war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2003, #03

Politics and human rights
Nikolayev know-how The UNP members are controlled by militia in Nikolayev Krivoy Rog road militia fulfills political orders What are you going to do, citizen? The appeal to journalists, human rights protectors and public figures. The world and the war in Iraq Public ecological organizations "Zeleny Svit" and "Likarska eko-initsiativa" (Chortkiv, the Ternopil oblast) denounce the American-British aggression against Iraq. The opinion of Larisa Bogoraz about the war in Iraq.L. Against torture and ill-treatment
Two members of UNA-UNSO went on hunger-strike in the Lukyanivsky preliminary prison demanding to stop humiliations Torture against terrorism? Jump from the fourth floor. Freedom of expression
The publications on President’s connection with the murder of G. Gongadze are interpreted as meddling into President’s activities. A conclusion of Human Rights Watch: directives of President’s Administration is a concealed form of censorship. German police got the permission to wiretap the telephone conversations of journalists. Journalist V. Boyko demands to recompense the moral damage. Authorities against „Ukrainske Slovo“ The General Prosecutor’s office responded to the request of MP M. Tomenko about „Order of the Ministry of transport of Ukraine No. ?61/4-O of 18 December 2002 on the introduction of information censorship on transport“ Freedom of peaceful assembly
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the temporary regulations on mass actions Women’s rights
Legality of a criminal process: reality or myth? Point of view
A man was shot. Editor of the center "Dialog" perished in Zaporozhye. Valentina Semeniuk reckons that the Head of President’s Administration violates the Constitution Deported peoples
Oles Bernik has died News from the CIS countries
Legal peculiarities of the activities and the business accounting of non-profit organizations.

Politics and human rights

Nikolayev know-how

The rector of the Nikolayev state pedagogical university invented a new way of concentrating the attention of students on the education.

On the eve of the action „Arise, Ukraine!“ the administration of the university made their best to distract the attention of students from the political situation in the country: 7 and 8 March were announced to be days off, while 9 and 10 March – workdays.

V. Gurin, the head of the Nikolayev oblast organization of the UNP, considers this situation as the violation of the Labor Code, since, according to the code, 9 and 10 March had to be days off. „The resourcefulness of the authorities deserves to be included to „The Guinness Book of Records“, he said.

Our informant

The UNP members are controlled by militia in Nikolayev

On 6 March 2003 a militia officer from the Leninskiy district precinct of Nikolayev visited one of the members of our party and warned her that she was included into a so-called „risk group“ as an active member of the Rukh.

On 11 March 2003, when we tried to learn with which goal and by whose order the officer visited the party member, the officer refused to give explanations, but told that he fulfilled the order of Anatoliy Drobot, the head of the Leninskiy district precinct.

After this the talk took place with militia senior lieutenant Olga Katazova. She stated that the district precinct had the list of all members of the party and that district officers had the right to check any of them in the framework of preventive work.

Viktor Butrin, the acting deputy of the head of the Leninskiy district precinct of Nikolayev, said that such checks were necessary for preserving order in the town, since the authorities learned about the conduction of the new actions „Arise, Ukraine!“

When V. Gurin, the head of the Nikolayev oblast organization of the UNP, explained that the law-enforcers had violated Article 22 Section II of the Law of Ukraine „On political parties“ and the Ukrainian Constitution, it appeared that the militiamen even did not know about the existence of this Law.

V. Gurin commented the situation: „This confirms once more that the police state is built in Ukraine“.

Our informant

Krivoy Rog road militia fulfills political orders

On the eve of the opposition actions of 9 March the drivers of Krivoy Rog buses attract the special attention of road militia officers. The buses are stopped on the routes and the drivers are questioned whether they have intention to go to Kyiv. Just in case the officers do not recommend the drivers to agree to fulfill such transport orders, explaining that in any case the buses will be stopped. Thus, the officers of road militia violate the Law of Ukraine „On militia“, they abuse their power fulfilling the political order and impeding the entrepreneurial activities.

What are you going to do, citizen?

As it became known from the sources of party organizations of the town, these days the town militia began the „elucidative work“ with the members of oppositional parties. So, the militia officers of the Zhovtnevy district precinct visited the homes of the members of party „Batkivshchina“ and had talks with them.

First of all the militiamen asked whether the party members were going to go to Kyiv (meaning the protest actions), and then they recommended not to take part in the disturbance of the public order. If to consider these visits from the viewpoint of the social ethics, it seems that the authorities exceeded their commissions treating each politically active person as a disturber of the public order.

At the same time, this situation evidences that law-enforcing organs are collecting the information about the citizens, who are not accused of anything and are not suspected of committing any crimes. So, the right for privacy and other human rights are brutally and openly violated.

Alas, now, on the stage of the „rapid development“ of civil society, there are no methods to struggle with such actions of the authorities.

The appeal to journalists, human rights protectors and public figures.

At the night of 20 March the security service of Cuba arrested in Havana Adolfo Fernandez Sainz, a correspondent of the Moscow news agency PRIMA. After the search that lasted for 8 hours the journalist was taken to the Directorate of the state security. The search and arrest were conducted by eight security officers under the direction of captain Luis Perdomo Lamarque. The phone in the flat of Fernandez was switched off during the search. The security service seized a typewriter, two photographic cameras, telefax and the great number of documents and photos. About 1 a.m. Adolfo was transported to the investigation isolator of the state security directorate.

Adolfo Fernandez was born on 30 November 1948 in Cuba, in the town of Saint-Louis, province Pinar-del-Rio. He is a translator, graduated the Havana university. During 15 years he worked as a translator in government institutions. In October 1994 Fernandez was fired for his political views. He worked in the Cuba independent news agency „Patria“ („Fatherland“). He wrote articles on the political, social and religious topics. Since July 2001 he is a correspondent of the Moscow human rights protecting news agency PRIMA. Catholic. Resides in Havana by the address: Belascoain 465, apto 19, entre Zanja y Salud. Has the wife and adult daughter.

It is known nothing about the accusations brought against Adolfo Fernandez, but the family and friends of the arrested journalist are sure that these are political accusations. During last two days about 50 most active dissidents were arrested in Cuba, among them many independent journalists. In the opinion of advocate Rene Homes Mansano, one of the leaders of Cuban dissidents, the regime of Fidel Castro toughens the repressions against the dissidents in Cuba using the fact that the attention of world public is focused on the events in Iraq.

The editorial board of the agency PRIMA appeals to journalists, human rights protectors, political and public organizations and figures, all people of democratic views and good will to protect the arrested journalist. We appeal to denounce the communist government of Cuba that persecutes the people, who assert the ideals of freedom and democracy. We appeal to all, who is concerned with the freedom of speech, to speak out in the protection of Adolfo Fernandez.

We ask to send your protests to the government of Cuba, to Jorge Marti, the ambassador of Cuba in Russia, and to inform our editorial board about the protests.

Editor-in-chief of the Moscow human rights protecting news agency PRIMA

Aleksandr Podrabinek

20 March 2003

The world and the war in Iraq

My friend phoned to me from Israel. She is a former Kharkov dweller, who moved to Israel in 1994. For half an hour this woman, who is not very rich by the European standards, discussed with me the Iraq war.

– This war will have the catastrophic consequences for Israel, – she declared, – And for the world as a whole.

I agree with her words that even if America wins in this war, it would be the loser. Defeat will cause the loss of the authority, and victory – the loss of the image of moral and democratic state… This war will consolidate the Islam world, believes my friend understanding how this consolidation will influence the events in Israel. „The authority of Bush as a leader is very low now in our country, since it is impossible to solve modern problems by force“. Here, in Ukraine, we discuss now the same problems, although, unlike Israel, we are rather far from the battle-ground. By the way, Hussein undertook a very clever step having refused from the attack at Israel, when everybody was expecting this. Here he has the moral advantage. Besides, moral advantage is always on the attacked side, in spite of how plausible pretexts the attacker has.

