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“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2003, #02

Politics and human rights

The Supreme Council of justice „“ President from trial

In the opinion of many Kyiv dwellers, who are acquainted with the real face of the Ukrainian Themis, Yu. Vasilenko is one of the most competent judges in the country. The initiation by him of the criminal case against President Leonid Kuchma was, from the legal viewpoint, a normal juridical procedure: the judge properly reacted to the presentation of informational materials by the group of MPs. Such cases have become almost usual in the law-abiding democratic Western countries: only during several recent years presidents, chancellors and prime ministers were brought to court responsibility more than once. In this way the governments of these countries confirmed their adherence to the principles of the superiority of right and their ability to get rid of dishonest politicians. President Kuchma, being a „“ of many scandals, which are permanently discussed in mass media and discredit the state, must be extremely interested in the objectivity of court proceedings, since only court can issue the decision of his innocence. Thus, judge Vasilenko merely fulfilled his professional duties.

Unfortunately, the constitutional independence of the judicial organ was brutally violated during the very first juridical actions. Since a half of the Supreme Council of justice is directly dependent on the presidential power, the Council immediately started the affair on the dismissal of judge Yu. Vasilenko from his post. It seems that President really have what to conceal both from justice and from his own people. That is why he tries to protect himself with the shield of the artificial immunity forgetting that he is not a personal leader of Ukraine. He forgets that he is a common state official, who is responsible before the law as well as every other citizen and even more, that the judicial power of Ukraine has the constitutional guarantees of independence, that he is not our master, that all high-flown declarations about the European choice and the creation of law-abiding state must be confirmed by concrete deeds.

Depriving the court of the opportunity to fulfill its duties, the President and his adherents demonstrate for the umpteenth time their wish to tower above the people and justice. Only conscious citizens and their representatives – MPs – can protect judge Vasilenko and, thereby, the independence of Ukrainian judicial power.

We appeal to local public organizations and political parties, to all dwellers of our region to turn to the MPs from the Ternopil oblast with the proposition not to support the decision on the dismissal of judge Yu. Vasilenko.

On the case of judge Yuri Vasilenko

The Ukrainian reality does not give us many reasons for optimism, especially regarding the people, who take decisions. But there are some worthy, wise, honest and active people among them. They can be found in public organizations, business, state agencies, political parties, Parliament, courts. And such people must be appreciated and endorsed.

Judge Vasilenko is one of the best Ukrainian judges, since, first of all, he is an honest and responsible person. This is confirmed by all facts I know about him, and these facts are rather numerous.

Institution by him of the criminal case against President Kuchma was a JURIDICAL act since the case was started as a result of the appeal of MPs and on the basis of the materials presented by them. Only those people, who do not understand what justice is (or have some reasons to be afraid of the justice), can transform this act into a political problem.

A laboratory assistant in a hospital performs a urine analysis independently of the fact whether it is the urine of a minister or a janitor. In the same manner a judge must meticulously apply the proper routine procedure in spite of ranks and names.

I am a mathematician, worked as a programmer for a long time, so I completely agree with the British fundamental idea: „ the procedure is correct, the result would be correct too“ This means that the correct procedure will eliminate all admixtures that got into the case purposely or not, will consider only significant data and will come to the objective conclusion.

If Leonid Kuchma were really not guilty, then the objective judicial procedure would confirm his innocence. This procedure was applied to different people for thousands of times and it never raised any doubts of lawyers.

The main problem of common citizens is that the judicial branch of the Ukrainian power is weak and insufficiently independent. Only one judge in the entire country dared to consider the questions put by the MPs about the President. And the Supreme Council of justice at once began to press on him.

The status of the Supreme Council of justice is described in Article 131 of the Constitution:

„ Supreme Council of justice acts in Ukraine. It is empowered: 1) to submit the proposals on the appointment or dismissal of judges; 2) to take the decisions concerning violation by judges or prosecutors of the demands on incompatibility; 3) to accomplish the disciplinary proceedings over the judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and the judges of supreme special courts, as well as to consider the complaints against the decisions on bringing to responsibility the judges of local and appeal courts and prosecutors.

The Supreme Council of justice consists of twenty members. The Supreme Rada of Ukraine, President of Ukraine, congress of judges of Ukraine, congress of advocates of Ukraine, congress of representatives of law schools and research establishments provide three members each to the Council, and the all-Ukrainian conference of the prosecutors – two members. The Head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Minister of Justice of Ukraine and General Prosecutor of Ukraine are also members of the Supreme Council of justice“

It is obvious that the General Prosecutor and other prosecutors, Minister of Justice, representatives of law schools and research establishments are dependent on the President, to say nothing about the three members of the Council, who are directly appointed by the President. Thus, ten members of the Council are certainly loyal to the President, that is a half of the Council composition.

The judicial branch of power (4 members) and the legislative one (3 members) are in sum (7 members) weaker than the executive power, and this contradicts the principle of separation and balance of the power branches. The juridical and business circles are represented by the lawyers’ congress (3), but civil society, in particular human rights protecting organizations, are not represented in the Congress at all.

This means that the SCJ is independent of the citizens – taxpayers, at whose expense it works, but it is maximally dependent on the executive power, which is also kept for the money of taxpayers.

Only in the case of the COMPLETE COINCIDENCE OF THE OPINIONS of all other members of the SCJ, they could oppose President’s side. But it is incredible, especially if to take into account that the President’s administration took the measures to guarantee the support of the President even among these members.

The President is the top official in the state, but he must not be a dictator, he must be liable to laws and court proceedings. Accusing judge Vasilenko of the allegedly „“ use of court procedure, the Supreme Council of justice tries to turn the President to an immune feudal lord, and the Ukrainian citizens – to his villeins. Yet, various displays of feudalism are observed in Ukraine even without that. This way of development is incompatible with joining the European community.

The SCJ undermines the authorities of the judicial branch of power instead of making efforts to strengthen it, to increase its role in protecting citizens’ rights.

Every conscious citizen may not tolerate such outrage upon the basic democratic principles and civil rights, which was committed by the SCJ members. Do not treat all Ukrainian citizens as fools! Every member of the SCJ, who voted for the blame of Vasilenko, must be deprived in future the state pension, which is paid from the money of taxpayers.

Article 131 of the Constitution must be changed so that the Supreme Council of justice would represent the Balance of the three power branches, but not the predominance of the executive power. Besides, the SCJ must include not only the state lawyers from the three power branches and businessmen from the Bar, but also the lawyers from non-governmental human rights protecting organizations, who represent the Ukrainian civil society in this sphere.

Today all conscious citizens must stand up to protect judge Yuri Vasilenko. We must turn to MPs with the demand to reject the proposition of the Supreme Council of justice about the dismissal of Vasilenko. This is the infrequent occasion, when the future of the state and society depends on the lot of one person, and we must protect this person by common efforts.

The statement of the Kharkov Group for human rights protection on the decision of the Supreme Council of justice about the dismissal of judge of the Appeal Court of Kyiv Yu. Vasilenko

We reckon that the mentioned decision of the Supreme Council of justice is a vivid example of the real level of democratic and liberal changes in Ukraine. In our opinion, this level has decreased to the precarious limit, and we think that our duty is to declare this to the power and society.

We qualify the actions of the Supreme Council of justice on the initiation of the dismissal of Yuri Vasilenko from his post as hypocritical and corporative, as a „“ violation of human rights, which was typical in the times of the totalitarian Soviet regime – political persecution for one’s views, for honesty, principles, professionalism, independence and the freedom of consciousness. There were no such facts in the history of the independent Ukraine before, but now one can observe the signs of restoring the political dictatorship by the Ukrainian authorities.

