“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2004, #02
Once more about the exhaustion of the domestic tools of protection (Article 35 of the European Convention on human rights) Against torture and ill-treatment
Kharkov group for human rights protection conducted in Kharkov the training “Practices of application of the European standards on the protection from torture and the right for liberty in national juridical procedures” Yulia Timoshenkos bloc against torture Press conference of the Sevastopol human rights protecting group Militia tortures children! Privacy
Sanctions for wiretapping and search may be issued not only by court, but also by prosecutors Question about the refusal from identification numbers will be considered in Parliament Freedom of expression
Radio «Liberty» will be transmitted in Ukraine only on short waves Evpatoria editor was fined for 300 thousand hryvnas Attempt of a party leader to collect 1 million hryvnas from two newspapers failed «Pray. You will die, your son will die, your wife will die…» Access to information
Appeal after the results of realization of the program «Monitoring of the observance of political rights of citizens on the territory of the Crimean Autonomous Republic» in 2003 Guaranteeing of the right for information in the new version of the Law «On information» Ministry of Finance deleted from its site the report about the fulfillment of state budget-2003 Freedom of peaceful assembly
Militia tried to prevent the participation of citizens in a protest action Paradoxes of the Lugansk justice Women’s rights
A civil case was considered by court in absence of one of the sides and with other violations of the procedure Non-execution of court decisions undermines the authority of judicial power Donetsk judges are ready to repudiate the claim to the European Court, if pay arrears would be recompensed to them Picketing of the Donetsk appeal court Consideration of Feldmans case by the Supreme Court of Ukraine On refugees
Educational-practical seminar «Organization of work of special militia establishments in the sphere of guard and convoy of the detained and arrested persons» Militia of Zakarpatska oblast violates laws, reckon the representatives of the profile Parliamentary committee Point of view
2.6 thousand parents were brought to responsibility in the Lugansk oblast in 2003 for the commitment of illegal actions against their children «Hostmaster» failed to prove the illegality of the possession of the domain .ua by the state
Implementation of European Law
Once more about the exhaustion of the domestic tools of protection (Article 35 of the European Convention on human rights)
Everything stated below is the personal opinion of the author, but in no way the official viewpoint of the European Court, in the Secretariat of which the author works
Many authors wrote on the topic mentioned in the title. Yet, the recent publications (see, e.g., the article by Aleksandr Nagorny «Addressing to the European Court: the procedure of handing claims to the European Court on human rights» [Александр Нагорный «Обращаемся в Европейский суд: процедура обращения в Европейский суд по правам человека», Юридическая практика №25 (287), 24/06/03]), as well as my own professional experience, show that rather contradictory ideas about the procedure of handing claims to the European Court exist in the Ukrainian juridical sphere. It should be noted that recently the Court has issued a number of special decisions for regulation of this question in the light of the court reform-2001, as well as a number of judgments and rulings indirectly connected with this sphere.
The first decision of the Court, which regulated the exhaustion of the domestic tools of protection and the calculation of the six-month term of statute of limitation of the claim Kucherenko vs. Ukraine, was adopted on 4 May 1999 and concerned the pre-reform court system. The decision stated that the decision of the old cassation instance was «the final internal judgment» in the sense of Article 35 of the Convention, e.g. the supervision procedure was regarded as ineffective and was not taken into account for calculation of the six-month term.
The court reform of 2001 generated a number of problems, which were solved, to some extent, by three decisions of the Court adopted on 17 December 2002. Two of these decisions (cases of Kozak [No. 21291/02] and Pristavskaya [No. 21287/02]) stated that the opportunity to hand the cassations to the Supreme Court against the court decisions on the cases completed before 29 June 2001 was not effective and had not to be taken into account for calculation of the six-month term. Another viewpoint was expressed by the Court in the case Vorobyov vs. Ukraine (No. 27517/02) regarding the proceedings, which were not completed before 29 June 2001 or were started after this date. The Court pointed out that «according to the operating norms of the Civil-Procedural Code, the cassation complaint is similar to the tools existing in other countries-participants of the Council of Europe, it is accessible for both parts in a civil case and does not depend on the discretionary authorities of state organs». The Court also remarked that the decisions of inferior courts «may be appealed according the cassation procedure only within the term stipulated by law». As a result, the Court acknowledged the cassation instance to be obligatory for the exhaustion of the domestic tools of protection in the accordance with Article 35 of the Convention. This conclusion of the Court is applied mutatis mutandis and concerning the criminal proceedings.
Such are the rules of the exhaustion of the domestic tools of protection applied to the most of the cases coming from Ukraine. However, it should be noted that, firstly, there are some exceptions to these rules, and, secondly, the alternative rules are used for some categories of cases.
Here the word «exceptions» means: «the special circumstances that can relieve the claimant of the exhaustion of the domestic tools of protection, which may be accessible, effective and sufficient» (D. Kurdiukov. «An individual claim in the context of the European Convention on human rights and fundamental freedoms of 1950» [Д. Курдюков. «Индивидуальная жалоба в контексте Евроейской конвенции о защите прав человека и основных свобод 1950 г.», Воронеж, ВГУ, 2001, с. 139]). The Court more than once stated that the provisions of Article 35 should be applied without an excessive formalism, and the question about the exhaustion of the domestic tools should be solved taking into account the circumstances of every concrete case. This norm is applied, in particular, to the cases, where national court mechanisms are unable to take the decision on the complaint. The possible reasons are: the excessive duration of the proceedings and/or obvious inefficiency of the corresponding tools in a concrete case (see Selmuni vs. France, No. 25803/94 of 27 July 1999), internal instability caused by the activities of terrorist organizations or the state (see Akdivar and others vs. Turkey, No. 21893/93 of 16 September 1996). Yet, one must take into account that the claimant has to prove that the existing domestic tools are inefficient. Moreover, the doubt about their effectiveness or about the possibility of the successful consideration of the case are not sufficient for the exemption of the duty to exhaust the domestic tools (see А.В. vs. Netherlands, No. 37328/97 of 29 January 2002)
Along with the common procedure of the exhaustion of the domestic tools, there are a number of particular cases that demand the special consideration. So, before handing a complaint against the non-execution of court decision during a long time because of the passivity of the executive service (the majority of the cases against Ukraine, accepted by the Court Chamber, are connected with his problem according to Article 6 of the Convention), the claimant must turn, on the basis of the Law «On execution procedure» of 21 April 1999, to a domestic court with the complaint about the passivity of state executors. This procedure was established by the decision on the case Dzizin vs. Ukraine (No. 1086/02 of 24 June 2003). Yet, the situation becomes quite different, if court decision is not fulfilled for the reasons that do not depend on the executive service, but appear as a result of legislative activities or common administrative practices. Such situation will be considered in the end of my article.
Another alternative way of the exhaustion of the domestic tools is applied to the complaints on Article 3 of the Convention, which are connected with the use by militia of the illegal methods of obtaining proofs. In such cases the claimant must hand the complaint that militia officers tortured him (Article 127 of the Criminal Code) or went beyond their commissions (Article 365 of the CC) to the competent organ. If this organ refused to institute the criminal case or the criminal case was closed, then the claimant must appeal against this decision to court in the accordance with Articles 236-1 – 236-6 of the Criminal-Procedural Code. Frequently the investigation of such cases by the competent organs lasts too long and/or the activities of these organs are obviously insufficient for the investigation of circumstances, under which the claimant got the physical injuries. In such situation the claimant has the right to turn to the European Court before the exhaustion of the above-mentioned procedures, supplementing his application with the complaint about the violation of the right for efficient investigation, stipulated by Article 3 jointly with Article 1 of the Convention (see the decisions on the cases Assenov and others vs. Bulgaria [No. 24760/94 of 28 October 1998] and Labita vs. Italy [No. 26772/95 of 6 April 2000]).
