“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2004, #04
Kyiv officials accuse SDPU (u) of the Mukachevo events The OSCE bureau on democratic institutes and human rights expresses its anxiety about the attacks on election stations during the election of Mukachevo mayor Appeal of the participants of the Forum of public human rights protecting organizations “Human rights at elections” on the right for peaceful assemblies in Ukraine Open appeal of the participants of the Forum of public human rights protecting organizations “Human rights at elections” on the freedom from torture in Ukraine Resolution of the participants of the Forum of public human rights protecting organizations “Human rights at elections”. Forum of public human rights protecting organizations “Human rights at elections”. Implementation of European Law
European Court acknowledged the violation of the right for fair hearing within a reasonable time in the case vs. Ukraine Against torture and ill-treatment
Letter of the Lugansk branch of the VCU to the head of the Lugansk militia directorate «Gangsters» from the Lugansk militia Training for advocates was held in Sevastopol The right to a fair trial
Case of Lukyanenko is a disgrace for Ukraine! Privacy
Data storage: privacy in the Internet and phone talks will be prohibited Freedom of expression
An article can cost 2100 hryvnas to the newspaper “Lubimy gorod” Journalists conquered the transnational corporation! Access to information
Local “major Melnichenko” was found in Chortkiv Freedom of peaceful assembly
Open appeal of the Institute “Respublika” to MPs of Ukraine Interethnic relations
Situation in preliminary prisons and improper financing of penitentiaries may bring to unpredicted deplorable consequences Deported peoples
Larisa Bogoraz has died
Politics and human rights
Kyiv officials accuse SDPU (u) of the Mukachevo events
The Kyiv city council approved the appeal on the events in Mukachevo, in which appeal the SDPU (u) was called a force that had promoted the scandalous excesses during the election of the town mayor.
«The scale of the violations at the election in Mukachevo have no precedents in the recent history of Ukraine and require the immediate reaction on the side of the power and society», reads the appeal of the Kyiv city council, which was approved on Thursday. «The violations of laws during the election were openly encouraged (and sometimes even initiated) by the SDPU (u), a political party officially registered in Ukraine», states the document made public by the press service of «Our Ukraine». «Representatives of this party, who head the Presidential administration, Zakarpatska oblast state administration, Mukachevo territorial election commission and, according to Presidents edict, the territorial community of the town, promoted the lawlessness and falsifications in favor of the candidate, which was supported by them». The Kyiv city council called the Mukachevo events «a challenge to the entire society».
The Kyiv city council turned to power organs with the demand «to resume the violated right of Mukachevo dwellers for free election of town mayor» and bring the guilty to criminal responsibility «independently of their posts and contacts».
Besides, the city council demanded «to dismiss the state officials, who, by their activities or passivity, promoted the outburst of crime in Mukachevo». «If this would be done, then the Ukrainian state would confirm its ability to guarantee the rights and freedoms of its citizens, else the impunity would finally debauch the criminals and their patrons», states the appeal of the Kyiv city council.
It is known that the Kyiv city council is headed by Oleksandr Omelchenko, an old opponent of the SDPU (u).
www.pravda.com.ua, 29 April 2004
«Prava ludyny» commentary. There is a question concerning the Mukachevo events, which was not answered by any of the members of «Our Ukraine», to whom we turned. If you are sure that your candidate won with the advantage of more than 5000 votes, and you have the documents confirming this fact, then why your observers did not turn to court with the claim that the results of the election had been falsified? In our opinion such claims of Mukachevo citizens would change the situation. Yet, for some reasons, they are going to complain to the European court of human rights, which has no concern with this incident!
We endorse the political-legal assessment of the recent Mukachevo events given by the Kyiv city council, but any appeals would change nothing without the adequate legal actions of the participants of these events.
The OSCE bureau on democratic institutes and human rights expresses its anxiety about the attacks on election stations during the election of Mukachevo mayor
The OSCE bureau on democratic institutes and human rights (BDIHR/OSCE) expresses its anxiety about the violations that took place at election stations during the election of the mayor of Mukachevo (the Zakarpatska oblast), which was held on past Sunday.
Although the BDIHR/OSCE did not intend to control the election, two representatives of the Department in charge of election questions of the BDIHR were in Mukachevo on the day of election. This visit was an element of the detailed study of election processes in Ukraine before the Presidential election-2004.
«The deep anxiety was aroused by the attack of unknown persons on an election station in Mukachevo during the calculation of votes, which was committed in presence of representatives of the BDIHR», pointed out Jerald Mitchell, the head of the Department in charge of election questions of the BDIHR/OSCE. «This brutal attempt of frustration of the election procedures is the attack on the fundamentals of democratic progress», he added. «This incident endangered the realization of the rights of about 1600 Ukrainian citizens, who properly fulfilled their civic duty at the election station. All criminals, who took part in this and other attacks must be immediately brought to responsibility».
On the day of election the representatives the BDIHR/OSCE witnessed a number of intimidations, in particular, the unusually great number of militiamen and unknown men, who gadded around the election stations.
Representatives of the BDIHR were also worried by the physical violence applied to the local observer by some strangers in presence of militiamen. This incident resulted in hospitalization of the observer. Besides, the secrecy of voting was endangered at some election stations during the election of the mayor.
The BDIHR/OSCE reckons that all these violations confirmed the importance of participation of observers from public organizations in the election process in order to increase the transparency and controllability of this process on all stages. Yet, new laws on election exclude the possibility of such observation, thus discriminating the rights of Ukrainian citizens.
The BDIHR/OSCE will continue to monitor the election events in Ukraine on the eve of Presidential election of 31 October.
The additional information can be obtained from Urdur Gunarsdotir, the speaker of the BDIHR/OSCE, councilor in charge of questions of the press and information, by phones: 48 22 5200600 or 48 603 683 122 (cell phone).
Secretariat of the Council of Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations
Appeal of the participants of the Forum of public human rights protecting organizations “Human rights at elections” on the right for peaceful assemblies in Ukraine
The Constitution of Ukraine guarantees to citizens the right for peaceful assemblies, meetings, street marches and demonstrations. This right is natural and inalienable. According to Article 39 of the Constitution, only court may restrict this right and only in exceptional cases.
However, contrary to the norms of international right and the Constitution of Ukraine, the Ukrainian power neglects the right of citizens for peaceful assemblies. Regular violations of citizens rights cause the mass meetings and demonstrations with political, economic and social demands to the power. The organs of state executive power and organs of local self-government, in their turn, violate Article 39 of the Ukrainian Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of peaceful assemblies, prohibiting these actions or assigning special zones (far from the central streets of towns) for the conduction of mass actions. Such decisions were approved, in particular, by Kyiv city council, Poltava and other town councils. At that the authorities referred to the resolution of the Supreme Rada of the USSR adopted as early as on 28 July 1988. Sometimes the power applies force: destruction of the tent camp on Khreshchatik on 1 March 2001, administrative and court persecution of the participants of protest actions (first of all, the most socially vulnerable participants, such as students).
Today the problem with the realization of citizens right for peaceful assemblies becomes especially acute. Along with the problems, which are already usual in Ukraine, another problem has appeared: the election campaign-2004 has begun, and various political forces carry out their mass actions in all regions of Ukraine. One should expect for the burst of political and public activity during the entire 2004, and the realization of citizens right for peaceful assemblies would, first of all, promote the conduction of honest and open election campaign.