Thus, the case of judge Vasilenko obviously demonstrates the genuine, not declarative, intentions of the executive and judicial branches of power concerning the European choice, observation of human rights and the pluralism of opinions. Unfortunately, in spite of the pompous declarations and laudation of „ glorious ten years“, our country has not went away far from its past, when any critical opinion concerning the words or actions of the officials was regarded as a crime.

The decisions of the Supreme Council of justice and the resolution of the Supreme Court on Yu. Vasileko’s case illustrate the unwillingness of the executive and juridical powers to agree in practice with the existence of independent courts. So, may one to expect the court decisions directed at the protection of human rights and at the punishment of state officials for corruption and misuses? The question seems to be somewhat rhetorical.

We must establish with regret that, like in the Soviet times, the main features of the governing elite are the bare instrumentalism and servility. As to the juridical community of Ukraine, it still remains, at best, a passive and scared observer of these doubtful activities or, at worst, a demoralized accomplice of political persecutions.

All recent events confirm that Ukraine advances more and more not towards the principles of the superiority of right, but towards a police state, where laws cost nothing or are applied as a coercion tool by top authorities. We want to remind about the similar case that occurred in Russia. Then the juridical and human rights protection community of Russia protected judge of the Moscow city court S. Pashin and did not allow to dismiss him. Unfortunately, Ukrainian lawyers and judges do not show any features of the professional solidarity.

We turn to MPs with the demand to support the authority of the young Ukrainian state: to reject the recommendation on the dismissal of Yu. Vasilenko thus averting the threat of Ukrainian political Calvinism.

7 February 2003

Freedom of conscience and religion

Open letter of the Kharkov group for human rights protection

To the Supreme Rada of Ukraine

To President of Ukraine

To Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

Respected sirs!

With great regret and abhorrence we learned the information on the persecutions of the followers of the Falun Dafa doctrine in Ukraine under the pressure of Chinese cannibals. The question appears whether Ukraine is an independent state, if she permits to embassy of a foreign country to meddle into her internal affairs. Yet, it seems that we are afraid of and obedient to everybody. Falun Dafa is a non-violent and non-religious doctrine that propagandizes self-perfection, altruism, healthy way of life, honesty and goodwill. We know from the Falun Dafa adherents in Ukraine that the China Embassy exerts the permanent pressure upon the Ukrainian government, which, instead of opposing the brutal pressure on the independent state as almost all developed countries do, prohibits the pickets near the China Embassy and does not permit the Falungun followers to conduct peaceful assemblies. At that the authorities refer to the pressure on the side of Peking.

It is shameful that our country is ruled from Peking, from Moscow, from Brussels, from Washington. Who will be the next, who will give orders to our dependent and weak government, who will press on our citizens and violate Article 39 of the operating Constitution? Who will be the next „“ of our government? Cairo? Baghdad? Why our executive and legislative powers cannot protect Ukrainian citizens in their own country from the murderers of women and children? All civilized countries have already expressed their indignation about these actions, and made this officially. Such decisions were taken by the governments of the USA, the majority of the European countries, Canada, Australia. Only Ukraine is afraid, and such situations occur lately more and more frequently.

We protest decisively against the violation of Article 39 of the Ukrainian Constitution, we demand to apply the legal means to protect our citizens.

We turn to MPs with the demand to protect the followers of Falun Dafa in China and to express the protest against the persecutions of them, as it was done by the USA Congress and representatives of other countries that respect human rights and own independence.

It is a duty of all honest people to rebuff the savage criminals, who torture and murder women and children!

What is Falun Dafa and what are the reasons of the repressions in China?

Falun Dafa (the second name – Falungun) is a school of perfection of body and spirit following the fundamental principles of Truth, Kindness and Patience. It also includes five fluent exercises of the Chinese Chigun, the fifth of which is fulfilled in the lotus pose.

On 20 July 1999 the general secretary of the Chinese communist party declared Falungun to be outlawed and began savage repressions.


According to the results of the research conducted by the Chinese government, in the beginning of 1999 more than 70 million Chinese dwellers practiced Falungun – the number more than the number of the members of the Chinese communist party. On 20 July 1999 Tsian Tsiemin initiated the campaign of savage persecution of more than 100 million people, who practiced Falungun inside the country and abroad.

During the last three years the intimidation, torture and imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens – Falungun adherents became a rather common phenomena. Thousands of people were thrown to prisons, concentration camps and psychiatric clinics. Millions suffered from intimidation and persecutions, lost their homes, families and jobs.

The number of the confirmed deaths of the Falungun followers was 526 during the period from 16 August 1999 to 4 February 2003. Yet, according the internal statistics of the government, the real number of the deaths reached 1600 in the end of 2001. We have the information that the real number of the deaths today is 2500. More than 100,000 of the Falungun followers were sent to concentration camps. On 4 July 2001 the Australian Broadcasting Company published the information that about a half of the people, who were kept in the camps, were practicing Falungun.

Chinese children also suffer from the repressions directly or indirectly. Van Lisuan, a 27-year-old woman practicing Falungun, who lived in the village of Nangou, was arrested and incarcerated for the appeal in the protection of Falungun. On 7 November 2000 she and her 8-month-old son Men Khao were tortured to death in the concentration camp Tuankhe in Peking. The forensic expertise showed that the cervical vertebra and pelvis of the woman were broken, cranium bones were concaved inside, and a needle was found in the lower part of her back. The boy had two deep scars on his ankles, two haematomas on his back and blood in the nose.

On 14 August 2001 the International Department of the Development of education presented the official appeal to the UNO: „ regime refers to the alleged incident of self-immolation at the Tian-An-Men Square on 23 January 2001 as the reason for unjust accusation of Falungun. Yet, we obtained the video record of this incident, which, in our opinion, proves that this act of self-immolation was organized by the government. We have the copies of this record, which we can distribute“ Considering this incident overflowing with the falsifications, the newly created World Organization for investigating the persecutions of Falungun stated on 22 January that the so-called self-immolation at the Tian-An-Men Square, which occurred two years ago, was the direct reason of tragic deaths of several people; the government of Tsian widely elucidated the incident, and that caused the intensification of the persecutions, from which hundreds and thousands of people suffered; in this connection the International Committee for investigating „ self-immolation on the Tian-An-Men Square“ was created, and it was announced that the investigation would start immediately, that is on the day of the creation of the committee.

From 15 November to 1 December 2001 the worldwide famous photo exhibition „ into the world of Falun Dafa“ had to be conducted in Kyiv. On the eve of the opening of the exhibition the manager of the club, where it was planned to be hold, phoned to one of the organizers and told that the exhibition was cancelled. It appeared that representatives of the Kyiv City administration visited the manager and ordered to cancel the exhibition, since any organization of Falun Dafa was not registered in Kyiv. The exhibition was organized by a private person, so the absence of the registration may not be a ground for prohibiting it. In the evening the Head of the city militia directorate came to the place of the exhibition. From the talk with this official we learned that the China Embassy sent the note to the City Administration concerning the exhibition. The manager of the club also received a copy of this letter. This was the second case, when the China Embassy exerted pressure upon the local state organs and hampered a photo exhibition in Ukraine. We want to remind that the first time was when, in the spring of 2002, the China Embassy issued the protest note in the connection with the photo exhibition in Cherkassy and the visit of Li Zhuykhuan, on the Chines leaders of Falungun, in Ukraine. After this note and the talk with representatives of the USS the manager of the museum, where the exhibition had to be conducted, refused to give the room for the exhibition. Even the Kramatorsk officials noted this. They said to the adherents of Falun Dafa that the Ukrainian economy depended directly on the treatment of this doctrine by our government.