The interesting commentaries on the considered question were made in the case Khokhlich vs. Ukraine (No. 41707/98 of 29 April 2003), where the inadequate conditions of upkeep of the convict condemned to the death penalty were regarded as a violation of Article 3: the Court stated that the complaint of the convict against the unbearable upkeep conditions «scarcely could result in the improvement of the conditions. Besides, the Government did not give any examples of the successful consideration of the complaints to court against the upkeep conditions» (item 15). Thus, the conclusion was made that the complaints handed by the convict and his mother to the prison administration were sufficient for informing the competent state organs about the existing violation and, correspondingly, for the exhaustion of the domestic tools.
In some cases the claimant must not exhaust the domestic tools of rights protection. Such situation occurs, first of all, when the government does not envisage any tools for the protection of a right stipulated by the Convention. For example, in the decision on the case Kudla vs. Poland (No. 30210/96 of 26 October 2000) the Court pointed out that Article 13 of the Convention envisaged the creation of the tools for the prevention of violations of the Convention or for granting the compensation of the damage inflicted by the violations. According to this decision, the state must create the tools for obtaining the compensation for the excessive length of court proceedings. It is obvious that the collection of such compensation for the protraction of consideration in a Ukrainian court (especially of civil cases) is a very rare exception. So, a claimant may turn with a complaint on Articles 6 and 13 of the Convention directly to the European Court, if the consideration of the case is, in his opinion, too long. However, one must remember that the Court is not constrained with the terms of consideration of cases, envisaged by the domestic laws, and exceeding of this term may not entail the acknowledgment of the violation of Article 6 (see Ziegler vs. Austria, No. 18882/91 of 17 November 1996). The Court determines the «reasonable» term of the consideration on the basis of three criteria: complicacy of the case, behavior of the parts (including and above all the behavior of the claimant) and the actions of the state organs connected with the case.
The second situation, in which the claimant must not exhaust the domestic tools of rights protection, occurs, when the violation of claimants rights is a result of application of the Ukrainian laws or common administrative practices contradicting the Convention. The most interesting examples of such situation can be found in the Court practices on the cases about the non-execution of court decisions. If a decision cannot be executed on account of the existence of legislative obstacles, the claimant may not be brought to responsibility for not-turning to court with the complaint against the executor (Voytenko vs. Ukraine, No. 189662). The Law «On introduction of the moratorium on the coercive realization of property» is a glaring example of such legislative obstacle. Another example is the refusal of a state organ to pay the sum, imposed by court, motivating the refusal by the absence of corresponding expense item in the state budget.
Probably, the considered rules will change with time. In particular, the questions concerning the economic process will be regulated, maybe the need will arose to introduce some changes in the connection with the newly adopted Civil-Procedural and Criminal-Procedural Codes.
Yet, I described the present-day rules of the exhaustion of the domestic tools of protection stipulated by Article 35 of the European Convention on human rights.
Against torture and ill-treatment
Kharkov group for human rights protection conducted in Kharkov the training “Practices of application of the European standards on the protection from torture and the right for liberty in national juridical procedures”
The training was held on 7-8 February in the framework of the project «Campaign against torture and cruel treatment in Ukraine», which is realized with the support of the European Commission. 28 persons (14 men and 14 women) took part in the training. There were 20 advocates among the participants (17 of them from Kharkov, 2 -- from Simferopol and 1 – from Kyiv), 4 senior students of National Juridical Academy, 2 teachers from the National Institute of Internal Affairs and 2 representatives of non-governmental organizations. According to the results of the initial poll, all participants of the training knew about the existence of the European Convention on human rights and fundamental freedoms, but, for the most part, only theoretically. Only 15 persons had participated before in seminars and trainings on the European Convention, 8 – applied the provisions of the Convention in their speeches in court and referred to the Convention in procedural documents, 5 – had the experience of handing complaints to the European Court. The students pointed out that the study of European right was insufficient in their educational establishments, and the future lawyers wanted to learn more about the practical use of the European standards. The advocates told that the application of the norms of the European Convention gave the additional opportunities for the protection of citizens rights and freedoms, increased the respect to advocates, knowing the European right, both on the side of judges and investigating officers and on the side of clients. Besides, the advocates fervor also encourages them to apply the Convention, since a person, who chose this profession, must be feverous. Teachers of the Institute of Internal affairs were interested in the opinion of advocates about the arbitrary actions of militia, since they wanted to train the law-enforcers, who would not be disliked by common citizens. Representatives of the NGOs had the chance to become acquainted with advocates, to establish business relations with them, to learn more about their work.
The advocates-participants of the training were of different age (from 25 to 65) and had different work experience (from several months to 37 years).
The organizers are especially grateful to Yuhym Goliand, the Master of advocacy, head of the disciplinary-qualifying commission of the Kharkov collegium of advocates, and advocate with the 37-year experience of work, for his active participation in the training. The organizers are very grateful to all participants, who spent two days off for the training. This fact confirms that the topic of the training is important and interesting for advocates.
During the training sociologists conducted the poll among the participants in the framework of the sociological research scheduled in the project «Campaign against torture and cruel treatment in Ukraine».
All participants got the editions published by the Kharkov group for human rights protection: «Against torture. Review of messages…», «Against torture. International mechanisms of preventing torture and cruel treatment», «Against torture. European mechanisms of protection…» and «Against torture. Article 5 of the European Convention. Systematized digest of decisions of the European Court», as well as the materials of the already prepared, but not published yet, book «Against torture. Digest of decisions of the European Court on Article 3 of the Convention».
The participants obtained the information about the project «Campaign against torture and cruel treatment in Ukraine» and about the Center of professional aid to the victims of torture, which works in the framework of this project. They also attended the lectures «General survey of the European Convention and the protocols to it. Survey of the procedures of consideration of cases in the European Court», «Practices of the European Court of human rights concerning Article 3 of the Convention. National tools of defense according to Article 3 of the Convention» and «Practices of the European Court of human rights concerning Article 5 of the Convention. National tools of defense according to Article 5 of the Convention». The participants also discussed the criteria of accepting the cases by the European Court and obtained the review of the cases against Ukraine considered by the European Court.
The role game was organized on the second day, during which the participants considered two cases, where they could be both on the side of claimants and on the side of the state.
Many interesting ideas were stated during the discussions. For instance, advocate Lisovoy, a honored lawyer of the Crimea, said: «The actions of our colleagues, who work with mass media, are well-coordinated, so they often win the cases for the protection of the freedom of the press. The advocates, who represent the interests of the victims of torture and cruel treatment, must act in the same way». Besides, Oleksandr Lisovoy, who has the considerable experience of work with the European Convention (especially Articles 3 and 5), shared interesting practical ideas with his colleagues. On the whole, the exchange of experience among advocates was very interesting and useful.
According to the data of the evaluative questionnaires, the participants were particularly pleased with the role game, obtained materials and the entire atmosphere of the training. The generalized marks after the 12-point scale are rather high: general effect – 10.1, organization – 11.8, urgency of the considered topics -- from 10.625 to 11.125 for various topics of reports and discussions. Not a single action in the framework of the training got the mark less than 10.25 points.
