“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2003, #08
Youth demands the apologies of law-enforcing organs The official action in Pavlivka was controlled by special militia squads M. Tomenko: "I am indignant at the cynicism of the power that purposely fans the anti-Semitic moods in the society" Against torture and ill-treatment
Goncharovs relatives will demand to punish the guilty of his death Militiamen were condemned for violence Freedom of expression
Independent media trade union was created in Kremenchug A court determines what information is interesting for readers Militia demands to refute the information published by the head of a Lugansk NGO Property of a TV company was seized Again about V. Krivdas accreditation Freedom of peaceful assembly
The authorities prohibited two meetings in the Poltava oblast Prohibition of discrimination
Ukraine: women are discriminated on the labor-market Interethnic relations
Behind the bars. The note about the conditions in the Ukrainian penitentiaries, in particular, the epidemic situation. Preliminary prisons will be closed. Court practices
The vicious circle Self-government
The Public reception office in Kirovograd is overcrowded The project “Training in self-rule” started to work in the Poltava oblast The round table “You must know your rights” in Lutsk Public organizations and lobbying the interests of local self-rule Point of view
The USS wants to know the public opinion about the draft of the law on the monitoring of telecommunications Deported peoples
The 50th anniversary of the Norilsk revolt
Politics and human rights
Youth demands the apologies of law-enforcing organs
On 15 July the Youth Rukh and Youth Nationalistic Congress simultaneously conducted the press conferences in Rivne and Lutsk. At the press conferences the representatives of the above-mentioned organizations expressed the protest against the anti-Constitutional arbitrary actions of militia. They read out the appeal to the militia directorates of the Rivne and Volyn oblasts, demanding to explain the actions of law-enforcing organs and to apologize to the participants of the camp.
The young people resolutely protested against the attempts to transform Ukraine into a political state and drew the public attention to this important problem.
If we would not protect our constitutional rights by common efforts, then such methods of control would be applied again and again! This is our country!
Igor Goshovskiy, a participant of the camp “Proshchanitsa-2003”
The Rivne oblast magazine “Volyn”
The official action in Pavlivka was controlled by special militia squads
On 11 July the special squads of militia attacked the youth historical camp “Proshchanitsa-2003” situated near the village of Pereyaslavichi, the Ivanichyvskiy district of the Volun oblast (in five kilometers of the settlement of Pavlivka). About 100 persons stayed in the camp (half of them were young women and children), mainly the members of the Youth Rukh and Youth Nationalistic Congress.
The law-enforcers applied physical force to the young people without any grounds. 30 inhabitants of Rivne were present in the camp, more than ten of them got physical injuries. The General Prosecutors office has been already informed about this fact. The militiamen detained the participants of the camp, among them: Igor Guz, a deputy of Lutsk town council, manager of the camp Sergiy Godlevskiy, an assistant of an MP, and several journalists from Rivne and Lutsk.
The camp worked from 8 to 11 July. The goal of the work was the independent study of the events connected with the Polish-Ukrainian conflict during the WW2 and the consolidation of the respectful and tolerant relations between Ukraine and Poland.
The camp was organized on the basis of order No. 1-1 1532 of the President and order No. 4 of the Volyn oblast state administration of 10 January 2003 “On the measures for the preparation to the commemoration of the victims of Polish-Ukrainian conflict during the WW2”. The participants of “Proshchanitsa-2003”: clergy, students, historians and journalists in three days walked about 50 kilometers and questioned the dwellers of more than ten villages of the Lokachivskiy and Ivanichyvskiy districts. Thus, they managed to collect the unique evidence from the witnesses of the Polish-Ukrainian conflict during the WW2 and the exiles from Kholmskiy district, an ethnic Ukrainian land. Now the preparation of the collected information for the publication is carried out.
The law-enforcers interrupted the study of the native land by the young patriots. On 11 July at 7:15 a.m. more than a hundred of the armed officers of militia and special squad “Berkut” dressed in flak jackets encircled the youth camp. Hour and a half later the law-enforcers applied force and “loaded” the participants of the camp to militia buses.
The local inhabitants, who gathered at the place of the incident, were dispersed not less brutally.
The detained were transported in the unknown direction (perhaps, to the Lutsk preliminary prison). They were accused of “the theft of two hens and the potatoes from private vegetable gardens”.
One of the detained contacted by cell phone with Vasyl Chervoniy and Boris Zagreva, the MPs and members of the fraction “Nasha Ukraina”. The MPs met the militia motorcade near the oblast center and demanded from the law-enforcers to comment the anti-constitutional actions.
The buses were stopped after the international highway was blocked near the village of Ugrinyv of the Gorokhivskiy district. After the talk between the MPs and militiamen the youths left the militia buses and got into the transport of the Rivne delegation, which was going to the nearest settlement Pavlivka. The law-enforcers did not present any explanations and apologies.
Yet, this was not the end of the incident. In order to get to Pavlivka the MPs and the released camp participants had to push away two lifting cranes and one dumper truck, which, for some reasons, were standing without drivers across the bridges. Yet, the Ukrainians, who were going to Pavlivka were ready and able to remove all obstacles on their way to the goal. One barrier after another appeared on the way of the Ukrainian patriots. Later it became known that the power exerted pressure upon transport companies, prohibited them to leave the garages, blocked the scores of other buses on other roads. Only five inhabitants of Pavlivka and 120 persons from the entire Volyn oblast got the passes to the official action.
In spite of this, a large part of the Ukrainian patriots managed to force their way to Pavlivka, but they were not admitted to the place of the official reconciliation: all approaches to the graveyard, where the action was conducted, were guarded by four cordons of special militia squads and state guard.
The people, who remained behind the wall of the law-enforcers, organized the meeting, which was conducted on the territory of the Orthodox church near the uncared-for graves of the Ukrainian victims of the Polish-Ukrainian conflict. It was even impossible to read the names on the tombstones. This place was ignored by the authorities. Yet, several trucks with “Berkut” were staying nearby all the time, even during the prayer.
M. Tomenko: "I am indignant at the cynicism of the power that purposely fans the anti-Semitic moods in the society"
Mykola Tomenko commented the appearance of new “temniks”, which were sent by journalists to the Parliamentary committee in charge of the freedom of speech and information. These documents contain the recommendations about the elucidation of the most important events in social and political life of the country.
In particular, according to the information given by the press service of “Nasha Ukraina”, it is proposed to journalists to ignore the statements about the political reform by MPs Boris Bespaly, Petro Oliynuk and Aleksey Gudyma, the meeting of vice-speaker A. Zinchenko with the delegation of the German Union of young state employees, as well as the article, which was published by the American newspaper “The New York Times”, that reads that Ukraine is governed by criminal Leonid Kuchma.
The “temniks” also recommend to elucidate the act of vandalism committed in the Mukachevo synagogue in the context of the fact that the post of the town mayor is occupied by Vasiliy Petevka, who is supported by “Nasha Ukraina”. M. Tomenko informed that the experts, who analyzed the “temniks”, reckon that these documents were compiled by the specialists from Bankova Street.
“I am indignant at the cynicism of the power that purposely fans the anti-Semitic moods in the society, provokes the international conflicts and does its best to discredit the opposition”, said M. Tomenko. Besides, he pointed out that “the propositions” of the officials to ignore the opinions of some MPs contradict the new strategic course of the head of the state directed at the creation of the parliamentary republic.