The China Embassy associates the „“ relations of our countries with the pressure on the people, who practice Falungun. That is why „“ (the TV news. – Translator’s note) say nothing about the atrocious persecutions of the Falun Dafa adherents in China. The China authorities are very afraid of the protest actions, the denunciation of their murderous deeds. That is why the Kyiv City administration does not permit the Falungun followers to picket the China Embassy. In the whole world the authorities do not impede such protest actions against the repressions in China, on the contrary – they support these actions.

Maybe, some of you will smile and say: „ up! It is typical for our country!“ Yes, but the problem is that the violation of human rights and laws is directly connected with the low morality. And the school of Falun Dafa pays the main attention to the development of spirituality, to the principles of Truth, Kindness and Patience. The main goal is to become a good man, to think about the interests of other people, to be tolerant and honest. The development of spirituality reveals the fundamentally new potentials for development of personality, new knowledge. The followers of Falungun realize that a country that suppresses morality has no future. That is why we want to explain the truth in order to make our government and mass media to take the part of kindness and fairness. Then, maybe, Ukraine will have the future


Falungun is practiced in more than 60 countries. Before the repressions had begun, even Chinese mass media wrote about the obvious good of this practice. The mass media quoted the statistical data, according to which more than 90% of the people practicing Falungun recuperated completely or partially. These people give up the pernicious habits, become kind and honest. Such results deserve the respect and support of the state. Falun Dafa got more than 600 awards in the North America only and thousands of recognitions throughout the world. Founder of the school Khunzhi was a Nobel Prize candidate for peace twice, was awarded with the prestigious European Andrey Sakharov Prize for his outstanding contribution to the struggle for peace.


On 15 February 2001 the European Parliament adopted the resolution appealing to the Chinese government to respect human rights, in particular religious ones. About 100 members of the British Parliament, European Parliament in the Britain and Lords, as well as Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Jack Straw made public their official support of the rights of the people practicing Falun Dafa. The observers on human rights in the USA expressed their anxiety, and the Amnesty International issued several reports containing the details information on the inhumane cruelty from which the Falun Dafa followers in China suffer. In June the USA Congress unanimously adopted the resolution denouncing the repressions.


On 13 January 2003 the District Court of the northern district of Illinois conducted the sitting concerning the case, which was instituted in October 2002 against Tsian Tsemin. Tsemin was accused of the persecutions of the people practicing Falungun and against the members of their families, as well as of genocide and applying torture. Similar claim against Tsian Tsemin was handed in Germany too. Before this criminal cases had been started against the editorial boards of the newspapers that published the inauthentic materials and libel about the school Falun Dafa. The public also condemned the hooligan actions of the personnel of the Chinese Embassy, who hired people to persecute and beat the Falungun followers, to create „ incident of Falun Dafa“

The analysis of the Law of Ukraine „ introducing changes into the Law of Ukraine „ the freedom of consciousness and religious organizations““


All in all, we appreciate very much the work carried out for the development of the new version of the Law of Ukraine „ the freedom of consciousness and religious organizations“ Basing on the quite liberal ideas, the authors of the draft (the majority of the propositions were presented by the All-Ukrainian council of churches and by other religious organizations) attended much to its concordance with world and European standards.

This Law stipulates the main principles of realizing the personal rights connected with religious convictions. Although Ukraine is not a country, where religion has the great influence on the social life, it is obvious that this influence becomes more and more perceptible, and the consequences of the state interference in this sphere concerns more and more people. On the other hand, the right of people to practice their religion freely is not a present from the state. This is one of human rights, and the existence of this right does not depend on some formal demands.

The presented analysis of the draft is grounded, first of all, on the standards of the Council of Europe, which are mainly stipulated by the European Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of 1950 (the Convention, in what follows). We also took into account the numerous recommendations of the OSCE and the UNO committee of human rights. Besides, we tried to analyze the practices of application of the operating laws basing on the reports of independent organizations and on our own experience.

One should distinguish two aspects of guaranteeing the personal rights connected with religious convictions: the right to believe and the right to practice the religion. The first right is absolute and must be protected without any exceptions. As to the second right, there must be some restrictions. The fundamental element of this right is the access of people to organizational forms of the first level, with the assistance of which the people can practice the religion. Thus, the question of creating the religious organizations of the first level is the most important and must be considered from the standpoint of Article 11 of the Convention (freedom of unions and organizations), which protects the existence of public organizations from the unjustified interference of the state[The case considered by the European court of human rights: Hasan and Chaush vs. Bulgaria]. The importance of obtaining the proper legal status is very important in Ukraine, since only in this way religious organizations may possess religious buildings, publish and distribute literature, invite the representatives of foreign organizations, organize public and charity actions, as well as have the status of non-profit organizations. All this is practically impossible in our country without the registration of the religious organization, without the status of a juridical person.

Moreover, according to the Constitution, the restriction by the state of the right to practice the religion must meet the classical criteria: it must be strictly stipulated by laws, must agree with at least one of legitimate goals (protecting public order, health and morality of population or protecting rights and freedoms of other people) and must be necessary in the democratic society.

If to analyze the Law from this viewpoint, it would turn out that it does not completely agree with the demands of the Convention, the norms of the OSCE and the recommendations of the UNO Committee.

It is also noteworthy that in a democratic society this law should rather assist the realization of the right to practice the religion than control the religious activities.


The draft contains a number of contradictory definitions and the definitions that are too restrictive. When a legislator introduces some term, he designates the subject of regulation and restricts the circle of social relations. The definitions that are presented in the law are formulated one-sidedly, thus they do not reflect the diversity of this sphere. This inevitably results in the discrimination of the religions that are not very popular in Ukraine. Yet, the state has the positive duty to protect them.

For instance, the draft reads that „ is a belief in the existence of some supernatural essence, which is the source of everything, the means for contacting this force, for entering its world“ In fact, this definition eliminates all Eastern religions, such, for example, as Hinduism and Buddhism, since these religions are based not on the belief, but on the knowledge. Moreover, these religions are not interested in the origin of things, but in their actual existence and essence. These meditations would seem to be strained, but there exists a consequence of this definition mentioned in item 4 Article 16 of the draft. This norm permits to refuse to register an organization, if the expertise established that the organization is not a religious one. So, any organization practicing any Eastern religion may be refused to be registered for obtaining the status of a religious organization. Since such status, as I wrote above, is extremely important, the violation of the right to practice the religion is obvious.

The proposed definition of the term „“ does not coincide with General remarks No. 22 (1993) of the UNO Committee on the interpretation of Article 18 of the International Pact on civil and political rights of 1996. „ 18 protects theistic, non-theistic and atheistic convictions, as well as the right not to practice any religions or convictions. The terms „“ and „“ must be interpreted widely. The use of Article 18 is not restricted by traditional religions and religious convictions that have institutional characteristics, or cults similar to the traditional religions“

In what follows we propose to state this term in the following form: „ is belief orknowledgeof a person concerning the existence of some supernatural essence, which is the source of everything, the means for contacting this force, for entering its worldor authentication with it

The same may be also said about the concept „“, which is defined as „ system of certain religious convictions, dogmas and ideas, the distinctive feature of which is the belief in the reality of the supernatural essence“ Maybe, here the last part of the definition is unnecessary too.

The definitions of „ devotions“, „ activities“ and „“ are also one-sided and do not reflect the variety of religious relations.

The next doubtful definition: „ is a member of religious organization, who was conferred with the holy orders and has the corresponding rights to perform the religious cults, devotions and sacraments. Priest is not a hired worker of religious organization by his status. According to the traditions and intrachurch rules, priests may fulfill the administrative functions occupying the corresponding posts (elected or appointed) in the religious organizations, including the volunteer unpaid work“

It is difficult to count, in how many religions the procedure of conferring with the holy orders exists, but it is absent in many religions too, for example, Eastern ones. Now let us consider the contradictory statement that priests are not hired workers. Does it mean that no labor contracts may be concluded with them? No, since Section 5 (on labor relations) of the draft does not include such exceptions. There are no norms in the Ukrainian legislation that permit to work without pay (by the way, this is the essence of the institution of minimal pay). And if the legislators mean that priests may fulfill these functions unofficially, then this must not be regulated legally.