In their answers to the questionnaire the participants expressed the wish for the continuation of such trainings and the increase of duration (the majority reckons that the trainings should last for 3-4 days); they suggested topics for the trainings. Six participants pointed out that they had changed their opinion about the practices of the European Court, 8 persons told that their attitude to opportunities of application of the European Convention in the domestic legal procedures in the sphere of the protection from torture and cruel treatment had changed. Seven advocates expressed their wish to take part in the work of the Foundation for the protection of the victims of torture, and Mr. Goliand accepted our proposition to become the Head of the Surveillance council of the Foundation.
The group of trainers: A. Bushchenko, R. Topolevskiy and O. Lisovoy, held the conference, at which they discussed the results of the training, all mistakes and drawbacks of their work, and drew the plan of future work.
The next training is planned to be conducted in May 2004 in Simferopol.
Yulia Timoshenkos bloc against torture
MP Oleksandr Turchinov directed the deputys request to General Prosecutor of Ukraine Gennadiy Vasylyev and USS head Igor Smeshko about the application of torture to the members of Komsomol organization of Odessa during the interrogations in preliminary prisons, which torture resulted in death of one of the interrogated.
This request was read out today by Volodymir Litvin, the head of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, at the sitting of the Parliament.
On 4 November 2003 20-year-old Sergiy Bedriugin died in Odessa city hospital No. 1. He, together with other 10 members of the group, was accused of terrorism and kept in the local preliminary prison.
Other detained «Komsomol members-terrorists» also complained about the poor health.
4 December 2004
Press conference of the Sevastopol human rights protecting group
On 27 January a press conference was held in the office of the Sevastopol human rights protecting group. Journalists, mainly from the Sevastopol editions, were invited to the conference, as well as Baller, the head of the department for the cooperation with law-enforcing organs of the town administration, advocate Svidina, the defendant of Drozdov, and mothers of the accused Drozdov and Ovsiannikov, who had turned to us with the complaint against the inhumane treatment of their sons in the Sevastopol preliminary prison. We wanted not only to tell about the project «The campaign against torture and cruel treatment in Ukraine» at this press conference, but also to inform the public about the activities of the entire network during the period of report (up to the end of 2003) and to give the opportunity to journalists to communicate with relatives of the victims of cruel treatment (the victims are still kept in custody). Speeches of mothers and the advocate made a great impression on the audience. It seems that everybody knows about the inhumane upkeep conditions in prisons and preliminary penitentiary establishments, but some women-journalists cried, when they listened to these stories. There were some very interesting moments. For example, Mr. Baller, a representative of the administration, told that a certain sum was allotted from the city budget for nourishment of convicts in the preliminary prison (three meals per day). The mother of Drozdov, who is kept in custody for three years, informed that during this term her son never got three meals a day.
At the end of the press conference journalists proposed to visit the cells of preliminary incarceration in militia precincts in order to inspect the upkeep conditions. Baller promised to assist them. In the opinion of the members of the Sevastopol human rights protecting group, this action will be very helpful and such visits should become regular. The group is waiting for the publications in the press, it has also prepared the materials for the city radio. The Sevastopol group offers to conduct the action for the protection of A. Ovsiannikov. Ovsiannikov was condemned for many times; now he is tried for storage and selling of narcotic drugs. He stays in the preliminary prison since October 2003. Ovsiannikov is ill with TB, which is confirmed by the medical certificate issued by the medical department of the Simferopol preliminary prison. Yet, the prison administration pretends that they do not know about his disease, and he does not get the proper medical aid. The petition about sending Ovsiannikov to the hospital, presented by his advocate at the last court sitting (on 26 January 2004), was rejected by judge Martynova. The judge referred to the rules, according to which an ambulance had to be called to the prison, and the doctor of the ambulance had to make a conclusion about the state of health and about treatment. The ambulance has already come to the penitentiary, but Ovsiannikov still stays in the cell with 20 other convicts, where only one square meter is given to one person, and does not obtain any medical treatment. There are some people in the cell, who have no TB yet.
At the last court sitting Ovsiannikov asked to condemn him to death penalty in order to stop his sufferings.
We are asking our colleagues to direct letters about this situation to the Sevastopol law-enforcing organs and other instances.
To: Sevastopol prosecutors office, 1 Pavlichenko St., Sevastopol, 99011
Gagarinskiy district court, 3 Vakulenchuk St., Sevastopol, 99045
Preliminary prison, 10 Pushkina St., Sevastopol, 99011
The Sevastopol human rights protecting group has the information that citizen Andrey Ovsiannikov, born in 1963, stays in Sevastopol preliminary prison. Ovsiannikov is accused after Article 307, part 2 and Article 317, part 2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. He is ill with a grave disease – pulmonary tuberculosis. This disease was diagnosed on 10 October 2003 in the preliminary prison of Simferopol. Yet, since 16 October 2003 Ovsiannikov is held in the preliminary prison of Sevastopol, where the elementary conditions for the upkeep of consumptive patients are absent. Ovsiannikov stays in the cell with 20 other convicts; he has no permanent place for rest, since there is only one bunk for three persons. The cell is damp, there are bedbugs in it. Ovsiannikov gets no medical aid.
The Sevastopol human rights protecting group is utterly worried with the violations of the Constitution of Ukraine and the Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms committed against A. Ovsiannikov. Holding of a person in custody without rendering him the proper medical aid may be regarded as inhumane treatment, which violates Article 28 of the Ukrainian Constitution, Article 3 of the Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and a number of other international documents.
The Sevastopol human rights protecting group turns to you with the appeal to use all opportunities for immediate cessation of the violations of A. Ovsiannikovs fundamental rights, guaranteed by the Ukrainian Constitution and international documents on human rights.
e-mail: [email protected]
Militia tortures children!
We want to warn you that it should be horrible for a normal person to read this article, although we tried to omit the most cruel and cynical details in order not to aggravate the psychical trauma of the minor victims. And the victims, in the opinion of doctors, will not recover soon from this trauma. Now these children undergo the medical treatment in the neurologic ward of Lugansk hospital No. 4.
Both boys have the closed head injuries, cerebral brain concussion, soft tissue bruises; besides, one of them, Artem, has deep incised wounds on the 1st, 4th and 5th fingers of the right hand and haematoma on the right thigh. The state of the boys is complicated with the acute reaction to the stress, depression, troubled sleep, fear of darkness and men.
So, how it happened that two boys, who live in absolutely normal intelligent families, study foreign languages and computer in one of the most prestigious Lugansk schools, got to the hospital? Who drove them to this state? The answer is obvious: our native militia, namely the militia officers of the Slavianoserbsk district precinct of the Lugansk oblast.
During the winter vacation 13-year-old Bogdan Andreev and 14-year-old Artem Podlegaev were in Slavianoserbsk visiting their grandmother.
On 28 December, about 2 p.m., the boys were walking near local secondary school No. 2. The watchman, uniformed like a militiaman, thought, for some reasons, that these boys had broken a window in the school building. So, he attacked the children and cruelly beat them. The man tried to take away from Artem a trinket (a usual trinket – with file, small knife and bottle-opener) and seriously injured the boys fingers. Scared Bogdan called for help, and his first words were: «Call militia, please!»
That day Bogdan learned, for the first time, that militiamen are not always rescuers. The officers detained Bogdan and Artem, brutally forced them into the patrol car and transported the boys to the Slavianoserbsk district precinct.