Ukrainian network of business information
Against torture and ill-treatment
Goncharovs relatives will demand to punish the guilty of his death
Elen Ozhegova, the mother of Igor Goncharov, reckons that the law-enforcing officers, who conducted the investigation of the case of “turnskins”, are guilty of the death of her son. “They murdered my son, cruelly and purposefully, and did not conceal this even from me, his mother”, Ozegova told. “At first, during two weeks they were brutally beating Igor, they did not give him food and water. He got to the intensive care ward with multiple injuries of the internal organs, he underwent three very complicated operations. For several months he stayed in the hospital in the grave condition. After this he, in spite of the insistence of doctors, was transferred not to the prison hospital, but to the preliminary prison. Here he was feed with the prison food, although, according to medical recommendations, he had to get the dietetic nourishment and proper medical treatment. And when Igor fainted during the interrogations, the law-enforcers said that he was a malingerer. As a result, he got to the hospital of urgent aid again. I am asking myself all the time: what for? He even was not recognized as guilty: the court had not been conducted yet. If the law-enforcers had the proofs of his guilt, then why they were murdering him during the investigation?”
Elen Ozhegova tells that Sergey Hamula, the deputy head (pretending then on the post of the head) of the Kyiv Directorate for fighting the organized crime (DFOC), took the most active part in the many-month sadistic murder of her son. After the publication of the information about the beatings of Goncharov Hamula was ”hidden” in the main directorate of the DFOC: he got the post of the head of the PR department of the city directorate. The cynicism of Oleg Garnik, who was the investigating officer in this case, was also stunning: “Your son is absolutely healthy”. Some time ago a representative of “UK”, who published the information about the sadist Hamula, put the question to the head of the city militia directorate: what was the lot of Sergiy Hamula in the connection with this case. And got the answer: “We know nothing about this”. The reaction of the deputy of the General Prosecutor, who controlled the activities of special squads, was the same.
After Goncharovs death the sadists from the DFOC continued to torment his mother. When the militiamen visited the morgue, they even did not conceal their satisfaction from Elen Ozhegova, who was present there. According to “UK” information, on the same day the members of the investigation group arranged the noisy celebration of the victory.
Medics of the Kyiv city hospital of urgent aid demonstrated their best qualities in this situation. Regardless of the resistance of the DFOC officers and the investigator, they secretly passed to Goncharov the food parcels from his mother.
We turned to Evhen K., a doctor-anesthetist of the higher category, who was invited by advocates for the control of the treatment. He said: “More than once I talked with the doctor in charge of the case, read the case history and came to a conclusion that the quality of the treatment was very high. The attitude of the medics (in particular V. Kushin, the head of the reanimation-neuro-surgical ward) to Goncharov was not only highly professional, but also very humane. They did everything they could. Yet, the cardiac arrests occurred one after another. I am sure: the death of Goncharov could not be provoked artificially. The fact of the matter is that his organism was extremely weak. This weakness was caused by the first beating that resulted in multiple traumas and ruptures of the internal organs, three surgical operations, as well as the absence of the proper medical care in the preliminary prison”.
Advocate Viktor Boyarov declared that the relatives of Igor Goncharov were going to strive for punishment of the guilty of his murder. The advocates are now compiling the necessary documents and, since they do not believe in the Ukrainian justice, are firmly resolved to turn to the European Court, where not only several law-enforcers, but the Ukrainian state would be brought to responsibility for Igor Goncharovs death. Viktor Boyarov reckons that the probability to win the case in the European Court is almost 100%.
Militiamen were condemned for violence
On 21 July the Sadgirskiy local court condemned three former officers of the Chernivtsy town militia precinct, who last year mutilated a young dweller of Chernivtsy. After the publication in the newspaper “Molody Bukovinets” and the interference of other mass media the case became widely known and the victim managed to bring a suit against the militiamen. This story about the torture applied to an innocent person by militiamen was told in the Parliament by ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva.
On 5 May 2002 citizen A. turned to the Chernivtsy town militia precinct and complained that her computer had been stolen. Junior lieutenant Volodymir Sergiy and captain Ruslan Bartiuk got the order to investigate this burglary. Oleksandr Kiriliuk attracted their attention, since he could repair various technical equipment. The officers visited his flat and detained the boy under some negligible reason. Later Oleksandr told that he had learned about the real reason of the detention only in the militia car.
In the precinct the militiamen began to beat Oleksandr. “Bartiuk took the baton and ordered me to confess. I answered that I had not stole the computer and had the alibi. Yet, nobody checked the alibi. Ruslan Bartiuk hit me on the head, and when I raised up my hands to protect the head, they handcuffed me. My head was swollen, but nobody noticed that”.
After some time they continued the torture and began to beat the boy with wire and a plastic bottle filled with water. Then the captain suggested another “method”.
Oleksandr was forced to his knees, his head was bent to the couch. The militiamen took off Kiriliuks trousers and thrust the baton into his anus. The victim cried wildly. The torturers did not stop, they began to photograph the victim saying that if he would not confess, they would pass the photos to the prison, and his life there would be very hard after this. Junior sergeant Sergiy Skvortsov also took part in the torture: he gagged Oleksandr with a duster and held his hands. “I will sign everything, stop to torment me!” begged Kiriliuk. He was let alone.
When Oleksandr Kiriliuk stayed in hospital, the militiamen bought the pack of kefir and some sausage for him.
Yet, the boy had to undergo the surgical operation, doctors fought for his life for five hours. Nine serious injuries were found, among them: the cerebral brain concussion, closed trauma of stomach, rupture of the middle wall of rectum, purulent fecal peritonitis. Later the forensic experts classified these injuries as grave and “dangerous for life in the moment of infliction”.
When Olena, Kiriliuks mother, first saw her son in the hospital, she was astonished. The upper part of his head was “gelatinized”. Hear will never grow there after the hits with the baton and other things. When Olena took her son to Kyiv, and they visited the General Prosecutors office, the woman-prosecutor asked Oleksandr to leave the office, since she could not look at the after-effects of the beating.
The commandment of Chernivtsy militia tried to come off clear. They invented the version that Kiriliuk got the traumas as a result of fall on the stairs. They also insisted that the traces of beatings were on his body at the moment of detention – allegedly he had been beaten by somebody in the park.
However, Olena Kiriliuk continued the struggle. She found the independent experts, who examined her son and issued the medical certificate. The General Prosecutors office and ombudsperson N. Karpacheva intervened in this case. The militiamen were arrested.
“The trial was rather protracted, since the victim was sick and his treatment was long”, told Oleksiy Strizhakovskiy, the Chernivtsy transport prosecutor, who represented the state prosecution. “The trial was closed. The vicious practices of the work of criminal investigation department was unmasked at the court sittings, and the only name that may be given to these practices is lawlessness. Bartiuk, Sergiy and Skvortsov said that they acted with the noble purpose: they wanted to find a criminal. So, nobody doubts of it, this is their professional duty, but they had no right to apply such cruel methods!”
The court condemned Bartiuk, Sergiy and Skvortsov to different terms of incarceration: the former captain got four years, his accomplices – three and a half years each. All of them were condemned according to Articles 365 part 3 (exceeding the professional authority that resulted in grave consequences) and 121 part 2 (premeditated physical injuries) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. After the end of the term of imprisonment the former militiamen will be prohibited to occupy the posts connected with the functions of the representatives of the power during three years. They also were deprived of special ranks.
The court took into account the fact that the accused had minor children, that they frankly repented of their actions and apologized to the victim.
It seems to us that the guilty got off too lightly, since their crime does not correlate with the term of incarceration. Yet, the court knows better. At least, we will hope that the colleagues of the condemned will not repeat their experience, but will apply only lawful methods during investigation.