The definition of the term „“ is inconsequent too. From the position of the draft, the church is a structured religious formation having the hierarchic character and the regulated relations inside it, as well as with other religious or temporal organizations. So, church is not a religious organization, but something more. The law does not contain any regulations of the activities of such formations, and it is not clear whether such formations must be registered and what rights and duties follow from this. The definition of a religious organization results in the varied approach to the creation of local religious formations: some of them are created by citizens, and church formations may be created by church itself. This approach means the undisguised discriminative state of this subject comparatively to other religious organizations. It is also incomprehensible who and by what criteria will determine which religions are covered with the term „“ and, correspondingly, who has the right to create religious organizations without the participation of citizens. Besides, then the Law should have another title: „ the freedom of consciousness, church and religious organizations“ The legislators must define this term more precisely and to eliminate the implicitly discriminating provisions.

At the same time, the Law does not define many important terms correlating with Article 35 of the Constitution, such as the „ ceremony“ (the term „ devotions“ is used). The Law contains such terms as „“, „ act“, „ outlook“, „ activities“, „ activities“, „ religious actions“, etc, whereas no definitions are given. The problem is that the majority of these terms are used in the definitions, i.e. the definitions refer to the not-defined terms.

The use of the term „ state of religious organizations“ is not understandable too, since this term obviously disagrees with the terminology of the Law of Ukraine „ property“ and the Civil Code of Ukraine. This concept is absent in the legislation. So we propose to replace this term with another one: „ and non-property rights of religious organizations“

Article 20 of the draft states that religious organizations may found „ institutions“, although such institutions are not envisaged by laws.

All this can cause many questions in the European Court with the account of the obligatory demand to stipulate legally the regulations of the freedom of religion.


The following problems are observed in the connection with the registration procedure.

1) Only citizens of Ukraine have the right for foundation; this norm is discriminating for foreigners and apartides, who permanently reside in Ukraine, since it, in fact, deprives them of the right to practice their religion; proposition: to permit them to be founders. Moreover, taking into account the norm of Article 25: „ have no right to interference into the activities of religious organizations“, one can see that their right to practice religions is completely blocked. The term „“ there is rather vague. However, considering the caseHasan and Chaush vs. Bulgariathe European Court stated: „ participation in the life of the community is a part of religion guaranteed by Article 9 of the Convention „ There is another question about the purpose of such meddling into the life of people and the proportionality of this meddling.

2) The draft increases the number of founders from 10 to 25 citizens. Since church has the right to found the local religious organizations independently (any accurate procedure is also not envisaged), this provision is clearly directed against the not numerous unconventional religions and has no legal grounds. This demand may concern only newly created religious organizations or the organizations of the second level (for example, the unions of religious communities).

It should be noted that all registered religious centers and departments must have the right to create local religious communities. Taking into consideration that the Central organ of executive power has already acknowledged the legitimacy of the unions of religious organizations, it is inexpediently to check all documents again or to carry out expertise. In practice, the registration is always done in this manner. These demands make the religious rights dependent on the local officials and contain the illegal and unreasonable restrictions of the right to practice the religion.

The same question appears when we try to determine the goals of this restriction. How can the number of founders abuse the rights of other persons or public order? Such regulation is absolutely fictitious, if to consider it from the viewpoint of Article 11 of the Convention, which stipulates the freedom of unions and associations. According to the Ukrainian legislation, only three persons are needed for creating a public organization. So, what is the reason of such difference?

3) When religious organizations register their statute, they must present a great number of documents (much more than the organizations of other types), and all these documents are checked in accordance with Article 15 of this draft. That is, in fact, not the statute is registered but the organization itself. In practice, the documents are checked not for their compliance with laws, but the religion is estimated. The decision of the European court in the caseMetropolitan Church of Bessarabia and others vs. Moldova(2001) reads: „ in principle, the right for the freedom of religion in the framework of the Convention excludes the estimation by state of the legitimacy of religious convictions“ Criticizing the degree of freedom, which is permitted to the power organs, the European Court states that the right for the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Convention excludes any actions of the state concerning the estimation of the legitimacy of religious convictions or the ways of expressing these convictions. On this basis the Court came to the conclusion that the demand to get the permission for opening the pray house is legal, according to Article 9, only until the minister is convinced of the availability of formal conditions (the caseManussakis and others vs. Greece).

If to draw an analogy with the laws, which stipulate the obtaining of the status of a juridical person, the only admissible estimation is the estimation of the statutes and other documents of the organizational type by the formal characteristics, but only if the estimation of the religion is not made by the substantial characteristics. The court also stated that obtaining the permission in the case of positive appreciation on the side of the ministers of other church is obviously inadmissible (the caseManussakis and others vs. Greece, items 50-51).

The analysis of the conduction of religious expertise generates even more additional objections. It is clear that such expertise can acknowledge an organization as not religious one, and this will be the reason to refuse the registration. We do not understand why this decision is taken by the local organs of executive power and local self-rule. Are they specialists in religion? What is their function? Usually such commissions check whether the religion is „“ or „“, but not whether it is a religion. At that the direct interference into personal rights is committed, when the officials demand to introduce some changes into the documents and retard the registration. It is known that such commissions are composed of the people, who work with these questions since the Soviet times, or, what is even worse, of representatives of certain religion, who may have the negative or skeptical attitude to the unconventional religions. At the same time, it is evident that the state must ensure itself from the religious swindlers to protect the rights of other people.

So, it should be stipulated unambiguously that such commissions must be composed of the specialists in religion for conducting the expertise, the goal of which is to answer only one question: whether the organization is a religious one.

4) Besides, if a religious organization is subordinate to some foreign organization, the legalized translation of the statute documents of this foreign organization is demanded for the registration, which demand is frequently unrealizable. It is also incomprehensible what the term „ „ means: the subordination in the religious structure or the direct administrative dependence, since before this the draft mentions the confirmation of the canonical and organizational subordination envisaged by the statute. It is difficult to imagine some central institution, for example in Rome, which would send such confirmations throughout Ukraine, but these documents are demanded from all organizations.

5) The Law does not regulate the legal status of the organizations that are registered by way of informing, it also does not contain the list of documents, which must be presented for such informing. We have the general proposition to shift the accent of the regulation from the process of registration to the monitoring of the activities of religious organizations. It is unlikely that somebody will declare the illegal intentions in statute documents, and the greatest number of violations is observed in the activities of the organizations, whose statute documents strictly meet the requirements of law. That is why the monitoring is much more important that the preliminary control, which is based on the reasoning of officials. This thesis can be grounded from the viewpoint of the presumption of innocence: when a person is refused of the registration, this person, in fact, is made responsible not for actions, but for intentions.