The world is stricken with absurd. We got accustomed to the term „humane bombardment“, like it was in Serbia. Now the humane bombs fall on the heads of unfortunate Iraq citizens already exhausted by their criminal leader and teacher.

During tens of years, since the WW2, it was assumed that the moral Western democracies opposed the immoral communist evil – the USSR. Really, the Western (and also traditional Eastern) countries were more moral than the totalitarian Soviet block.

So, what happened with the world now? Who protests against the war in Iraq? Russia, France, the Federal Republic of Germany?

Well, Russia always maintained friendly relations with Iraq and supported Hussein. France and Germany took part in the bombardments of Serbia without the permission of the UNO Security Council. Thus, their position may not be called moral. Being protesting against the military action of the USA, the governments of these countries have their own interests. This, we see today the decline of morality, which is substituted by the struggle of egoistic interests and ambitions. It is shameful… And it is fearful, since all world catastrophes (WWs 1 and 2, socialist revolution in Russia, etc.) were preceded by the decrease of morality of the world community.

Yet, let us consider, whether it is moral to protect Saddam Hussein, who cruelly destroys his own people. Surely, no.

Is it safe for the world to conduct the calm and unhurried negotiations with the dictator, who rapidly approaches to the possession of the weapons of mass destruction? Also no. The problem is that those, who protested against the intentions of the USA to begin this war, did not propose any alternative way of influencing the dictator. The UNO Security Council displayed its complete incompetence, the council appeared unable to deal with Hussein peacefully. Was it possible to avoid the war? Now the USA and other Western countries blocked the bank accounts of Iraq and, in fact, laid siege to the country. For how long time the government of any country would be able to keep the power, if the entire world wanted to overthrow the regime? The answer to this question is the lot of the USSR that lost the cold war. Yet, except some rather ephemeral sanctions against Baghdad, the world community did not impede Hussein to live, to murder his people and to create the weapons of mass destruction. So the military action of the USA is quite predictable.

The world cannot afford to leave the nuclear weapons in the hands of the maniac, who has already fanned military conflicts at the frontiers of his country. Yet, the world also has not the moral right to conduct the „humanitarian bombardments“, since this situation is absurd. The world community must found the alternative methods of exerting influence on the dictatorial regimes.

These methods must be fixed in the international legislation. International court, but not the UNO Security Council, must determine whether a country is guilty of violating human rights and abusing the international agreements. If the Law, and not somebody’s interests, acts, nobody would dare to denounce those, who fulfill this Law. We have already written about the necessity to reform the UNO. The war in Iraq visually demonstrated that this necessity exists for about 10 years, from the time of the disintegration of the USSR.

As to the USA, the transformation of this country into the world gendarme is very undesirable, and such tendencies are observed today.

The world is not monopolar, as some politologists think. The tragedy of 11 September 2001 confirmed this. To respond with the weapons to the challenges of history is an anachronism dangerous for the humanity.

We hope that the politicians of Europe and Asia, and especially of the USA, will understand this soon. The USA, being the most powerful state in the world bears the especial moral responsibility by each its step. In any case, it cannot afford itself to destabilize the situation in the world, so it has not the right for the diplomatic failures like those accompanying the war in Iraq.

Without the urgent and radical reforming of the world security system we will

Public ecological organizations "Zeleny Svit" and "Likarska eko-initsiativa" (Chortkiv, the Ternopil oblast) denounce the American-British aggression against Iraq.

We are sorry that the non-military methods of settling the „Iraq question“ were not used completely, that the military action was started without the resolution of the UNO Security Council and that the armed intervention was chosen again as a main tool for solving the political problems.

We assess this step of the administrations of the USA and Great Britain as the violation of the fundamental principles of international right and the right of many thousands of people for life and safety. We are also very sorry that the many-years efforts of the international community to establish the humane world order, in which efforts the American and British people also took part, are now endangered. We reckon that it would not be difficult to win this war, but this victory would not mean the victory over such phenomena as international terrorism, arms race and conflicts connected with the redistribution of natural resources. The war by itself threatens to the region of the Persian Gulf and to the entire world with the humanitarian catastrophe, ecological disasters, energy crisis, growth of mutual distrust and enmity among different countries and cultures.

It seems to us that the policy of the Ukrainian top authorities headed by the President concerning the Iraq crisis is shortsighted and inconsequent. During the last year we observed the pass of the Ukrainian power from the footsies with Hussein’s regime to the servile support of the American-British intervention.

We unambiguously endorse the anti-military actions that are hold in the majority of the countries. The morbid ambitions of the politicians, military men and oil kings must not cause sufferings and deaths of people.

Approved on 20 March 2003 by the Collegiums of „Zeleny Svit“ and „Likarska eko-initsiativa“.

Sent by Oleksandr Stepanenko

[email protected]

The opinion of Larisa Bogoraz about the war in Iraq.L.

Here I present my personal point of view concerning the intention of the USA to start the preventive war against Iraq. I do not represent anybody, even those, whose position is similar to mine: everybody has own motives and arguments. The opponents of pacifists accuse them of the sympathies to the criminal regime of Saddam Hussein, of the irresponsibility before the humanity and civilization, which are endangered by Hussein’s regime. To protest against the war under such conditions, my opponents say, means to maintain Hussein; that is because of you, pacifists, they say, Iraq, a country-aggressor, gets the opportunity to improve its weapons of mass destruction, and this may cause the death of millions of people throughout the world. „Are you, pacifists, ready to undertake the responsibility for these victims?“, ask the supporters of the war against Iraq. In response I can say only that if the war begins, thousands of Iraq citizens would perish. And are you ready to undertake the responsibility for a baby, who, if he would live till 33 years old, might become a savior of the mankind? Have we the right to decide who should live and who should die?

I believe that the centers of the production and storage of the weapons of mass destruction must be ruined, not the whole country together with its population. The task of the civilized world is, in my opinion, the creation of the tools and methods for the overall protection of peace from aggressors and their accomplices. After all, there are other countries possessing the weapon of mass destruction, facilities for its production and military potential for its use. So, maybe let us bomb them too, just to be on the safe side? I am not a military specialist, not a politician and not an economist, but I guess that money and raw materials, as well as technical and political support are needed for the development and production of such weapons. I reckon that the modern methods of universal control and intelligence are capable to reveal the sources and receivers of such support. The channels of rendering such support should be blocked to isolate the criminal regimes. The international democratic community must develop the new international legislation envisaging the responsibility of the states that support such regimes. These states should be expelled from the international association of democratic countries, deprived of the guarantees of international protection and left in the international isolation. In this case Russia would be punished as a country endorsing the North Korea, a state, which is not better and is not less dangerous for the world than Iraq.

The preventive war against Iraq is destroying the fundamental humane values. Perhaps, my pacifist position may be explained by the fact that I have two sons, and I do not want them to become killers or to be killed in a war. It seems that my opponets do not think about their sons, not to mention somebody’s else ones.

Larisa Bogoraz

22 February 2003, Moscow

Against torture and ill-treatment

Two members of UNA-UNSO went on hunger-strike in the Lukyanivsky preliminary prison demanding to stop humiliations

On 19 March two members of UNA-UNSO, Stanislav Samofalov and Mykola Liakhovich, who stay in the Lukyanivsky preliminary prison in Kyiv, went on a hunger-strike protesting against the outrage that is practiced in this prison. This information was made public by MP Andriy Shkil, the leader of the party.

By his words, the hunger-strike is connected with „violations of laws“, „beating of the political prisoners“, „prohibitions of correspondence, food parcels and meetings with relatives“.

