“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2002, #09
Ukrainian jobless obtain social aid of $12 per month Beggary in the Lugansk oblast The Lugansk oblast before the protest campaign Politics and human rights
On the eve of the massive protest actions planned in September the article reminds to citizens their rights during detention or arrest. Women’s rights
Press release of the attorney firm „, Berezhnoy and partners“ A consecutive court over B. Feldman has finished Another national disgrace The Law of Ukraine (A draft). Appeal of the Lugansk voters committee to the prosecutor of Severodonetsk Point of view
But some animals are more equal…
Ukrainian jobless obtain social aid of $12 per month
According to the data of the Cabinet of Ministers, during the previous year the size of this aid was increased from 37 UAH in January to 60 UAH in December, and since 1 February 2002 it was raised to 67 UAH per month, which is 18. 7% of the living wage.
Nowadays there are 21. 5 million jobless in Ukrainian, which makes 11. 1% of the work-capable population of the country.
Beggary in the Lugansk oblast
The reason of this critical situation is not only the state of economy, but also the so-called Jinny coefficient (the statistical measure of inequality) – the coefficient, after which the World Bank estimates the distribution of general national product. This coefficient in Ukraine is one of the worst in the world: the 71 stplace out of 96 countries. During the last ten years the part of the citizens having the highest income got, on the average, 41% of the total income in Ukraine, the equal part having minimum incomes got only 8. 6%. In the Lugansk oblast the Jinny coefficient is even worse.
Statistics is a concrete discipline. 53% of working people in the Lugansk oblast have the pay less than the living wage, and 20% of peasants – less than 140 UAH. A member of the Lugansk oblast department of the Voters Committee of Ukraine (LOD VCU), an experienced medical nurse, was offered a job in a private hospital with the wages 60 UAH per month. The average size of pensions in the oblast is 147 UAH, which is less than the official living wage for the people, who lost their ability to work (268 UAH). The proportion of the pensioners in the oblast is 804. 9 thousand persons out of 2546. 1 thousand population (according to the census of 2001). If to take into account that the actual level of unemployment in the oblast is 26% (after the assessment of V. Pristiuk, the deputy head of the oblast state administration), it becomes clear that more than two thirds of the oblast population are poor. They are pensioners and investigation, most families with children, jobless.
These are oblique proofs of the high poverty level. Actually, the proportion of the people, who turn for the state aid, is considerably small, and one may even have an illusion of the relative wellbeing. So, only 500 thousand people obtain living accommodation subsidies, 105 thousand poor and unable-to-work citizens asked for money and other kinds of aid in the first quarter of 2002, among them 68. 6 thousand single unable-to-work citizens and invalids. 84. 6 thousand people got money aid from various funds, and 112 unable-to-work citizens with minimum income got money aid from the state. 4. 3 thousand persons obtained one-time financial aid, and 15. 1 thousand – got other kinds of aid; the average sum of such aid was 51. 51 and 34. 71 UAH, respectively. The aid in the form of hot dinners were obtained by the every sixth, food products – every fourth, industrial goods – every seventh, medical drugs – every 12 th; 500 citizens got some fuel. 100 thousand persons obtained money for the families with children, 7 thousand – for the poor families.
These numbers only seem to be significant, but 500 thousand is 20% of the population. A little less than the number of the people, who need aid. This is a result of the social policy of the state, the main essence of which is to create the enormous number of bureaucratic obstacles for those, who need aid. The poverty may be also estimated by objective criteria – by quantitative levels of consumption. According to these criteria the Lugansk oblast may be related to the poorest regions of Ukraine. We occupy one of the last places in consuming meat and meat products, milk and eggs per person, the oblast dwellers buy cars and home hi-tech very infrequently.
Certainly, not all population layers suffer from poverty. We will consider several most sensitive categories of the population.
According to the data of the oblast state administration Main Directorate of employment and social protection of the population, 215. 1 thousand pensioners (their total number is about 800 thousand) got the pensions less than the established level, the average pension sum was 85. 21 UAH. Among them there were 36. 2 thousand pensioners, whose pensions were less than the minimum, and 5 thousand pensioners with minimum pensions.
The especially painful moral problem in Ukraine is single old people, who need permanent care. 20 old peoples homes for 2891 people work in the oblast. This year the houses were inhabited by 2784 old people and invalids. The data made public by the press service of the oblast administration testify that this number is quite insufficient: 89 thousand single old people were observed by the oblast medical establishments in the first half of this year, 38 thousand out of them needed permanent care. It is obvious that hospitals cannot replace the old peoples homes.
The problem is partially solved at the expense of social aid services intended for servicing pensioners and single unable-to-work citizens – 34 such centers function in the oblast. They include 36 departments of social aid, 21 departments of social rehabilitation, 13 departments of medical rehabilitation and 10 departments for temporary and permanent living.
According to the data of the oblast Main Directorate of employment and social protection, these departments render aid at home to 15. 486 thousand single people and invalids, every social worker cares over 12 patients.
Yet, if to believe the press service data, this is twice less than the demanded number.
Children from the so-called unhappy families and families with many children suffer most of all. Extreme result of poverty is homeless children, who appeared in the oblast about ten years ago. Oleksiy Omelchenko, the head of the oblast educational department, informed that about one thousand children in the Lugansk oblast do not attend school. „Among them there are such, who never came to school“, he said.
Taking account of these data, one cannot help to conclude that the state care over such children is inadequate, since the total number of places in boarding school of the oblast (where children obtain complete set of food and care from the state) hardly reaches 1450.
Unfortunately, the actions like the program „Children of streets“, which are conducted by the Lugansk Red Cross, cannot solve the problem of homeless children. During the last 7 months Lugansk homeless children got almost 9 thousand free dinners for the total sum of 18 thousand hryvnas. But is it an efficient aid? Or just a way to attract public attention to this urgent problem?
Yet, childrens poverty is not limited to tramping. The great financial inequality of families distorts education and inflicts great damage to children health, especially psychic. 60 thousand pupils, almost every fifth, are observed in the oblast dispensaries. Psychic and behavioral disorders domineer – 60% pupils suffer from them.
Only 34% pupils obtain hot food. Only small proportion of children can get the needed textbooks at school, and this happens when not all families are capable to purchase the books.
Worn or cheep clothes and footwear, absence or bad quality of the stationery – all this inflicts moral and psychical damage to a child.
FAMILIES WITH MANY CHILDREN
The typical problem for this population category is unjust (for them) system of paying the communal services, owing to which almost all such families may be related to habitual non-payers. The most important communal payments (heating, hot water, gas and water) are determined in Ukraine proportionally to the number of family members (independently of age), which does not respond to the real expenditures.
The size of the state aid to such families is extremely low and, in fact, relates to the lip service.