We have already written about the realization of the rights of foreigners, who permanently reside on the territory of Ukraine. The questions concerning the representatives of foreign religious organizations must be considered separately. The project reads: „, religious preachers, preceptor -- representatives of foreign religious organizations, who are foreigners or apartides staying in Ukraine temporarily may conduct the professional predicant or other religious activities only in those religious organizations, by whose invitation they came to Ukraine, and with the agreement of the executive power organ that registered the statute of this religious organization“

In particular, this norm restricts the constitutional right for the freedom of movement. Besides, this is a brutal meddling into the internal affairs of the religious organization. The Principle 16 (4) of the Vienna concluding act (OSCE) states that the religious freedom of organizations includes the right to create the places for public worships; to create the unions according to own hierarchic structure; to elect, assign of replace the personnel according to own demands, as well as to ask for financing. The question on the territorial structure of religious organizations is also regarded as „ affairs“ of these organizations. So, such system makes the organizations dependent on the local officials, meddles into the internal affairs of the organizations and violates the fundamental principles of the OSCE. The mentioned norm also directly violates the demands of Article 9 of the Convention. In the decision on the caseMetropolitan Church of Bessarabia and others vs. Moldova(2001) the European Court pointed out: „ the realization of the right for the freedom of religion or one of its aspects undergoes the impact of the system of the preliminary agreement according to the domestic laws, the participation of the already existing church organs in the procedure of issuing the permissions is contradictory to the demands of part 2 Article 9“ Thus, when the state registers the statute of a religious organization acknowledging in that way its legitimacy, it permits the organization to conduct the actions connected with practicing this religion, in particular, to invite representatives of foreign religious organizations.

We believe that it should be advisable to stipulate only the obligation to inform the organ that registered the organization about the activities of the representatives of foreign religious organizations without the duty of preliminary invitation and with the right of free movement around the country.


We also reckon that the provision must be also introduced stating that the Law must be applied only to the legal relations, which will appear after its adoption. Otherwise, the state organs would get the right to carry out the re-registration of all religious organizations in Ukraine.

Let us sum up.

The considered Law Draft is now in the Supreme Rada Committee in charge of the questions of culture and spirituality. Most probably, it will be adopted in the first reading in the first months of 2003. The public and human rights protecting organizations must take part in the preparation of this document for the second reading, when the comments concerning separate articles will be considered.

We are going to prepare our comments. So, if you or your organization have some propositions as to this Law, you may sent these propositions to us by the e-mail placed in the beginning of this article. (You can obtain the draft of the Law by sending the request to us by the same e-mail address or on Internet page We will process all data and hand to the Committee the consolidated conclusion with the propositions of human rights protecting organizations.

„“ commentary:
We completely agree with the opinion of Mr. Yavorskiy that the draft of the Law of Ukraine „ introducing changes into the Law of Ukraine „ the freedom of consciousness and religious organizations““ contains a number of contradictions and „ definitions“ We agree that the ungrounded restriction in the definition of the term „“ will result in the discrimination of some religions and doctrines unpopular in Ukraine, mainly the Eastern ones.

The draft reads that „ is a belief in the existence of some supernatural essence, which is the source of everything“

Mr. Yavorskiy asserts that this definition will exclude all Eastern religions „, for example, as Hinduism and Buddhism, since these religions are based not on the belief, but on the knowledge“ „“ believes that it is not quite true. We think that such powerful world religious as Hinduism and Buddhism are undoubtedly based on the belief in some supernatural essence, and only the cult ceremonies of these religions are based on knowledge. The problem is that the draft does not take into consideration a number of non-religious doctrines, which are based on the common human values. The example of such doctrines is the Chinese doctrine of Falun Dafa, the adherents of which are persecuted in China and lately by the Ukrainian authorities too, who in this way violate Article 11 of the European Convention on human rights and Article 39 of the Ukrainian Constitution. The same can be said about Krishna followers, who believe in the supernatural essence, but give preference to the life experience and special rules of life, or the widespread groups of the people practicing yoga, who are interested in the healthy way of life and not its religious aspects. There are many other examples.

The project of introducing changes to the Law really restricts the freedom of consciousness, as well as the Law of Ukraine „ the alternative military service“, which stipulates that the right to refuse from military service is rendered only to members of religious organizations. Other convictions – ethical or moral – are ignored. The same drawback we see in the discussed draft. This will essentially narrow the concept „ of consciousness“ and will result in the violations of the right to practice this or that religion. All in all, we agree with the definition of religion given by Yavorskiy, but we propose to place the words „ knowledge“ in the end of his definition and to add the words: „ is grounded on the ethical and moral values of human life“ Then this definition will have the following form: “ is belief of a person concerning the existence of some supernatural essence, which is the source of everything, the means for contacting this force, for entering its worldor authentication with it, or knowledge, which is grounded on the ethical and moral values of human life“ Only in this way it is possible to embrace all interests of all religions and groups.

The norm of the Law draft on the religious expertise, which has the right to determine whether an organization is religious or not with the following refusal in registration, seems to be very dangerous from this viewpoint.

We believe that the registration of religious organizations or groups, which practice some doctrines, must have the form of informing about the creation of such church or group, and the documents must be checked by the corresponding commissions of local power or the Supreme Rada only for establishing the facts of probable violence, cult of personality, physical, psychological or psychic violence and other coercive actions. Other reasons for the refusal are inadmissible. This must be the only function of the so-called religious expertise; else the obscurity of the authorities of this expertise can become a good nutrient medium for the arbitrary actions of local officials.

Inna Sukhorukova

Freedom of expression

Severodonetsk prosecutor drove journalists out from the press conference

The press conference of the coordination council of the law-enforcing organs hold in the prosecutor’s office lasted for 5 minutes. This may be regarded as a new record of the duration of such meetings in Ukraine. The press conference was conducted after the end of the meeting of the heads of the town law-enforcing organs, which was conducted in the prosecutor’s office. Town mayor V. Gritsyshin, town prosecutor V. Glagovskiy and the heads of all law-enforcing organs took part in the meeting. The journalists stood in the corridor for 45 minutes before they were let in. However, in the room they also had no places to sit down, they were lined along the wall, and the officials asked them to introduce themselves. The third journalist, who introduced himself, was a journalist of the editions of the Voters’ committee of Ukraine „ zoru“ and „ Ukraina“, which fact arose the interests of V. Gritsyshin. „ did you invited?“, he asked the prosecutor strictly, and the introduction of the journalists ended. „ that we met. And if somebody needs information, phone to me and we will give you the information“ After this the journalists were proposed to leave the office.

According to our data, the journalists were invited to the press conference in pursuance of the President’s Decree „ the additional measures for guaranteeing the transparency of the activities of the organs of state power“, which reads: „ heads of central and local organs of the executive power must conduct regular press conferences with the schedule made public beforehand , as well as answer regularly the questions of citizens in mass media“

Editor of the newspaper „“ was recognized as guilty of the crime of medium gravity

On 5 February judge of the Sosnovskiy district court of Cherkassy Alla Chechot proclaimed the verdict on the case of Oleg Liashko, the editor of the newspaper „“

Oleg Liashko was accused of the resistance to the militiamen committed in the spring of last year during the search in the Cherkassy printing shop „“, when the prosecutor’s office of the Cherkassy oblast seized the entire run (100,000 copies) of the newly printed newspaper.

The court recognized Liashko as guilty of crime of „ gravity“ – resistance to law-enforcers – and obliged him to pay a fine of 255 UAH. Yet, taking into account the fact that Oleg Liashko has positive characteristics, has permanent place of residence and work, conducts public activities and „ the social danger“, the court decided to free him from the responsibility.

According to the information of mass media, on the eve of the mentioned incident in „“, the run of „“ devoted to the parliamentary election and containing the compromising materials about General Prosecutor Mikhail Potebenko was sunk in the river by the unknown criminals, who attacked the truck belonging to the printing shop. The next day Liashko went to Cherkassy to control the repeated printing of the run. The criminals were not found, and O. Lishko, who tried to prevent the illegal seizure of the run, was brought at first to the preliminary prison, where he spent nine days, and then to the court.

During the trial the witnesses for the prosecution were interrogated – officers of the prosecutor’s office and militia, who alleged that Lishko inflicted to them the moral, material and physical damage. Workers of the printing shop and journalists were interrogated as witnesses for the defense. They asserted that Liashko did not commit any unlawful actions.