All political prisoners underwent the physical pressure, the MP informed.

Besides, according to Andriy Shkil, other incarcerated members of the UNSO are ready to join the hunger-strike, if S. Samofalov, who needs medical aid, would not be transferred to a hospital.

M. Liakhovich, the second participant of the hunger-strike, turned to I. Skorobagach, the warden of the preliminary prison, to ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva and to mass media with the appeal, in which he described the torture applied to the incarcerated.

In his appeal Liakhovich stated that if the prison administration would not react to his protest immediately and would not stop the „illegal actions against the convicts“, he would begin more decisive protest actions.

M. Liakhovich was condemned to 5 years of incarceration, S. Samofalov – to 2 years. The term of the imprisonment of Samofalov will end on 23-25 March.

The members of the UNA-UNSO were tried according to Article 71 of the old Criminal Code: „organization of mass disorders“.

Materials used from the site

Torture against terrorism?

J. Schonbom, the Minister of Interior of the German lands Brandenburg, turned to citizens with the proposition to express their opinion on the adequate measures that may be applied by law-enforcing organs in the conditions of the permanent growth of terrorism in the world. First of all, the discussion concerns the admissibility of applying torture or threats of torture in the exclusive cases during investigation. The discussion was caused by the order of Wolfgang Daschner, a deputy head of the Frankfort police, published last week. In this order Daschner permits to his subordinates to obtain the evidence from the suspected „by inflicting pain under medical observation and after the preliminary warning“. Some police officers refused to obey the order because of moral and ethical reasons. At the same time, the position of the top police officer was endorsed by the head of the German Federation of judges, who declared that „sometimes there are problems that cannot be solved by legal methods“. According to German law, using torture of threats of using torture is punished with incarceration for the term up to 10 years.

„Yuridicheskaya praktika“, No. 9 (271), 4 March 2003

Jump from the fourth floor.

One of the greatest successes of the Kirovograd militia in their struggle with narcotics turned into tragedy. In the end of February all newspapers of the oblast center informed (referring to the Center of public relations of the oblast militia directorate) that the officers of the department for fighting the illegal circulation of narcotic drugs find the greatest during the recent ten years party of poppy straw, which was stored in one of the town garage cooperatives. Two local dwellers were detained by the suspicion of the storage of narcotics. Several days later, on 21 February, one of the two detained jumped out from the window of the fourth floor of the district militia precinct. It happened during his meeting with an advocate. The editorial board of the newspaper „UTs“ tried to learn why it had happened and what would be the consequences.

In what follows we quote the story told by Ludmila Sosna, the present (the third) advocate of the suspected, who began to defend him after this tragic jump.

„This is an unprecedented case in all world advocate practice“, told L. Sosna, „because of the unknown reasons the suspected jumped out from the window during the talk with his advocate! The question appears: who was this advocate and according to which contract he worked? If the contract exists, then who concluded it? These are questions for the disciplinary chamber of advocates… I signed the contract officially on 20 February in the office. I tried to learn where my client was and next day I find him… in the intense care ward of the oblast hospital in a plaster cast with two fractures of spine. I want to quote the complaint of my client to the General Prosecutor’s office: „I suffered in the hands of sadists… They promised to throw me in the cell, where other convicts would rape me… On 20 February the advocate came, but I was very scared and told nothing about the torture, I refused to testify at all… When the advocate went away, they tortured me again, and after this they said: „Now take off your pants for connecting the electric current to your genitals“. This threat crushed my obstinacy... I was ready to sign anything“.

I state officially: the investigation department situated on the second floor cannot be entered by a common citizen and even an advocate. Many people under investigation (not only my clients) more than once told that especially cruel torture is applied here, such as gas masks with closed valve or hanging on the elbow joints of the handcuffed arms. Yet, I never heard before about the torture with electric current by clipping the wire to the ears with metallic clothes-pegs with sharp jags. I have the conclusion of the forensic expertise done by my request. The expertise reads about the presence of the wounds, which could be caused by such sharp jags and which were inflicted during the period, when my client stayed inside the precinct.

But let us return to 21 February. On this day the second advocate came to my client. I will quote the complaint again: „… the man, who had been nicely conversing with the detectives, told me that he was a former investigating officer and now – an advocate… I understood that it was the end of my life, since he said that he had been working in this precinct, so I had to sign the confession in an amicable way at once… I thought that my mother would never learn what torture I endured here“. All this was happening in the office of the investigator, when the investigator was absent. Now this investigating officer is suspended from duty. And I am sure that he is an honest man. Yet, let us continue to read the complaint: „… the advocate told that I had to agree to be his client and to refuse the services of my previous advocate. Being afraid of the threats and being absolutely helpless I decided to commit suicide…“ These words were written by the 26-year-old man, unmarried, having no criminal records, who had served in marines.

Kirovograd is my native town and it hurts me that this tragedy happened here.“

L. Sosna sent two complaints to the General Prosecutor’s office and to the oblast prosecutor. The reason for sending the second complaint, of 26 February, was that, in the opinion of the advocate, the protection of the case materials for preserving the secrecy of the investigation was not provided, and the measures for safety of the suspected, who had the real grounds to be afraid for his life, were not taken in accordance with Article 521 of the CPC of Ukraine. The same complaint contains the doubts about the authenticity of some documents, dates and facts described in the documents. Thus, L. Sosna believes that the check must be conducted not by the oblast law-enforcing organs, but by the investigating commission of the General Prosecutor’s office. „Besides“, she reckons, „the real danger to my life has already appeared. Some strangers phoned to me and threatened to beat or murder me“.

The editorial board of „Ukraine-Center“ asked representatives of the oblast militia directorate to comment the situation. Vladimir Filshtein, a deputy of the head of the directorate, informed: „Immediately after the event the service investigation was started. Head of the directorate general S. Nikitenko categorically put the question about the punishment of the guilty and their dismissal from law-enforcing organs. The administrative measures will be taken. We must do this because of the fact that the meeting of the suspected with the advocate was hold outside the cell, and this created the opportunity fro the suicide. We have no special rooms in the town precinct, but this does not relieve our officers of responsibility“. „What was the presumptive guilt of the suspected?“ „The case was started about the storage of narcotic drugs, only storage, even not trade. The party of the narcotics was very great – 132 kilograms of poppy straw, by the conclusion of experts.“ „The press wrote that there were many strange moments in this case.“ „Yes, it is so. For instance the situation with advocates. There was one advocate, then another. And the suspected jumped from the window in the presence of this second advocate.“ „What made him to jump?“ „There may be many motives and versions. For example, the fear of the responsibility, the fear of the accomplices, violence on the side of militia.“ „Yet, mass media inform that there were not mere „measures of physical influence, but real torture by electric current.“ „We issued the decision about conducting the forensic expertise. The results were negative, although there actually were some signs on the ears. Yet, it should be untimely to draw some conclusions about the origin of these signs, since there were many injuries and wounds got by the suspected when he broke the window. Physicians and prosecutor officers will consider this question“.

Naturally, the editorial board of „Ukraine-Center“ turned to Yuri Danilchenko, the prosecutor of the Kirovograd oblast asking to give his comments. In response we obtained the statement of the press center of the oblast prosecutor’s office. In particular, it reads: „The suspected jumped from the window being afraid not of the punishment, as mass media wrote, but being afraid of the torture applied to him by militiamen. The prosecutor’s office of the Kirovskiy district of Kirovograd conducted the check of this fact. As a result, the criminal case against the militiamen was not opened because of absence of corpus delicti. The oblast prosecutor’s office checked the legality of the taken decision, and the refusal to open the criminal case was cancelled, since some new circumstances were disclosed that must be additionally checked. Now the prosecutor’s office conducts the additional inspection, in particular concerning the escape attempted by the suspected. After this the decision will be taken according to the demands of Law.“

What more can be said? The death of the suspected might be the event that cut off all threads needed for the continuation of the investigation. Who was the interested party?