Official statistics affirms that the number of jobless in the oblast is 55 thousand, among them 68% get financial aid of the size of 67 UAH per head per month, 15% -- from 67 to 100 UAH, 8. 7% -- from 100 to 140 UAH and 2. 9% -- more than 200 UAH.
It should be mentioned that the official data on unemployment cannot be the correct assessment of the real number of those, who do not get the income from official jobs. The system and the procedure of registering the unemployed in Ukraine is such that discourages the jobless to turn to the labor registry office after finishing the term of paying the aid. And this term is very short.
The unemployment level is best evaluated by the average number of workers of all organizations of all forms of property. Su, from 1995 to 2000 this index diminished in the oblast from 939. 4 to 711. 6, while the number of the registered jobless was 57872. Certainly, not all 228 thousand, who lost their jobs during these five years, have no incomes.
CAPRICES of the Ukrainian laws
In our opinion, the Ukrainian legislators and the government must decide for whom the social laws in Ukraine exist – for world public or for the Ukrainian people. Because some parts of these laws for the native population seem to be sheer mockery. It is strange, but, by Ukrainian laws, a person having the status of extremely poor… have no right for the state aid. According to the laws, citizens, who have the monthly income less than 153 hryvnas are related to the poor, less than 120 hryvnas – to extremely poor. Yet, according to the instructions on rendering state financial aid, the aid is given when the income per a family member does not exceed 80 hryvnas.
A set of contradictions exists also in determining border of poverty in various official documents. So, the Ukrainian Presidents Decree of 15 August 2001 „On the strategy of fighting poverty“ determines the average size of the monthly expenditures per head as 175 UAH. Lugansk officials determine the border of poverty equal to 330 UAH, while the consumers basket is 348 UAH per person.
All this terminological silage is intended for the international use only.
There exist other things, which are practically incomprehensible. For example, the size of the state pension or the aid to the jobless is such that additional financial aid is needed. Or several different financial aids and subsidies are paid. It would be more rational to do all of this in one package.
Certainly, the state cannot render greater aid than it is afforded by the state budget. But, I believe, the limit size of the state aid must be determined (and guaranteed!) by the state. This limit may be named any way, but the social policy must be based upon it.
There is one more peculiar feature of the Ukrainian social laws: it bears a paternalistic character. As an example, I will quote the message of the press service of the oblast administration concerning the check of the data given by citizens for obtaining subsidies:
„When checking the population on the possession of land plots it appeared that 718 families concealed them for getting subsidies. In towns: Lisichansk – 8 families, Lugansk – 97, Severodonetsk – 47, Rubezhnoe – 32…“
The legislation logic in this case is quite determinate: one must not work to get the state aid. One must not attempt to change ones lot to the better in no case, since the state will immediately stop the aid. Otherwise it is difficult to explain why one must conceal the income from the work on own one hundredth of acre. If one may afford irony, then the legislators had to include prohibiting cooking food at ones home, since this is obviously a payable service rendered to oneself.
At last, another post-Soviet feature of the Ukrainian social legislation is its extreme complexity. It was done with the aim to save some money for really poor people, but actually it saved nothing. As before, the access to the common purse have not those, who need it more, but those, who are most agile and insolent. Besides, bureaucrats standing „at the tap“ have their share. For example, about 10% of the applications handed by citizens to MP Yu. Ioffe are the requests to help to get the subsidies for living accommodation.
That is why I believe that any strategy of fighting poverty must include changes of the existing laws at least in two directions:
• terminological and procedural simplification of the laws, permanent monitoring of its efficiency (including monitoring by public organizations), operative correction of normative acts;
• liberalization of the laws in favor of active citizens, who try to improve their economic status.
As to the first direction, Ukraine seems already to have made first steps. Since 1 January 2003 the same form will be used for getting all kinds of social aid in Ukraine, namely: aid to poor families, to families with children; subsidies for living accommodation; money aid to poor persons, to those, who live with an invalid of the 1 stor 2 ndgroup with psychic disorders; aid for funeral; aid to handicapped from childhood and handicapped children.
REGIONAL PROGRAM OF FIGHTING POVERTY
The third session of the Lugansk oblast council, which was held on 22 august 2002, approved the oblast program of fighting poverty. The Lugansk oblast became the fourth oblast, which adopted such a program – after the Kyiv, Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk oblasts.
The development of the Lugansk program began in April of the previous year, when 34 addressees received the letters with the request to send their propositions concerning this problem. Among the addressees there were: the oblast administration, trade unions, organizations of war veterans, handicapped, and other public organizations. This February the draft of the program was compiled. The institute of social-labor relations of the Ministry of labor and social policy of Ukraine took part in the development of this draft.
On 3 July 2002 the scientific and practical conference was held, which discussed the draft. Before the session the draft was discussed in the commissions of the oblast council.
It should be noted that the Lugansk program has substantial differences from the programs adopted in other oblasts. Volodymir Pristiuk, a deputy of the head of the oblast administration, told that the projects of other oblasts is planned for ten years, and the Lugansk program is planned to last only for five years. During this time the efforts of the authorities will be realized in three main directions: creation of jobs, creation of well-paid jobs and increasing the level of social security of the population. The program determines the branches for priority growth: coal production, metallurgy, machine building and agriculture. The cost of the project is 47 million hryvnas, the oblast, according to V. Pristiuk, being able to finance the project by itself, without the help of the Cabinet of Ministers. The oblast budget and various funds will be main donors. V. Pristiuk believes that for solving financial questions for fighting poverty one must use the social programs already existing in the country, and the project itself must take account of regional peculiarities.
Thus, in our opinion, the Lugansk regional program of fighting poverty is actually the union of the program of social and economic development, which had been adopted before by the oblast council, with the tasks set in the Strategy of fighting poverty, approved by the President. This eclectic mixture will hardly have the creative potential.
Yana Osadchaya, an observer of the Lugansk newspaper „Kuryer“, assessed the program in the following way: „Two scientific and practical conferences were devoted to this topic, the experience of other towns was thoroughly investigated. As a result, all these clever heads mastered three multivalent postulates, which entered the above-mentioned program, to wit: creation of jobs, creation of well-paid jobs and organizing the social protection of the population. The logic is simple: new jobs -- paying wages – paying taxes – social protection. That is conventional socially oriented economy. The measures envisaged by the program are not extremely diverse. So let us call a spade a spade: fighting poverty is nothing else as a complete readjustment of the national economy. By the way, so you know that the mentioned program has been already acting since 2001? Do not you feel how your purse is becoming heavier and heavier? But ten years has not passed yet…“
In this context one cannot expect the discussion of the specialized NGOs, which were attracted by the region authorities for the development of the program from the very beginning. The functions of the veterans and invalids organizations are honorable, but strictly limited – to lobby the interests of the concerned categories of persons as to privileges, material aid, additional services, etc. This specialization obviously does not concern the problem of poverty: for example, few will call the WW2 veterans poor people.