The judges viewed the militia video record from the place of the incident twice. The record also did not confirm the evidence of the militiamen, who allegedly suffered from Liashko. Yet, judge Chechot reckoned the record as confirming the theses of the prosecution.

The verdict also reads that Oleg Liashko’s guilt is corroborated by the numerous reports of state officials and by prosecutor’s resolution, and the evidences of the witnesses for the defense „ biased“

After the trial Oleg Liashko expressed his categorical disagreement with the „“, in his opinion“ verdict. „ was acknowledged guilty of committing the crime, which I did not commit“, he declared.

Bogdan Fernts, the advocate of O. Lishko stated that the verdict was „ illegal“, „ logical contradictions“ and would be appealed in the Appeal court in the nearest future.

Freedom of peaceful assembly

The Odessa court prohibited the planned protest actions, but they will be conducted

On 24 January the Odessa judicial power demonstrated its talents again. This time it was the Primorskiy district court and judge Irina Puchkova. The court showed the uncommon „“

On 22 January the Primorskiy district court of Odessa got from the mayor’s office the request to prohibit the protest actions against the increase of the tariffs for communal services and living accommodation, which was planned to be conducted on 25 January. As soon as on 23 January representatives of the parties „“, „“ and Communist party of Ukraine received the invitations to take part in the court session.

On 24 January the trial was hold. It lasted for almost five hours. Judge Puchkova satisfied none of the petitions of the opposition representatives and their advocates. The judge even ignored the fact that the organizers of the actions invited to the court were not familiarized with the arguments adduced against them by city mayor Ruslan Bodelian. Andrey Puchkov, a representative of the claimant came to the courtroom without the proper ID, and this fact also became the reason of long controversies.

The court did not take into account the demand of Valeriy Kochetov, the President of the Odessa human rights protection academy, who acted as the advocate of the defendants, about the distrust to judge Irina Puchkova. The request of the opposition, who asked to permit the journalists to make the video record of the trial, also was not complied.

Ms. Puchkova treated the operators of the TV companies „“ and „ plus“, who were present at the trial, rather originally. The journalists were ordered to put their cameras away and to stop the shooting. The judge ignored all mentions of the rights of journalists and the right for free information. Judge Puchkova also did not react at the request of a correspondent of radio „“ to express her personal opinion about the scandalous events that occurred at the trial. When the correspondent of radio „“ turned to Andrey Malakhin, the deputy head of the juridical department, the latter answered: „ do not want to give you the interview. It is my right“

In order to express their protest against the behavior of judge Puchkova the representatives of the opposition refused to participate in the trial and left the courtroom. Heads of regional organizations „“ and „ bratstvo“ left the courtroom together with the representatives of parties „“, „“ and communist party. Yet, the judge told that the protest was „“ and continued the trial.

Finally the court verdict was pronounced prohibiting the march along the central streets of the city and the meeting of the opposition, which were planned to be conducted on 25 January. The verdict contained the demand to obey the decision of the city council about the conduction of meetings and street actions.

The representatives of the opposition declared that they would not cancel the planned protest actions.

Fedor Nariychuk, the head of the Odessa oblast organizations of the party „“, told:

„ was shocked by the court sitting hold in the Primorskiy district court of Odessa. It is obvious that the judge fulfilled the order of the interested persons and the trial was biased.

We had no opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the writ of the mayor and the pretenses of the city council.

Such behavior destroys the faith in the justice. This is a real demonstration of the essence of the Ukrainian legislative, executive and judicial branches of power. The judicial power protects not people, but the interests of the authorities“

Oles Yanchuk, the head of the Odessa organizations „“, is sure that „ processes were hold in Ukraine in late 80s and early 90s of the past century. I underwent such trials more than once and I am very sorry that all this is repeated in the independent Ukrainian state“

Leader of the oblast organizations of UNA-UNSO Andriy Yusov assured that the action of 25 January would take place regardless of the weather. „ is the decision of the Coalition of public organizations and common Odessa dwellers. The authorities must understand this and reverse the verdict that contradicts to the interest of the majority of the city population“

Meanwhile the city officials activated other methods to impede the planned protest action. They prepared some actions for veterans that would be conducted at the same time as the protest action, parents’ meetings were unexpectedly appointed on 25 January in many schools.

P.S.In spite of the resistance of the city power and the very cold weather the Odessa dwellers supported the appeal of the opposition to express the decisive protest against the decision of the Odessa city council about the increase of the tariffs for communal services and living accommodation.

On 25 January the participants of the protest action gathered at the Kulikova Square and marched along the central streets.

The public meeting was organized in the Dumska Square near the city hall. About 7-10 thousand people were present at the meeting.

The participants of the action unanimously approved the resolution, in which they demanded:

„ gather urgently the special session of the city council, at which the deputies must:

-cancel the decision of the Odessa city council „ increasing the tariffs for communal services and living accommodation“

-cancel the decision on increasing the fare for using the route taxis;

-cancel the decision on introducing the payments by the minute for the telephone calls inside the city.“

The authors of the resolution declared that if these demands would not be fulfilled, they would start the campaign for the pre-term dismissal of the Odessa mayor and city council „ neglecting the pre-election promises and the rights of city dwellers. There are no other ways.“

The participants of the meeting unanimously expressed the distrust to city mayor Ruslan Bodelan.

Court practices

Not-able-bodied youths are still enlisted to the army

Recently the Kharkov oblast union of soldiers’ mothers obtained the letter from the Zhytomir oblast from serviceman K., a Kharkovite. The boy wrote that he had been mobilized by the Kominternovskiy recruiting committee being ill with enuresis. It is obvious from the letter that the boy’s service turned into hell because of his disease. It should be noted that the military unit commander did not wait until a tragedy occurs, as it often happens in our practice. He sent the ill youth, who was maltreated by other servicemen, to a hospital. Yet, unfortunately, the work of the military doctors was not irreproachable. Maybe, they forgot how to diagnose enuresis in a hospital and that enuresis is not a disease at all, but a symptom of a psycho-neurological or urological disease. The boy was not demobilized as not-able-bodied, he was returned to his military unit. The doctors required to present the medical certificates from Kharkov medical establishments, where the boy had been treated before. In spite of the fact that the commanders kept an eye on the young soldier, other servicemen continued to taunt him. It is common in youth collectives, when the attitude to such boys is scornful and aggressive. The boy was not beaten, but his fellows did not regard him as a human being.

When we began to collect the needed medical documents for this boy, we came across the unexpected difficulties. The matter is that both juvenile doctors and the medical commission of the Kominternovskiy district recruiting committee had to know about K.’s disease, since the boy studied at special boarding school No. 11 (Kharkov) for children with psycho-neurological disorders up to the 9thgrade, he was also treated in the 5thpsycho-neurological hospital for children and minors.

Here is a simple question: where are all K.’s medical documents -- excerpts from the medical case, doctors’ recommendations and so on? No, we do not want to justify the psychiatrist and neuropathologist of the district recruiting committee. Their duty is to examine recruits and to recognize the ill ones. Yet, the system of the juvenile medical service did not work properly too. Children are kept in the boarding school up to the 9thgrade, and then they are transferred to the professional educational establishments. The administration of the boarding school informed us that all documents are given to the graduates or their parents, so neither the juvenile medical service nor district recruiting committee can obtain these documents from the school. There are several such schools in our oblast, thus, we have a number of young men, who may not be enlisted to the army, but the information about them exists separately from the juvenile service and recruiting committees. Besides, the district committee is not responsible for recruiting K., since he was acknowledged not-able-bodied after the expiration of the term of the responsibility of the committee (as it is known, district recruiting committees are responsible for recruiting the diseased only for half a year after the mobilization). The Kharkov oblast union of soldiers’ mothers sent an information request to the oblast recruiting committee concerning the number of not-able-bodied recruits. The answer read that during 2002 only three unhealthy youths were mobilized to the army. It is clear that such a small number may be explained only by the above-described peculiarities. K. was not included to this list, as well as other servicemen, who were acknowledged unfit for military service in the same manner, that is slowly and carelessly.