In the precinct the militiamen did not register the detention of the boys and held them for several hours without any grounds. The law-enforcers ignored the demands of children to inform their parents or grandmother about the detention.
When militiamen left the room for a minute, Bogdan had time to contact with his parents by cell phone and communicated that they stayed in militia precinct and were beaten. «My son phoned me for four times, but the connection was very bad», tells Bogdans father Yuri Andreev. «At last I heard: «Daddy, they are beating us. Artem is bleeding. We are in Slavianoserbsk militia precinct!»»
In the course of the so-called «talks» militiamen tried to make the boys to confess to hooliganism and resistance to militia officers during the detention.
Although Artems hand was bleeding, the militiamen did not render him medical aid. They took him away, allegedly for interrogation.
Bogdan, beaten and frightened, was put into a cell with other detained – adults with, maybe, shadowy past. In any case, Bogdan does not want to recollect his stay in the cell.
One can only guess what terrible things could happen with the boys, if Bogdan did not manage to phone…
When the parents of Bogdan and Artem entered the precinct, they could not found any militiamen either near the entrance or in the duty-room. The fathers of the boys went along the corridor and opened every door. In one of the rooms they saw a table with bottles and snacks. Militiamen started to celebrate the New Year… «Where are our sons?», asked Yuri Andreev and Gennadiy Podlegaev, but heard in response only curses and threats.
At that moment Bogdan recognized the voice of his father and cried. The fathers released Bogdan and started to look for Artem.
In another room a militiaman was sitting, a gun without holster lay on the table, and Artem in bloodstained clothes trembled in a corner. The officer said that he was interrogating a suspect of hooliganism and showed an explanatory note. The document was unfinished and signed by the militiaman.
Some time later a man in civil clothes came to the district precinct. The man introduced himself as colonel Sabov, the head of the precinct, but did not show any documents. By the demand of the parents he signed the papers needed for medical expertise and promised to conduct the service investigation of the incident (the editorial board has the copies of these documents signed by major V. Alekseev).
The traumatologist-on-duty of Slavianoserbsk district hospital refused to examine the children saying that the visitors of the town were examined only on Tuesdays (and this on Sunday).
In the reception ward of the hospital Artem saw the man, allegedly watchman, who had beaten him near the school and initiated the illegal detention of the boys. The man preferred to disappear.
There are no records in the register of the precinct either about the detention of the minors or about the hooliganism in school No. 2. This means that, according to the militia documents, nothing happened. It is very convenient, is not it? The militiamen created the escape route for themselves, but they could not foresee that one of the boys would have a cell phone, and the parents would immediately come to save their children from the «law-enforcers».
On the next day the parents of Artem and Bogdan complained to the head of the Lugansk oblast militia directorate against the illegal actions of the officers of the Slavianoserbsk district precinct and brutal violation by them of childrens rights.
After the illegal detention, beating, interrogation and the three-hour stay in the precinct, the boys were examined in the traumatology ward of Lugansk town hospital No. 9 and in oblast psychiatric hospital No. 1. The injuries, inflicted during the detention and stay in the district precinct, were confirmed by proper medical documents.
Now the boys need the course of rehabilitation – their psychics is broken after the physical and psychical tortures in militia. The access to the children is restricted even for their relatives. In spite of this, on 6 January 2004 S. Zadorozhchenko, a deputy prosecutor of the Slavianoserbsk district of the Lugansk oblast, tried to get into the ward with the goal to interrogate the victims. Naturally, the parents were not informed about the wish of the deputy prosecutor. The doctor in charge of the case explained to the assertive law-enforcer that it was forbidden to interrogate the boys.
Yet, this was not the end of the afflictions, at least for the parents. After handing the complaint to the head of the oblast militia some persons began to phone with threats and demands to take away the complaint. The parents were informed that the Slavianoserbsk district militia directorate started three criminal cases: on the attack on the school watchman committed by the boys; on resistance during the detention and insulting of militia officers by the boys; on physical resistance to militiamen and arbitrary actions of the parents during the release of their children.
The anonymous proposition was made: the criminal cases would be closed, if the parents would not complain against the officers of the Slavianoserbsk precinct.
Sanctions for wiretapping and search may be issued not only by court, but also by prosecutors
The author of the draft suggests to change the existing procedure of issuing the permissions to law-enforcing organs for secret penetration to dwelling or other property of citizens, collection of information from telecommunication channels, control over citizens telegraph and other correspondence, telephone conversations, as well as the application of other technical means for obtaining the information.
According to the operating laws (Article 8 of the Law of Ukraine «On the ODA»), the above-mentioned measures may be taken only after a court decision issued on the application of the head of an investigation sub-unit or his deputy. After getting of such permission or the refusal the above-mentioned persons must inform the prosecutors office about the decision during 24 hours.
The draft changes this procedure. It envisages the obligatory agreement with prosecutors office about handing the application to court by the head of a corresponding sub-unit or his deputy.
The Committee pointed out that the adoption of the suggested draft would give the opportunity to coordinate the mentioned norms for the correct interpretation in law-applying practices. It is obvious that these changes will also essentially increase the role of local prosecutors and the dependence of investigation sub-units on prosecutors offices.
Question about the refusal from identification numbers will be considered in Parliament
The first draft, compiled by MPs B. Bespaly and V. Bondarenko, was registered as early as in July 2003. This draft envisages the right of a citizen to refuse from getting of identification number because of religious or other views. The draft also permits to refuse from the already existing identification number and partly eliminates the procedural obstacles in realization of this norm, in particular, the rule about making the corresponding note in the passport of the citizen.
So, the authors of the draft believe, the necessity exists today to liquidate the obvious inconsistency of the operating version of the Law «On State register of physical persons –payers of taxes and other obligatory payments» and to permit to refuse from identification numbers to people, who did not want to get the number because of their religious or other views, but had to do that being the law-abiding citizens. It would be also taken into account that views can change, so, there is a possibility that those people, who did not protest against the receiving of personal identification number some time ago, would want now to get rid of the number.
Another draft was introduced to the Parliament in October 2003. The draft was created by MPs V. Maystrishin, M. Komar and O. Korsakov. The project denies even the opportunity to refuse from identification numbers, to say nothing about the refusal from the already obtained number.
The argumentation of the authors of the draft is very interesting. They reckon that the amendments, approved by Law of Ukraine No. 1003-XIV of 16 July 1999 contradict the definition of the State register of physical persons-taxpayers as the unified automatized data bank about all taxpayers, as well as Articles 24 and 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which read that citizens cannot have any privileges connected with their religious views, and Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine «On the freedom of consciousness and religious organizations», according to which the religious views are not mentioned in official documents.
The authors also believe that the Regulations «On passports of Ukrainian citizens», approved by the Resolution of the Supreme Rada of 25 June 1992, and the Instruction of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine on the rules and procedure of issuing of the passports of Ukrainian citizens do not envisage any notes in the passport about citizens right to make some payments without the identification number.
Besides, the authors point out that the above-mentioned norms contradict the Law of Ukraine «On the taxes levied from profits of physical persons» of 22 May 2003, which came into force on 1 January 2004. According to this Law, the tax credit may be rendered only to a citizen, who has the identification number.
The third draft of 3 February 2004 has been presented recently to the Parliament by MP V. Atroshenko. This draft does not eliminate the certain contradiction existing now in the legislation, but it destroys the procedural obstacle: the draft stipulates the way and form of introduction of necessary data to the passport. Even court decisions are not executed in our country now, since the corresponding state organs do not know what must be written in the passport and on what basis.