The draft of the Law of Ukraine «On assemblies, meetings, street marches and demonstrations» presented by the President of Ukraine on 23 March 2004 arouses the especial anxiety. This draft envisages, along with the restrictions concerning place, time and term of the conduction of mass actions, the existence of the «empowered organs of internal affairs, executive power and local self-government», which would have the right «to take the decisions about termination or suspension of mass actions (Article 14 of the draft» and «to drive citizens out from the places of mass actions» (Article 15) without any court decisions.
In this connection the participants of the Forum of public human rights protecting organizations turn to the MP of Ukraine with the appeal not to approve the Presidents law draft «On meetings, assemblies, street marches and demonstrations», since it violates the fundamental human rights and freedoms and contradicts Article 39 of the Constitution of Ukraine.
The participants of the Forum of public human rights protecting organizations declare that our organizations will supervise the realization of the right for peaceful assemblies, meetings, street marches and demonstrations and will do their best to resist the violations of this right.
The Resolution and appeals are signed by 56 public organizations
Open appeal of the participants of the Forum of public human rights protecting organizations “Human rights at elections” on the freedom from torture in Ukraine
The Forum of public human rights protecting organizations discussed the state of the protection of the right for freedom and personal integrity and the protection from torture, cruel treatment and punishment, and came to the conclusion that the violations of these fundamental freedoms are very frequent in Ukraine.
We state that the cases of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment occur more often in the following spheres:
- application of torture to the suspected of crimes during inquiry and preliminary investigation;
- upkeep conditions in penitentiary establishments;
- dedovshchina in the army and application of disciplinary punishments to servicemen;
- application of disciplinary punishments and methods of containment of the persons that stay in penitentiary establishments.
We reckon that some features of the Ukrainian legal system create the auspicious conditions for application of torture and maltreatment, namely:
We are worried by the fact that confession of the suspected is still one of the bases of the Ukrainian system of criminal proceedings, which fact provokes the law-enforcing organs to obtain the confession at any price.
We are worried by the fact that the demands of the Constitution, which permit the arrest and detainment without court decision only as exception, are not fulfilled. Deprivation of liberty without court decision still remains a rule.
We are worried by the fact that the sufficient guarantees from the ungrounded arrest or detention by law-enforcing organs are not created.
We are worried by the fact that the possibility still exists of holding in custody without court decision of the persons, concerning whom the questions about deportation or banishment are solved.
We are worried by the fact that the maximal 72-hour term of detainment without court control has become a common practice.
We are worried by the fact that in some cases the legislation envisages the possibility to keep a person in custody without court control during the unlimited term, if the person «was arrested outside the settlement, where the court acts».
We are worried by the fact that there exist no sufficient guarantees of the access of an incarcerated person to an advocate.
We are worried by the fact that there exist no guarantees of the access of an incarcerated person to a doctor.
We are worried by the fact that the state of health of the persons, who are enlisted to the Armed Forces, is not always examined properly, which creates the additional risk of maltreatment during the army service.
We are especially worried by the fact that the lack of guarantees particularly affects the representatives of most vulnerable layers of population: minors, mentally diseased persons, drug addicts, migrants, invalids, etc.
We state that, unfortunately, the Ukrainian state, contrary to its international obligations, did not create the efficient legal mechanisms for disclosure and investigation of the cases of torture and cruel treatment, as well as for punishment of the guilty. As a result, the majority of those, who are guilty of such brutal violations of human rights, remain unpunished.
We want to remark that the structures, where the risk of torture and cruel treatment is the highest, are still least accessible for public control.
Unfortunately, we have to point out that new Criminal-Executive Code of Ukraine deteriorates, in some aspects, the status of the incarcerated, even if to compare with the previous, also imperfect, Code.
We are also anxious about the fact that the draft of new Criminal-Procedural Code, presented for the consideration to the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, mostly preserves the practice, which does not meet even the minimal standards of the protection from torture and guaranteeing of the right for freedom and personal integrity, which standards must be observed by Ukraine according to international agreements.
Such situation evokes the feeling of helplessness in people, who stay under the jurisdiction of Ukraine, arouses distrust to the power and tension in the society, impedes the development of democracy and social development of the country as a whole. It also influences negatively the international image of Ukraine and restrains the international economic cooperation.
We appeal to all state institutions to make all possible efforts for improvement of the situation.
We endorse the attempts of the Ministry of Interior directed towards the change of priorities in the activities connected with human rights protection and towards the change of approaches to the assessment of effectiveness of the work of law-enforcing organs. We endorse the moves towards the openness of these structures made by the Ministry of Defense and State penitentiary department.
We reckon that the following measures should be taken for the improvement of the situation concerning the prevention of torture and protection of the right for freedom and personal integrity:
1. To introduce the complex changes into the Ukrainian legislation, which would guarantee to every citizen the right to be safe from the ungrounded deprivation of liberty.
2. To envisage in the legislation the urgent and unimpeded access to court for the persons, who are deprived of liberty, for verification of validity of this step.
3. To provide the guarantees of fair legal proceedings during the consideration of the question about the validity of deprivation of liberty.
4. To provide the guarantees of unimpeded access of the persons, who are deprived of liberty, to advocates and doctors.
5. To create the efficient system of investigation of cases of application of torture and cruel treatment, providing:
a) urgent and quick investigation of such cases by relatively independent organ;
b) use of the conclusions of independent experts on equal footing with the conclusions of state experts;
c) efficient participation of the victims in the investigation and openness of the investigation for public control.
We also believe that the state must focus more attention on training of qualified personnel for work in the spheres, where the risk of torture and cruel treatment is high, professional retraining and social protection of such personnel.
We hope that the state organs, non-governmental organizations and all Ukrainian society will do everything in their power for introduction of international standards of the protection from torture and cruel treatment, and for guaranteeing the right for freedom and personal integrity.
Resolution of the participants of the Forum of public human rights protecting organizations “Human rights at elections”.
We, participants of the Forum of public human rights protecting organizations «Human rights at elections», demand from the participants of election process and from public to prevent, under any circumstances, the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms during the coming election of the President of Ukraine.
The power must seriously treat its duties aimed at the creation of proper conditions and guarantee the conduction of honest and democratic election in accordance with the European standards in this sphere.
All participants of the election process must make maximal efforts to prevent the application of any kind of violence, other methods of intimidation or other kinds of the illegal influence on the opponents.
Law-enforcing organs must assume the unbiased attitude to representatives of all political forces and impartially stop the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Law-enforcing and other supervisory organs may not be used for persecution of representatives of opposition or other political forces.
According to the European Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the public order during the conduction of mass meetings and demonstrations must be guaranteed by the state. So, the power organs may not replace the fulfillment of this duty by the tactics of prohibition of such actions.
We recommend to all law-enforcing and supervisory organs to desist from the actions, which would result in the suspension of work of mass media during the election campaign and to take measures for cessation of the attempts to impede the legal activities of journalists and mass media.
We express our anxiety about the wish of the power to hinder the activities of public organizations, whose work is directed towards the guaranteeing of honest election.
The mass media, journalists and other persons must thoroughly verify the information spread by them about the participants of the election process and to make maximal efforts for the prevention of spreading of the untrue information.
We turn to all participants of the election process with the appeal not to prefer their personal interests to the fundamental values, in particular, human rights and freedoms, and not to violate them under any circumstances.
We intend to conduct, during the election campaign, the enlightenment work for the improvement of knowledge of the participants of the election process about their rights, to carry out the consultations for the protection of their rights and freedoms, in particular, the right for mass peaceful assemblies and demonstrations, right for the access to information and freedom of expression, as well as for the defense of citizens from persecution or discrimination because of their political views.