The newspaper „Ukraine-Center“, No. 10, 7 March 2003

Freedom of expression

The publications on President’s connection with the murder of G. Gongadze are interpreted as meddling into President’s activities.

On 31 March an official from the prosecutor’s office of Kremenchug came to the editorial board of the newspaper „Informbulleten“. The official explained his visit in the following way: since the newspaper had published many materials about Gongadze’s case, Tamara Prosianik, the editor-in-chief, had to be interrogated as a witness in accordance with the order of the General Prosecutor’s office. In particular, in the connection with the article „Million dollars for the head of Georgiy Gongadze!“ by T. Prosianik published on 5 December 2002. The material describes the press conference of Shokhin, a deputy of the General Prosecutor, at which he, among all, uttered the following version of Gongadze’s death: he went, fell and broke his head. Besides, Mr. Shokhin asserted that the case of Gongadze was invented to frame the President. The article also reminded that General Prosecutor of Ukraine Sviatoslav Piskun promised the reward of 1 million USD for the aid in the disclosure of this murder. Editor of „Informbulleten“ T. Prosianik interprets the situation as an attempt to gag an independent journalist by starting a criminal case against her, although there was nothing new in the publication of 5 December.

T. Prosianik answered the question of a Kremenchug prosecutor’s officer, who asked, why the newspaper had mentioned about the connection between L. Kuchma and Gongadze’s murder. She wrote in her explanation: „The accusation of President Kuchma of the disappearance of Gongadze and the order for his murder may be proved by the audio records of major Melnichenko, which were made public by O. Moroz on 28 November 2000 in the Supreme Rada and the integrity and authenticity of which were confirmed by the conclusion of expert Brus Kenig (USA)“.

Ludmila Kucherenko

In what follows we present the text of Errand No. 06/2-30016-03/544 of the General Prosecutor’s office of 20 March 2003


13/15 Riznitska St., Kyiv, 01601

20 March 2003

No. 06/2-30016-03/544

To prosecutor of the Poltava oblast, the state councilor of justice of the 2nd grade

M. Gavriliuk


(on the basis of Article 118 of the CPC of Ukraine)

The General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine investigates criminal case No. 49-1120 started by the fact of publishing in mass media, brochures and other editions the materials directed at the illegal influence on the President of Ukraine with the purpose to impede the fulfillment by him of his service duties, according to part 1 Article 334 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

It was established that on 5 December 2002 the Kremenchug newspaper „Informatsiyny bulleten“ having the run of 4000 copies published the article „Million dollars for the head of Georgiy Gongadze!“ written by an unknown author. The article contains the following statement: „Now it is widely known that the murder was ordered, consciously or not, by President Kuchma“.

On the basis of the above-said, I ask to recommend to the subordinate officers to ascertain urgently the juridical address of the edition, its heads and founders, as well as the place of their permanent residence, the identity of the author of this article, his/her place of permanent residence and whether the author publishes articles under a pen-name.

Besides, I ask to seize one copy of the newspaper, as well as the manuscripts of the article and the documents, on which the article was based.

In the course of the fulfillment of this errand I ask to interrogate the editor-in-chief and the executive editor of the newspaper in the connection with the following questions: on the base of which documents the article was published, who was the initiator, whether the reliability of the information stated in the article was checked and who ordered the publication of the article. To interrogate the authors of the article about obtaining the materials and printing the article.

To conduct other actions, the need of which will appear during the fulfillment of this errand.

I ask you to send the obtained information to the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine.

The additional information may be got by the telephone: (8-044) 290-05-80.

Enclosure: decision on 1 page.

Sincerely yours,

Head of the department of the main investigation directorate,

the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine

state councilor of justice of the 3rd grade V. Zherbitsky


on seizure


17 March 2003

Head of the department in charge of the crimes in the service sphere of the main investigation directorate, General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine, state councilor of justice of the 3 rdgrade V. Zherbitsky, having considered the materials of criminal case No. 49-1120,


In the course of the investigation of this case the need appeared of seizure of the documents, which were received by the editorial board and were the base for publishing on 5 December 2002 the article „Million dollars for the head of Georgiy Gongadze!“ by an unknown author in the Kremenchug newspaper „Informatsiyny bulleten“ with the run of 4000 copies.

The mentioned documents are stored in the editorial board of the newspaper.

On the basis of the above-stated, according to Articles 130 and 78 of the CPC of Ukraine

The DECISION was issued:

To conduct the seizure from the editorial board of the newspaper „Informatsiyny bulleten“ of all documents connected with the publication in this newspaper on 5 December the article by an unknown author „Million dollars for the head of Georgiy Gongadze!“ and a copy of the newspaper containing this article.

To send the copy of the decision to the General Prosecutor of Ukraine.

V. Zherbitsky

The head of the department in charge of the crimes in the service sphere of the main investigation directorate, General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine, state councilor of justice of the 3 rdgrade.

„ PL “ commentary:If to interpret Article 344 in the same way, as it is interpreted by the General Prosecutor’s office, then any discussion of any acute question concerning the top state officials may be regarded as a crime. Thus, the interpretation of Article 344 by the General Prosecutor’s office creates a new, very dangerous, precedent, which is a direct attack at the freedom of speech. It seems that our authorities do not want to listen to the strict critics on the side of the world community about the violations of the freedom of speech in Ukraine.

Moreover, the persecutions of Tamara Prosianik, the editor of the newspaper „Informatsiyny bulleten“, evidence that the situation with the independent mass media has deteriorated so much that we have almost reached the level of the former USSR.

We hope that the Parliamentary Committee in charge of the questions of the freedom of speech and information, as well as the Committee in charge of human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations will consider this case and evaluate it properly.

A conclusion of Human Rights Watch: directives of President’s Administration is a concealed form of censorship.

A conclusion of Human Rights Watch: directives of President’s Administration is a concealed form of censorship

On the eve of the annual (2003) sitting of the Council of the Cooperation of the European Union and Ukraine the organization „Human Rights Watch“ prepared the Report „Struggle around news: The unofficial state censorship at the Ukrainian TV“. In this report the influence of the secret instructive memorandums upon the mass media activities in Ukraine is confirmed. The sitting in Brussels is one of the most important annual meetings between Ukraine and Europe, and the fact that Human Rights Watch timed its 48th investigation of the political censorship in Ukraine to this event evidences that the world community regards censorship to be extremely dangerous for the Ukrainian democracy.

Elisabeth Andersen, the executive manager of the European and Central Asian department of Human Rights Watch, basing on the analysis conducted by this organization, draws the conclusion that millions of TV watchers in Ukraine have no opportunity to obtain the important information on the political, economic and social events. „Directives of President’s Administration is a concealed form of censorship“, stated Ms. Andersen, „The Administration of the Ukrainian President openly violates the freedom of speech by issuing the detailed instructions how the TV channels must elucidate the events“.

In what follows we present an excerpt from the Report. The full text of the Report can be found on the site; user’s name: „hrwreports“, access code: „pub2k2“.


The Administration of the Ukrainian President openly violates the freedom of speech issuing the instructions stipulating which TV channels may elucidate news, stated the Human Rights Watch. The examples of such directives are given in the report. The 48-pages Report „Struggle around news: The unofficial state censorship at the Ukrainian TV“ confirms the influence of the secret instructive memorandums upon the mass media activities in Ukraine. The memorandums compiled by President’s Administration are distributed among the managers and editors of national TV companies and contain the recommendations which topics must be elucidated and in which form. The disobedience results in a wide spectrum of unofficial sanctions, including tax inspections, abolition of licenses, libel claims, dismissals, demotions and decrease of salaries.