That is why, in our opinion, the main stimulus on the side of public in the process of fighting poverty will be universal organizations and the organization, which unite the most vulnerable categories (and such organizations exist). The activities of these organizations shall be directed at solving social and not economic problems.
From the experience of the LOD VCU and our partners one can determine the following directions of such activities:
1. Attracting attention to the problems of the population categories vulnerable to the poverty and lobbying their positive solution. Some experience of such activities already exists in the oblast: in August 17 political and public organizations of Severodonetsk , which cooperate in the framework of the round table of town problems, handed to the town council the local initiative concerning the additional measures for social aid to families with many children. In our opinion, the objects of lobbying may be: expansion of the network of the houses for treatment and life of old people and the handicapped, increase of the number of places in houses for children without parents and children from unfavorable families, additional privileges concerning the nourishment and provision with textbooks of children from poor families, etc.
An organization with the unique statute is among the partners of the LOD VCU. This is the Severodonetsk public organization „Vidrodjennia“. The organization unites the jobless, mainly women, and its goal is to facility the material state of its members, who have no permanent job. This unite already organized a peculiar studio for self-servicing, communication evening parties for psychological relaxation, they find temporary jobs for their members (in agriculture). The organization has branches in various places of the oblast, its experience is worth of expansion.
2. Informational and educational work for overcoming paternalistic habits, which are often the reason of the difficult material state of able-to-work people, who, in principle must not be in the most vulnerable categories.
3. Monitoring of the activities of regional and local authorities in realizing the Strategy of fighting poverty, anti-corruption campaign.
4. Public consultations concerning obtaining the state social aid, attracting public and political organizations to the work on increasing the activity of citizens in their addressing to the state for social aid.
The Lugansk oblast before the protest campaign
He wrote the obligation, since, by his words, he did not intend to abuse the law. This proposition makes one to believe that the any meeting in Severodonetsk will be not sanctioned. The local authorities have the great experience to ban such meetings by using the obedient town court. There have been already three such prohibitions, the last being based on the pretext that „the organizers did not conclude the agreement with militia about protecting the public order during the meeting“. One can easily predict that something similar will be done again, in spite the application about holding the meeting on 16 September on the town central square has been already handed to the executive committee.
For about a month all the local newspapers almost every issue have published the „revelatory“ information about the planned action of public protest. The sense of all such materials, even the materials printed by the most critical newspapers, is the same: beware of the „bad“ opposition wants to grab the Presidents position not in the Constitutional way.
The next stage of the „counter-preparation“ has happened today. The address of the deputies of the Lugansk oblast council has been published with the appeal „not to permit the opposition to drag the country into the abyss of chaos and violence“. The address reads: „The mentioned forces, using the natural hardships of building the new state of the European type, initiate the action of public protest“. Further it says that the goal of the organizers of the protest action of 16 September „is not to improve the living standard of the people, but to remove the legally elected President of Ukraine“.
According to the objective situation in the Lugansk oblast, one may expect that next week similar appeals will be approved by the deputies of district and town councils. Although, even without such appeals, the population, it seems, does not demonstrate the great desire to participate in the events of 14-16 September.
Politics and human rights
On the eve of the massive protest actions planned in September the article reminds to citizens their rights during detention or arrest.
On the eve of the massive protest actions planned in September we want to remind our readers about citizens rights during detention or arrest
Your rights during detention or arrest
According to Article 29 of the Ukrainian Constitution you have the right for freedom and personal inviolability. Law-enforcers have no right to arrest you or to keep you under custody without the corresponding motivated court decision.
The Constitution of Ukraine permits detention without such court decision only in the special cases, where it is needed to prevent a crime or to stop it immediately.
The Ukrainian laws stipulate that law-enforcing organs may detain you without any court decision when:
• You commit an administrative felony, if all other milder means are exhausted, and you do not stop your felonious actions.
• You have committed an administrative felony, and the protocol must be compiled, but you have no ID and there are no witnesses, who can identify you.
Administrative detention may not last more than three hours.
You may be detained for the term up to three days only in the exceptional cases connected with violation of the frontier regime or violation of the rules concerning narcotic drugs. You may be also detained up to the trial, if you committed petty hooliganism, malicious resistance to law-enforcers, insult of law-enforcers or public appeals not to obey the demands of law-enforcers.
In all other cases you must be released at once after the identification of your person and compiling the protocol, but not later than after three hours.
The Ukrainian laws envisage that law-enforcing organs may detain you without a court decision, if there is a well-grounded suspicion that you committed a crime, but only if such suspicion is based on the circumstances determined by law, viz. :
• When you were caught red-handed in the cause of committing the crime or immediately after it.
• When eyewitnesses including the victim will directly point at you as the culprit.
• When they will find obvious traces of the crime on you, on your clothes or in your flat.
If there are no these circumstances, but law-enforcers have other grounds for suspicion, they may detain you without a court decision only if you:
• tried to escape or
• have no permanent living accommodation or
• you were not identified.
In any other cases your detention without a court decision is illegal.
During the detention with a court decision or without it the law-enforcers must introduce themselves, inform you which offense you committed or in committing which offence you are suspected, to explain your rights and duties stipulated by law.
Being detained under the suspicion in committing a crime you have the following rights:
• not to give evidence against yourself or your relatives;
• to give evidence or to refuse to give it and to answer any questions;;
• to have an advocate and to meet him before the first interrogation;
• to present proofs, to hand petitions and estops;
• to demand from court to check the legality of the detention;
• to take part personally in the court session concerning taking you under custody.
The law-enforcers must tell you your rights and compile the protocol about this, as well as the protocol about your detention as a person suspected in committing a crime.
After the detention your person may be searched and your documents and personal things may be taken away. Such a search may be conducted only by a person of the same sex as you.
Remember:You must not prove your innocence!
Know!Your investigating officer must inform your spouse or other relatives about your detention and the place, where you are kept. Demand to do this at once!
If you state that you want to invite your advocate, the law-enforcers must help you in contacting him or the persons, who can contact him. If you state that you want to invite an advocate, but you cannot do this because of the lack of money or other important reasons, the officials must appoint an advocate gratis.
Demand an advocate at once after your detention! Remember: you have the right for advocates services from the very moment of detention!
If you are detained under the suspicion of committing a crime, you must be as soon as possible, but not later than after 72 hours, be either released or taken to court, where you may participate in the consideration of your further keeping under custody.
Press release of the attorney firm „, Berezhnoy and partners“
Boris Feldman was transported from preliminary prison No, 17 of Lugansk to Alchevsk reforming colony No. 13 (the town of Alchevsk, the Lugansk oblast).