The Supreme Rada Committee in charge of finance and bank activities is considering all these drafts.
A short reference: the Law of Ukraine «On State register of physical persons –payers of taxes and other obligatory payments», which was adopted in the end of 1994 and took the effect in the beginning of 1996, envisaged the receiving of identification number by every citizen. In 1999 the Supreme Rada introduced changes into this Law, which changes allowed the people to refuse from identification numbers. However, this amendment may be interpreted in different ways, in particular, in the part concerning the refusal from the already received identification number. The question about the procedure of realization of this clause is also not solved yet.
Freedom of expression
Radio «Liberty» will be transmitted in Ukraine only on short waves
After 17 February the Ukrainian citizens will be deprived of the opportunity to listen the radio «Liberty» in the FM range. This decision was approved by the new administration of the TV and radio organization «Dovira» headed by Sergiy Kichigin, who has become recently the general producer of this organization. «The features of the radio «Liberty» in its present form do not correspond with the new conception, they must be reformed. We must exclude the radio «Liberty» from the radio air until this reform would be completed», reads the official letter to the administration of the Ukrainian service of the radio «Liberty» (the new conception of the TV and radio organization «Dovira» developed by Sergiy Kichigin is meant).
Tomas Dyne, the President of the corporation «Free Europe» - radio «Liberty»», sharply criticized the decision of the new administration of «Dovira».
We want to remind that radio «Liberty» has broadcasted its features on the frequency of radio «Dovira» for last five years.
«This is a political step against democracy, against the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. This is a step against the radio «Liberty», the step that demonstrates, for the umpteenth time, that the government of Ukraine cannot live in open society and has to control the media, as it was done in the old good Soviet times», declared President of the corporation «Free Europe» - radio «Liberty»» Tomas Dyne.
According to the words of Enver Safir, the manager of the department of marketing and arrangement of features of the Bureau of foreign broadcasting of the United States of America, «Dovira» concluded the contract not with the corporation «Free Europe» - radio «Liberty»», but with the Bureau of foreign broadcasting. According to this contract, «Dovira» must notify the Bureau about the decision to stop the broadcasting of the Ukrainian service of radio «Liberty» a month before the day of cancellation of the contract.
Evpatoria editor was fined for 300 thousand hryvnas
The Appeal court of the Crimean Autonomous Republic satisfied the claim on the protection of honor, dignity and business reputation handed by Mykola Kotliarevskiy, a deputy of the Supreme Council of the Crimea, against the editorial board of the newspaper «Evpatoriyskaya nedelia» and its editor Volodymir Lutyev. The claimant also demanded to recompense him the moral damage. The court recognized that the information about M. Kotliarevskiy, published by V. Lutyev in the newspaper «Evpatoriyskaya nedelia», was not true, communicates the Crimean news agency.
The court obliged the editorial board to publish the refutation of the above-mentioned information on the first page of the newspaper and with the same font, and to print 20 thousand copies of the issue with this refutation.
The court levied 300 thousand hryvnas from the editor-in-chief and 10 thousand hryvnas – from the editorial board of the newspaper. The consideration of the case on the accusation of V. Lutyev of the attempted murder of M. Kotliarevskiy will be conducted today.
V. Lutyev was detained on 11 November 2002 on suspicion of the commitment of the crime envisaged by Articles 15 and 115, part 2 item 11 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine («premeditated murder committed by order»). On 20 November 2002, on the basis of the decision of the Tsentralny district court of Simferopol, V. Lutyev was arrested and put to the preliminary prison. On 3 December 2002 the Appeal court of the Crimea cancelled the decision of the district court about the arrest of Lutyev and released him after giving the written undertaking not to leave a place.
In September 2003 the Appeal court of the Kherson oblast took the decision about taking V. Lutyev into custody. In the end of 2003 the Appeal court of Sevastopol postponed the consideration of the case of editor V. Lutyev because of the refusal of advocate Oleksandr Gnezdov to represent Lutyevs interests in court. The time was given to Lutyev for concluding a contract with another advocate.
The committee for monitoring of the freedom of the press in the Crimea
11 February 2004
Attempt of a party leader to collect 1 million hryvnas from two newspapers failed
The claim against the editorial boards and MP Yu. Ioffe was handed after the publication by the newspapers of the open letter of the MP to four party and public leaders of Rubezhnoe, in which the MP negatively assessed the activities of these leaders. During the trial K. Koziuberda explained that the size of the compensation was connected with the deterioration of his health as a result of the publication of the letter and with the fact that he had hoped to take part, as a candidate, in the Presidential election-2004, which became impossible after this publication.
The interests of the editorial boards of the Rubezhnoe newspapers were represented by a lawyer of the Lugansk branch of the Voters Committee of Ukraine (VCU), who insisted that, according to the Law of Ukraine «On printed mass media», the editorial boards, which literally published the letter passed to the newspapers by an official person, an MP, might not be brought to responsibility even if the information was not true. Yet, the worker of the VCU reckons that there was no untrue information in the letter, and the statements, against which the plaintiff complained, were, in fact, evaluative judgments of the MP about the political activities of the claimant and did not contain any factual data. And evaluative judgments must not be refuted or proved in court.
The court agreed with the arguments adduced by the representative of the defendants and rejected the claim of K. Koziuberda. We believe that there are very few chances that the claimant will appeal against this court decision, first of all because the litigation fee for bringing in the appeal is 250 hryvnas. By the way, in the course of the court consideration the plaintiff decreased the demanded sum of compensation from one million to 10 thousand hryvnas. He explained that he could not afford to pay the fee envisaged by the operating law (100 thousand hryvnas).
«Pray. You will die, your son will die, your wife will die…»
Leonid Shtekel, the editor-in-chief of the independent Odessa newspaper «Pravoe delo», heard this strange threat from a strange woman, who tried to enter his flat in early hours of the morning of 19 February. In the opinion of the editorial collective, this event could be regarded as a fortuity, if to forget about the incident that had happened with Irina Goloborodko, a deputy of the editor-in-chief, who had been also intimidated by strangers.
On the eve of the election the information is more and more frequently obtained from Odessa about very unpleasant occurrences with journalists of various independent and opposition editions.
On 19 February Leonid Shtekel handed the complaint to the prosecutors office and the city militia precinct. In the complaint he wrote that about 4 a.m. an unknown woman tried to burst in his flat. Shtekel did not know whether this woman was alone or not, but her behavior seemed strange to him.
The attempts to break the door stopped only when the journalist phoned to the Primorskiy district militia precinct. By the way, all telephone numbers of the district precinct, which he knew, were busy and Shtekel had to postpone the handing of the complaint until the midday of 19 November.
L. Shtekel said: «It is difficult for me to give the concrete estimation of this situation, since it is rather strange. Yet, recollecting the recent events around our newspaper, I can say that I have the feeling of rum concourse of circumstances. Nothing of the sort had happened to us before. And this arouses some thoughts and questions…»
Now the newspaper «Pravoe delo» is a defendant in the case on reprinting from the Internet-edition «Vlasti.net» of the open letter of an anonymous officer of the oblast USS directorate about «corruption in the above-mentioned agency and its connection with the notorious Odessa criminal leaders». One of personages of this article Gennadiy Trukhanov, the President of the Ukrainian national federation of tai-boxing, handed the claim «on the protection of honor and dignity» and demanded to collect 200 thousand hryvnas from the editorial board of the newspaper. At one of the recent court sittings the agreement was concluded about the peaceful settlement of the conflict, but later the plaintiff declined this solution.