The newspaper “Molody Bukovinets”
Freedom of expression
Independent media trade union was created in Kremenchug
On 31 July the Initial conference was held, the participants of which took the decision to create the Kremenchug independent media trade union (KIMTU). The trade union was created as a result of the joint work of the International foundation “Vidrodjennia”, Kyiv independent media trade union, Kremenchug human rights protecting public organization “Za prava kozhnogo” (“For everybodys rights”) and Kremenchug trade union of mass media “Media-Liga”. There were representatives of Kremenchug mass media among the founders of the trade union, such as: the newspapers “Vagonobudivnyk”, “Telegraf”, “Avtograf”, “Visnyk Kremenchuga”, as well as the representatives of the public organization “Za prava kozhnogo” and independent journalists. Mykola Feldman, an independent journalist, a former worker of the publishing house “Privatna gazeta” and a correspondent of the weekly “Telegraf”, was elected to the post of the head of the KIMTU.
The trade union plans to conduct on 7 August 2003 in Kremenchug the seminar-presentation of the national trade union movement. The action will be carried out after the initiative of the founders of the Kyiv and Kremenchug IMTU with the support of the foundation “Vidrodjennia”.
The additional information can be get by the address: e-mail: [email protected], tel.: (05366) 32848.
"Tanya Akimova" [email protected]
A court determines what information is interesting for readers
The editorial board of the Kirovograd newspaper “Prosto gazeta” received a very interesting document from one of its readers. A Kirovograd dweller, which was a plaintiff at one of court sittings, invited representatives of mass media to the trial. Yet, the audio recording and photography in the courtroom were prohibited. The claimant turned to the court with the petition about journalists rights and got the resolution concerning the rights for photography, audio and video recording during the court sitting.
The resolution read: ”The court decided that there were no grounds for the satisfaction of this petition, since the claimant had no concern with the journalists, who wanted to carry out the recording and whose rights were allegedly violated. This case is not interesting for public”.
Well, this is a rather peculiar approach to the freedom of speech!
Is it possible that mass media may publish the materials about some events only after the court resolution about the public interest of these events? Is not it clear that the prohibition of photography, audio and video recording violates the operating laws and impedes the work of the representatives of mass media?
Militia demands to refute the information published by the head of a Lugansk NGO
On 6 August 2003 the preliminary court talk took place on the case concerning the publication in the oblast weekly “Vecherniy Lugansk” (No. 14, 3 April 2003) of the article written by the head of the Lugansk oblast public organization “Postup”.
The claim was handed by the special militia department of the Lugansk oblast militia directorate against Konstantin Reutskiy, the head of the public organization “Postup”, and the weekly “Vecherniy Lugansk”, where the article by Reutskiy was published. In the article Konstantin Reutskiy, being an independence journalist, described the problematic situation, which existed between him and the special militia department.
The prehistory of the situation is the following. The NGO “Postup” rented a part of former kindergarten No. 110, where the public organization created the rehabilitation center for homeless children. Another part of this building was occupied by the special militia department (SMD). Since January 2003 the rehabilitation center is closed, so the homeless children cannot get the protection and aid there. Konstantin Reutskiy asserted in his article that the center had been closed because of the absence of electricity and the unwillingness of major Mishchenko, the head of the SMD, to help the public organization to solve the problem. The fact of the matter is that the panel, from which the electric power can be switched on, is situated on the territory of the SMD, but it is possible to make the autonomous connection of the rehabilitation center to the same panel without any financial losses of militia. In spite of this, the commandment of the SMD refused to connect the rehabilitation center to the electric panel.
According to Konstantin Reutskiy, the reason for the refusal was major Mishchenkos wish to force K. Reutskiy to organize the meeting of the militia officer with the head of the fund “Bereginia”, the tenant of the third part of the building. The head of the fund, in his turn, did not want to meet the major. Besides, the head of “Postup” supposed in his article: “Either the children center became the hostage of the strained relations between the special militia department and the charity fund “Bereginia”, or militia is merely displeased with the vicinity of the establishment that patronize the homeless children”.
In the claim major Mishchenko explained that his refusal to connect the center to the electric network was caused by the necessity to agree the technical details of the connection in the “corresponding organizations” and to consider the possibility of connecting “Postup” to the energy power system of the SMD or “Bereginia”.
After several unsuccessful attempts to come to the agreement with the militia department Konstantin Reutskiy expressed his opinion about the situation in the article, after the publication of which he was summoned to court. The militiamen reckon that the opinion of K. Reutskiy on this problematic situation and the way of its description in the newspaper inflicted a serious damage to the honor, dignity and reputation of the SMD. Probably, the commandment of the militia department thinks that the best method to improve the reputation is to bring an action against a public organization that patronizes homeless children.
In the claim the head of the SMD demands: 1) to refute the information, which discredits militia; 2) to oblige Konstantin Reutskiy to apologize to the collective of the SMD.
However, it became obvious that the representative of militia could not explain what facts had to be refuted. The unconvincing arguments of the militia officer, which he adduced in judges office, were summed up by the phrase: “This article as a whole is unpleasant for militia”.
The judge appointed the court consideration on 12 September 2003.
Public keeps the eye on this case. The members of the organization “Total action for the support of human rights and democracy” and local journalists were present at the trial. During the preparation to the trial the head of “Postup” got the legal consultation from the public organization “For professional aid”.
The additional materials about this case can be found on the site of “Total action for the support of human rights and democracy”: http://totalaction.iatp.org.ua .
P. S. The peculiarities of the work of the judicial system are also interesting. Although the suit was brought both against Konstantin Reutskiy and the newspaper “Vecherniy Lugansk”, the subpoena was sent only to Reutskiy. And the editorial board of the newspaper knew nothing about the claim until Reutskiy informed them about that.
Property of a TV company was seized
On 16 July the officers of the court distrained upon the property of “TTV”, a private Kirovograd TV company. They executed the court decision on the claim of Vladimir Yaroshenko about the protection of honor, dignity and business reputation. The Kamenskiy court issued the verdict about the compensation of the moral damage equivalent to 300 thousand hryvnas inflicted to the ex-candidate to the post of Kirovograd mayor. The appeal court of the Cherkassy oblast approved the verdict.
Yulia Kuchitskaya, a deputy head of the department of state executive service of Leninskiy district, stated that she acted according to Article 63 of the Law of Ukraine “On court execution”, since there was no resolution of the Supreme Court on the suspension of the verdict of the local court. The property was seized and deposited to Viktor Shmidt, who, by the opinion of the court officer, was an unconcerned person. Representatives of “TTV”, on the contrary, regard Shmidt as an interested party, since he also had legal proceedings with the TV company and won the case.
It is noteworthy that the attempts to seize the property of the company were made formerly, but these attempts failed because of the absence of the manager and chief accountant. On 16 June they were absent too. The journalists do not tell where their administration was, and why the collective was left to the mercy of fate in the critical moment.
Now the rooms of the TV company are sealed and the company does not work. This is incomprehensible, since the procedure of distrain does not prohibit the use of the property for the work. Another unexpected factor affected the situation: an anonymous person phoned to militia and informed that the rooms of “TTV” were mine-strewn. Militia could not find any explosive.
The center for monitoring the freedom of speech carries out the expertise of this conflict.
The information was given by the Association “Public initiatives”, Kirovograd
Again about V. Krivdas accreditation
The Krivoy Rog town authorities began the reluctant and muddled retreat before the unexpectedly massive public support of the demands presented by journalist Valentina Krivda. The initiator of this just indignation stubbornly strives for the cancellation of Article 13 of the Regulations on the work of the town council and for the free access to the sessions of the town council for the representatives of mass media independently of their political orientation and their proximity to the power. Valentina Krivda, being a victim of such discrimination of journalists, during five months turned to all agencies connected with the work of mass media. This campaign attracted the attention of public to the case.
More than ten publications appeared in local mass media, bulletin “Prava ludyny” published by the Kharkov group for human rights protection also commented on this case, the collection of signatures began under the motto “Render the freedom of speech to Krivoy Rog!”