Forum of public human rights protecting organizations “Human rights at elections”.
On 31 March the first in Ukraine forum of public human rights protecting organizations «Human rights at elections» was held in the conference-hall of the hotel «Rus». The forum was organized by the Council of Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations and the Chernigiv public committee for human rights protection with the support of the international foundation «Vidrodjennia».
118 representatives of 82 public human rights protecting organizations from many regions of Ukraine, who had handed questionnaires-applications and were chosen on the competitive basis, representatives of organs of state power, international and foreign human rights protecting organizations, donor organizations and embassies took part in the forum. In spite of the incident that occurred during the opening (it was widely elucidated by mass media), the forum successfully worked for two days.
In the course of the forum human rights protectors and guests had the opportunity to listen to the speeches of Nina Karpacheva, the ombudsperson; Ludmila Alekseeva, the president of the international Helsinki Federation of human rights, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group; George Soros, the first commissioner of the State Duma of Russian Federation in charge of human rights, head of the board of the Russian association «Memorial», Moscow.
The plenary sittings and round tables on the following topics were conducted in the framework of the forum: «Activities for the protection of human rights», «Monitoring of the observance of human rights during election campaigns» and «Educational and informational activities during election campaigns». Besides, the meetings in the working groups were carried out:
- prevention of torture and cruel treatment, guaranteeing of the right for freedom and personal integrity;
- right for the freedom of views, consciousness and religion;
- right for peaceful assemblies;
- right for the freedom of expression of views and the right for privacy;
- opposition to discrimination.
Representatives of public organizations suggested their projects and shared their experience with each other. After the discussions 56 organizations-participants of the forum adopted the resolution and two appeals, which are published below.
Implementation of European Law
European Court acknowledged the violation of the right for fair hearing within a reasonable time in the case vs. Ukraine
On 30 March the European Court of human rights in Strasbourg issued the decision in the case Merit vs. Ukraine (complaint No. 66561/01), in which the Court acknowledged the violation by the country of Article 6 item 1 (right for fair hearing within a reasonable time) and Article 13 (right for an effective remedy for the protection of a violated right) of the European Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. This case vividly illustrates the existing problem of the return of criminal cases by court for additional investigation and the refusal of judges to close criminal cases.
Claimant Mr. Sam Merit was born in 1939 and lives in Poland. He owns 99% of the Ukrainian joint enterprise «Jason Industries», which is a part of the joint-stock company JDE.
On 29 September 1997 the Vadul-Siretska state custom service of Ukraine conducted the custom check of the coffee products supplied by «Jason Industries». The check showed that the custom declaration had been filled in by representatives of JDE on the basis of false documents. On the same day the Vadul-Siretska custom service initiated the criminal case on such crimes as smuggling and swindle. On 29 September 1997 the case was passed to the Chernivtsy oblast prosecutors office (the prosecutors office, in what follows) for further investigation. On the basis of the resolutions of the prosecutors office of 10 October 1997, 20 October 1997, 18 November 1997 and 19 January 1998, the Vadul-Siretska custom service confiscated the documents concerning the financial and commercial holdings of «Jason». On 13 October 1997 the prosecutors office seized the property of the company JDE for the provision of proofs, and on 16 October 1997 the accounts of the company were arrested.
On 28 January 1998 the prosecutors office presented the formal accusations. The claimant was accused of the violation of Article 70 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (smuggling), Article 148-2 (tax evasion) and Article 194 (2) (falsification of documents). On the same day the prosecutors office issued the resolution about the arrest of the claimant and holding him in custody until the end of the investigation.
On 29 June 1999 the Leninskiy district court of Chernivtsy issued the resolution about the conduction of additional investigation of circumstances of the case. In the framework of this investigation the claimant handed the petition to the Leninskiy district court about his release from custody. The petition was rejected by the court under the pretext that he could hide from justice. In July 1999 the prosecutors office appealed against passing of the case to the Chernivtsy oblast court, referring to the fact that there were sufficient confirming proofs.
On 10 August 1999 the Chernivtsy oblast court rejected the prosecutors accusation against he claimant and insisted on the necessity to realize the additional measures for reconstruction of circumstances of the crime.
On 25 August 1999 the claimant was released from custody by the prosecutors office.
In May 2000 the claimant brought a suit against the prosecution demanding to complete the criminal investigation of his case. On 2 June 2000 the Leninskiy district court of Chernivtsy cancelled his claim, since this claim was not under the jurisdiction of the court in accordance with Article 248-3 of the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine because of the existence of special procedure of handing claims against the actions of prosecutors office, which inflicted moral or material damage, envisaged by the Law «On compensation of damage inflicted by the illegal actions of court, prosecutors office and militia» of 1 February 1994.
On 7 July 2000 the investigation was stopped in the connection with insufficiency of proofs. On 19 August 2000 the prosecutors office passed the case for further investigation. On 7 October 2001 the prosecutors office informed the claimant that the criminal investigation against him was still going on.
The claimant complained, in accordance with Article 6.1 of the Convention, against the long duration of criminal investigation of his case, since this Article reads: «… everyone is entitled to fair… hearing within a reasonable time». The criminal case against him is investigated already for more than six years and is not closed until now. The claimant also complained against the violation of his right for the effective protection of his abused right, guaranteed by Article 13 of the Convention.
The European Court pointed out in its decision that Article 13 of the European Court guarantees an effective remedy before a national authority from violation of the right to fair hearing within a reasonable time (see the case Kudla vs. Poland). The court reminds that the remedy is regarded as «effective», if the person can quickly obtain the court decision on this case or has other methods for preventing the delays in court consideration. At that the European Court rejected the arguments of the government about the availability of such remedies and acknowledged them to be ineffective. In this connection the court recognized that the Ukrainian legislation did not provide the effective remedies for prevention of too long duration of criminal investigation.
The European Court issued the decision about the violation of Articles 6.1 and 13 of the European Convention and obliged the Ukrainian government to pay 2500 Euro for compensation of non-material damage and 1500 Euro for compensation of the expenses connected with consideration of the case. This decision would come into effect, if the sides would not appeal against it within the legal term.
Secretariat of the Council of Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations
Against torture and ill-treatment
Letter of the Lugansk branch of the VCU to the head of the Lugansk militia directorate
To the head of the Lugansk militia directorate
of the Lugansk oblast
Respected Mr. Kryzhanovskiy!
The newspaper «Luganska Pravda» (No. 37 of 3 April 2004) published the material «Turnskins appear at night», in which the illegal detention, beating and robbery of a Lugansk dweller by a militia patrol were described. A xerocopy of this article is enclosed with the letter.
We know that, owing to your personal interference, the criminal case was started after this fact, and the militia officers, who are, maybe, guilty of the commitment of the crime, were dismissed from their posts, and the case was passed for investigation to the prosecutors office.
We understand that such incident could occur in any country, and any law-enforcing organ cannot be ensured from accidental people, who violate law instead of protecting it. The material made public by the newspaper aroused our anxiety about other circumstances, and we know nothing about the adequate reaction of the commandment of the militia directorate to these circumstances.
According to the information published by the newspaper, the victim of the illegal actions of militia officers was twice inclined by other militiamen to writing of the applications, which contained deliberately false statements. This happened both in the district precinct, where the beaten doctor was coercively taken, and, at the same night, in the Lugansk town militia precinct, where he turned with the complaint. In both cases the officers tried to make him to write the applications about non-participation of militiamen in the illegal actions.