The coercive influence of the memorandums on the presentation of news in Ukraine is extremely powerful. The pro-president moods are prevalent in the TV-news features, which are the most popular information source in Ukraine. The activities and opinions of other political figures are distorted or merely ignored. This situation was pronouncedly illustrated with the messages on the opposition demonstrations on 16 September 2002, when the TV channels transmitted absolutely similar video records and comments, from which it was very difficult to understand who were the organizers of the demonstrations and what were their demands.

The threat of the juridical and administrative consequences of the disobedience forces the editors and journalists to fulfill the orders of President’s Administration. Even before the appearance of the memorandums, the mass media that supported the opposition parties of did not obey the official demands, underwent the summons to courts, administrative checks and abolition of licenses. The journalists were dismissed or demoted, their salaries were decreased and so on. Some journalists left their jobs as a protest against the growing censorship, and many others continue to work under the unbearable conditions, practicing self-censorship or presenting the unbiased information on their own risk.

„After the Soviet censorship stopped to exist, a certain level of pluralism in mass media has appeared“, Ms. Andersen said, „Yet, the really independent mass media are very rare“.

The economic instability made the majority of mass media to accept the financial aid and patronage of the influential industrial circles, which formed various political parties and purchased radio and TV companies. Media magnates frequently use their informational property as a mouthpiece of personal or group interests and opinions. Financial and political groups closely connected with President Kuchma control now six all-Ukrainian TV channels. This fact, together with the appearance of the memorandums, is undermining the mass media pluralism more and more.

The unofficial censorship and economic dependence are not the only threats to the independence of mass media in Ukraine. The „disappearance“ and murder of opposition journalist Georgiy Gongadze in September 2002 excited the wave of protests both inside the country and abroad. The case of Gongadze and other similar cases are still not closed. Kuchma and other top authorities are suspected of the participation in the murder of Gongadze. This suspicion is based on the audio record of the talk, in which the President allegedly ordered the security service officers to „solve the problem with Gongadze“. Taking into account the dangerous situation with Ukrainian mass media, Human Rights Watch appealed to the Ukrainian authorities with the propositions:

– to stop immediately the distribution of the memorandums or other forms of coercive written or oral instructions given by President’s administration to mass media;

– to guarantee that the censorship in any form on the side of state power or private persons will be liquidated by means of operating laws and obligations that forbid the censorship;

– to conduct the immediate and thorough investigation of the activities of state officials and other persons involved in the censorship or other misuses against the representatives of mass media, and to bring the guilty to the responsibility;

– to consider the opportunity of adopting the laws, which would guarantee the realistic minimal salary for journalists, to introduce the regulating structure for guaranteeing the juridical protection of journalists, who underwent the punishments such as decrease of salaries, demotions or dismissals.

The organization Human Rights Watch appealed to the European Union to give the top priority to the freedom of the press in the relations with Ukraine and to demand to provide the proofs of the improvements in the sphere of human rights in Ukraine as a part of her international obligations. Human Rights Watch also turned to the international community with the request to support the freedom of the press in Ukraine, recommending to such international organization as the Council of Europe and the OSCE to continue to render their aid to the Ukrainian government and their control over the freedom of speech in Ukraine.

18 March 2003

German police got the permission to wiretap the telephone conversations of journalists.

German police has the right to wiretap the telephones of journalists during the investigation of grave crimes, if it is necessary for the search of especially dangerous criminals. This decision was issued on 12 March by the Constitutional Court of Federal Republic of Germany. The court came to the conclusion that the principles of the freedom of the press are not violated in such cases.

In this way the Court rejected the claims of journalists, whose phone conversations were wiretapped by law-enforcing organs. Journalists’ trade unions criticized this decision. They believe that it means the abrogation of the right on the secrecy of informants.

Deutsche Welle informs that two journalists, a correspondent of the Second Channel of the German TV company ZDF and a reporter of the Hamburg weekly „Schtern“, turned with the complaint to the Constitutional Court. The former conducted the journalist investigation of the resonance case of businessman Jurgen Schneider accused of the large-scale gerrymanders in the construction industry. The journalist communicated with the businessman by telephone. The second journalist, on the task of the editorial board, communicated by cell phone with terrorist Hans-Joachim Klein, who was wanted by police.

The judges did not explain what they called „the especially grave crimes“. At the same time, they remarked that law-enforcing organs might not regard the court decision as a carte blanche for wiretapping cell and stationary telephones of editorial boards.

To obtain the corresponding prosecutor’s warrant, law-enforcers must present the conclusive proofs both of the fact of the commitment of an especially grave crime by the suspected and the existence of the phone contact between the suspected and journalist.

14 March 2003

Journalist V. Boyko demands to recompense the moral damage.

On 24 February 2003 Donetsk journalist Vladimir Boyko turned to the prosecutor’s office of the Donetsk oblast with the claim about recompensing the moral damage equal to 1000 UAH inflicted to him by the illegal arrest in June 2002 and torture applied to him during his stay in the preliminary prison. On the same day he appealed to court against the resolution of the prosecutor’s office on the institution on 10 May 2002 of the criminal case against him. The case will be considered by the Voroshilovskiy district court of Donetsk.

The journalist affirms that on 4 July 2002 he underwent torture in the Donetsk preliminary prison. He sent the complaint to the prosecutor of the Kuybyshevskiy district of Donetsk, but got no answer.

„Because of the absence of the reaction on the side of the city prosecutor I cannot demand the compensation for the damage inflicted to me in the preliminary prison and bring to responsibility the persons guilty of this damage“, wrote V. Boyko in his appeal to the court.

By the data of the Institute of mass information, on 25 June 2002 V. Boyko was detained by tax militia in the editorial office of the newspaper „Salon Donu I Basa“.

On 27 June 2002 a judge of the Kuybyshevskiy district of Donetsk prolonged the term of Boyko’s detention up to 10 days. On 9 August criminal case No. 106-21663 on the accusation of V. Boyko according to the Articles 212 and 364 of the CRC of Ukraine was closed. On 16 August 2002 the Appeal court of the Donetsk oblast acknowledged the detention of V. Boyko to be illegal.

On 8 October 2002 the General Prosecutor’s office cancelled the resolution on closing the case, and the case was sent for the investigation to the prosecutor’s office of the Lugansk oblast.

Authorities against „Ukrainske Slovo“

O. Timoshchuk, a judge of the Rivne town court, and A. Timoshchuk, a deputy of Rivne prosecutor, demand to recompense them the moral damage equal to 200 thousand UAH inflicted by the Oleg Teliga publishing house, a founder of the weekly „Ukrainske Slovo“, and Yurko Sirotiuk, the editor of the political department of the weekly. The damage was inflicted by making public the results of the journalist investigation, in which the claimants are suspected of the participation in falsifying a criminal case, applying illegal investigation methods, exerting moral pressure and using threats and torture for obtaining evidence.

Everybody knows that tortures are applied in the Ukrainian preliminary prisons. In the beginning of January 2002 the editor of the political department of „US“ received a note from the preliminary prison of Rivne. The author of the note, V. Grin, who had been summoned as a witness and then detained for hooliganism, informed about savage torture that were applied to him for obtaining false evidence and the confession that he was guilty of a theft, which he had not committed. Three other detained underwent the same procedure. All they were forced to confess the large-scale theft from a house situated in the village of Pantaliya of the Dubenskiy district of the Rivne oblast. By the way, the house belongs to the mother of the judge and prosecutor.

Besides, Sirotiuk got the information that both brothers Timoshchuks were present at the torture and were giving orders. He learned these facts from the advocate of other incarcerated. Moreover, the decision on the administrative arrest, in the result of which the witnesses turned into the detained for hooliganism and later – into the accused of the theft, was taken by the court, where O. Timoshchuk worked.