Almost 500 signatures of Krivoy Rog dwellers were presented to town mayor Yuri Lubonenko. The responses of various officials to the informational requests of V. Krivda confirmed the groundlessness of the attempts of the town power to prevent her presence at the sessions of the town council.
Besides, in the beginning of June of the current year O. Kovalkova, a deputy of the head of the Dnepropetrovsk oblast directorate of justice, communicated the following (letter No. 04-5/1840 of 1 July 2003): “After the juridical analysis of the above-mentioned laws and other operating normative-legal acts, which concern your question, we came to the conclusion that there existed no operating normative-legal acts containing the norm, according to which any physical or juridical person had the authority “to establish the necessity of the presence of the representatives of state organs, district councils, political parties, other public organizations, labor collectives, press and TV at the sittings of the town council or permanently working commissions…””
Yet, the Regulations on the work of the town council are just the act, which prevents the appearance of independent journalists in the session hall!
So, under the pressure of the irrefutable proofs of the absence of any legal grounds for ousting the journalists from the important social mission, the town power began to manipulate with the accreditation of journalist V. Krivda. Despite the numerous attempts of the all-Ukrainian weekly “Shliakh Peremogi” to achieve the accreditation of its correspondent, V. Petrovnin, the executive officer of the executive committee, continues to “explain” that “the accreditation of a journalist in the organs of local self-rule is realized on the basis of the official appeal handed by the mass medium to the corresponding organ or on the basis of the appeal of the journalist, who must present the proper documents confirming their professional status or the recommendations of the professional journalists union” (V. Petrovnins words). Then V. Petrovnin continued the demonstration of his “legal knowledge”. He pointed out: “Your letter reads about the accreditation of your freelance worker V. Krivda, but not a journalist”. In this connection M. Makar, the manager of the company “Ukrainska Vydavnicha Spilka” (“Ukrainian Union of Publishers”), the founder of the weekly, had to turn to the executive committee of the Krivoy Rog town council, which, without the open participation of the mayor, inflexibly defends the non-transparency of the work of the council. The motives and arguments quoted in the appeal are worthy of note: “… The official response (outgoing No. 7/31-1528 of 25 July 2003) of V. Petrovnin, the executive officer of the executive committee, motivates the refusal in the accreditation of our freelance correspondent by the absence of the confirmation of her professional status. At that, the official interprets the above-mentioned law incorrectly and distorts the provisions of this law”.
We want to remind that the Law reads: “… on the basis of the official appeal handed by the mass medium” OR “… on the basis of the appeal of the journalist with the confirmation of his professional status”. So, these two kinds of the appeals on accreditation are not connected with each other, and a mass medium has the right to accredit in the organs of local self-rule any worker of this media, even a freelance one. Besides, V. Petrovnins demonstrates his dense incompetence considering the concepts “correspondent” and “journalist” to be absolutely different and stating that the Law concerns only the latter ones… So, taking into account the above-mentioned arguments, we are forced to regard the unmotivated refusal in the accreditation of our correspondent V. Krivda as a brutal violation of the Law of Ukraine “On the procedure of elucidation of the activities of the organs of state power and organs of local self-rule in Ukraine by mass media” and impediment to the professional activities of the journalist and mass media by the officials of the organ of state power, in particular, by executive officer V. Petrovnin”.
However, only several journalists were invited by the officials to the July session of the town council (the third one after the beginning of the protest campaign): representatives of the newspaper “Chervony girnyk” (the organ of the town council), municipal TV and radio company “Rudana” and state TV and radio company “Krivorizhzhia”. Valentina Krivda, a correspondent of the all-Ukrainian weekly “Shliakh Peremogi”, Olena Kostadinova, a deputy of the editor-in-chief of the civil-political newspaper “Pravo”, and Natalya Sokurenko, the editor-in-chief of the oblast independent social-political newspaper “Tochka zreniya” and the assistant-consultant of MP Grigoriy Omelchenko, the head of the deputies union “Antimafia”, were not admitted to the session.
The reaction of the prosecutors office to the facts of the impediment to the professional activities of journalists was aimed at the support of the illegal actions of the power and must be investigated additionally. Ivan Chizh, the head of the State committee in charge of TV and radio broadcasting, confirmed in his letter of 1 August 2003 the propriety of V. Krivdas demands and expressed the gratitude “for the allegiance to principles in the fulfillment of journalists professional duties”. Mykola Tomenko, the head of the Supreme Rada Committee in charge of the freedom of speech and information, directed the letter of 11 July 2003 to the Krivoy Rog town council and to the journalists of the editions “Tochka zreniya”, “Shliakh Peremogi” and “Pravo”. In this letter he refers to the proper laws and reminds that “The accreditation is given according to the administrative procedure, so the provisions on accreditation, issued by the corresponding power organs, must not introduce any grounds for the refusal in accreditation to the journalists, who presented the needed documents (underlined by M. Tomenko). The journalists must be accredited. It should be noted that the Law does not envisage any limitations of the number of journalists, who may get the accreditation”.
Finally, after several fruitless checks conducted by the demand of V. Krivda, even the prosecutors office understood what was the matter of the case. In the letter of 13 June 2003 Krivoy Rog prosecutor V. Kravets, a juridical counselor of the 3rd class, wrote that the subject of V. Krivdas complaint – the Regulations on the work of the Krivoy Rog town council – agreed with the operating laws. However, two months later the prosecutors office had to change its opinion. The above-mentioned letter reads: “According to the Regulations on the work of the Krivoy Rog town council, representatives of state organs, district councils, political parties, other public organizations, labor collectives, printed mass media and TV are invited to the sittings of the town council only if necessary. The transparency of the work of the town council is provided by the way of elucidation by TV, radio, printed mass media, in particular, the informational organs of the Krivoy Rog town council and executive committee: the town newspaper “Chervony girnyk” and the TV and radio company “Rudana”. The check did not uncover any brutal violations (maybe the prosecutors office does not deal with not-brutal violations? – Authors note) of the laws concerning your right for obtaining the information about the work of the sessions of the town council; so, there no grounds for taking some measures”. The letter of the prosecutors office of 22 August 2003 signed by the acting prosecutor of Krivoy Rog runs: “According to the results of the check, Article 13 of the Regulations on the work of the town council contradicts to the norms of the operating laws. On the recommendations of the Krivoy Rog prosecutors office, Article 13 of the Regulations will be brought to accordance with the legal norms. Besides, the working deputies group was created at the Krivoy Rog town council. The group prepared the propositions on the procedure of the accreditation of representatives of mass media in the town council and the Regulations on the procedure of elucidating the work of the town council and its executive organs. The mentioned documents will be presented for the consideration to the deputies of the town council in August 2003”. The last paragraph of the letter promises another iteration of the exhaustive red tape, since the town authorities will do their best to dodge from the transparency, one of the main principles, on which, according to the Law of Ukraine “On local self-rule in Ukraine”, the local self-rule is based. We are sure that the drafts of the changes, which are inaccessible for the public, will be directed towards the preservation of the opacity of the existing local normative base connected with the accreditation of journalists.
Freedom of peaceful assembly
The authorities prohibited two meetings in the Poltava oblast
1. The commemoration meeting devoted to the victims of the famine.
The Poltava oblast suffered from the famine of 1933 more than other oblasts. In spite of this the authorities of the Poltava oblast ignored the Presidents Edict “The appeal of the participants of the special sitting of the Supreme Rada to the Ukrainian people” concerning the 70th anniversary of this tragedy. They do nothing to revere the memory of the victims of the totalitarian regime, to inform the population, especially the youth, about the sorrowful lessons of history.
The recent events became another proof of the double moral and spiritual degradation of the people, who govern our country.