If this information really represents the facts, that means that not only efficient mechanisms for disclosure of the illegal actions of militia are absent in the regional system headed by you, but, on the contrary, there exists the corporative system of the protection of any, including criminal, actions of militia officers. If the situation is such indeed, then this is a violation by the Ukrainian state of human rights envisaged by Article 13 of the European Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Unfortunately, our organization, which protects human rights and supports the work of public reception office, more than once came across the cases, where militia officers exerted pressure on citizens for the purpose of obtaining evidence or explanations «needed» by militiamen.
In this connection we ask to communicate to us:
1. Did the directorate of internal safety of the Ministry of Interior conduct the check of the information published by the newspaper «Luganska Pravda» about the violence applied to the victim for getting the applications about non-participation of militia officers in beating and other offences?
2. If this information was corroborated, then whether the guilty were brought to responsibility, and to which?
3. If this information was not corroborated, then whether it was refuted officially? In such case we ask you to render us the text of the refutation and the surname of the person that is responsible for reliability of the text.
4. Which measures were taken by the militia directorate of the Lugansk oblast in the connection with the publication in the newspaper «Luganska Pravda» for the improvement of the organization of internal investigations in the regional system of the Ministry of Interior and for interpretation of legal application of Articles 143, 146 of the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine and Articles 364, 373 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine?
Oleksiy Svetikov, the head of the Lugansk oblast branch of the VCU
«Gangsters» from the Lugansk militia
In January of this year Valentin N., a well-known Lugansk doctor, was detained by a militia patrol. The newspaper «Luganska Pravda» describes the events: «The militiamen did not introduce themselves, but demanded, in the threatening tone of voice generously flavored with unprintable words, to tell them, where the doctor lived. Yet, it seems that this information did not interest the patrolmen: they did not wait for the answer, but grabbed N. at his hands and began to rummage in his pockets. The reaction of Valentin was natural: «What are you doing?», he asked. This question provoked the attackers. They sprayed from a gas can into N.s face, knocked him down and began to beat. They kicked their victim and beat him with some metal thing. They beat N. on his back, chest, neck, arms and legs, accompanying the execution with swearing and promises to murder him. Then the militiamen took away money from Valentins pockets, handcuffed him, threw into the car and, after two hours, took him to the district precinct.
In the precinct it became obvious that the patrolmen had been «too diligent», so they took off the handcuffs from the doctor and called a motor ambulance. The doctors of the motor ambulance rendered the urgent medical aid to the victim and recommended him the immediate X-ray and other examination and treatment.
After this the law-enforcers proposed the victim to write, «in exchange for hospitalization», the confession that he had violated the public order. The team of the motor ambulance interrupted the «haggling»: they did not drive away, as usual, but patiently waited for their colleague in order to transport him to a hospital.
The results of the «professional» work of militia officers were the following: «Closed cerebral brain injury. Cerebral brain concussion. Closed fracture of cartilaginous part of the 6th and 7th left ribs. Numerous abrasions on both forearms and the left knee. Closed fracture of distal metaphysis of the right spoke bone. Closed partial fracture of the outer flank ligament of the left ankle-joint. Closed fracture of the 2nd metatarsal bone of the left foot…»
Yet, this is not the end of this incident. At the same night N., suffering not only from pain but also from deep resentment, turned with the complaint to the Lugansk town militia precinct. The story about the criminal actions of militiamen did not seem strange and urgent to the major-on-duty, so he proposed the doctor to wait for some time. Some officers were guarding N. (maybe to prevent his escape?). The waiting was so long that the complainer «ripened» and agreed to write, from the words of the militia officer, the application that he had no complaints against the actions of the militiamen and that the traumas had been got during his way home. The militia officer also took away the reference from the hospital.
Only after the second complaint, handed personally to S. Kryzhanovskiy, the head of the militia directorate of the Lugansk oblast, two militiamen, who had beaten the doctor, were dismissed and the materials on this fact were passed to the prosecutors office. Unfortunately, our experience shows that this means nothing.
Besides, other militiamen, who work in the district and town precincts, who, at that January night, made the victim to give deliberately false evidence, continue to work on their posts. Yet, they were the accomplices in this crime. And our militia cannot pretend to be called a law-enforcing organ, if such officers work there. It rather resembles a well-organized criminal group, armed and very dangerous for all our compatriots.
Training for advocates was held in Sevastopol
On 23-24 April the Kharkov group for human rights protection, jointly with the Sevastopol human rights protecting group, held the training for Sevastopol advocates «Practices of application of European standards of the protection from torture and the right for freedom in domestic juridical procedures». The training was held in the framework of the project «Campaign against torture and cruel treatment in Ukraine», which is realized with the support of the European Commission. The main purpose of the training was to give advices and recommendations to the advocates, to explain them how to surmount the corporative resistance of law-enforcers, how to institute a criminal case against the uniformed butchers and how to complete this case. First such training was conducted on 7-8 February 2004 in Kharkov.
29 persons took part in the training in Sevastopol: 20 advocates, 4 juridical assistants of advocates and 5 representatives of NGOs, all in all, 9 women and 20 men. Only 9 persons had participated before in seminars and trainings on the European Convention on human rights. According to the results of the initial poll, 22 participants of the training were acquainted with the European Convention, 4 – partially acquainted, 3 – practically not acquainted; 7 participants applied the provisions of the Convention in their speeches in court and referred to the Convention in procedural documents, 9 – did that rarely, 4 – regarded that as pointless, and only 3 participants had the practical experience of handing complaints to the European Court. In their speeches the advocates pointed out certain difficulties and misunderstandings appearing in the connection with application of the Convention in national proceeding and expressed the opinion that not only advocates, but also judges, officers of militia and prosecutors office, had to study the materials of the Convention. In particular, one of the practicing advocates said that even young prosecutors had the sense of justice like in Stalins times. All participants stressed on the urgency of the topic and on the necessity of obtaining the additional knowledge about the application of the European Convention, both on national and international levels.
According to the data of the evaluative questionnaires, the participants assessed the training after the 12-point scale in the following way: general effect – 10.8, organization – 10.36, obtained materials – 10.09, urgency of the considered topics -- from 11.36 to 11.72, presentation of the topics – from 9.9 to 10.45. Not a single action in the framework of the training got the mark less than 10.25 points. The participants were particularly pleased with the role game, organization, lecture on the criteria of acceptance of cases by the European Court, the obtained materials, actuality and simplicity of presentation of the materials. The most negative moments: small quantity of the materials in Russian and lack of time for the role game. Almost all participants expressed their wish to take part in trainings and seminars connected with study of the Convention, Articles 6 and 10 of the Convention were regarded as the most interesting by them. There were some critical remarks about the technique of the conduction of the training, and we are especially grateful for these remarks. Two Sevastopol TV companies reported about the training in their news.
The right to a fair trial
Case of Lukyanenko is a disgrace for Ukraine!
Everything has happened as we predicted in August of the past year: the economic court of the Lugansk oblast acknowledged as invalid the decision of the Antratsit tax inspection concerning the payment of income tax by the enterprise «Progress».
After the check of account documents the court established that the enterprise had paid all taxes correctly. Seemingly, this is a usual economic case, but it convincingly proves that not only the concept of presumption of innocence does not exist in Ukraine, but even the concept of simple innocence. And each of us can become guilty without any guilt, if would pester the power too much.