Major Yu. Khariniuk, the head of the criminal investigation department of the Dubenskiy district militia directorate, who had been the first officer investigating this case and refused to falsify the case, was dismissed and retired on a pension. The prosecutor’s office (where A. Timoshchuk worked and still works), to which the detained turned with the complaints, responded with formal replies.

Understanding the social importance of this case, as well as the direct danger to the life of the detained, editor of „US“ Yu. Sirotiuk made public the mentioned facts in the series of publications in his newspaper. The information about this scandalous case investigated by Sirotiuk was also published by other Rivne printed mass media, in particular, the newspaper „Rivne-rakurs“ (6 February 2003).

As a result, four accused, who spent in custody more than a year, were at last released. During this year one of them caught TB, and a chronic disease of another one became more acute.

Trying to cover up the traces, brothers Timoshchuks brought an action against Yu. Sirotiuk and „Ukrainske Slovo“. Taking into account the posts occupied by the claimants and the sum of the demanded compensation (paying the compensation will cause the closure of the newspaper and the publishing house, and the author of the article will give away all his salary for more than 18 years), it is clear that only strong social resonance and the active elucidation in the press will allow to solve this case fairly.

03 March 21:10

The General Prosecutor’s office responded to the request of MP M. Tomenko about „Order of the Ministry of transport of Ukraine No. ?61/4-O of 18 December 2002 on the introduction of information censorship on transport“

According to the words of Mykola Tomenko, the head of the Supreme Rada committee in charge of the freedom of speech and information, General Prosecutor Piskun informed that the General Prosecutor’s office conducted the corresponding check. The check showed that items 8.2 and 8.3 of „The Instruction on placing advertisements and printed information, as well as distribution of the press at the railway stations and in trains of Ukraine“ approved by order No. 644-o of 12 December 2002 of the General manager of the Ukrainian railroads „contradict the demands of the Law of Ukraine „On printed mass media (press) in Ukraine“. Besides, Piskun communicated: „The General Prosecutor’s office handed the protest to the Minister of transport of Ukraine, who is, at the same time, the General manager of the Ukrainian railroads, with the aim of bringing the instruction into accord with the operating laws. The consideration of the protest is controlled by the General Prosecutor’s office.“

In this connection Tomenko appealed to the President of Ukraine and to the head of the Cabinet of Ministers asking to check the legality of the fact that the top posts are occupied by the people, who, by the official data of the General Prosecutor’s office, brutally violate Ukrainian laws. „I want to point out that introducing censorship is a violation usual for the people close to the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united). Mr. Kyrpa, the Minister of transport, who violated the law by his order, was appointed to the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers by this very party“.

Our informant

Freedom of peaceful assembly

The Cabinet of Ministers approved the temporary regulations on mass actions

The Cabinet of Ministers stipulated the procedure of organizing and conducting the peaceful mass actions. It will operate until the adoption of the corresponding legal act, informs Interfax-Ukraine.

The temporary regulations consist of 5 sections and 20 items.

The first section contains the definitions of the basic terms used in the regulations. The second and third sections determine the procedure of organization and conduction of peaceful mass actions in Ukraine – the activities of organizers and participants, organs of executive power, organs of local self-rule and law-enforcing organs.

The fourth section envisages the activities of the executive power organs and organs of local self-rule during the peaceful mass actions, the procedure of the access of citizens to the participation in the actions and the activities of mass media.

The fifth section stipulates the responsibility of state officials, organizers and participants of these actions, as well as the responsibility of other citizens guilty of the violations of the procedure of organizing and conducting the peaceful mass actions in Ukraine.

This document will allow to regulate the organization and conduction of peaceful mass actions, in particular, to guarantee the proper conditions in the spheres of organizing the medical aid, protecting public order and keeping the safe distances from dangerous objects.

The document will lose validity after the question on the conduction of peaceful mass actions will be regulated legislatively.

The material was sent by Volodymir Yavorskiy,

the Association of the network TV and radio broadcasters of Ukraine

Women’s rights

Legality of a criminal process: reality or myth?

When an advocate gives the consent to protect the interests of a citizen suspected of the commitment of a crime, he cannot anticipate the problems that will appear both during the pre-trial investigation and during the trial.

Certainly, every advocate hopes that the investigator will fulfill the demands of Article 22 of the Criminal-Procedural Code „Profound, thorough and unbiased investigation of the circumstances of the case“. Yet, more and more frequently the absolute neglect is observed of the tendency to extenuate punishment, to use more attentive approach when applying the preventive detention.

Meeting the person, who was detained on suspicion of committing a crime, for the first time, the advocate cannot establish the psychological contact with his client at once. Only after some time, after numerous meetings and lengthy talks, the client begins to trust the advocate and informs him about various details of the affair.

Criminal case No. 9960253, which was investigated by an officer of the Zinkiv district precinct, at first did not differ from other cases. Yet, the analysis of the obtained data by and by resulted in the conclusion that the case was investigated with the violations of the demands of the CPC, the demands so considerable that they might not be ignored.

At the end of 1999 a crime was committed in a village of the Zinkiv district of the Poltava oblast, and the described criminal case was started. On 4 January 2000 citizen S. was detained on the suspicion of committing this crime. S. was kept in custody for three days, he was interrogated, but since the law-enforcers had no proofs of his participation in this crime, on 6 January he was released. The decision read: „In the process of ODA the information was not confirmed properly“. S. was released, but his military card was kept in the precinct for some reasons.

On 15 February 2000 the Resolution was issued on the refusal to start the criminal case against S. on the basis of item 2 Article 6 of the CPC. Thus, up to that moment the officers of the precinct obeyed the law. However, the following events spoiled the idyllic picture. On 13 November 2001 (almost two years later) militia officers of the Zinkiv district precinct came to S.’s house in one of distant villages situated about 200 kilometers from the town of Zinkiv. They forced S. to get in the car and took him to the precinct. Here the resolution was issued on the detainment of S. for vagrancy. „S. arrived in Zinkiv without any documents“, stated the resolution. Thus, the militiamen included the false information to the resolution. On the next day the militiamen phoned to S.’s relatives and told to bring some food and clothes for him. The law-enforcers ignored the facts that the military card of S. was kept in the precinct, that they knew S. personally and that he was taken to Zinkiv coercively. They also neglected the article „The regulations on the receiving-distribution centers for the persons detained for vagrancy“ and order No. 295 of the head of the militia directorate of the Poltava oblast, which prohibited the detainment and holding in custody of the persons suspected of committing crimes. Most likely the precinct officers hoped that nobody would notice their actions and they would not be brought to responsibility. And, as the further events showed, their hopes were realized.

On 23 November 2001 the investigating officer of the Zinkiv district precinct issued new resolution: on the detainment of S. on the suspicion of committing crime, in spite of the previous resolution that acquitted S. This was another essential violation of S.’s rights. According to item 11 Article 6 of the CPC, a criminal case may not be started, and the started case must be closed, if the previous resolution on the refusal to start the case concerning the same fact was not cancelled.

So, the detention of S. on 23 November 2001 was illegal. The investigating officer had at first to solve the question on canceling the previous resolution of 15 February 2000, and only after this he had the right to continue the investigation. Meanwhile, the investigator merely withdrew the previous resolution from the case documents expecting that this would remain unnoticed.

Many other violations were disclosed during the study of the case materials. The case was investigated by a non-procedural person. The investigator, who worked with the case since 1999, was dismissed from his post by order 22/OC of 20 March 2001. Thus, on 20 or 21 March the case was passed to another investigating officer. However, there are no corresponding documents in the case. After some time the former investigator returned to the district precinct and undertook the investigating activities also without the resolution about the acceptance of the case. Article 113 of the CPC stipulates: „If an investigating officer accepts the case started before, he must issue the resolution about the acceptance of the case“. The comment to the mentioned article explains that a case may be investigated only by the officer, who issued the resolution on the acceptance of this case (Scientific and practical comments of the CPC, edited by V. Maliarenko and V. Goncharov, page 302).