A stranger, who visited the flat of deputy editor Irina Goloborodko, advised her to refuse from the protection of the newspaper, accompanying this «advice» with several threats. Now this case is investigated by the Odessa militia, but Ms. Goloborodko believes that the law-enforcers are not too active in the search of the criminal.
Meanwhile, Leonid Shtekel turned to the law-enforcing organs with the entreaty to protect him and his family from the possible danger.
The newspaper «Pravoe delo» is one of the not numerous Odessa editions, which dare to publish critical articles about the activities of the city administration, law-enforcing organs and special services. The newspaper gives the floor to the opposition political figures. Series of articles were published in several last issues about the illegal building of state officials villas on the seaside of Odessa.
Access to information
Appeal after the results of realization of the program «Monitoring of the observance of political rights of citizens on the territory of the Crimean Autonomous Republic» in 2003
The Crimean branch of the Voters Committee of Ukraine summed up the results of realization of the program «Monitoring of the observance of rights of voters and representation of their interests by the peoples deputies of Ukraine, deputies of the Supreme Rada of the Crimea, organs of self-government and political parties» in 2003.
The Crimean branch of the Voters Committee of Ukraine is an independent public organization, neutral to political parties and election blocs. The main goal of this organization is the increase of citizens activity for participation in the management of state affairs and realization of their constitutional rights.
More than once the members of the committee directed the written requests to the above-mentioned subjects of political activities and asked to render the corresponding information. In particular, the question was put to the deputies what they were doing for the voters of their electoral districts, how often they visited the districts, and what was the essence of their session work. The committee offered to the organs of self-government to render the information about the stuff, the schedule of reception of citizens, the approved programs directed at the social-economic and cultural development of the region. The questions to the political parties concerned the number of members and local organizations, representation in local councils, Supreme Radas of the Crimea and Ukraine.
The Voters Committee of Ukraine, in its turn, proposed to place the received information on the all-Ukrainian informational-analytical Internet-site «Politichna Ukraina» (polit.com.ua), the Crimean informational-analytical Internet-site www.ргоkгуm.оrg.ua and in the printed editions of the VCU.
The accessibility of the information about the activities of the organs of state power is one of the most important steps on the way to democratization of the society. Unfortunately, today we must establish the fact that the majority of the subjects of political process inertly reacts to the requests of voters and public organizations representing the interests of citizens. This statement is demonstratively confirmed by the following facts:
1. In 2003 the Crimean branch of the VCU sent three letters to each of 15 MPs from the Crimea. The first letter contained the proposition about cooperation, second and third letters – the informational requests about the concrete information interesting for the Crimean dwellers. The response was received only from MP A. Rakhanskiy, who rendered the exhaustive information about his deputys activities.
2. For three times we sent 99 letters to the deputies of the Crimean Parliament: we asked, suggested, insisted: «Please, tell us something about yourself!» Only several deputies vouchsafed to answer. Deputies of the Supreme Rada of the Crimea V. Kiseliov, M. Kolisnychenko and V. Sinitskiy signed the agreement about cooperation. None of them presented to us the information about their activities. 12 deputies answered our questions: A. Avidzba, P. Akimov, L. Bezaziev, V. Verchenko, G. Globinets, O. Gress, V. Dzoz, Yu. Kolomiytsev, O. Kotovskiy, V. Mostovy, O. Osadchiy and G. Tomashek. M. Arudov readdressed our request to the permanent commission on deputies ethics and organization of the work of the Supreme Rada and mass media, but we did not get any response from this commission. The answer of S. Velizhanskiy was irresolute. V. Riaboshapko, N. Pluzhnikova, A. Senchenko and R. Aronov refused to inform the population through the informational resources of the Crimean branch of the VCU. Some deputies stated that the law did not «envisage the control over the activities of the deputies of the Supreme Rada of the Crimean Republic», others insisted that their voters did not use the informational Internet-sources, so, they said, there were no need to give the information to the VCU. The rest of the deputies of the Crimean Supreme Rada merely ignored the initiative of the public organization and did not answer the informational requests. The CB VCU distributed the written entreaty to influence the peoples deputies among all Heads of permanent commissions of the Supreme Rada of the Crimea. We hoped that the addresses would «recommend» the deputies to help us to inform the voters about the work of the Crimean Parliament. Yet, nothing happened.
All in all, we managed to establish contact only with 21 deputies out of 99.
3. Besides, we directed the informational request to the Supreme Rada of the Republic asking to comment the question about the status of a deputy of the Supreme Rada of the Crimea. According to the response, the Supreme Rada of the Crimea still has not adopted the corresponding law, which would define this status. This means that the legislation does not stipulate the obligations of the deputies of the supreme representative organ of the Autonomous Republic, except the duty to be present at the sittings of the corresponding permanent commissions. We reckon that the absence of the official status of a deputy of the Supreme Rada of the Crimean Autonomous Republic is not normal for a democratic society and does not promote the observance of the political rights of citizens in the region.
We concluded the agreement about cooperation with the Pervomaysk and Nizhnegorsk district councils. We did not get any data from the Pervomaysk council. The Nizhnegorsk council rendered us the information about its work. Besides, the following local organs answered our informational requests: Krasnogvardeysk, Simferopol, Sovetskiy, Chernomorsk and Leninskiy district councils, as well as Alushta, Djankoy, Evpatoria, Simferopol, Sudak and Yalta town councils.
The refusal with the most interesting motivation was sent to us by the Bakhchisaray district council: «The activities of the Council is exhaustively elucidated by the newspaper «Slava trudu», and conclusion of the agreement would be the superfluous doubling of informational functions». Besides, the Bakhchisaray dwellers were afraid of the «increase of the load at the staff of the executive committee and its material base». The response of the Saki town council was not less funny: «Our voters, the Association of the organs of local self-government, <…> never drew our attention to the necessity of widening the publicity». The Kirovsky, Krasnoperekopsk and Djankoy district councils also did not want to tell about their activities. Only a handful of local state organs have respect to the law on information. We got no answers at all from the Bilogorsk and Rozdolnenskiy district councils, as well as from Krasnogvardeysk and Feodosia town councils. Evidently, they think that they must not observe the law «On information».
4. The CB VCU directed letters to the Crimean organizations of the Ukrainian political parties with the proposition about informational cooperation, and got not only responses, but also the returned mail, since about a half of the parties are not located by the addresses registered in the Ministry of Justice. So, we had to send the requests to the central organizations of the parties with the questions about the addresses of their Crimean branches. We managed to found the Crimean organizations of the Peoples Rukh of Ukraine, MPU, all-Ukrainian union «Batkivshchina» and the party «Yabloko», and to conclude the agreements about cooperation with them. Yet, none of these organizations, except the regional branch of the party «Yabloko» gave the information about themselves. We got the answers to our questionnaires from the Crimean regional organization of the SDPU (u), Democratic Party of Ukraine, Ukrainian Republican Party «Sobor», «Slavonic peoples patriotic union», CUN, «Batkivshchina», PSPU and NDP. The answers not always elucidated properly the activities of the parties. Between the elections the respondents do not reflect upon the fact that people almost do not trust in the parties. They do not want to popularize their work. So, what one can say about the proportional system of election?