Twenty members of the oblast union of political prisoners and the repressed planned to conduct on 9 March in Poltava the Day of sorrow and memory of the famine of 1932-1933. They intended to place wreaths near the former shop for trading with foreigners (now the shop “Astera”) and to march from this place to the former Kobeliaki prison (now the building of the oblast TV company “Ltava”) with candles.
The Poltava town executive committee was informed about this action in the accordance with Article 39 of the Constitution. Yet, the authorities prohibited the march and said that everybody, who wanted to commemorate the victims of this remote tragedy, had to go to the stadium “Vorskla”, where the conduction of mass actions was permitted by the executive committee.
However, just in case, six hefty militiamen were sent to the downtown, where the action was planned to be conducted. So, of whom the Poltava authorities are afraid?
2. The meeting, at which the Lubny dwellers demanded from the authorities to work off their high salaries and to obey the law
Last week the meeting was held in Lubny. It was organized by the local branches of the opposition parties. According to Article 39 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the organizers informed the authorities about the time and place of the mass action. Yet, the Lubny town executive committee prohibited the meeting, thus violating the citizens right for peaceful assemblies.
However, about a thousand of Lubny inhabitants came to the Kirov Square to express their protest against the action of the power and law-enforcing organs.
Former Lubny mayor Vasyl Koriak, leaders of Lubny organizations of the parties “Sobor”, “Batkivshchina” and the SPU, deputies of the town council and common dwellers spoke with bitterness about the criminal situation in the town, which had noticeably deteriorated after the appointment of V. Kharapudko to the post of the head of Lubny militia directorate. Narcomania is widespread in the town: the used syringes can be now found in every doorway. There are some grounds to think that the drug traffic is realized under the cover of militia. For a portion of narcotics the drug addicts confess their guilt, and the real criminals remain at large. The Lubny inhabitants also told that torture became a usual method for obtaining “the frank confession”.
The participants of the meeting adopted the resolution, in which they demanded to dismiss the commandment of Lubny militia, since it compromised the law-enforcing organs. In particular, the document reads: “We want militiamen to work off their high salaries and to be a model of law-obedience”.
The people spoke with indignation about the activities of the town council. The state of the town economy is lamentable. Communist A. Sobolev, the town mayor, insists that there is no money for the upkeep of the children summer camp near Sula. At the same time the business structures are released from taxes by the decision of the town council. One of the examples is the town market, which was bringing about 300 thousand hryvnas to the town budget. Maybe the town does not need this money?! Three shops for veterans were sold to private persons for the absurd price. And new owners immediately sold these shops for the real price – with five zeros.
The executive committee purchased a new building for 260 thousand hryvnas, and repaired it for 500 thousand hryvnas more. The head of the committee and his deputy will have the relaxation rooms with shower cubicles and warm lavatories. At the same time, pupils and teachers of some Lubny schools still go to the street lavatory…
According to the documents, more than 500 thousand UAH were expended for asphalting the streets, but the town dwellers cannot recollect when even the central street was repaired. The town power issues the permissions to build up the squares and playgrounds with cafes, shops and filling stations, thus deteriorating the state of the environment. The dwellers of the old town suffer from various communal breakdowns.
The situation in the privatized enterprises is also incomprehensible: the living standard of the common workers is steadily decreasing and the living standard of the owners is steadily increasing.
The participants of the meeting decided to turn to the Counting Chamber and the General Prosecutors office with the request to check the appropriateness of the use of the town budget and to give the legal assessment of the numerous outrageous facts.
It was unpleasant for me, a journalist, to hear from the town inhabitants that the local pro-power mass media, in the materials about this meeting, would, as always, criticize the opposition, which allegedly “uses the temporary difficulties for destabilizing the social and political climate”. The people were saying openly that they were already tired with lie.
Prohibition of discrimination
Ukraine: women are discriminated on the labor-market
Sexual discrimination in Ukraine deprives women of the opportunity to work, and the Ukrainian government does nothing for the improvement of the situation, reads the report of the non-governmental organization “Human Rights Watch”.
The 60-page report “Womens labor: discrimination of women on the Ukrainian labor-market” describes how the Ukrainian employers discriminate the women, who are looking for job, by announcing the vacancies and by the methods of conducting the interviews.
Both state organizations and private structures usually give preference to men in the announcements about free vacancies. The employers also use the information about the family status of the candidates, which information they get during the interviews, to substantiate the refusal to hire the women. The demands concerning the age and appearance also eliminate a great part of women, who suit this job from the professional viewpoint.
“The labor-market in Ukraine reflects the extremely archaic stereotype concept about womens abilities”, declared LaShon Jefferson, the executive manager of “Human Rights Watch” department of womens rights. “The government of Ukraine may not be called the protector of women, since it is tolerant to the situation, when women are doomed to the most poorly-paid and humiliating jobs”.
The authorities regularly deny the existence of the discrimination of women on the Ukrainian labor-market. Yet, the inspectors of the Ministry of labor and social policy lack the wish and the professional skills for investigating the discrimination practices.
At the same time, the State Employment Service endorses such discrimination. The service publishes the announcements about free vacancies, in which the desirable sex of the candidates is pointed out. The Service even demands from the employers to express their wishes about the sex of the candidates.
The government of Ukraine signed a number of international agreements, which prohibit the discrimination of women on the labor-market, in particular the Convention on the extermination of all forms of discrimination of women and anti-discrimination Convention No. 111 of the International labor organization.
The announcements about free vacancies, in which the desirable sex of the candidates is pointed out, are published in the Ukrainian newspapers and magazines, on the Internet sites. The state employment centers, private employment firms and agencies also spread announcements of such kind regularly. The announcements with such demands as, for example “… a woman from 18 to 30 years old with the attractive appearance” are the common phenomena.
The demands on the sex of candidates exist in all spheres. Men-candidates are demanded both in the announcements about the vacancies for blue-collar workers and the announcements about the vacancies for managers. The majority of the vacancies for women concern the sphere of service, such as the jobs of waitresses or housemaids, as well as the underpaid professional jobs, for example, of secretaries or accountants. As a result, women even do not pretend to many other jobs that correspond to their professional skills and qualification.
The discrimination during interviews is also practiced, and an interview can be rather rigorous and humiliating for the women-candidates. The employers question the women about their age, family status, atmosphere in their families and job of their husbands. The potential bosses take the decisions on the basis of the obtained information. For example, young women get the refusal more often, since the employers believe that the thoughts of women in this age are occupied with the upbringing of children.
The women, who are older than 35, also come across the serious obstacles, since the majority of vacancies (secretaries, nurses and waitresses) are regarded as the jobs for young women only.
In order to solve the problem of the widespread discrimination of women on the Ukrainian labor-market “Human Rights Watch” proposes to the government of Ukraine:
- to condemn publicly the discrimination of women in all spheres of employment, including the announcements about vacancies;
- to guarantee the absence of the discrimination at the employment to state establishments and organizations, to stop the practice of stipulating the sex of candidates in the announcements about vacancies;
- to adopt the legal acts aimed at the extermination of sexual restrictions in the sphere of obtaining the privileges concerning the baby-minding (except the maternity leave);
- to conduct, jointly with the NGOs, employers groups, etc., the all-Ukrainian enlightenment campaigns for women, who are looking for job, representatives of the power and state officials, with the purpose of increasing the level of knowledge about the sexual discrimination and sexual harassment, as well as about the official opportunities of recompensing the moral damage to those, whose rights were abused.
“Human Rights Watch” also turned to the international organizations with the appeal to take the urgent measures for the liquidation of the discrimination. In particular, “Human Rights Watch” suggested to the governments of the USA and other countries to include the anti-discrimination educational components to the assistance programs aimed at the support of womens rights and the prevention of slave trade.