Thus, all evidences obtained by the investigating officer without the resolution on accepting the case, as well as the detainment of S. and the decision on the preventive measure, were illegal.

Article 156 of the CPC „Terms of keeping under custody“, which reads: „Keeping under custody during the pre-trial investigation may not last more than two months“, was also violated. Taking into account that S. stayed in the preliminary prison from 4 to 6 January 2000 (three days) and was detained again on 23 November 2001, the term of keeping under custody had to be calculated from 20 November 2001. The investigator did not turn to court with the request to prolong this term, so he had to hand to the warden of preliminary prison No. 23 the resolution on the release, and S. had to be released. Yet, the investigator had no intentions to obey the demands of the CPC. The prosecutor of the Zinkiv district had to correct the violation of the law, but on 31 January he signed the accusation ignoring the appeals of the advocate and the brutal violations of laws. The advocate directed several complaints to the prosecutor’s office of the Poltava oblast and the oblast militia directorate. Even if the complaints were considered, there were no positive results. All complaints sent to the oblast prosecutor’s office were returned to the prosecutor of the Zinkiv district, that is the person against whom the complaints were made. At that the demands of Article 22 of the CPC „Appeals against the actions of investigating officer and prosecutor. Order of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine No. 1 of 3 January 2001“ were not taken into account. In particular, this article reads: „processing the appeals must be regarded as one of the most important directions in the activities of prosecution organs, its purpose is the protection of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, strengthening of law and order“. The same order (part 7 item 2) prohibits „to send the appeals of citizens to the organs or officials, against whose actions or decisions the appeals are lodged“. The mentioned demand is also contained by item 3 of the order: „To prohibit the direction of the appeals to the prosecutor’s offices that are not empowered to consider the appeals, or those, whose heads took the decisions on the arguments stated in the appeals.“

Letter No. 1/7-I-24 of 25 February 2002 sent by the militia directorate of the Poltava oblast reads: „No illegal actions or violations of law on the side of the militia officers during the detention of S., his upkeep in the preliminary prison of the Zinkiv district and the investigation of the criminal case, in which S. was regarded as the accused, were disclosed“

On 1 February 2002 the case was passed to court.

The court had another opinion on the above-mentioned facts, it acknowledged the appeal of the advocate to be reasonable and obliged the investigation officer to present the resolution of 15 February 2000. On this basis the court issued the decision to return the case for the additional investigation. Unfortunately, the court did not make the next logical step: it did not release S. from the preliminary prison, and he continued to stay there unduly. Besides, the court did not determine clearly other violations of law and so did not aim the investigator and prosecutor at the liquidation of these violations.

It seems that after this decision the prosecution and law-enforcing organs had to acknowledge the illegality of their actions and to try to obey the demands of the Constitution and CPC. On the contrary. Letter of the militia directorate No. 8/I-31 of 26 February 2003 consists of two sentences. The first one informs that the case is directed for the additional investigation (?!) and another states: „You will be directly informed by the organ that conducts the pre-trial investigation about the decision taken on criminal case No. 99060253.“

Prosecutor’s response No. 04/2-389-03 of 24 February 2003 reads that the case was accepted by the investigator. „The arguments stated in your complaints will be checked in the course of the pre-trial investigation, so the oblast prosecutor’s office passed them to the prosecutor of the Zinkiv district for attaching the complaints to the case materials“.

Thus, the reader may draw his own conclusion about the „proper“ assessment of the activities of investigators. Undoubtedly, the demands of the CPC will not be fulfilled in future too.

The given facts testify that the organs of pre-trial investigation and the prosecution organs ignore the demands of the Constitution and CPC, as well as the orders of the militia directorate and General Prosecutor’s office.

Certainly, we must struggle against the criminality, but it must be done in the framework of laws and Constitution. Citizen S. stays in the preliminary prison for 16 months, and for 10 days he was kept here being illegally accused of vagrancy. Nobody was brought to responsibility for this.

The General Prosecutor of Ukraine and the Minister of Interior more than once proclaimed the principle of legality during the investigation of criminal cases. The above-described case demonstrated how these principles are put into practice. After all, are the prosecutor’s office and militia directorate able to admit their own violations and to correct them? Or it is more convenient to use the principles of the notorious 1937?

PL“ commentary: In the course of our work we often come across the complete legal ignorance of investigation organs and the unwillingness of prosecutor’s offices to control the observance of operating laws. Unfortunately, this problem of the Ukrainian society has reached so large scale that the situation can be improved only by the radical reform of court and the entire system of law-enforcing institutions. Yet, we do not see any political will (either of legislative or of executive power) to reform systematically the spheres that are vital for the society: law-enforcing and court organs, the system of health protection. Alas, Ukraine remains to be a country with the ruined and uncontrolled systems.

It is obvious that no state can exist in such regime for a long time. So, only real reforms can save us from the complete decline.

We are waiting for new messages from Mr. Motorny in the connection with this case.

Inna Sukhorukova

Point of view

A man was shot.

Whine of bullets is not unusual in the town Chasov Yar of the Donetsk oblast. When maneuvers are conducted on the polygon in the neighboring village Krasnoe, bullets are smashing panes in the flats. But this time a bullet hit Oleg Dyachenko, a dweller of the town, who was returning from his work. Fortunately, one more man was near him, who summoned the ambulance. Dyachenko was immediately transported to the Artemovsk town hospital and later to the oblast hospital, where doctors aspirated the blood from his pleural cavity. By the opinion of the doctors, now the state of the wounded is gradually improving, but they still do not exclude the possibility of serious surgical operation.

The military confirmed that shooting maneuvers were hold on the polygon at that time and that the bullet that hit Dyachenko was fired from their machine-gun.

At last, after the obstinate demands of the relatives of the victim, the military prosecutor’s office started the criminal case by Article 414 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (violation of the rules of using weapons that resulted in trauma). This Article envisages the responsibility in the form of incarceration or transfer to disciplinary battalion.

Our informant

Editor of the center "Dialog" perished in Zaporozhye.

On 15 March some strangers committed the street attack at Vladimir Noskov, a member of the General Presidium of the East-European human rights protecting Center of family and personality „Dialog“, the head of the Zaporozhye city Center for rendering aid to the victims of the destructive cults, editor of the informational agency „SABIS“. V. Noskov was beaten to death.

Before this Vladimir, as well as Pavel Broyde, the President of the Ukrainian organization of „Dialog“, vice-president Igor Siniuk and other representatives of the Center, more than once was threatened by the totalitarian sects. So, the sacrifice of dogs with the features of Satanist cult was committed in the doorway of Noskov’s house. The threats were written with blood on the walls. Maybe this time the opponents of the Center „Dialog“ passed from the threats to actions.

The personnel of the Center believes that the attack may be connected with Vladimir’s role in the trial against the Zaporozhye totalitarian sect „Independent Landed Church of Jesus Christ of the Christians of the evangelic faith“. This trial was won last December by the Center „Dialog“. According to some data, Yuri Torubalko, the leader of the sect, who is directly connected with Sendey Adeladzha, the head of the sect „God’s Embassy“, is preparing now to a new process against „Dialog“, and the liquidation of Vladimir Noskov, one of the most competent specialists on sects, might be useful for them.

There is another plausible version concerning the connection of the attack with another trial – against the „pastor“ of the Melitopol sect „Word of Life“, whose case is now considered in the Zhovtnevy district court of Zaporozhye. Besides, there is a version that this crime is connected with the analytical investigation conducted now by the Center about one of the most dangerous militarized totalitarian sects of Ukraine that even managed to penetrate to Zaporozhye schools in spite of the obviously criminal character of its activities.