On 25 September, on the invitation of the embassy of the Great Britain in Ukraine (http:// britemb-ukraine. net), advocates Viktor Ageev and Andrey Fedur met Donald McLaren, the general consul of the Great Britain in Ukraine, a deputy of the Ambassador Plenipotentiary and barrister Rabinder Singh, a Royal counselor.
They discussed the state of human rights in Ukraine, some resonant processes, which these advocate conducted, in particular about the cases of B. Feldman and G. Gongadze, as well as the obstacles the law-enforcing organs create to impede the professional activities of advocates.
On 30 September 2002 the Sjevchenkivski district court of Kyiv (judge Zhanna Bernatskaya) intends to consider the claim of Boris Feldman to the State tax administration of Ukraine (http:// sta. gov. ua) and its chairman Nikolay Azarov. Feldmans interests are defended by advocates Viktor Ageev and Andrey Fedur.
B. Feldman demands to refute the information distributed by the respondents that the audio records made public by major Nikolay Melnichenko were falsified by B. Feldmans order.
26 September 2002
A consecutive court over B. Feldman has finished
The court also issued two particular decisions concerning Feldmans advocates: they are accused of abusing advocate ethics, which, as the court decisions read, imply the termination of advocate practices.
Immediately after the court session, at the improvised press conference in the court building Feldmans advocate Andrey Fedur told that in the court resolution just issued he counted during hearing it more than ten contradictions. After the reception of the court resolution the advocates intend to hand complaints to the Supreme Court of Ukraine and the Europe Court. It is interesting that during the press conference judge Svetlana Zaporozhchenko left the court building and came to her car surrounded by a dense guard of militiamen.
A. Fedur believes that the advocates are brought to responsibility for their professional position and for conscientious fulfillment of their duties. „Such particular decisions mean for us only one thing – we shall defend B. Feldman even more carefully and better“, he said. He also said that his client asked him to declare on his behalf that he accepted the verdict calmly and would continue to fight for his rights.
„I do not understand“, the advocate said, „why the court was in such a haste. When judge Zaporozhchenko made known on Friday that the next court session would be held on Saturday, we protested: Boris Feldman obeys Jewish religious traditions, and the court would better respect this. Yet, the court did not pay attention to the religious feelings of the defendant, more probably, they decided to finish the case before 16 September“.
On Saturday the court worked as for a bonus – from 9:00 to 20:00. The first reverberations of the thunder sounded in the very beginning of the court session. When B. Feldman attempted to congratulate the Lugansk dwellers present in the courtroom with the Day of Lugansk, S. Zaporozhchenko began to cry.
After this the chairwoman without any court decision prohibited video filming. In the beginning of the court session of 27 August, by the petition of the advocates, the court ruled to record the session with audio and video equipment. So, to cancel the already taken decision a new decision was needed, not only the wish of the chairwoman.
After a two-hour-long Feldmans speech (he continued the previous day speech, in which he explained to the judges the absurdity of the verdict taken in the absence of the proven criminal event) and a short interval judge Zaporozhchenko stopped the defendants speech and passed the floor to prosecutor S. Burdeyny.
The advocates were indignant that Feldman was not permitted to finish his speech. They asked to continue the process. The chairwoman ignored the demands of the advocates and insisted on giving the floor to the prosecutor.
The prosecutors speech more than once was interrupted by Feldmans advocates remarks and protests.
The prosecutor finished his speech by the request to leave the verdict of the first instance court almost without changes.
The judge declared the end of the discussion and proposed Feldman to pronounce his final plea. The advocates protested: they insisted on their right to comment the prosecutors speech before this, but the judge ignored this demand.
Boris Feldmans final plea lasted for one hour and a half and mainly contained criticism of the existing court system dependant on the authorities whims.
After the plea judge Zaporozhchenko announced that the court would withdraw to the debate room.
Five hours later the verdict was declared. Feldman was deprived of his final plea again.
Another national disgrace
In the beginning of the session representatives of the defendants, the Cabinet of Ministers, Ministry of Defense and the State Treasury, appealed to the court with the demand to prohibit mass media to elucidate the process. Judge Svetlana Smyk satisfied the appeal partly: she prohibited audio and video records of the representatives of the defendants. After this the accordance of opinions of the representatives of different institutes of the executive power somewhat diminished. For example, the representative of the Cabinet of Ministers demanded to exclude the Ukrainian government from the defendants, since the proper defendant in this case was the Ministry of Defense. The representative of the State Treasury also tried to dodge the guilt. The representatives of the defendants reminded the judge and the representatives of the claimants (Sergey Platonov, the manager of the attorney firm „Atlant“, and his deputy Vitaliy Vakulenko) that the General Prosecutors office of Ukraine started the criminal case against the Ministry of Defense concerning shooting down a passenger plane. The court rejected the petition of the Cabinet of Ministers and State Treasury.
After this the representatives of the Ministry of Defense pointed out that allegedly there were no proofs of the guilt of their agency, the information sources affirming that it was namely a Ukrainian rocket are doubtful, and that there was no sense to put all the blame upon the Ministry. According to the words of Andrey Muzyka, the Ministry of Defense confirms only its connection with the affair and the final decision of the General Prosecutors office must be awaited.
We want to remind our readers that soon after the accident the international Ukrainian-Russian-Israeli commission confirmed the fact of shooting down the plane with a Ukrainian rocket, and the President of Ukraine acknowledged the guilt of Ukraine. Besides, as early as 12 October 2001 Ukraine created the interagency commission for investigating this accident. The preliminary conclusions were made public in the end of the year: it was a Ukrainian rocket that caused the destruction of the airplane and the death of 12 crew members and 66 passengers.
The statements of the representatives of the Ministry of Defense rather shocked the judge and journalists, but they did not surprise Sergey Platonov. „Such reaction could be expected“, said Mr. Platonov, „since Andrey Muzyka again pronounced the same arguments he used last year in the Brovary case. Then, as well as now, the court rejected these arguments and acknowledged that the Ministry of Defense was guilty of hitting a block of flats in Brovary with a military rocket.
Judge Smyk decided to demand from the General Prosecutors office to issue the Resolution on starting the criminal case connected the destruction of the passenger plane, and send the request to the interagency commission about the conclusions already made in the so-called case of TU-154. The case that could cost to Ukraine not only her international image, but also respect and trust of her own citizens.
Our commentary:After the accidents in Brovary, over the Black Sea and on the Sknylivske airfield the behavior of the Ministry of Defense is astonishing. Now it became quite clear what kind of defense the Ministry prefers: defense of generals villas and other privileges, as well as the most important militia secrets – about dedovshchina, corruption, using soldiers as free workers, escalation of irresponsibility and the like. The defense against such dreadful enemies as public opinion, human respectability and the duty to pay for the death of innocent people.
These „defenders“ are paid from Ukrainian taxpayers; they are resolute to be economical. But nobody knows, how many billions would be paid in future to wash away this disgrace are restore the international prestige of Ukraine. That is a pity that the claimants did not include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine into the list of the defendants.