To sum up the above-said, we want to focus the attention on the following question: if the public organizations, which, for a long time, made every effort for the dialog with subjects of the political process, was confronted with so many difficulties and obstacles, then how many efforts should be exerted by a common citizen for establishment of the contact with the persons, who must represent and protect the interests of voters?
Crimean branch of the Voters Committee of Ukraine
Guaranteeing of the right for information in the new version of the Law «On information»
On 17 February the Kharkov group for human rights protection conducted the regular meeting of the working group in charge of the questions of the freedom of expression. The round table «Access to information in Ukraine. Improvement of legislation and practices» was held in the framework of the meeting.
Representatives of more than 30 public organizations and experts from the international organization «Article 19» were present at the meeting.
The participants considered and discussed the fifth version of the draft of the Law «On information», which was elaborated by the experts of the Kharkov group for human rights protection jointly with the experts in the sphere of mass media.
The participants expressed and discussed a number of the ideas concerning the draft. In particular, the questions about the application of the norms of this law to courts, the special status of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, whose informational requests may not be rejected, the access to the information connected with the process of issuing decisions and other procedural questions.
The experts of «Article 19» presented their remarks on the topic too; some of these remarks had been already taken into account in the considered version of the draft.
The participants also debated about the foreign experience of regulation of the access to information.
All participants of the round table greatly appreciated the work of experts and the quality of the draft. The suggestion was made to generalize the recommendations given at that meeting, to prepare the next version of the law draft and to discuss it with the legislative bodies and state organs.
The results of the joint project of «Article 19», the Institute of mass information and the Kharkov group for human rights protection were presented on the meeting, as well as the results of the research, conducted by the Kharkov group, of the practices of the access to information possessed by appeal courts, oblast militia directorates, prosecutors offices and other law-enforcing organs.
You can obtain the text of the law draft, comments of international experts concerning this draft and the explanations of the experts of the Kharkov group for human rights protection, if you would direct the request to the Secretariat of RUPOR: [email protected]
Ministry of Finance deleted from its site the report about the fulfillment of state budget-2003
The Ministry of Finance explains this step referring to the precedent that happened on 13-14 January, when the data about the fulfillment of the state budget were refuted by the Ministry itself. Yet, the Ministry does not inform, when the access to the information will be resumed.
Freedom of peaceful assembly
Militia tried to prevent the participation of citizens in a protest action
Kleymenov and his subordinates arrested the bus, by which the Krasny Luch representatives were going to Lugansk, took away the number plate from the vehicle and prohibited to the driver (a private businessman) to continue the journey threatening him with sanctions. So, in fact, the militia officer prohibited to citizens to take part in the protest action.
Militia patrols also stopped buses and taxis at the town boundary, checked documents and made the «suspicious» passengers (activists of town community) to get out.
Only two persons out of 52, who bought tickets and wanted to go to the protest action to the oblast center, managed to get there.
Paradoxes of the Lugansk justice
The action (the meeting concerning the conduction of local referendum about the pre-term cancellation of the authorities of the mayor) had to be held on 21 August 2003. Two days before the event, on 19 August, the mayor handed the request about the prohibition of the meeting. Judge N. Andreev satisfied the request and forbade the conduction of the action. The law-abiding citizens did not held the meeting, and appealed against the decision. In December 2003 the decision of the Severodonetsk town court was reversed by the Lugansk appeal court (the initiators of the meeting were not invited to the trial). As a result, the request of the town mayor about the prohibition of the meeting, which had to be conducted several months ago, was returned to Severodonetsk for reconsideration in the court of the first instance. The officials ignored the arguments of representative of the initiators N. Metelkina, a lawyer-consultant of the Lugansk branch of the VCU, who insisted that the new consideration in the local court was senseless.
The behavior of claimants representative V. Rud, the head of the juridical department of the Severodonetsk executive committee, was more pragmatic. He did not come to any of the court sittings. So, according to the Civil-Procedural Code, the request of the mayor was not considered, and, as a result of this court trick, a strange and rather dangerous precedent appeared: the conduction of the meeting had been prohibited, but there existed no juridical act about this prohibition. This is a very convenient method of preventing the «undesirable» political actions, especially in the year of Presidential election.
The Lugansk branch of the VCU, in its part, tried to create the «anti-precedent» and handed, through a peoples deputy of Ukraine, the appeal about bringing of judge N. Andreev to disciplinary responsibility. The members of the committee believe that the violations of law, committed by the judge, were premeditated and had serious consequences, such as irreversible violation of citizens rights.
A civil case was considered by court in absence of one of the sides and with other violations of the procedure
Several years ago S., an inhabitant of Krasnodon, mounted the autonomous gas heating equipment in his flat. He informed the corresponding communal service that he had disconnected from the central heating system. The workers of this organization checked the fact of disconnection and compiled the act.
Three years later citizen S. received the notification from the State executive service, which read that, according to the decision of the Krasnodon town court, he had to pay 908 hryvnas to the communal enterprise «Directorate of communal boilers and heating networks of Krasnodon» for the use of thermal energy. S. was very surprised, since he believed that he had no debts, but determined to familiarize with the court decision, which was mentioned by the court executor. Yet, the decision surprised him even more. The court considered this case in his absence and without the proper notification. Moreover, he even did not get a copy of the decision for handing the appeal, in case of disagreement with the decision, to the court of higher instance (i.e. to the appeal court). Besides, the decision obliged S. to pay for the period, when his flat was disconnected from the central heating system at all.
4 February 2004
Non-execution of court decisions undermines the authority of judicial power
The meeting took the following decision: to recognize that the non-execution of court decisions on levy of unpaid sums for benefit of judges undermined the authority of the judicial power of Ukraine.
So, the participants resolved to turn to President Leonid Kuchma, the guarantor of the Ukrainian Constitution, with the open letter.
Donetsk judges are ready to repudiate the claim to the European Court, if pay arrears would be recompensed to them
On Thursday the term has expired established by the European Court for presentation to the court and claimants of the written explanation on the attitude of the state to the claim of the judges of the Appeal court of the Donetsk oblast.
According to the information got from the Donetsk Appeal court, such explanation has not been obtained. At the same time, the negotiations were held in Donetsk between the judges, representatives of the Supreme Court and Judicial administration of Ukraine. Karaban, the head of the latter agency, visited Donetsk with the special mission – to intimidate the judges. When Karaban understood that he could not intimidate the plaintiffs, he began to promise them every they wanted, but only in some vague future.
One of the Donetsk judges informed that the administration of the Supreme Court of Ukraine had promised to the claimants that the state would recompense them the pay arrears very soon. The judges are ready to repudiate their claim only after the complete payment of the debts (here one can see that nobody trusts in the words of state officials).
«If we would get the money, we would write the application about that. We will not demand the compensation of the moral damage from the state», said judge Mykhaylo Gorshkov to a correspondent of the agency «Interfax». By his words, three days ago the group of judges of the Donetsk Appeal court sent to Strasbourg the additional claim «on the compensation of moral damage». Yet, they are ready to withdraw all demands if the state would pay them their money.
The state owes to the judges the salary for about 10 months (this debt accumulated during 1999-2001). The judges had already turned to the Pecherskiy district court of Kyiv with the claim against the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine. The court recognized that their demands were rightful and resolved to collect the debt from the Ministry of Finance for benefit of the judges. Yet, the Ministry did not fulfill the court decision.
In January the European Court accepted the claim of 37 judges of the Donetsk Appeal court. This case has the highest priority and will be considered as soon as possible.