On the whole, any totalitarian sect might be the potential initiator of the attack, since the delivery „News of the world of totalitarian sects“ edited by V. Noskov endangers the interests of all destructive sects. The delivery informs more than 500 mass media about the actual activities of the sects.

„Certainly, we cannot unambiguously exclude the accidental attack“, said Pavel Broyde, the executive manager of the Center „Dialog“ and the President of its Ukrainian organization. „But we think that this is improbable. In any case we hope that law-enforcing organs will find the guilty and punish them. If this would not happen, then we would obtain justice by our own means. Our supreme duty is to protect people. And if somebody wanted to impede our activities in such way, then this was a certainly unreasonable step, and we have the possibilities to explain this to the organizers of the crime in the from understandable to them“, informs the site referring to the press service of the Center „Dialog“.

The material was sent by Volodymir Yavorskiy,

the Association of the network TV and radio broadcasters of Ukraine

Valentina Semeniuk reckons that the Head of President’s Administration violates the Constitution

On 4 March the Supreme Rada of Ukraine supported the request of MP Valentina Semeniuk, a member of the fraction of Socialist party, to the USS head about the violation by Viktor Medvedchuk, the head of President’s Administration, of the Ukrainian Constitution and the law on struggle with corruption.

Semeniuk argues her request by the allegedly illegal refusal by Medvedchuk to render the information, which had to be rendered according to the law on MP’s status.

Semeniuk also demands to give the juridical assessment to the actions of the staff of the General Prosecutor’s office connected with the improper legal reaction to the violation by Medvedchuk of the law on struggle with corruption.

Our informant

Deported peoples

Oles Bernik has died

Oles (Oleksandr) Berdnik was born on 25 December 1922 in the village of Vavilovo, the Snegurskiy district of the Kherson oblast.

Berdnik was a participant of the WW2, demobilized in 1946. Finished externally seven grades of secondary school; in 1946-49 attended the drama studio at the I. Franko theatre (Kyiv).

In 1949 Berdnik delivered a speech at the open party meeting of the I. Franko theatre, where he worked then (it was during the campaign of fighting with cosmopolitism). O. Berdnik was indignant that the actors of the theatre denounced their recent friends and colleagues; he also expressed his shock that classic plays were changed by the order from the top. He was arrested and accused of „high treason“ in 1950 he was condemned by Article 54-10 of the CC of the Ukrainian SSR to 10 years of incarceration. He served his sentence in concentration camps in the north of the USSR and in Kazakhstan. In 1955 Berdnik was pardoned. He returned to Ukraine, started to write books, in 1957 he became a member of the Union of Writers of Ukraine.

O. Berdnik became a popular Ukrainian writer of science fiction: up to 1972 about a score of his science fictions novels and tales came out of press. His articles and lectures on futurology were also very popular.

In April 1972 the KGB searched the flat of R. and M. Rudenko, where Berdnik lived. The KGB officers found and confiscated the work of I. Dziuba „Internatsionalizm ili rusifikatsiya?“ and two typewriters. On 28 April Berdnik went on a hunger-strike demanding to return the confiscated property. The hunger-strike lasted 16 days. He managed to meet P. Shelest, the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, who brought his apologies, but declared that „the party bodies may not interfere in the activities of the KGB“. On 14 May Berdnik got back his typewriters, but his lectures were prohibited and his books stopped to be printed. Since 1974 Berdnik tried to get a permission to leave the USSR.

On 13 August 1976 order No. 31 of the Main Directorate on protecting state secrets of the Council of Ministers of the USSR was issued. The order was classified as „secret“. It read: „To withdraw from the libraries of common and special use and the book-trade network of the USSR the books of Oleksandr Pavlovich Berdnik (Oles Berdnik)“. In the same period Berdnik was driven from the Union of Writers of Ukraine. He found a job of a decorator of stained-glass windows in the union „Khudozhnik“ („Artist“).

In the autumn of 1976 Berdnik began consultations with M. Rudenko, O. Meshko and L. Lukyanenko on creating the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, and on 9 November 1976 he became its founder-member, having signed Memorandum No. 1 „Influence of the European Convention on the development of legal outlook in Ukraine“. The authors of this document justified the appearance of the human rights protection movement and made public a list of Ukrainian prisoners of consciousness.

From the end of 1976 and to his arrest in March 1979 Berdnik took part in the creation and signing of scores of letters and memoranda in protection of the arrested and condemned fighters for human rights. More than once the KGB searched Berdnik’s flat, confiscated books, verses, manuscripts and typewriters. In the end of August members of the UHG and Moscow Helsinki group, including Berdnik, published document No. 2 „To the heads of governments of countries- members of the Council of Europe. New repressions and new stage of human rights protection movement in the USSR“ with a demand to release all arrested members of Helsinki groups.

On 9 May 1978 Berdnik wrote a public letter to the UNO Committee on protecting human rights and freedoms, to Amnesty International, and to L. Brezhnev; besides, he went on a hunger-strike demanding to release the war invalid M. Rudenko.

On 6 March 1979 Berdnik was arrested being accused of „anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda“. From the very moment of the arrest Berdnik went on a hunger strike. His relatives learned about his arrest only in a fortnight.

The trial of the Kyiv oblast court lasted from 17 to 21 December 1979 at the assize in the town of Kagarlyk. According to Article 62 Part 2 of the CC of the UkrSSR and Article 70 Part 2 of the CC of the Russian Federation, Berdnik was condemned to 6 years of incarceration in the special regime colony and 3 years of exile. He was regarded as an especially dangerous recidivist.

From 16 May 1980 he was kept in the special regime colony BC-389/36-1 in the settlement of Kuchino in the Chusovskoy district of the Perm oblast.

On 14 March 1984 Berdnik was pardoned by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the UkrSSR.

In 1987 O. Berdnik founded the public organization „The noospheric front „Zviozdny kliuch““, the goal of which was announced as „the preservation of spiritual values of peoples and tribes accumulated during centuries of hard cosmic history, which are lost without trace and devaluated in the whirligig of pseudo-civilization“.

On 16 December 1989 Oles Berdnik was elected a head of the humanistic union „Ukrainian Spiritual Republic“ he published the newspapers „Sviata Ukraina“ and „Zgoda“.

After the release O. Berdnik published 15 books.

News from the CIS countries

Legal peculiarities of the activities and the business accounting of non-profit organizations.

Oleksandr Vinnikov. Non-profit organizations in Ukraine: resources and taxation. 176 pages. In Ukrainian. Price – 20 UAH.

This book contains the research on the legal peculiarities of the status of non-profit organizations in Ukraine. Special attention is attended to the practical aspects of using laws on non-profit organizations and taxation of these organizations. Two eternal questions: „How to increase incomes?“ and „How to decrease charges?“ are considered in complex on the basis of numerous normative acts and explanations.

The book includes the structured and consistent explanations both of common juridical questions concerning the everyday work of non-profit organizations (such as remuneration of labor or the peculiarities of compiling charity agreements) and of the problems, which the NGO never came across before (e.g. the creation of endowment, legal status of volunteers, social marketing, procedure of purchase for budget expenses, etc.).

The practical recommendations and patterns of documents listed in the book are grounded on the great experience of the author, who worked for many years as a councilor on the questions of the program of international technical aid and as a trainer and consultant of non-profit organizations. Almost all patterns and recommendations are already successfully used by Ukrainian non-profit organizations.

We hope that this book will become a reliable assistant for the heads of NGOs, specialists in finance managing and everybody, who are interested in the juridical and financial aspects of the activities of non-profit organizations in Ukraine.

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2003, #03