“Human Rights Watch” asked the European Union to help the Ukrainian government to bring the Ukrainian legislation into accord with the EU standards concerning the non-discrimination and equality of women on labor-market. It also turned to the International labor organization with the request to organize the additional education of state officials, in particular, the inspectors of the Ministry of labor and social policy, on the sexual aspects of labor rights and the conduction of service investigations of the complaints.
The “Human Rights Watch” report is placed on the Internet site
Behind the bars. The note about the conditions in the Ukrainian penitentiaries, in particular, the epidemic situation.
A common citizen knows about the real conditions in our penitentiary system only by hearsay. And those, who know that from their own experience, recollect the penitentiaries as a nightmare. The state has no money for the upkeep of the incarcerated. One of the central editions wrote that the budget envisaged 35 kopecks (0.07 USD) per day for the upkeep of one convict. So, it is senseless to say about the normal nourishment and provision with medical drugs. At the same time, TB and AIDS rage in penitentiary establishments. Such situation can develop into the catastrophe on a national scale, since prisons are overcrowded and the diseases are contagious. After the release the former prisoners get to the society, so everyone takes chances to catch TB.
These problems exist and are not solved during many years. Yet, lately the third sector became more active. So, the hope appeared, since the people, who work there (mainly volunteers) do their best to change our world for the better. For example, in 2001 the public organization “Svoboda” was created. The purpose of the organization is to help the former incarcerated in the social rehabilitation, and to return them to the normal life of honest citizens. Moreover, the organization tries to find jobs for the former convicts, since the level of unemployment in the Kirovograd oblast is very high, and nobody would employ voluntarily a person with a criminal record. Yet, when a former prisoner understands that nobody needs him, he may commit a crime again. Valentin Lukin, the head of the board of “Svoboda” (by the way, he is also a honorable president of the Kirovograd oblast federation of heavy athletics), says that the organization renders the regular aid to the oblast penitentiary department with food and medical drugs.
“We want to persuade the public”, Valentin Lukin continues, “that the people, who violated the law remain people. And the society may not spurn them, since in that way the society indirectly incites them to new crimes.
Unfortunately, some people do not understand the essence of the problem. Various diseases rage in penitentiary establishments because of bad nourishment and medical care, and the released spread these diseases. That is why the number of the people infected with TB, AIDS and hepatitis has increased recently. We must realize that this is our common problem, and then we will be able to solve it”.
“Vedomosti-plus” No. 33, 15 August 03
Preliminary prisons will be closed.
The upkeep conditions in the special penitentiary establishments of Kirovograd do not meet the requirements of the Ukrainian Constitution and the European committee against torture. This information was communicated by Oleg Kogliak, the head of the department of public security of the oblast militia directorate. According to his words, none of the special establishments are equipped with disinfection cameras, 81% of the preliminary prisons have no shower cubicles, the sanitization of the convicts is conducted very rarely. 19 penitentiaries even do not have the ventilation systems.
By the order of the head of the Kirovograd oblast militia directorate, the work of the preliminary prisons was suspended in the Onufrievskiy, Bobrinetskiy, Kompaneevskiy, Golovanevskiy, Gayvoronskiy, Ustinovskiy and Olshanskiy districts and in the town of Aleksandria.
The establishment for the persons detained for vagrancy, special penitentiary for the persons kept under administrative arrest and 22 preliminary prisons work now in the Kirovograd oblast. The capacity of the preliminary prisons is 492 persons: 116 cells for the detained and arrested and 24 cells for the administratively arrested.
“Vedomosti-plus”, No. 32, 8.08.03
The vicious circle
It is difficult to disagree with the recently published conclusions of the Board of the Organization of soldiers mothers of Ukraine that the legislation on military service and conscription is imperfect. And it cannot be perfect, since it does not take into account the real situation, which changes rapidly in our young state. It seems that our laws are created by the people, who live on the Moon: they are so far from army, medicine and jurisprudence! Yet, the main problem is that they are also far from common people, since the task of laws is to stipulate and ground the responsibility of all involved persons in every case.
Let us consider, for example, the law on conscription. This law must accurately envisage the responsibility of the parties: servicemen, medical doctors and officers. Yet, our law stipulates only the responsibility of servicemen (and this is usual for the majority of our laws: the most unprotected persons are responsible for everything). As to the law on the conscription, Orders Nos. 2 and 207 of the Ministry of Defense and “The regulations on the conduction of the conscription”, they were adopted as early as in the Soviet times and are much better than other legal acts in this sphere. Yet, none of these documents envisages the efficient scheme of medical examination of recruits, as well as the strict criteria, according to which the military medical commissions should take the decisions about the dismissal of servicemen because of the state of health. That is why this relatively liberal legislation, which gives the opportunity not to enlist the ill youths, does not work. And we continue to receive the complaints from military units with the lists of the soldiers, who were dismissed because of poor health in the first months of their service.
For some reasons our data noticeably differ from the information, which is possessed by the oblast military commissariat and the oblast health protection department, but we are unable to guess this riddle.
So, let us consider what elements of Orders Nos. 2 and 207 have, in our opinion, the negative influence on the quality of recruiting campaigns. Article 90 “The regulations on the conscription” of Order No. 2 contains the list of data about recruits, which must be presented to the medics of the district and oblast military commissariats for taking the decision about the fitness for military service. A recruit must have the fluorogram or roentgenogram of lungs, clinical tests of blood and urine, electrocardiogram (1 time per three years), TB tests, medical certificate about childhood diseases, certificate from doctors-specialists of the district polyclinic. Besides, the comments to the articles describing the diseases are indistinct.
Yet, we are living in the country, which occupies one of the first places in Europe by the incidence of TB, AIDS and viral hepatitis. We observe the great quantity of psychical disorders among youths, mass media publish many materials about adolescent and child drug addiction. At the same time, the rules on the examination and the list of the necessary data, which must be passed to the district military commissariats from medical establishments, remain invariable during recent 10 years.
However, in 1993, when the Ministry of Defense adopted Order No. 2, the epidemic rate was much lower and drug addiction was not so widely spread. What can a doctor see, looking at the arms of a boy, who regularly smokes, snuffs or swallows some narcotic drug? And what conclusions can be drawn from the clinical tests of blood and urine, if the youth is infected with AIDS or viral hepatitis? The pulmonary tuberculosis is the most often, but, unfortunately, not only form of this terrible disease, so it is impossible to diagnose TB only by fluorography. And what about the numerous endocrine pathologies that stroke the entire Central Ukraine after the Chernobyl catastrophe? How to diagnose the early stage of such diseases?
The list of the basic documents is not, of course, the entire examination. Doctors of the medical commissions of district and oblast military commissariats must examine a recruit, listen to his complaints and, if these complaints are confirmed with the documents, send him for the additional examination. Yet, some recruits conceal their diseases, since they want to serve, although sometimes they have extremely serious health problems: schizophrenia, psychopathy, retrogressive amnesia, encephalopathy with loss of consciousness, acute stomach ulcer, etc. Young soldiers with all above-mentioned diseases were dismissed from our army. We talked with some of them (the majority of these boys deserted from their units and turned to the Kharkov oblast union of soldiers mothers for aid). They wanted to serve, did not complain and did not present any documents about their sicknesses to the medical commission. Nobody examined them additionally. We know that district medical commissions often consist of 3-4 doctors. And how frequent these doctors send recruits for examination to the oblast center? Very rarely.
So, it is insufficient to list the diseases that make a recruit not-able-bodied, it should be also stipulated which examinations must be conducted after the medical inspection of a recruit or after his own complaints. The methods of additional examination must be described in details for every disease. Maybe, such thoroughness would be inexpedient in some other country. Yet, in Ukraine, where the mass army exists side by side with the extremely imperfect system of health protection, the actions of every participant must be scheduled step by step. Otherwise, some of these steps will not be made, a disease will not be disclosed and the ill recruit will be enlisted with all inevitable consequences.
