node/5404
 The Ukrainian parliament will decide whether the airport be named after Amet-Khan Sultan / http://avdet.org/node/6637
 Remzy Ilyasov: "The Alley of WWII Heroes of Crimean origin should be in Simferopol" / http://avdet.org/node/5764
 The Mejlis is outraged with the inauguration of the monument to Lacy / http://qha.com.ua/v-medjlise-vozmuscheni-ustanovkoi-pamyatnika-lassi-119772.html
 The Bizim Kyrym insists on restoration of historical toponymy / http://avdet.org/node/6188
 Step by step / http://avdet.org/node/6282
 Transcript of debate on the Bill of Ukraine "On the restoration of the rights of persons deported on ethnic grounds" /
 On the threat of revival of Stalinism in Ukraine and protection of foundations of democracy in Ukraine and the world /
 Valentyn Nalyvaychenko: Symonenko should bear criminal responsibility for his justification of the crimes of Stalinism /
 Former political prisoners of the communist regime defended the rights of the Crimean Tatar people /
 Crimean Tatars staged "warm welcome" for Petro Symonenko / http://avdet.org/node/6509
 Mamut Mestafa. Freudian slip / http://avdet.org/node/6094
 Elmara Mustafa, Timur Kurtumerov. Officials behave like children / http://avdet.org/node/6094
 Now the Head of Komi gave Mogilev to understand that the Crimean Tatars in Crimea are not diaspora / http://an.crimea.ua/news/crimea/politika/uje-glava-komi-dal-ponyat-mogilevu--chto-krimskie-tatari-v-krimu--ne-diaspora/
 To arraign for inciting ethnic hatred! / http://avdet.org/node/6299
 The 2.5 yr sentence for pro-Russian activist / http://avdet.org/node/6413
 The court acquitted Tiunin, who had abused Crimean Tatars / http://qha.com.ua/oskorbivshego-krimskih-tatar-tyunina-sud-opravdal-117267.html
 Crimean militia eagerly rushed to check the reckless statement of the provocateur from the marginal party "SPAS" / http://crimea24.info/2012/07/09/krymskaya-miliciya-ryano-brosilas-proveryat-bezumnoe-zayavlenie-provokatora-iz-marginalnojj-partii-spas/
 Crimean resident sued the SSU for refusing to investigate crimes of collaborators / http://nr2.ru/crimea/402197.html
 Mustafa Dzhemilev: "It is Azarov's last last month in the office and he can afford himself to talk nonsense" /
 Flying the track of peace / http://goloskrima.com/?p=8678
 This week. Kovitidi believes that the Crimean Tatars were deported reasonably / http://avdet.org/node/6960; One more lie about the Crimean Tatars / http://qha.com.ua/o-krimskih-tatarah-snova-skazali-nepravdu-119472.html
 The head of the "Russki blok" promised to pitchfork the residents of unauthorized buildings in Sarayly Kyyat / http://avdet.org/node/6960
 An international conflictIn in one of the schools in Simferopol: the teacher promised to kick pupils out of the house and drove them out to the "Tatar school" / #.UL8uVuS6cZn
 The Crimean Tatars were called the traitors of their Motherland at Simferopol SES /
 Results of 2011 /
 The issue with the mosque stirs all Mamut-Sultan /
 The Cossacks writing a letter to Budanov /
 The Court of Appeal acquitted convicted Muslims of Mamut-Sultan /
 While asleep, the children were aspersed in Old Crimea / http://avdet.org/node/5372
 Office of Public Prosecutor: children in Eski Kyyryme were baptized by aspersion illegally /
 Baptism by aspersion of children becomes systematic /
 Statement of Crimean Muftiate on another fact of baptism by aspersion of children in the school no. 43 in Simferopol /
 Director of school no. 43 was reprimanded because of ritual of sprinkling water /
 This week / http://avdet.org/node/5600
 Students in Kurmansky madrasseh denied access to secondary education /
 Address of the RBMC to the President, Prime Minister, public prosecutor and ministres of education of Ukraine and Crimea /
 Kurman authorities claim that the information on the madrasseh is nothing but "fiction" / http://qha.com.ua/vlasti-kurmana-uveryayut-chto-informatsiya-po-medrese-vidumka-117308.html
 In the Crimea the authorities tend to close the hafiz madrasseh / http://radiosvoboda.org/content/article/24721333.html
 Disclaimer to the article in "Krymskaya Gazeta" /
The name of Ider Ismailov was used for agitation for Deitch /
 Statement of the Muftiate of Crimea on the attack on the territory of the Juma-Jami /
 Dobrovska Village Rada permitted building of a church on the bones of Muslims /
 An Orthodox church to be built on the old Muslim graveyard /http://avdet.org/node/5383
 Metropolitan Lazar: there will be no church on the Muslim graveyard /
 Scoffing at the remains of the ancestors of the Crimean Tatars continues /
 The City Rada considered the issue of the old Muslim cemetery /
 The RBMC will not permit to build toilet on the territory of old Muslim graveyard /http://avdet.org/node/5940
 The Alushta authorities are ready to solve the problem with the old Muslim graveyard /
 The tombstones are immured in Duvankoy houses /
 Impunity encourages vandals /
 Statement of the Muftiate of Crimea on the fact of the act of vandalism at the cemetery in Sarayly Kyyat / Mirnyi
 People or vandals: who wins? http://avdet.org/node/5893
 Azizes are tombs of the saints and holy places. The cult of holy places and holy men is an integral part of the centuries-old culture of the Crimean Tatar people. In almost every village of the Crimea there were holy places (Aziz yer). According to experts, on the peninsula there are at least 300 such sites. Today more than 100 shrines are found and catalogued. The Carly Aziz is a grave of the righteous man, who died in 1318 of Hijra. According to legend, the water from the spring, which emerged after his burial, has healing properties, as well as the area itself. Karly Aziz grave is a place of pilgrimage for Muslims of Crimea.