Sergiy Lukyanenko, a successful businessman and local Maecenas, was elected to the post of Krasny Luch mayor in 2002. He knew well, where money was «stored» in the town, and was going to use some part of the shadow money for the good of territorial community, in particular, the money that was circulating in the sphere of trading with coal cinder and scrap metal. There he got across somebodys serious property interests. The further events evidence that he affected the interests of the persons, which were very influential in the region.
The reaction was flash-like: three attempts, supported by Oleksandr Efremov, the head of the oblast state administration, to dismiss Lukyanenko from his post for allegedly corruption activities were made during 2002. Yet, these attempts were unsuccessful because of the absence of corpus delicti in mayors activities, although local law-enforcers do their best to find the proofs. Then the case of «Progress» appeared.
Sergiy Lukyanenko had headed this enterprise before he became the mayor. After the election he left the «Progress» and took no interest in the affairs of the enterprise. The tax inspection conducted the check and «disclosed» the violation in the form of non-payment of income tax for the sum of 800 thousand hryvnas. The decision was taken about the collection of this sum, which decision has been recently cancelled by the economic court.
The enterprise appealed against the decision of the tax inspection to the Lugansk economic court. Yet, the further events developed not according to laws, but according to cynical neglect to elementary legal principles. Naturally, the non-payment of taxes, invented by the tax inspection, concerned the time, when «Progress» had been managed by S. Lukyanenko. The criminal case was quickly started against the town mayor.
It is comprehensible for everyone, even for a person, whose knowledge about laws is poor, that there were no grounds for institution of the criminal case, since the decision of the tax inspection would become invalid after the accusation of Lukyanenko. At first it should be established whether the law was violated at all, and then the law-enforcers should look for the guilty.
The Lugansk economic court refused to consider the complaint of «Progress» (of its own free will or after somebodys prompt) until the court of general jurisdiction would pronounce its verdict to Sergiy Lukyanenko. In what follows you will understand that this decision was not a mere juridical mistake.
The enterprise «Progress» appealed against the decision of the Lugansk economic court, and the Donetsk appeal economic court cancelled this decision: it resolved that the Lugansk court had to consider the complaint. Yet, nothing of the sort happened. The cassation complaint against the appeal resolution was urgently handed. This cassation was, in its turn, rejected by the Supreme economic court, and I do not think that anybody in the Lugansk oblast had doubts as to such outcome. Somebody wanted to gain time in order to remove Lukyanenko from mayors post at any price. And that happened. In very cruel, inhumane way.
After the accusation of non-existent crimes the town court of Antratsit issued the resolution about taking the mayor into custody. For several months he stayed behind the bars. When Lukyanenko had heart attack in the prison, the advocates managed to help him to get medical aid. Yet, in the hospital he was handcuffed to the bed as an especially dangerous criminal.
Finally, the «puppeteers» achieved their goal: a session of the town council dismissed Sergiy Lukyanenko from the post of town mayor because of his absence on the workplace. Now they had the opportunity to play in lawfulness and to acknowledge that the violations, for which the man had been thrown into prison, did not exist at all. Maybe, Lukyanenko will even get the compensation of the not-obtained salary at the expense of the state (that is at the expense of tax payers, but not the guilty). The Lugansk law-haters will do that with pleasure. However, the criminal case, instituted on the unknown grounds, is not closed until now.
It is obvious that the reputation of Ukraine, the state that allegedly wants to be law-abiding, suffered from this brutal story. As to the common inhabitants of the oblast, nobody can reckon himself safe, when the power, tax inspection, prosecutors and courts act in such way.
Data storage: privacy in the Internet and phone talks will be prohibited
Governments of France, Ireland, Sweden and the Great Britain presented the draft of the Framework decision of the European Union, which, in the case of adoption, would oblige to store the data of all telecommunication networks for the term from one to three years or longer, which term will be established by each member of the EU. The draft was endorsed on the Summit of the EU on 25 March 2004 as a part of the great amount of propositions concerning the struggle with terrorism after the explosions in Madrid.
We will give a brief review of this decision:
1) This proposition is much wider than the draft suggested in 2002; essential gaps in guaranteeing of civil rights remained there;
2) The data must be stored for the term from 12 to 36 months, and governments of each country may prolong this term;
3). Not only traffic data will be stored, but also the location data;
4). The number of crimes, which give grounds for taking such measures, was increased from 32 to infinity in comparison with the previous draft;
5). The grounds were extended from concrete investigation and persecution to «prevention and revelation» of crimes;
6). This proposition is even wider than the well-known US Patriot Act.
This proposition, as well as many others, by no means deters terrorism and will be used for «prevention, investigation and revelation of crimes, including terrorism, and persecution of criminals».
It is interesting that this proposition was presented not by services of national safety or special services of these countries, but by the national organs for fighting crime. In August 2002 the international organization «Statewatch» ascertained that the previous draft of the framework decision had been prepared by the government of Belgium.
The previous draft of this decision evoked a very adverse reaction. The European Union Commissar in charge of data storage made public the appeal, in which he defined this plan as «disproportionate interference in fundamental rights guaranteed to everybody by Article 8 of the European Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and corroborated by the practices of the European Court of human rights». The international organization «Privacy International» agreed, in its analytical conclusion, that «the regime of data storage, which is introduced by the considered draft and emerges now in various forms in the countries-members of the EU, is illegal». The Coalition of the groups of civil society turned to the European Parliament with the appeal to protest against data storage and «to protect the most fundamental values of democratic society: the right for privacy, freedom of expression and presumption of innocence».
It should be also noted that the draft in question would result in significant expenses of telecommunication companies. The greatest commercial associations have already expressed their anxiety about the introduction of the plan of data storage. In summer 2003 the Coalition, including the ICC, UNICE and EICTA, as well as the INTUG stated: «Data storage is too obtrusive measure, which may be applied only when other, less obtrusive methods, such as the European regime of data preservation, would be used and their inefficiency would be proved».
Ben Hayes from the international organization «Statewatch» commented the appearance of the new draft in the following way:
«If this draft is designed for struggle with terrorism, then the measures envisaged by it should be focused exceptionally on the achievement of this goal. The fact that the considered draft is so wide that it covers all kinds of crimes proves that the EU government cynically uses the atmosphere after the events of 11 September and 11 March. It is necessary to investigate properly the specific menaces, but not to control everybody, creating the amount of data much greater that it would be needed for further use. Disclosure of the traders in children pornography is successfully realized without the application of the system of data storage. Thus, this draft is disproportionate to its purpose, it is not necessary and may not exist in democratic countries».
The additional information, texts of the corresponding EU documents, their legal analysis and history of the question may be found on the site of the international organization «Statewatch»:
Secretariat of the Council of Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations
Freedom of expression
An article can cost 2100 hryvnas to the newspaper “Lubimy gorod”
Judge of the Severodonetsk town court O. Gorbatenko supported the statement of the claimant – Severodonetsk multi-field hospital – that citizen C. died before the motor ambulance station had received the first phone call concerning this case. So, the claimants insisted, the newspaper had published the untrue information and had to refute this information and to pay to the hospital 2000 hryvnas for compensation of moral damage and 100 hryvnas for compensation of court expenses.
The editorial board of the newspaper is going to appeal against this court decision.