In what follows we want to give some concrete examples.
The report of the head of the Organization of soldiers mothers of Ukraine mentions Article 87 “hypotrophia”, which was almost cancelled by Order No. 207. The matter is that the precise parameters, according to which the doctors had to diagnose this disease, disappeared. The article now contains a rather vague definition: “The insufficient development of osseous-muscle system and hypodermic tissue”. So, the commanders of military units complain that the youths with underweight get to the army, the underweight that was the first symptom of more serious pathology, which showed up only during the service.
Let us consider another example: Article 90 of Order No. 207 “allergic diseases”. Undoubtedly, the very appearance of such article is a great step forward. Yet, owing to the vagueness of the text of the article, the doctors turned out to be not ready for the examination of the recruits, who complained about the allergic diseases. Once I disputed with an allergist, who surprised me with the question: why the youths, who suffered from polynosis, might not be taken to the army? The discussion was purely theoretical, since this allergist had no connection with the conscription. Yet, the recruits could get to her hospital at any moment. It appeared that the doctor knew nothing about the real situation in the army, and this is not a rare phenomenon. The doctors of military commissions also do not know (and nobody explains to them) what conditions are waiting for the youths acknowledged by them to be able-bodied.
As to Article 90, it does not stipulate what analyses, tests and examinations must be carried out. Allergy has many forms, and each form demands individual testing. Yet, there exist some common peculiarities: immunity changes, for instance, or the stable respiratory disorders. It is easy to disclose such symptoms. However, we often come across the complaints of recruits, who have grave allergic diseases, but were badly examined and had to organize the additional examination by their own efforts to prove the existence of their illnesses. Here are two examples. Patient O. was examined in the allergic ward of the local hospital, where the doctors made neither the immunoassay nor the corresponding tests. The allergy was not found, and the boy was acknowledged to be able-bodied. After our request O. was additionally examined in the oblast allergic ward. All necessary analyses were made, and the diagnosis “allergy in the form of recurrent polynosis with frequent exacerbations and Quinke edema” was confirmed. Recruit K., who suffers from the allergic rhinitis since his childhood, who has the Quinke edema and cannot breathe through the nose, was also declared able-bodied even without the consultation of an allergist. This decision was made on the basis of the conclusion of the town laryngological hospital, although this conclusion undoubtedly pointed out the allergic origin of the disease: allergic rhinitis. Yet, the doctors forgot to mention the stable inability to breathe through the nose. K. also had to pass the alternative examination. This story is not finished yet.
I gave the quite usual examples – the first ones that I found in the list of the complaints connected with Article 90. Yet, the conscription of a youth with serious allergic disease is dangerous for his life. For instance, a young soldier with the allergic reaction to flowers and with the inclination to Quinke edema gets to the maneuvers in a forest or a field. The medical unit is far away, and the commanders cannot understand the problem, since they are not medics!
So, considering the practical application of Orders Nos. 2 and 207 one can see that, as usual, the intentions were good, but the results are bad.
Article 256 of Order No. 2 prohibits the enlistment of the youths with the aggregate of chronic diseases (each of which does not give the right for the release from the service) that makes impossible the army service. Yet, we do not know a single case, when this article was applied. And this is not strange, since it is impossible to understand what the enigmatical text “the aggregate of chronic diseases that makes impossible the army service” means. The vagueness of formulations is inadmissible in the military sphere, especially when the army cannot influence the quality of the conscription being unable to give the orders to the civil persons, who are involved in the recruiting campaigns. That is why we cannot improve the situation with recruiting the sick youths.
This question becomes the most acute, when the matter concerns the responsibility of a concrete person, who is guilty of the enlistment of an unhealthy recruit. Every doctor, either neuropathologist, or therapeutist, or surgeon, can answer that nothing depended upon him, that the recruit did not complain and the documents contained no information on the disease. This means that every doctor must have his own duties stipulated by law. And, if the law were not fulfilled, then the doctor, or those, who impeded him to examine the recruit, or the medical establishment that issued the erroneous conclusion about the health of the recruit, would be responsible. However, even the demands that are envisaged in the law are regularly violated, and the doctors of medical commissions are not always guilty of that. Orders Nos. 2 and 207 demand to examine each recruit in a separate room, but this demand is not executed: the doctors work in one room, or the rooms are situated side by side and the doors are not closed. Moreover, several recruits enter a room at the same time. So, who will dare to complain about enuresis or hemorrhoids? Nobody. And who will be responsible?
Our country does not want to calculate the money, either its own or the money of tax payers. That is the reason why the level of social protection is so low in our country, why our pensioners and handicapped are so miserable. We adopt the worthless laws and resolutions, and we release from responsibility everyone, except the most unprotected and poorest people. All this creates the vicious circle in our state…
The Public reception office in Kirovograd is overcrowded
More than 180 citizens visited the Public reception office of the Center for human rights protection of the association “Public initiatives” (Kirovograd). The reception office works since April 2003 owing to the aid of the National Endowment for Democracy of the USA Embassy. Nikolay Bezlatny, the legal consultant, receives more than 50 clients instead of the planned 20 per month. The workers of the reception office even had to introduce the preliminary registration by phone because of too great flow of people, who wanted to get the legal aid gratis.
The monitoring of the appeals show that most of clients (57.5%) turn to the reception office in the connection with the violations of their humanitarian rights: labor, social, etc. The overwhelming majority of the visitors (87.75%) are poor citizens, who cannot afford to pay for juridical services. They especially need the opportunity to obtain free legal consultations and aid. A considerable part of them (77.5%) have already tried to protect their rights in other instances, but only 20% got the aid. The appeals to public organizations and militia turned out to be the most efficient. The proportion of positive results in these cases was 57.1% and 42.8% correspondingly. The clients of the public reception office achieved no results, when they turned to the organs of local self-rule, prosecutors offices and state executive service.
The project “Training in self-rule” started to work in the Poltava oblast
The project “Training in self-rule” started to work in 20 districts of the Poltava oblast. The goal of the project is to attract the maximal number of the members of territorial communities to the participation in local self-rule.
During the year the trainers of the project, who have the significant experience of public activities and the work in the organs of local self-rule, will conduct the seminars and trainings in district centers of the oblast. They will teach the deputies of local councils, leaders of street and house committees, activists of public organizations. The project “Training in self-rule” was initiated by the Association of businessmen and enterprises of Mirgorod and the Poltava oblast fund “Miloserdie i zdorovye” (“Charity and health”). The project was one of the winners of the competition of grants in the framework of the project “The network of public activities in Ukraine” (UCAN) financed by the USA Agency of international development.
The aim of the project “Training in self-rule” is to spread the experience of Mirgorod territorial community in the sphere of protecting and lobbying the interests of the community. The project is open for new initiatives, so we invite for cooperation the representatives of all territorial communities of the Poltava oblast. The ideas and achievements in the improvement of the processes of local self-rule will be described in the manual “Self-rule in the Poltava oblast”, which will be published in 2004.
Besides, the project “Training in self-rule” is planned to be realized later in the Kharkov oblast.
The contact phone in Mirgorod: (05355) 5-27-76.
The round table “You must know your rights” in Lutsk
On 29 July 2003 the round table was held in the framework of the project “You must know your rights”. Representatives of human rights protecting organizations and state agencies, to which citizens turn with their requests and appeals, as well as the journalists of Volyn mass media took part in the round table.