Picketing of the Donetsk appeal court
The commission agreed to receive the representatives of the picketers on 11 February. Yet, in the opinion of the protesters, it is not sufficient. They demand to consider their appeals immediately. They intend not to leave the place of the protest action even at night.
Meanwhile, the conference of judges of the Donetsk oblast was held in the building of the appeal court. Delegates of the conference lamented for the great amounts of work, poor financing, problems of convoy service, etc. In that way judges explained the too long consideration of many cases. Now one judge in the Donetsk oblast must consider 121 cases per year, which is more than the average number in Ukraine.
The greatest number of the complaints was handed against the servants of Themis of the Kyivskiy district court of Donetsk, Slaviansk town court, Tsentralno-Gorodskiy district court of Gorlovka and some other courts.
Consideration of Feldmans case by the Supreme Court of Ukraine
It turned out at the sitting that the composition the collegium of judges had changed: judges Kosarev, Panevin and Tsitovich were replaced by judges Korotkevich, Kosarev and Zemliany.
The state prosecution was represented by Boris Slobodeniuk, an officer of the General Prosecutors office of Ukraine.
The defense of B. Feldman was realized by advocates Viktor Ageev and Andrey Fedur.
The court had time to consider only several petitions. The judges rejected the petitions of the defense about the guaranteeing of participation of B. Feldman in the consideration of the case and about the suspension of the execution of verdict concerning B. Feldman. However, the court satisfied the petition about the permission to journalists and advocates to make audio and video records in the courtroom. The court referred to the necessity to study the documents presented by the defense and postponed the consideration of the case to 9 March 2004, that is for the term essentially exceeding the reasonable time needed for familiarization with the documents.
We want to remind that the cassation by Boris Feldman had been handed as early as 13 March 2003, and the Supreme Court violated all admissible terms of consideration of the cassation. Meanwhile, B. Feldman is still held in custody on the basis of evidently illegal verdict.
Advocates reckon that the retardation of the decision on Feldmans case may be connected with the fact that the influence is exerted on court. It is obvious to everybody that the verdict against Feldman must be reversed, and the case must be closed, but certain persons are doing their best to hinder the Supreme Court from issuing the fair verdict or, at least, to protract this process maximally.
Educational-practical seminar «Organization of work of special militia establishments in the sphere of guard and convoy of the detained and arrested persons»
The militia officers extended their knowledge of normative-legal bases of Ukrainian and international legislation. In particular, the participants showed the great interest to the report of the guests of the seminar: Viktor Bondar, the head of the board of the oblast branch of «The international union of human rights – Ukrainian section», and Alla Mukshimenko, the head of the Center of rendering the legal aid to citizens «Pubic protector of human rights» at the Foundation of Regional Initiatives (Kyiv), who told about the main principles of ombudspersons work. Ms. Mukshimenko answered the questions connected with the authorities and functions of the ombudsperson and with the peculiarities of the European Convention against torture and cruel treatment.
Representatives of the community and law-enforcing organs were mutually satisfied with the dialog. It is well that the invitation of the lecturers was initiated by representatives of militia. This gives the hope for the further cooperation in the sphere of human rights protection, especially taking into account the fact that the Zhytomir oblast branch of «The international union of human rights» takes part in the project «Prevention of torture and cruel treatment in Ukraine», realized on the all-Ukrainian level by the Kharkov group for human rights protection.
Militia of Zakarpatska oblast violates laws, reckon the representatives of the profile Parliamentary committee
We want to remind that then the officers of the special militia squads «Sokil» and «Berkut» did not admit the peoples deputies of Ukraine and deputies of the Mukachevo town council to the building of town administration. The law-enforcers even applied physical force against the deputies. After this scandalous incident the peoples deputies turned to the Mukachevo prosecutors office with the demand to start the criminal case against the militia officers. However, the town prosecutors office refused to institute the criminal case «because of the absence of corpus delicti».
In the beginning of February 2004 the Committee considered the results of the check, received from the General Prosecutors office and the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine, and resolved that, in the connection with the partiality of the assessment of the actions of the militiamen, the corresponding organs had to conduct the repeated check and inform the committee about the results.
So, at the last sitting the Committee considered the response of the General Prosecutors office, which read that the decision about the refusal to start the criminal case against the militiamen had been taken untimely, without the check of the arguments of the peoples deputies on the impediment to the fulfillment of their work.
The Ministry of Interior of Ukraine communicated that, by the order of the head of the militia directorate of the Zakarpatska oblast, seven officers of militia were brought to disciplinary responsibility.
The committee in charge of the legislative provision of law-enforcement activities decided to conduct the next sitting concerning this case in March 2004 after obtaining of the results of the additional check of the actions of militiamen by the General Prosecutors office of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Mr. Vartsaba, the head of the militia directorate of the Zakarpatska oblast, threats the peoples deputies and the former administration of Mukachevo with the institution of criminal cases against them.
Well, one information is given to Kyiv, and the events in the town are absolutely different. And this is quite comprehensible. The capital is far away, and the office of Ivan Rizak, the head of the oblast state administration and the leader of social democrats of the Zakarpatska oblast, is very close…
Point of view
2.6 thousand parents were brought to responsibility in the Lugansk oblast in 2003 for the commitment of illegal actions against their children
According to the information of Raisa Rodina, the head of the department in charge of the affairs of minors of the Lugansk oblast administration, 2.6 thousand parents were brought to responsibility in the Lugansk oblast in 2003 for the application of physical violence and commitment of other illegal actions against their children, 45 persons were brought to responsibility for the improper child care. Besides, in 2003 the department handed 385 claims against parents. 236 children were taken away from the families, where they underwent the physical violence.
cxid.info, 2 February 2004
«Hostmaster» failed to prove the illegality of the possession of the domain .ua by the state
The Appeal-economic court of Kyiv approved the decision of the Kyiv economic court, which had rejected the claim of the company «Hostmaster», the acting administrator of the domain .ua. «Hostmaster» appealed against Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 447 of 22 July 2003 «On administration of the domain .ua». By this decree the government endorsed the initiative of the USS and the State Committee of communications, and passed the right to administer the domain .ua to the Ukrainian Network Informational Center (UNIC).
On 7 October, when the Economic court of Kyiv considered the claim of «Hostmaster», the judge did not notice that the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers violated the rights of «Hostmaster», since… the company could work jointly with the UNIC. The judge also pointed out that the rules of the ICANN were not regarded as a source of right in Ukraine and could not be applied by court.
In 1992 the domain .ua was rendered by the international organization IANA (which is called ICANN now) to Ukrainian citizens Dmitriy Kokhmaniuk and Igor Sviridov in the interests of the entire Ukrainian Internet-community. Before 2001 the domain was developed by several enthusiasts, who had created the Ukrainian network coordination group (UANCG). In 2001 they founded the company «Hostmaster», which concluded the agreement with D. Kokhmaniuk and I. Sviridov and began to administer the domain. The Ukrainian government started to claim their rights to the domain since 2001. Initially it had been planned that the state share in the enterprise, which was called the UNIC, would be 25%, but later this share increased to 50%.
The creation of the UNIC was accompanied with a scandal: the greatest providers association «Internet-Association of Ukraine», which united 70 participants of the market (including the large-scale providing companies) and took part in the negotiations on the creation of such center, refused from membership in the UNIC.
In the end of October 2003 the international human rights protecting organization «Reporters without frontiers» expressed its anxiety about the attempts of the USS to take control of the domain .ua. A copy of the appeal was sent to the ICANN.Interfax-Ukraine