This situation for the umpteenth time illustrates the professional level of the Ukrainian prosecutors office, which, by the way, is also kept by taxpayers. Soon a year will pass since TU-154 was shot down. The prosecutors office had a lot of time to confirm or to refute that the rocket was Ukrainian just to make the Ministry of Defense not to make a public fool in court. If the General Prosecutors office could not do achieve that until now, then the prosecutors office and the international commission worked for the wastepaper basked.
The legal role of such commissions, which are created by the executive power organs after each tragic accident, is incomprehensive. There is no law about such commissions, and each of them acts as it considers properly.
This is an obvious rudiment of the Stalins time, when investigations and trials were conducted by commissions in accordance with „revolutionary aims“. Such commissions must not exist in a law-abiding state, since they may not belong either to legislative or executive or court branches of the power.
The last accident in the Zasiadko mine was investigated by the commission headed by vice-Prime-Minister Oleg Dubina. Being an ecologist, I know that he also heads the interagency commission on the problem of the climatic changes (ICPCC) and the National commission on the steady development (NCSD). Because the accidents in Ukrainian miners happen frequently, Mr. Dubina must waste the bulk of his work-time for investigations. He lacks time to pay much attention to the ICPCC and NCSD. His predecessors had the same trouble.
As a result of the weakness of the ICPCC the opportunities of billion investments into the energy-saving are not realized. A result of the weakness of the NCSD was that Ukraine could not report about the fulfillment of „The agenda for the 21 stcentury“ at the global summit in Iohanesburg, although Ukraine was represented there by President Kuchma himself.
Maybe, the General Prosecutors office of Ukraine will be able to work better if it is disbanded and formed anew. In any case investigations must be conducted by professionals, not by accidental people, who happened to be included into a commission created that time.
Certainly, sometimes there is a need in some more specific knowledge. But a good professional in crime investigation knows well who and how must be attracted as an expert, a witness, and who must be on the opposite side of the bars.
Unfortunately, the old definition of the USSR as the „country of non-professionals“ still remains actual for the state rule in the modern Ukraine. The matter is not in the exact record in diplomas, but in the absence of the responsibility, which otherwise would keep the unprepared pretenders to responsible positions.
The well-known phrase „do not turn it into a tragedy“ said after the accident with TU-154 could hardly develop such responsibility. That could be one of the reasons why the militia lawyers from the Ministry of Defense make public fools of themselves.
The Law of Ukraine (A draft).
The Law determined the procedure of organizing and conducting meetings, demonstrations, rallies, pickets, marches including street ones, other peaceful mass actions in Ukraine, which are the inalienable right of Ukrainian citizens, as well as foreigners and apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally; this right is confirmed by the Universal Declaration of human rights and is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine.
PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1. The area of validity of the Law
The validity of the Law covers citizens of Ukraine, as well as foreigners and apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, within their rights and freedoms stipulated by the Constitution of Ukraine and her operating laws.
The procedure of organizing and conducting meetings, demonstrations, rallies, pickets, marches including street ones, other peaceful mass actions in Ukraine determined by this Law does not spread on meetings of labor collectives, political parties, trade unions, public and other organizations, which are held indoors according to the operating laws of Ukraine, statutes and rules of these organizations, as well as on peaceful mass actions conducted on the initiative of the organs of state power and local self-rule.
Article 2. Definition of basic terms
The basic terms used in this Law:
MEETINGS – a common presence of a group of citizens of Ukraine, foreigners or apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, who gathered in the place appointed by the organizers and agreed with the executive organs of local state power or local self-rule, for a public discussion and expressing their attitude to the actions of all branches of state power, organs of local self-rule and self-organization, their officers, heads of enterprises, organizations and establishments of all forms of property, events in social, political and economic life of the country, society and in the whole world, as well as for solving other problems.
DEMONSTRATION – an organized peaceful march of citizens of Ukraine, foreigners or apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, with the use of state or other not prohibited by operating laws symbols, slogans, posters and portraits along the sidewalk, pavement of streets (roads), boulevards, avenues and squares along the route appointed beforehand by the organizers and agreed with the executive organs of local state power or local self-rule with the aim to attract the attention of top and local power structures, their officers and public to urgent social, political, economic and other problems, as well as problems of the state, society, local territorial community, or with the aim of public protest against the decisions or measures taken by the state, organs of local self-rule, their officers, or against separate events in the life of the state or the whole world, or on the contrary – for their support.
RALLY – an organized peaceful gathering of citizens of Ukraine, foreigners or apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, with the use of state or other not prohibited by operating laws symbols, slogans, posters, portraits and sound recording equipment in the place appointed by the organizers and agreed with the executive organs of local state power or local self-rule, for a public discussion of the events and questions concerning social, political and economic life of the country, society and in the whole world, as well as for expressing protest against or support of the actions of the state power structures. Of all levels, organs of local self-rule, political, public and other organizations, trade unions, separate state officers, as well as for solving questions and problems concerning social, political, economic, party, religious, national and other interests of the participants of the peaceful meetings and actions.
PICKETING -- public expression by citizens of Ukraine, foreigners or apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, of personal, group or other social, political, economic, party, religious, national and other interests or protest (without demonstrations, meetings and marches), including hunger-strikes, near or around administrative buildings of state or law-enforcing organs, courts, organs of local self-rule, enterprises and establishments of all forms of property, organizations and educational establishments with or without the use of appeal, mottoes, posters, portraits and other permitted visual means.
MARCH – an organized, long-lasting, with breaks for passage by transport, holding rallies, pickets, and for rests, peaceful mass movement of citizens of Ukraine, foreigners or apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, along the all-Ukrainian, Crimean, oblast or district route appointed beforehand by the organizers and agreed with the executive organs of local state power or local self-rule with the aim to attract the attention of top and local power structures, state officers and public to the marchers and their problems, as well as with the aim of public expression of their social, political, economic, party, religious, national and other opinions or protests.
STREET MARCH -- an organized, with breaks for holding rallies and pickets, peaceful mass movement of citizens of Ukraine, foreigners or apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, along the all-Ukrainian, Crimean, oblast, district (in towns), settlement or village route appointed beforehand by the organizers and agreed with the executive organs of local state power or local self-rule with the aim to attract attention of top and local power structures, state officers and public to the marchers and their problems, as well as with the aim of public expression of their social, political, economic, party, religious, national and other opinions or protests.
ACTION – an organized mass peaceful measure of protest type (hunger-strike, tent camp, street march with torches, etc. ) or without protest (motor, bicycle or motorcycle race, charity cultural action, exhibition, etc. ) of a group of people united by one common purpose aimed at attracting attention of top and local power structures, state officers and public to solving social, political, economic, party, religious, national and other problems, which represent private, collective, social or state interests.