So it is not surprising that the results of the monitoring annually conducted by the Kharkov oblast union of soldiers’ mothers do not correspond the data of the oblast recruiting committee. It happens very often, when a youth stays in hospital for several times, months are passing, and nobody is responsible for his recruiting.

Besides, when we receive the information from the commanders of military units, we see that the boys, who were discharged in the first months of their service, are frequently not included in the reports of the recruiting commission too. And this fact contradicts to the rules.

The mobilization of the unhealthy youths reached the enormous level. For instance, the commandment of one of the units of the Kharkov oblast had to convoke their own medical commission and to re-examine all recruits that were sent to the unit. The commander of another unit informed us that 75% of the young Kharkovites directed to his unit are ineligible for military service. He sent the complete data on these recruits, list of their names, their diseases, etc. Yet, where are such data stored officially, and who processes these data?

Thus, we must draw a depressing conclusion: one of the reasons of recruiting the ill youths is the absolute anarchy in the information exchange between military units and recruiting committees, the official passivity on all levels. It is necessary to arrange as soon as possible the system of informing the district recruiting committees and the system of storing the information about the ill children, who learn in special schools, in oblast recruiting committees. The data must be collected by the oblast committees about the recruits, who were discharged from the army because of the diseases not connected with the service. And it would be rather well to learn, where the data about those, who were discharged in the first months of their service, disappear?

The transparent information system is a way to improve the quality of recruiting campaigns. And on the contrary, the chaos in the information exchange between the juvenile medical service, recruiting committees and army is the main reason of recruiting the not-able-bodied boys...

The report on the results of monitoring of the quality of the spring recruiting campaign of 2002.

The Kharkov Union of soldiers’ mothers (KhUSM) and the Kharkov working group of the International Society of Human Rights (ISHR) continue the monitoring of the quality of recruits mobilized from Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast. Two months after the end of the spring recruiting campaign we sent 56 letters with questionnaires to the commanders of the military units, where recruits from Kharkov and the oblast had been directed. We received 34 responses, which makes about 60% of the total number of the sent questionnaires, so this is the sufficient quantity to consider the exploration representational. It should be noted that almost all answers were received in October, i.e. five months after the recruiting campaign.

As many as 2322 recruits from Kharkov and the Kharkov group were enlisted to the Armed Forces during the spring campaign. In the military units, from where we obtained information, 975 young soldiers are serving, which makes about 41.99% of the total number of the conscripted from Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast.

Commanders of 12 military units responded that they had no claims to the quality of recruits. On the contrary: „ to compare with the Kyiv oblast, Kharkovites is much better“, „ military basic training is of better quality“, „ quality of recruits has significantly improved“ Yet, unfortunately, such favorable comments came only from 21.42% of the total number of military units and concern only 143 servicemen, that is 19.69% of the total number of recruits, about whom we have information. The responses of the commanders of other military units are presented in the table below:

975 persons were monitored


Among them:

Absolute number

% of the total number of the monitored

1. Got into hospitals or medical units within the first month of service



2. Have chronic diseases, which got more acute in the beginning of the service



3. Have deviations in behavior, have criminal records, used narcotic drugs



4. Are related to the risk group as having suicidal inclinations



5. Were recruited with violation of laws (have the right for postponement by Article 17 of the Law „ military duty“)



6. Concealed chronic diseases from medical commission to get to the army



7. Declared their unwillingness to serve



8. Attempts of desertion



9. Suicidal attempts



10. Are essentially underweight



Yet, these data are too general.

The commander of a military unit, to which 249 Kharkovites were directed, gives such data:

249 persons were monitored


Among them:

Absolute number

% of the total number of the monitored

1. Got into hospitals or medical units within the first month of service



2. Have chronic diseases, which got more acute in the beginning of the service



3. à) have deviations in behavior



á) have criminal records



â) used narcotic drugs



4. Are related to the risk group as having suicidal inclinations



5. Were recruited with violation of laws (have the right for postponement by Article 17 of the Law „ military duty“)

6. Concealed chronic diseases from medical commission to get to the army

7. Declared their unwillingness to serve



8. Attempts of desertion



The Moskovskiy district RC

9. Suicidal attempts

10. Are essentially underweight



In what follows we quote the conclusions of the commander:

„ the opinion of the commandment of the unit, 70-75 % of the recruits conscribed during the spring campaign-2002 are not ready for army service (by the state of their psychical and physical health)“

The analysis of the social-psychological monitoring of the young soldiers mobilized in spring-2002 confirms that, along with the problems observed after the previous campaigns (poor health and bad physical training), the new problem has appeared: military commissions enlist the youths with low level (by the system „“) or the 4thgroup (by the system „“) of the neuro-psychical stability and those, who are essentially underweight.

Thus, the considerable shortcomings are observed in the psychological and medical selection of the recruits in the military commissions of Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast (especially in the SAKHNOVSHCHINA, KUPIANSK, PERVOMAYSK, BALAKLEYA, VALKI, CHUGUEV, SHEVSHENKOVO districts of the oblast and ORDZHONIKIDZEVSKI, KYIVSKI, DZERZINSKI, MOSKOVSKI and ZHOVTNEVY districts of Kharkov), as well as the careless attitude to forming the commissions’ staff, who do not pass to representatives of military units the complete packages of the necessary documents and data about the recruits (whether they have military records, are registered in drug dispensaries, psychiatric dispensaries, etc.).

12 soldiers-Kharkovites enlisted during the spring campaign-2002 were dismissed from the same unit after the decision of military medical commissions. The letter was sent on 16 October 2002, so these boys served for five months only.

6 more servicemen were dismissed from other military units during the first five months of the service. These soldiers were mobilized by the following district commissions: Kyivskiy (1), Valki (1), Krasny Kut (2), Volchansk (1), Balakleya (1). One of the commanders commented this fact: „ work of medical commissions is unsatisfactory, since they conscribe the youths with such diseases“

All in all, 18 servicemen (1.84% of the total number of the monitored recruits -- 975 persons) were dismissed from May to October.

We permanently express the opinion that until the commanders would have the right to bring an action to court against the imperfect recruiting campaigns, it would be impossible to extirpate such shameless phenomena as recruiting the ill youths. It is almost beyond belief that the medical commissions will change their attitude to recruiting campaigns, that they will not suspect everybody in the wish to dodge the army service, but will investigate skillfully each complaint about health.

That is why we have such great number of the soldiers dismissed in the first six months of army service. In fact, this number is even greater, since there are some commanders, who send the servicemen to hospitals (sometimes more than once) and only then to the medical examination for dismissal. It takes much more time than six months, and the recruiting commissions (RC), unfortunately, are not already responsible for these servicemen. There were incidents, when soldiers spent up to 18 months in hospitals with short intervals. When they returned to the units, their health deteriorated again and they got to the hospital again.

This situation evidences of the imperfection of orders Nos. 2 and 207, which state that the youths with such diseases as, for instance, gastritis, are able-bodied for the army service. Army service results for such youths in the aggravation of their health and the urgent necessity of medical aid. When such young soldier returns to his unit, to physical and psychological loads, to the food unacceptable for the unhealthy organism, very soon he again gets to the hospital. In that way, the state money is wasted several times more than in the case if the youth was treated in a usual, not military, hospital. And everybody knows that the army lacks money

The cases are not rare, when youths return from the army being invalids, with the diseases that cannot be healed. Alas, nobody is responsible for this.