This action was conducted by the Volyn resource center and the public organizations “Volynski perprektivy” with the purpose of making public the results of the monitoring of the publications about the violations of human rights. The monitoring was carried out by Volyn mass media in 2002-beginning of 2003. Besides, the Volyn resource center presented the informational leaflets published after the results of the monitoring. These leaflets concern the most urgent questions, with which the citizens turned to the human rights protecting public organizations of the Volyn oblast.
The list of the topics of the appeals includes 21 items. The most frequent topics are: job placement (174 publications), social protection of the jobless and the dole (163), remuneration of labor (152), rights and freedoms of citizens, who are engaged in private farming (147), etc. Ruslana Stasiuk, the project manager, stated that this research was extremely necessary for the comprehension of actual situation with the elucidation by mass media of the violations of human rights. The monitoring showed that 208 materials on the violations of human rights were published in the editions of the Volyn oblast during the inspected period. The obtained data confirm that this topic is not too popular in mass media.
On the one hand, mass media write about the ineffectiveness and imperfection of laws, and on the other hand – about the dependence of the press on the local authorities. In particular, the local journalists described the facts of interference of the representatives of state agencies to their work. In fact, the number of violations is much greater, but journalists not always have the opportunity to elucidate these violations.
Representatives of state agencies described the main problems, with which the people turned to the organs of state power, in particular, the questions connected with the work of housing and communal services, rendering the financial aid, returning the savings of citizens from bank accounts, imperfect judicial legislation (illegitimate court verdicts), violations of land and labor legislation, etc.
During the round table, after the consideration of the results of the monitoring, the participants elaborated the following propositions:
To inform journalists about their rights and the mechanisms of the protection of these rights.
To create the public coalition for permanent monitoring of the problems of human rights protection.
To conduct the monitoring of the reaction of power structures to the appeals of citizens.
To publish the informational leaflets on the problem of returning the savings of citizens.
The Volyn resource center
Public organizations and lobbying the interests of local self-rule
60 representatives of 27 public organizations and organs of state power, deputies of district councils of the region took the active part in the project.
The manual for trainers “Lobbying: essence, main principles, application practices” was prepared in the framework of the project; the manual has been already applied at two seminars-trainings. The following questions were considered at the training:
· Lobbying. Mechanisms of lobbying.
· Lobbying the interests of local self-rule by public organizations.
Summing up the results of the project we may state that today the work of public organizations is not active in the districts situated far from the center of the Transcarpathian region. In general, the public organizations work effectively only in the oblast center and two other great towns of the region. This situation is caused by the fact that we missed the period of the activation of public activity that lasted during recent five years.
Communicating with the representatives of public organizations and designating the problems, with which these organizations face in the course of their work, we established that:
·§ there are no public organizations that cooperate with the organs of local self-rule and state power and make public the results of this cooperation in some districts, for example, Uzhgorod, Volovets and Vinogradov districts;
· representatives of public organizations of the region and some representatives of the organs of local self-rule are ignorant of the mechanisms of the conduction of gatherings of citizens, organization of public hearings, realization of local initiatives, etc.;
· the process of spreading the positive experience concerning the realization of the decisions on the local level is impeded because of the lack of knowledge about the norms regulating the work of the organs of local self-rule.
In order to improve the existing situation and to activate the work of public organizations in the remote districts of the Transcarpathian region we decided: to create the network of the public organizations, who took part in the project, with the purpose of cooperation and development of further steps for protecting the interests of local communities.
· To conduct the trainings and seminars for the representatives of public organizations, leaders of local communities on the questions of forming the active groups in the local communities, planning the activities of public organizations, attracting the finances from the local sources, conducting negotiations and looking for partners, as well as on other topics that should assist in the work of the heads of the organizations.
· To initiate and realize the projects jointly with other, more experienced, organizations, to distribute the printed matter.
· To conduct the trainings for the leaders of the organizations, the participants of the project, to create the organizations-partners of the resource centers for the development of local initiatives.
In the nearest future we plan to organize the network of partners and to develop the rules of the work.
Point of view
The USS wants to know the public opinion about the draft of the law on the monitoring of telecommunications
“Interfax-Ukraina” informs that the Ukrainian Security Service proposes to all interested parties to express their opinions on the draft of the law developed by the USS on the creation of the special system of the monitoring of telecommunications.
On 27 August the USS press service spread the statement, which read that the text of the draft was placed on the official site of the USS, that the security service hoped “to receive the comments, remarks and suggestions from all interested organizations and persons” and that these comments and suggestions would be taken into account in the process of discussing the draft.
The document presented to the Parliament envisages the creation of the unified monitoring system for the secret collection of information during the ODA, intelligence and counterespionage activities.
The USS declares in its statement that this draft does not extend the authorities of law-enforcing organs, but envisages the technical and organizational measures for the conduction of the monitoring on the legal grounds. Besides, the adoption of the law will not require from the state any additional material or other expenses.
“The monitoring of telecommunications realized on the legal grounds is a demand of our time caused by the complicated criminal situation that has formed in the world”, declares the USS.
Representatives of the special service point out that the development of informational technologies and improvement of the telecommunication infrastructure of Ukraine with its gradual integration into the international informational space result in the necessity of the adequate alteration of the legislation concerning the protection of the rights of the people, community and state in the informational sphere.
“This problem becomes especially significant, if to take into account the increase of the number of the cases of cybernetic crimes and the use of the informational technologies by terrorist groups”, the USS representatives reckon.
The unified monitoring system, according to the law draft, will be created and maintained by the USS. The right to use this system will be rendered to the organs that will have the right, on the basis of the corresponding laws, for the secret collection of information from the communication channels.
By the information of Korrespondent.net, the Cabinet of Ministers has already presented the draft “On the monitoring of telecommunications” for consideration by the Parliament.
Now, according to the law on the ODA, the right for the secret collection of information (approved by court) is rendered to some units of militia, the USS, frontier troops, Directorate of state guard, special units of tax militia, State tax administration, Penitentiary Department and the intelligence service of the Ministry of Defense.
For the introduction of the monitoring system all operators of telecommunications will have to purchase (at their own expense) the equipment for the monitoring and to install it on their territory. The technical maintenance of the equipment will be also realized at the expense of operators. The tools for the system control will be situated on the territories occupied by the USS.
Igor Diadiura, the head of the executive committee of the all-Ukrainian public organization “Ukrainian Internet community”, criticized this law draft. He believes that the Parliament must reject the draft and to direct it for revision, in particular because of the great number of the conditions of the work of the monitoring system, which are not concretized in the draft.
(www.korrespondent.net 27 August 2003, “Prava ludyny” (English version), August 2003)
The 50th anniversary of the Norilsk revolt
On 3 August the 50th anniversary of the revolt was celebrated in the building of the Volyn oblast musical and dramatic theatre named after Taras Shevchenko. “Every lost battle causes victory in the future” – with this quotation Stepan Rodich, a deputy of the head of the oblast administration, commented the events of the remote 1953. Yet, the participants of the Norilsk revolt are sure that it was not lost. For instance, Petro Osiychuk declared: “Norilsk was out great victory!” The numerous guests of the celebration listened to the speeches delivered by Meletiy Semeniuk, the head of the Volyn Brotherhood of the URA Warriors, Oles Gumeniuk, the head of the Lviv Brotherhood of the URA Warriors, Evhen Proniuk, the head of the all-Ukrainian association of the repressed and political prisoners, and other witnesses of the events that had happened 50 years ago.
The listeners were deeply touched by the speech of Yuri Shukhevich, a living legend of the Ukrainian rebellion movement, a son of general Taras Chuprina.
Artistic collectives of the Volyn oblast appeared before the participants. The celebration was concluded with T. Shevchenkos “Zapovit” performed by the joint chorus of the collectives “Posvit” and “Zlagoda”.