PEACEFUL MASS ACTION AND ACTION OF COMMERCIAL TYPE – an organized peaceful mass action of a group of people united by common commercial purpose.
Article 3. Laws on the procedure of organizing and conducting peaceful mass actions in Ukraine
The procedure of organizing and conducting peaceful mass actions in Ukraine is regulated by the Constitution of Ukraine, by this Law and by legal acts of Ukraine adopted according to them.
PART ІІ. ORGANIZATION OF PEACEFUL MASS ACTIONS IN UKRAINE
Article 4. Organizers of peaceful mass actions
The peaceful mass actions may be organized by Ukrainian citizens, not less than three in number, who reached 18 years of age and have the right to vote, as well as foreigners or apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, not younger than 21 years of age, under the condition that these persons took the obligation in writing to fulfil organizers functions in preparing and conducting meetings, demonstrations, rallies, pickets, marches including street ones, other peaceful mass actions according to this Law.
The peaceful mass actions may not be organized by the persons, who are under arrest or detention, are staying in penitentiaries or recognized as fully or partly incapable by law, as well as by other people, who are prohibited to do this by the operating laws of Ukraine.
Political parties, trade unions, public and other organizations, which were registered in Ukraine according to the procedure stipulated by the operating laws, may also initiate peaceful mass actions, for which they must appoint their representatives (according to the decision of the given citizens union), who fulfil the function of responsible organizers.
Peaceful mass actions on the side of children public organizations, collectives and groups may be organized only by their parents or appointed by the parents citizens, who reached 21 years of age and have the right to vote according to the operating laws of Ukraine.
Organization of religious peaceful mass actions is determined by this Law and other legislative acts of Ukraine.
Article 5. Participants of peaceful mass actions
Citizens of Ukraine, members of political parties, trade unions, public and other organizations including children ones, which were registered in Ukraine according to the operating laws, as well as foreigners or apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, are regarded to be participants of peaceful mass actions if the above-mentioned persons realize practical steps for preparing and conducting peaceful mass actions on the commission of the organizers and are present there, except the persons, who are prohibited to do this by the operating laws of Ukraine.
Article 6. Notification on the time of conducting peaceful mass actions, its content and form
The notification on conducting meetings, demonstrations, rallies, pickets, marches including street ones and other mass actions must be handed by the organizers in writing beforehand to the executive organs of local state power or local self-rule, on whose territory the action is planned to be conducted.
The organizers have the right not to hand the written notification on conducting picket by the group, which size is less than 50 persons, to the executive organs of local state power or local self-rule. They may inform on this action the day before orally personally or through telephone.
The written notification must not be handed, if the picket is held by a citizen of Ukraine, foreigner or apatride, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, by his own initiative.
If the organizers of the peaceful mass marches, races or other similar actions plan the all-Ukrainian route on the territory of several oblasts, they must present beforehand a written notification about this route to state administration of each oblast; in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea – to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Crimea.
The realization of the right for such actions before their beginning may be restricted only by the Supreme Court of Ukraine that must consider the application of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Crimea or oblast state administrations within three days; the oblast court after the application of the oblast administration may interrupt such actions, if an emergency state was introduced on the territory of the oblast.
The Crimean, oblast or district routs of peaceful mass marches, races and other similar actions are agreed by their organizers beforehand with executive organs of the Crimean Republic and local organs of executive power on the basis of written notifications.
The realization of the right for such actions before their beginning in the Crimean Republic may be restricted only by the Supreme Court of the Crimean Republic after the application of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Crimea within three days; in oblasts and districts – the oblast court that must consider the application of the oblast and district state administrations within three days.
If the peaceful mass actions are planned to be conducted on the territory of several countryside councils, administrative-territorial units, the organizers must hand a written notification to the district state administration.
The realization of the right for such actions before their beginning may be restricted only by the district court that must consider the application of the district state administration on the same day.
Conducting town, district (in towns), settlement or village street marches is agreed on the basis of a written notification from their organizers to the corresponding executive organs of the local self-rule.
The realization of the right for such actions before their beginning may be restricted only by the town court that must consider the application of the town state administration on the same day.
In the cities Kyiv and Sevastopol the written notifications on conducting peaceful mass actions except pickets must be handed by their organizers to the city state administration.
The realization of the right for such actions before their beginning may be restricted only by the city court that must consider the application of the city state administration on the same day.
The organizers of peaceful mass actions must send beforehand the written notifications about the actions to the local executive organs of state power or local self-rule; these notifications must contain: 1. Aim, form and place of holding the peaceful mass action. 2. The time of beginning and finishing the action. 3. The rout of movement, if necessary. 4. The expected number of the participants of the action. 5. Surnames, names and patronymics of the organizers of the peaceful mass action, their home addresses, home or contact telephone numbers, cell telephone numbers, fax numbers (if any). 6. The measures on guaranteeing public order and safety during the peaceful mass action; the necessity (or its absence) of the presence of law-enforcers (their number) is mentioned, as well as the presence of motor ambulances, presence (or absence) of loud-speaking equipment. 7. The date of handing the written notification.
A notification must be signed by the organizers of the peaceful mass action. If the action is initiated by a political party, trade union, public or other organization, including children ones, legally registered in Ukraine, they must authorize the signatures of the organizers with the seal.
The term of handing the written notification on holding peaceful mass actions by the organizers is counted from the day of registering the notification in the local executive organs of state power or local self-rule.
The organizers of peaceful mass actions may not be refused to accept the written or oral notifications on holding peaceful mass actions, if the notification is presented according to this Law.
Article 7. The procedure of accepting and considering the notifications on holding peaceful mass actions
The state officer representing the executive organ of local state power or local self-rule accepts the notification on holding peaceful mass actions from the organizers, writes on the copy of notification the date and time of the acceptance, his/her surname, name and patronymic, position, office telephone number, and confirms all that with his/her signature and the seal of the corresponding organ. The copies of the notifications on holding peaceful mass actions are handed to the organizers.
The executive organs of local state power or local self-rule must take the notification into account within two days except official days-off.
If the executive organs of local state power or local self-rule see a violation of Article 39 of the Constitution of Ukraine or of the operating laws of Ukraine in the planned peaceful mass actions, they must turn to the corresponding court for obtaining its decision concerning the legality of holding the action; at the same time the organizers of the peaceful mass action must be informed about this.
In cases, where the organizers of the peaceful mass action do not get the court decision on restricting the right for holding the action within three-day term (after handing the notification), the planned peaceful mass action is regarded as legal.
Article 8. The place and time of holding peaceful mass actions and the reasons for their holding
Peaceful mass actions in Ukraine may be conducted in any suitable places, if this is not constrained or prohibited by this Law or other laws of Ukraine, resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers, decisions of the organs of local state power or local self-rule.