The article, which became the reason for the claim, contained the information about the events of the past summer. The reality of these events was proved in court. Citizen C., a 45-year-old Severodonetsk dweller, who stayed in her garden, several kilometers away from the town, had a heart attack and lost her consciousness. C.s neighbors phoned to the motor ambulance station, but… the doctors, referring to the instructions, refused to go outside the town. The medics advised to turn to the motor ambulance station of the settlement of Novoaydar situated in 50 kilometers from the gardens, which are owned mainly by Severodonetsk dwellers.
This shocking story, described by the newspaper, resulted neither in the organization of rendering the medical aid nor in punishment of the guilty, because it was the newspaper that was acknowledged to be guilty.
Journalists conquered the transnational corporation!
On 2 April the Appeal court of Kyiv issued the Resolution, by which it cancelled the decision of the Darnitsa district court of Kyiv of 10 December 2003 on the collection of 238500 hryvnas from the newspaper «Golos Ukrainy» and the same sum from journalist Sergiy Lavreniuk in favor of the oil company «TNK-Ukraina-Invest».
The oil company tried to derange the todays sitting of the court: it annulled the letters of attorney of three its representatives and handed the petition about the replacement of one of these representatives. Yet, new representative Taras Karpechkin did not come to the sitting, since, according to the words of the workers of «TNK», who were present in the courtroom, he was making a business trip. Because of the absence of Karpechkin the court did not satisfy the petition and resolved to consider the case in absence of representatives of the plaintiff.
The decision of the Darnitsa court was cancelled on the formal basis because the case had been considered by the district court without the presence of the defendants and even without the proper informing of the newspaper «Golos Ukrainy» and journalist Sergiy Lavreniuk about the court sitting. The case «TNK» vs. «Golos Ukrainy» and Lavreniuk was directed for the repeated consideration to the Darnitsa court.
We want to point to the bravery of the judge collegium of the Appeal court chaired by judge V. Shimanskiy: it is not simple to dare to take a fair decision, when the claim was handed by a transnational corporation. Besides, the judges could play safe and postpone the sitting in order to wait till 22 April, when the Supreme Court would consider the cassation of «Golos Ukrainy» and Sergiy Lavreniuk against the first decision of the Darnitsa court on the acknowledgement as false of the information about «TNK-Ukraina-Invest», which information had been made public by S. Lavreniuk in the newspaper «Golos Ukrainy» (this decision was followed by another decision of the Darnitsa court on the collection of compensation from the newspaper and the journalist in favor of the corporation). Yet, the judges acted resolutely, they took the decision on the basis of facts and documents, without taking into account the future resolution of the Supreme Court.
2 April 2004
Access to information
Local “major Melnichenko” was found in Chortkiv
Since the first years of perestroika everybody talks about glasnost, openness and transparency of work of the organs of state power and local self-government. Since that time the neologism «glasnost» is interpreted by the world community as a symbol of irreversible democratic changes in the post-Soviet space. Glasnost is the fundamental principle of local self-government in Ukraine (Article 4 of the Law «On local self-government»). However, the modern Ukrainian reality demonstrates us more and more examples of «our glasnost»: from «temniks» concerning the elucidation of social and political events in mass media to obvious increase of the number of various «state secrets» and epidemic of spy mania in the attitude to the activities of non-governmental organizations. The neo-feudal psychology of state authorities and their intractable hunger for uncontrolled power, on the one side, and the infantile, especially in the provinces, state of our «society», on the other side, create the situation, where one can only dream about the transparency and glasnost in the activities of the authorities.
An unpleasant incident took place on 19 March 2004 at the sitting of the Chortkiv town council: deputy of the town council Oleg Borovoy, one of the leaders of the ecological NGO «Zeleny svit» was driven out from the session because… he tried to make the audio record of the plenary sitting of the council.
Here it should be noted that recently there are many problems in the practices of the Chortkiv town council, which are connected with glasnost and the documentation of decisions: drafts of the decisions are not published and are not distributed among deputies, voting is usually conducted from ones words, audio recording of the sessions is not carried out, independent journalists and representatives of NGOs are not invited to the sessions, etc. As a result, the juridical collisions arise after almost each session, which collisions develop into the collection of signatures with the demand to cancel the decisions allegedly approved by the council, following recall of the signatures and petty scandals in the local press. Even the deputies can now familiarize with the protocols of sessions only after the permission of mayor Mykhaylo Verbitskiy. For some reasons the prosecutors office does not want to interfere in these conflicts (maybe because the top officers of this organ get their «service flats» from the municipal fund?)…
This situation made our colleague Oleg Borovoy to buy a dictaphone and to record the course of plenary sittings. During two sessions deputies of the town council tolerated this «insolence», but on 19 March the mayor, in fact, provoked his clique to drive the «spy» out. The mayor let everybody understand that his permission should be obtained for audio recording of the sessions. As a result, Borovoy had to leave the conference hall to the accompaniment of expressions of righteous indignation.
Soon after the incident, the author of this material handed the informational request to the mayor, in which he pointed out that the prohibition to make the audio record violated the operating norms of the domestic and international laws (Articles 4 and 46 of the Law of Ukraine «On local self-government», Article 30 of the Law «On the status of deputies of local councils», Articles 5, 6, 9, 10, 21, 28 and 29 of the Law «On information», Article 19 of the UNO Universal Declaration of human rights, items 1,2 of Article 10 of the European Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms) and proposed to answer the following questions:
Did the session of the Chortkiv town council of 19 March 2004 adopt the decision about the conduction of closed plenary sitting?
If such decision was taken, then on which grounds this was done?
If such decision was not taken, then why deputy O. Borovoy was made to leave the plenary session? Is it admissible to restrict the right for collection and distribution of information about the activities of the Chortkiv town council by representatives of mass media and deputies, and if so, then on which grounds?
What sanctions were applied by the chairman of the session of 19 March against the deputies and officials of the Chortkiv town council, who had consciously impeded the realization of the legal right for collection and distribution of public information?
I got the response. It evidences that the staff of the Chortkiv town council had to familiarize with the texts of the mentioned normative documents and learn that audio recording of the sessions of the organs of self-government, as well as other public actions, is not prohibited in our country. The local adherents of confidentiality wrote that the main reason of their discontent was the fact that Borovoy had not made the audio record continuously, but periodically switched the dictaphone off and on, this irritating some deputies. The town council officials reckon that the complainer, that is me, interpreted the events in the biased way, since I had not been present at this ill-starred session.
Well, there is an unbiased witness – the dictaphone. It clearly fixed how the chairman used the following statements: «some menials», «they are making records, because they have gains for it», «Borovoy wants to betray us and he will do it», etc. And how, when the chairman asked: «So, what we will do?», somebody cried out: «Drive him out from the hall!!!» It is interesting that this verdict was worded not by some street bawler, but by Mykola Garber, the Head of the deputies commission in charge of lawfulness and human rights, the head of the municipal militia unit.
We have already got accustomed to the sad fact that many Ukrainian «demiurges» use the language of gangsters. It is also not surprising that our deputies believe that public order can be guaranteed and supported only with the documents like the Statute of the Soviet army or the Statute of penitentiary establishments. Moreover, it is in the order of things that our state officials have the information, which they want to conceal from their voters. Quo vadis?