In what follows we present the Table comparing the recruiting campaigns of 2000, 2001 and 2002.

% of the total number of the monitored

Among them:

Spring 2000

Autumn 2000

Autumn 2001

Spring 2002

1. Got into hospitals or medical units within the first month of service





2. Have chronic diseases, which got more acute in the beginning of the service





3. Have deviations in behavior, have criminal records, used narcotic drugs





4. Are related to the risk group as having suicidal inclinations





5. Recruited with violation of laws (have the right for postponement by Article 17 of the Law „ military duty“)



6. Concealed chronic diseases from medical commission to get to the army





7. Declared their unwillingness to serve





8. Attempts of desertion





9. Suicidal attempts




10. Are essentially underweight




Our conclusions:

Analyzing the results of the monitoring of the recruiting campaigns of 2000-2002 we see that the quality of the campaigns remains low. The number of servicemen, who used narcotic drugs or have the deviations in behavior, substantially increased. In our opinion, this is the result of the imperfection of the programs used by the psychologists of the district medical commissions. Besides, there is a considerable difference between the programs used in recruiting commissions and in military units. Maybe, this is the reason of the disparity in the results.

The great quantity of the dismissed (in one unit – 12 out of 249 servicemen, in another – 4 out of 202, 2 out of 22 – in one more unit), recruiting of the youths with such diagnoses as „ flat-foot of the both feet with arthrosis“ (the Kharkov district RC) or „ dislocation of the temporal lower-jaw joint“ (the Kominternovski district RC) confirm the correctness of the conclusions of the commanders of military units about the unsatisfactory work of medical commissions of district or oblast RCs.

We think that the total situation is even worse, because we got no responses from some military units.

After each report on the results of monitoring of the quality of recruiting campaigns we turn with our propositions to the state administration of the oblast. Unfortunately, they are passive.

The city directorate of health protection is worried only by the lack of money, but nobody cares about what happens with our new-born children, about the fact that the youths are conscripted to the army, who are ill or insufficiently examined, that those recruits, who got the postponement because of the health state, are sometimes not treated at all. On the contrary, if a recruit needs some medical examination, they demand money from him, and frequently such recruits have not such money. The reason is that more often the ill youths are from the poor families, from the most vulnerable population layers. Yet, they form the majority of our Armed Forces. Maybe this is the reason why such tragedies as Sklyniv happen in our country

Irresponsibility, unwillingness to change anything, concealment of the real number of the dismissed instead of revelation and elimination of the shortcomings and misuses, protection of the esprit de corps – these are reasons that cause the situation we observe during the recent years.

Our propositions:

To demand from the Ministry of Defense:

à) to revise urgently orders Nos. 2 and 207 because of their incomplete conformity with the today’s state of health of youths, in particular, to include the article envisaging not-able-bodyness because of the aggregate of diseases. Nowadays such article is absent, and this results in the recruiting of the ill recruits, who must be treated during the whole term of army service.

b) to introduce the norm on the personal responsibility of the doctors of the districtal and oblast medical commissions for the enlistment of the ill and to render the right to the commanders of military units to bring such doctors to responsibility. No errors are admissible, when the affair concerns with health or life of people.

Point of view

The Crimea: mosques were returned to Moslem communities

The Council of Ministers of the Crimea considered the appeals of the religious organizations „“ from the village Krasnaya Zaria and „“ from the village Milovidnoe of the Bakhchisaray district. The representatives of the religious organizations demanded to return to them the former religious buildings on the basis of Article 17 of the Law of Ukraine „ the freedom of consciousness and religious organizations“ The Council of Ministers issued the resolution that approved the delivery to the Moslem communities of the buildings of village clubs, which had been mosques before.

The center „“ obtained this information from the press service of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea.

The European Union established that the situation with human rights in Ukraine had not improved in 2002

The Council of Ministers of the European Union published in Brussels the annual report on human rights. Among all, the situation was analyzed in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and other post-Soviet countries.

The report-2002 reads that the situation with human rights in Ukraine, Russia (including Chechnya), Turkey, Cyprus and in the Balkan countries have not become better, and in Belarus human rights were violated even more frequent than in 2001.

As to Ukraine the European Union very attentively observed the parliamentary election and welcomed the agreement of the Ukrainian government to cooperate with the observers from the OSCE at the election.

According to the information given by Deutsche Welle, the Union also believes that the Ukrainian judicial system becomes more and more independent and stabile. At the same time the report states that the European Union is still worried with the questions concerning the freedom of speech and the independence of mass media in Ukraine.

As for Belarus the European Union points out that this country must permit the OSCE representatives to work in Belarus without any restrictions.

The Union also states in the part concerning Chechnya that they are alarmed with the living conditions of refugees, with the situation in the migrants’ camp and the extremely slow investigations of the cases on the violations of laws.

Unemployment in the Ternopil oblast

Several days ago my colleague, also a member of the organization „ svit“ and a teacher of pedagogical college, phoned to me and told the tragic story about the desperate situation, into which her family got. Both her daughters, as well as their husbands, are jobless for a long time. All of them have the higher education. There are two infants in the family.

Really, in the small town, where almost all industrial enterprises are closed, the problem of finding a job is the main one for many people. According to the unofficial data, about a quarter of the town population are temporary working abroad. The local shady labor-market is formed, since the significant part of the employers conceal from the state agencies the information about free vacancies at their enterprises. As a result, one must give a considerable bribe to obtain the job of salesman, mailman, computer operator, hospital nurse, etc.

All in all, according to the information of the placement service, on 1 January 2003 there were 43,876 registered jobless in the Ternopil oblast. In spite of the overfulfillment of almost all items of „ program of employment of the population of the Ternopil oblast for 2002“, the level of unemployment is 7.8% higher that in the end of 2001. Women make about 57% of the total number of persons having the status of jobless, young people – 23.6%. The unemployment level in the Ternopil oblast is one of the highest in Ukraine. Last year this proportion was 13.9%, which was greater than the average Ukrainian one (9.8%) and less than in the Chernivtsy, Zhytomir and Transcarpathian regions. Owing to the structures of the oblast placement service 23,650 persons were provided with jobs during last year, 5 thousands were engaged for the public works, 975 persons got the one-time financial aid for organizing their business. The official results of the checks show that in 2002 enterprises presented the information only about 64.2% of the existing vacancies (in 2001 – 48%). We do not know whether the employers were punished for violating the laws on employment. The statistical data on the offences comitted by the jobless are not processed by anybody.

Last year 38 million UAH were spent from the budget for the social protection of the unemployed population of the oblast; this sum equals to the year budget of an average agrarian region. It is interesting that the greater part of these expenses, almost 35 million, were spent for paying doles. However, only 68.8% of the jobless got these money. Only 1.266 million was spent for professional reorientation. It is planned to increase this sum slightly next year.

The oblast council almost unanimously approved the next optimistic „ of employment“

News from the CIS countries

Since 2003 the publishing house of the juridical literature „Yurinkom Inter“ is going to issue the scientific and analytical monthly „Yuridichna Ukraina“.

Since 2003 the publishing house of the juridical literature „ Inter“ is going to issue the scientific and analytical monthly „ Ukraina“ („ Juridical Ukraine“). The edition will elucidate the questions of the development of the Ukrainian legal science, judicial practices, law-enforcing and human rights protection activities, social and political life.

The editorial board of the monthly proposes to all lawyers, who are interested in the familiarization of the juridical community with their discoveries, to send to us the scientific and analytical articles, materials concerning the practical activities in the legal sphere for publication in the magazine.

The editorial board of the monthly „ Ukraina“

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2003, #02