Meetings, demonstrations, rallies, pickets, street marches and other peaceful mass actions may be conducted at the distance not smaller than 150 meters from the buildings of the Administration of the President of Ukraine, the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Supreme Rada of the Crimean Republic, the Council of Ministers of the Crimean Republic, diplomatic representations and consulates of foreign states, and at the distance not smaller than 25 meters from the buildings of the republican organs of state power, local representative and executive organs, courts, prosecutors office, administrative buildings, privately owned enterprises, establishments and organizations; individual pickets may be conducted directly near the mentioned buildings.
Holding peaceful mass actions is limited on the objects of subway, railway, water and air transport; peaceful mass actions may be held not nearer than 50 meters from the objects or territory of the enterprises, establishments and organizations, which guarantee security and defense of the state, as well as the objects connected with public life (public transport, water, energy, heat supply, other energy carriers, hospitals, polyclinics, kindergartens, schools, military units, etc).
Holding peaceful mass actions is limited on the territory, where the safety of people may not be guaranteed, where the objects dangerous or harmful for health are situated: railways, freeways, highways, pipelines, high-voltage electric lines, atomic energy stations, fire or explosion dangerous objects and objects or constructions, which have cultural value, if holding such actions on the territories, where the latter objects are situated, may result in their damage.
The admitted distances for holding peaceful mass actions near the objects dangerous for health are determined according to the operating common rules.
Peaceful mass actions may be conducted, as a rule, in any time of day and night, if this does not violate rights and freedoms of other people, especially in the period from 11 p. m. to 6 a. m. it is prohibited to use the loud-speaking equipment at this time.
It the organizers planned to conduct a peaceful mass action in the place and time, which were already permitted for conducting another peaceful mass action, or if this action in the chosen place may insult public morals or religious feelings, the local executive organ of state power or local self-rule must propose the organizers to conduct this action in another place, time or form.
The proposition must be concrete and include several variants. In the case, where one of the variants was accepted, the organizers must confirm their consent with new notification, which must be compiled according to Article 6, paragraph 8 of the present Law; the claim to court must not be handed in such cases.
Article 9. Appealing against court decision on holding peaceful mass actions
Court decisions restricting the right of citizens of Ukraine, foreigners or apatrides, who reside on the Ukrainian territory legally, to gather peacefully and without weapons and to conduct meetings, demonstrations, rallies, marches including street ones and other peaceful mass actions may be appealed by the organizers according to the operating laws of Ukraine.
Article 10. Material and technical provision of peaceful mass actions
Material and technical provision of peaceful mass actions is done for the account of their organizers and participants, as well as donations of other Ukrainian citizens.
PART III. THE PROCEDURE OF HOLDING PEACEFUL MASS ACTIONS
Article 11. Obligations of organizers and participants of peaceful mass actions
Organizers of peaceful mass actions are obliged:
1. To be present all the time at the peaceful mass actions, which are held by their initiative. 2. Obey the place, time, aim and form of peaceful mass action mentioned in the notification, as well as to declare about them beforehand and in the beginning of the action. 3. To inform the participants of peaceful mass actions about the permission or prohibition to hold the action before its beginning. 4. To guarantee the obedience of conditions and procedure of holding peaceful mass actions; if some transport, pyrotechnics, tall constructions, animals, etc. Are used during the action, the organizers must apply measures for as to the safety of participants, buildings, plants and other objects. 5. In the case, where the participants of peaceful mass action commit unlawful acts terminate the action after the demand of militia or other state officers, who, according to this Law, control the public order during peaceful mass actions. 6. When the peaceful mass action is finished, the participants must be informed about this. 7. To have the emblem of organizers of peaceful mass actions.
Participants of peaceful mass actions are obliged:
1. Not to mask their faces, to carry firearms, cold steel, gas pistols and sprays, specially made weapons, whose use may threaten life and health of people, as well as explosive, poisonous, radioactive, inflammable and other dangerous substances, not to permit the presence of animals, if it does not contradict the scenario of the action agreed by organizers. 2. Not to permit clashes or other events that threaten health of other people, their Constitutional rights and freedoms, that impede them to freely demonstrate and widen their outlook, opinions and convictions. 3. To disperse after the end of peaceful mass actions or if the organizers or the state officer, who has the duty to observe public order, inform about the prohibition to hold the peaceful mass action based on the court decision or about the termination of the action according to Article 13 paragraph 2, items 1, 3, 4 of this Law.
Article 12. Duties of the executive organs of state power and local self-rule
The executive organs of state power and local self-rule must:
• Guarantee the necessary conditions for holding peaceful mass actions, obey the proper sanitary and hygienic demands and render the participants of peaceful mass actions necessary medical aid.
• In the cases envisaged by Article 8 of this Law to offer (if possible) another place and time for holding the action.
Article 13. Rights and duties of law-enforcing organs
During peaceful mass actions militiamen must guarantee the public order according to Ukrainian laws, which regulate their activities.
Law-enforcers have the right to terminate a peaceful mass action if:
• Its organizers did not inform executive organs of state power and local self-rule about the action.
• There is the corresponding court decision.
• During the peaceful mass action the premeditated acts were committed directed at violating sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, change or downfall of the constitutional order by force, usurpation of state power, fanning of race, national, religious enmity, propaganda of violence and war.
• There are other bases stipulated by Article 11 of this Law.
Before terminating the peaceful mass actions law-enforcers shall demand from the organizers to stop the violations mentioned above. If this is not done, law-enforcers must terminate the action and to inform the participants about this.
Law-enforcers, who give orders to and formulate the demands before the organizers and participants of peaceful mass actions must wear uniforms or have identification signs. Law-enforcers may not mask their faces in the fulfilling their duties as to keeping the public order.
Law-enforcers use forceful methods, special equipment and firearms for keeping public order during peaceful mass actions in the cases and according to the procedure stipulated by the Ukrainian laws regulating their activities.
Article 14. Resolutions and appeals of the participants of peaceful mass actions
The participants of peaceful mass actions may adopt resolutions and appeals to the organs of state power, local self-rule, unions of citizens, enterprises, establishments and organizations of any form of property, mass media, state officials depending on their functional duties according to Ukrainian Law „On appeals of citizens“.
PART IV. GUARANTEES OF THE RIGHT OF CITIZENS AND THEIR UNIONS, FOREIGNERS AND APATRIDES RESIDING IN UKRAINE LEGALLY FOR PEACEFUL GATHERINGS WITHOUT WEAPONS
Article 15. Guaranteeing the conditions for holding peaceful mass actions
The state guarantees citizens and their unions, foreigners and apatrides residing in Ukraine legally the conditions for conducting peaceful mass actions by way of offering gratis streets, squares, parks and other open territories and constructions of common use, with the limitations established by this Law and except the cases, when the actions is held with commercial aims.