Freedom of peaceful assembly
Open appeal of the Institute “Respublika” to MPs of Ukraine
On 23 March 2004 the President of Ukraine presented to the Supreme Rada the draft of the Law of Ukraine «On assemblies, meetings, street marches and demonstrations» (Draft No. 5242-2). The draft was defined as urgent; the profile committee – the Committee in charge of the questions of human rights, national minorities and international relations. Item 2 of the final provisions of this draft orders to the Cabinet of Ministers «in two months after the publication of this Law: to create and present for the consideration of the Supreme Rada the propositions on bringing the legal acts of Ukraine in correspondence with this Law; to provide reconsideration and cancellation by ministries and other central organs of executive power of their normative legal acts that contradict this Law». According to the text of the law draft, the first legal act, which must be «brought in correspondence, reconsidered and cancelled», is the Constitution of Ukraine, in particular, Article 39.
In order to understand that, one should only compare the law draft with the Constitution. Article 39 of the Basic Law states: «Citizens have the right to gather peacefully, without arms, and to conduct assemblies, meetings, street marches and demonstrations, about which the organs of executive power or organs of local self-government must be informed beforehand. This right may be restricted only by court, only in accordance with law and only in the interests of national safety and public order – for prevention of disorders or crimes, for protection of health of population or for protection of rights and freedoms of other people», and does not envisage any direct restrictions of this right concerning either the place of mass actions, or time, or duration, or organizers, or schedule of these actions. The Presidents draft, in its turn, establishes rigid restrictions of the right of citizens for peaceful assemblies and free expression of their opinions. The draft permits such restrictions without any court resolution, but only by the decision of law-enforcing organs, organs of state executive power and local self-government.
For instance, Article 9 of the law draft introduces the restriction concerning the places of conduction of «public actions» (a term from the draft) – not closer than 50 meters from the Presidents residence, buildings of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Constitutional Court of Ukraine, Supreme Court of Ukraine, General Prosecutors office of Ukraine, diplomatic representatives of foreign countries and missions of international organizations, that is the places, which more frequently become the objects of picketing and addressees of protest actions.
Article 10 of the law draft, contrary to Article 39 of the Constitution, establishes the restrictions on time and duration of mass actions: «A public action may be started not earlier than 9 a.m. and must be finished not later than 10 p.m. The maximal duration of a mass action conducted by the same organizer (organizers) may not exceed five hours». The impression appears that this article was written by «theorists» from the Presidential Administration with the purpose to prevent in future the actions similar to students hunger-strike in 1999, the action «Ukraine without Kuchma» and public movements, which became the most important milestones on the way of Ukraine to democracy.
Article 7 of the law draft demands from organizers to present the notification about the conduction of a public action» 10 days before its beginning. On the one hand, the Constitution also demands to inform about mass actions beforehand. Yet, on the other hand, according to the explanation of the Constitutional Court of 19 April 2001, «the term of prior notification about mass actions must be reasonable and must not restrict the right of citizens for assemblies, meetings, street marches and demonstrations, stipulated by Article 39 of the Constitution». The following examples evidence that the term of prior notification equal to 10 days would restrict the right for peaceful assemblies.
The protest meetings against the GKChP, which began in many towns of Ukraine on 20 August 1991, on the next day after the putsch, would be illegal according to the considered draft.
The cases, where, on the eve of election, registration of «improper» candidates is cancelled by decisions of election commissions, are already traditional in Ukraine. It is already impossible to appeal against such decisions to court because of the lack of time, and the only way to express disagreement and try to change the situation before the beginning of voting is mass protest actions. If the Presidents law draft «On assemblies, meetings, street marches and demonstrations» would be approved, then such actions would be illegal! There are many situations, which demand the immediate (on the same or next day) reaction of public, when the events become non-actual after 10 days. And since the moment of the approval of this law draft such public reaction will be prohibited.
A special anxiety is aroused by the provision of the law draft about «law-enforcing organs, organs of executive power and local self-government», which would have the right «to take the decisions about termination or suspension of public actions» (Article 14 of the draft) and «to drive citizens out from the places of conduction of mass actions» (Article 15) without any court decision.
Today the problem with the realization of citizens right for peaceful assemblies becomes especially acute. Along with the problems, which are already usual in Ukraine, another problem has appeared: the election campaign-2004 has begun, and various political forces carry out their mass actions in all regions of Ukraine. One should expect for the burst of political and public activity during the entire 2004, and the realization of citizens right for peaceful assemblies would promote the conduction of honest and open election campaign. That is why we are worried with the presentation by the President of the law draft that restricts the citizens right for peaceful assemblies and which, in fact, is a copy of the notorious Russian law draft that had been recently adopted in the first reading by the State Duma of the Russian Federation.
The Constitution of Ukraine guarantees the right for peaceful assemblies, as well as a number of international documents on human rights. This right is natural and unalienable. This right, together with the freedom of speech, realizes the freedom of expression of citizens. However, contrary to the norms of international right and the Constitution, the Ukrainian power ignores the right of citizens for peaceful assemblies. Systematic violations of citizens rights periodically cause the mass meetings and demonstrations with political, economic and social demands to the power. The organs of state executive power and organs of local self-government, in their turn, try to prevent the conduction of these mass actions or to impede them.
We have already a number of examples of anti-Constitutional impediment to peaceful assemblies: from the dispersal of the tent camp during the action «Ukraine without Kuchma» to the prohibition of the meeting in Mukachevo on 21 April 2004. The Presidents law draft «On assemblies, meetings, street marches and demonstrations» is another attempt to deprive the Ukrainian citizens of their right for assemblies.
In this connection the Institute «Respublika» appeals to the MPs of Ukraine: do not approve the Presidents law draft «On assemblies, meetings, street marches and demonstrations», because it violates the fundamental human rights and freedoms and contradicts Article 39 of the Ukrainian Constitution!
Situation in preliminary prisons and improper financing of penitentiaries may bring to unpredicted deplorable consequences
Violations of the Constitutional rights of citizens and the demands of the laws concerning the material, medical and sanitary provision of convicts in preliminary prisons of the State penitentiary department of Ukraine are systematic. This depressing conclusion was made for the umpteenth time after a check conducted by the prosecutors office.
As a result of overcrowding of preliminary prisons, contrary to Article 11 of the Law of Ukraine «On preliminary incarceration», a significant part of convicts even do not have the places for sleep. In fact, the prisoners have to sleep by turns. From 400 to 1300 persons more than it is stipulated by norms are kept in preliminary prisons of the Crimean Republic, Dnepropetrovsk, Lugansk, Odessa, Poltava, Kharkov and Kherson oblasts.
The persons condemned to life imprisonment, whose verdicts came into effect, are kept in preliminary prisons, and this contradicts the demands of part 1 of Article 150 of the Criminal-Executive Code and the Law of Ukraine «On preliminary incarceration». In particular, this situation brought to the attempt of escape of the condemned to life imprisonment, which occurred on 5 March 2004 in preliminary prison No. 13 of Kyiv.
The improper fulfillment by law-enforcing organs of the demands of the Law of Ukraine «On struggle with TB», such as the provision of timely and thorough examination of the persons, who are kept in special establishments, promotes the fast spreading of this disease in preliminary prisons and penitentiaries.
Since 1994 the stable tendency is observed to growth of the number of tubercular patients, who get to preliminary prisons. The TB morbidity in preliminary prisons is 112 times more than the average level in the country. On 1 April 2004 as much as 11 thousand persons with the active form of TB were kept in penitentiary establishments, among them 1300 stayed in preliminary prisons. At the same time, in preliminary prisons of Kyiv, Kirovograd, Lugansk and some other oblasts the consumptives were kept together with other convicts and obtained no medical aid.
Neither the heads of penitentiary establishments nor the local power organs took the proper measures for the improvement of financing of anti-epidemic arrangements.