 Karly Aziz destroyed again /
 In Pervomaisk Region the vandals destroyed the gravestone to Kyyrk Aziz / http://qtmm.org/новости/1492-в-первомайском-районе-вандалы-разрушили-надгробный-памятник-захоронения-къыркъ-азиз
 Youth against vandalism / Appeal / http://avdet.org/node/6338
 In Simferopol the unknown perpetrators disfigured with swastika the memorial to the victims of deportation /
 Literally "knowledgeable scholars", recognized and respected experts in the theoretical and practical sides of Islam.
 The Muslim sanctuary Azizler was vandalized in Kyarasubazar
 Prepared by O.Martynenko, Association of Ukrainian monitors of human rights’ observance by law enforcement bodies
 “Set’” and “Nash svit” against HIV/AIDS Collection of articles. – К., 2010. – Access regime: http://gay.org.ua/
 M.Hovorukhina, UHUHR. Homosexuals in Ukraine – big policy issue ( the papers of the seminary “Monitoring and protection of homosexuals’ rights in Ukraine of February 23, 2007)
 Sociological service “TNS-Ukraine” on the “Nash svit” order http://gay.org.ua/publications/gay_ukraine_2007-r.pdf
 Research “Family through the eyes of Odessa students” , phone poll “Morality in Ukraine”
 Human rights. Militia interaction with marginal groups of population in Ukraine. Trainers’ handbook/ Ed. L.Moroz and S.Yakovenko.– К., 2003. – 204с.
 O.Mostyaev. “Homophobia as psychological and social problem in modern Ukraine”
 Step forward, two steps back. LGBT situation in Ukraine in 2010-2012 – К.: Center “Nash svit”, 2011. – 152 p.
 Step forward, two steps back. LGBT situation in Ukraine in 2010-2012 – К.: Center “Nash svit”, 2011. – 152 p.
 S.Yakovenko and N.Kozarenko materials for Methodological recommendations on HIV and mend having sex with men for the law-enforcement bodies within the project of the Center for Social Expertise. 2012 .
 “The review of human rights issues with regards to LGBT in Ukraine in 2010” , Center “Nash svit”.
 Z.Kis’.Men who have sex with men //Challenges and counteracting HIV/AIDS and human right in Ukraine/Ed.A.Skurbati.Compiled by V.Ryabukha.— К.: UNDP in Ukraine . - 2008.
 “The review of human rights issues with regards to LGBT in Ukraine in 2010” , Center “Nash svit”.
“The review of human rights issues with regards to LGBT in Ukraine in 2010” , Center “Nash svit”.
 M.Hovorukhina, UHUHR. Homosexuals in Ukraine – big policy issue ( the papers of the seminary “Monitoring and protection of homosexuals’ rights in Ukraine of February 23, 2007)
 “The review of human rights issues with regards to LGBT in Ukraine in 2010” , Center “Nash svit”.
 “The review of human rights issues with regards to LGBT in Ukraine in 2010” , Center “Nash svit”.
 Step forward, two steps back. LGBT situation in Ukraine in 2010-2012 – К.: Center “Nash svit”, 2011. – 152 p.
 Prepared by Sergiy Shvets, Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement.
 Desire to turn others into one’s faith; fervent adherence to newly adopted beliefs.