Material and technical provisions (pay for labor, fuel, transport, if necessary, etc. ) of law-enforcing organs appointed to protect the public order during peaceful mass actions and actions of commercial type are done for the account of organizers and participants of the actions.
The executive organs of state power and local self-rule, their officers, political parties, trade unions, public and other organizations, their leaders, as well as Ukrainian citizens, foreigners and apatrides residing in Ukraine legally have no right to intrude into and interrupt peaceful mass actions conducted according to this Law.
Article 15. Voluntary participation in peaceful mass actions
Ukrainian citizens, unions of citizens, foreigners and apatrides residing in Ukraine legally participate in peaceful mass actions voluntarily. Access to such actions is free. No one shall not be forced to participate or not participate in peaceful mass actions in Ukraine.
It is forbidden to take pay from Ukrainian citizens, foreigners and apatrides residing in Ukraine legally for the access to peaceful mass actions and for presence there, or to pay them for participation in such actions as spectators, or to encourage them in other ways. Yet, this does not exclude the right to give voluntary donations.
Article 16. The right for free reception and distribution of information about peaceful mass actions
Ukrainian citizens, unions of citizens, foreigners and apatrides residing in Ukraine legally, representatives of mass media have the right for free collection, storage, use and distribution of information about peaceful mass actions orally, in writing or in other way (on their own choice) in the framework of operating laws of Ukraine.
Article 17. Responsibility for violating the procedure of organizing and conducting peaceful mass actions in Ukraine
State officials, Ukrainian citizens, unions of citizens, foreigners and apatrides residing in Ukraine legally, who are guilty of violating this Law, bear responsibility according to operating laws of Ukraine.
Article 18. Recompensing material damage
The material damage inflicted to citizens, enterprises, establishments and organizations of all forms of property by peaceful mass actions must be recompensed by the guilty according to operating laws of Ukraine.
PART V. FINAL PROVISIONS
This Law comes into effect from the day of its publication.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is obliged within six months from the day this Law comes into effect to:
• To present the propositions as to the agreeing the legal acts of Ukraine with the Law „On the procedure of organizing and conducting peaceful mass actions in Ukraine“ for considering by the Supreme Rada.
• To adopt normative legal acts needed for realizing this Law, providing consideration and cancellation of normative legal acts contradicting to this Law by ministries, other central and local executive organs of state power and local self-rule.
Appeal of the Lugansk voters committee to the prosecutor of Severodonetsk
Re: a disagreement between the Constitution of Ukraine and items 1 and 2 of the draft decision of the 6 thsession of the town council „On the procedure of organizing and conducting meetings, rallies, street marches and demonstrations in Severodonetsk“.
Item 1 of the mentioned draft decision establishes the term of handing the application on holding meetings, rallies, street marches and demonstrations not later than ten days before the event.
This norm contradicts the Ukrainian Constitution. The official interpretation of part 1 Article 30 of Resolution of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine No. 4-рп/2001 of 19 April 2001 reads that „Basing on item 1 part 1 Article 92 of the Ukrainian Constitution stating that rights and freedoms of citizens and the guarantees of these rights and freedoms are determined by laws only and only a court, according to the law, may restrict the realization of citizen right for mass gatherings (part 2 Article 39), the Constitutional Court of Ukraine drew the conclusion that the determination of the term of informing the organs of the executive power or local self-rule with the account taken of the peculiarities of peaceful gatherings, their form, mass character, place and time of holding is a subject of legislative regulation“. Thus, item 1 of the discussed draft decision contradicts part 1 Article 39 and part 1 Article 982 of the Constitution of Ukraine.
Item 2 of this draft decision states that executive committees have the right, if needed, to propose to those, who turned to them with the application, another time and place for conducting the action. Thus, the information principle stipulated by the Constitution is replaced with the permission one. This contradicts the Ukrainian Constitution, since, according to Resolution of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine No. 4-рп/2001 of 19 April 2001, „organs of the executive power or local self-rule may, if needed, may agree with organizers of mass gatherings the date, time, place, route, conditions, lasting, etc. “ So, the subject of the discussion may be only the agreement, and not the opportunity to offer another time and place for the action.
We ask you to inform the deputies of the town council about the discussed disagreement, and, if the draft is adopted, to introduce a protest against the decision of the town council, according to Article 9 of the Transitory rulings of the Constitution of Ukraine, as well as part 1 Article 19, item 2 part 2 Article 20 and Article 21 of the Law „On prosecutors office“.
Point of view
But some animals are more equal…
The information about the event is rather contradictory. But the fact itself was confirmed head of the oblast state administration V. Butko himself at his press conference, as well as the official edition of the oblast administration.
From the information we obtained we have concluded our own version of the event of 24 August. I repeat, a version, since the truth about the event is carefully concealed by some rather obvious reasons. So, we can make mistakes in separate details.
The tragic events occurred in the business-club (cafe) „Fortuna“. „Fortuna“ is situated in the very 0center of the town (about 100 meters from the building of the oblast state administration) and is owned by the Chernigiv institute of economics and administration. The rector of this institute is Mr. Sukhovirskiy, known by his proximity to the oblast administration and his suspicious operations with real estate, which, before his intervention, belonged to the territorial community of the oblast. The prosecutors office somehow does not desire to get interested in these machinations. As a rule, various social happenings of the local elite are held in this club.
Oleg Gritsev with his wife came to the club to celebrate the state holiday. Gritsevs wife is much younger than her husband, she is a very good-looking woman of 30. During the party a quarrel began, by some evidence the reason was Gritsevs wife. Several men went outdoor, and Gritsev, as a respectable man, went out to pacify the hotheads. He was beaten and died later in a hospital. According to one of the versions, the fatal blow was on the jaw hit by M. Burmaka.
The law-enforcing organs and the oblast administration confirmed the fact. Now the case documents are kept in the military prosecutors office. On 3 September the military prosecutors office started the criminal case against former USS lieutenant colonel M. Burmaka suspected in having committed crime envisaged by part 1 Article 119 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The article is called „manslaughter“ and appoints the punishment in the form of incarceration for the term from three to five years (or restriction of freedom for the same term).
On the day after the events in „Fortuna“ Burmaka was dismissed from the service, but since he committed the manslaughter being a USS officer, his case is considered by the military prosecutors office. No measures restricting his freedom were applied. The investigation considered that he would not be in the way of the process and would not disappear.
The investigation officers classified the crime as manslaughter without premeditation. It follows that the criminal may remain unpunished. It is interesting how the law-enforcers would classify the crime, if it were committed by a man in the street, not an USS officer. I believe that it would be treated as premeditated murder (Article 115). I hope that the court will be just.
To conclude, I want to say several words about the late O. Gritsev. He was a very kind man, who did not miss the violations of the rights of the oblast dwellers and honestly fulfilled his service duties. That is why people were shocked by his death.
To the attention of our readers!