The representation on liquidation of the disclosed violations of laws was handed to the head of the State penitentiary department. The General Prosecutors office of Ukraine informed the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine about the results of the check with recommendations to take the mecessary measures for improvement of the situation.
Press-service of the General Prosecutors office of Ukraine
14 April 2004
Larisa Bogoraz has died
On 6 April 2004 in Moscow Larisa Bogoraz has died. She was 75. We are mourning for her together with everybody, who knew her – a person wonderful in all respects.
Larisa Bogoraz was characterized with the uncommon combination of generosity, intellect, charm, beauty, naturalness and highly developed feeling of personal responsibility for everything happening around her. This combination dictated her style of life, and she always performed the deeds, which seemed to be unthinkable in the current system of social relations: visiting her father in exile, appeal to the world community (first in the Soviet history), action on the Lobnoe Mesto (on the Red Square in Moscow) of 25 August 1968 under the slogan «For your and our freedom» and many others. She was an inexhaustible source of liberty, being, at the same time, unaffected and natural. She could speak on every topic.
Larisa was a true friend of the Kharkov «Memorial», which in 1992 called itself the Kharkov group for human rights protection. Being an external expert, she visited us for many times, understood our work in details, advised to us on the best ways of development, read all our publications.
From the professional viewpoint we owe her much: views on things, thinking, attitude to the problems of human rights protection, etc. She sympathetically reacted to all vexed questions and, as time showed, was never wrong. In a word, she was our Teacher.
Today we want to present to our readers the biography of Larisa Bogoraz.
The Kharkov group for human rights protection
7 April 2004
LARISA BOGORAZ (8 August 1929, Kharkov, Ukraine – 6 April 2004, Moscow, Russia).
L. Bogorazs parents were members of the Communist party, party activists, participants of the Civil War. In 1936 Larisas father Iosif Bogoraz was arrested and accused for «Trotskyism activities». In 1947 Larisa visited her father in exile, contrary to mothers prohibition.
In 1950, after the graduation from the philological faculty of the Kharkov University, Larisa worked for several months in a village school as a teacher of the Ukrainian language and literature. After that she married to Yuli Daniel and moved to Moscow; up to 1961 she worked as a teacher of the Russian language in schools of the Kaluga oblast, and then in Moscow schools. In 1961-1964 she was a post-graduate student of the sector of mathematical and structural linguistics of the Institute of the Russian language of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; worked in the sphere of phonology. In 1964-1965 L. Bogoraz lived in Novosibirsk, was a teacher of general linguistics at the philological faculty of the Novosibirsk University. In 1965 Bogoraz defended the Ph.D. thesis (in 1978 she was deprived of the academic degree by the decision of the All-Union Academic Commission (UAC); in 1990 the UAC revised this decision and returned her the degree of candidate of philology).
Larisa knew about the «underground» literary work of her husband and Andrey Siniavskiy; in 1965, after their arrest, she, together with A. Siniavskiys wife Maria Rozanova, do her best to turn the public opinion in favor of the arrested writers. The case of Daniel and Siniavskiy became the beginning of systematic human rights protection activities of many people, including Larisa Bogoraz.
In 1966-1967 Bogoraz regularly visited her husband in Mordovia political colonies; there she got acquainted with relatives of other political prisoners and engaged them in the circle of Moscow intelligentsia. Her flat became something like a «staging post» for the relatives of political prisoners from other towns, who were going for meetings to Mordovia, and for the prisoners, who were returning from camps after the release.
Many Ukrainian figures of the sixties and their relatives stayed in her flat. Larisa was on friendly terms with several Ukrainian prisoners of conscience and regularly wrote letters to them – naturally, in Ukrainian. The relations with Ivan and Leonida Svetlichnys were especially close. Their families became friends as early as in the beginning of the 50s, when Yuli Daniel translated verses of Ukrainian poets into Russian. Bogoraz translated many documents of the Ukrainian samizdat to Russian before the dispatch to the West. Later she took out from the meeting with Anatoliy Marchenko the information about the place, where the issues of «Ukrainskiy Visnyk», prepared by Stepan Khmara, Vitaliy and Oles Shevchenko, were hidden. She went to Lviv and passed this information to Olena Antoniv.
In her appeals and open letters Larisa Bogoraz for the first time put before the public consciousness the problem of modern political prisoners. After one of such appeals the KGB officer, who controlled the family of Daniels, said: «We have been on different sides of barricade from the very beginning, but you was the first, who started the hostilities».
This was the period of consolidation of many separate opposition groups and companies of friends, whose activities began to grow into a public movement, which was called later «the human rights protection movement». Owing to the «near-camp» contacts of Larisa, this process soon exceeded the limits of one social group – the Moscow liberal intelligentsia. L. Bogoraz appeared in the center of the events.
The appeal of Larisa Bogoraz and Pavel Litvinov «To the world community» (11 January 1968), in which they protested against the brutal violation of laws in the course of the trial of Aleksandr Ginzburg and his fellows (the so-called «process of the four») became a turning-point in the formation of human rights protection movement. For the first time a human rights protection document appealed directly to public opinion; it was not addressed to either Soviet and party instances or Soviet press even formally. After the repeated transmission of this appeal by foreign radio stations, thousands of Soviet citizens learned that people existed in the USSR, who openly fought for human rights. Scores of people responded to the appeal, many of them were solidary with its authors. Some of these people became active participants of human rights protection movement.
L. Bogoraz also signed many other human rights protection documents in 1967-1968 and later.
In spite of the objections of a number of famous human rights protectors (who said that she, «the leader of the movement», had not to risk her freedom), on 25 August 1968 Larisa Bogoraz took part in the «demonstration of the seven» on the Red Square. She was arrested and condemned, according to Articles 190-1 and 190-3 of the CC of the Russian Federation, to 4 years of exile. She served the sentence in the Eastern Siberia (settlement of Chuna, the Irkutsk oblast), worked as a scaffold worker at a woodworking enterprise.
After the return to Moscow in 1972, Larisa did participate directly in the work of dissident public associations (only in 1979-1980 she joined the Committee for the protection of Tatiana Velikanova), but regularly initiated, sometimes with «co-authors», the important public actions. For instance, she signed the so-called «Moscow appeal», the authors of which protested against the deportation of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn from the USSR and demanded to publish in the Soviet Union «The GULAG archipelago» and other materials evidencing on the crimes of the Stalins epoch. In her individual open letter to KGB head Yu. Andropov she went even more far: she pointed out that she did not hope that the KGB would open its archives voluntarily and declared that she was going to collect the historical data about Stalins repressions for her own. This idea became one of the impulses for the creation of independent samizdat historical magazine «Pamiat» («Memory», 1976-1984), in which Bogoraz took secret, but rather active, part.
From time to time Larisa Bogoraz published her articles in the foreign press. In particular, in 1976 she published, under the pen-name «M. Tarusevich», the article «Tretye dano» («The third is given») in the magazine «Continent». This article was devoted to the problems of international détente. In the beginning of the 1980s a public discussion was evoked by her appeal to the British government to behave more humane toward the condemned terrorists of the Ireland Republican Army.
More than once Larisa Bogoraz turned to the USSR government with the demand to announce the general political amnesty. The campaign for amnesty of political prisoners, begun in October 1986 together with Sofya Kalistratova, Mikhail Gefter and Aleksandr Podrabinek, was her last and most successful «dissident» action: the appeal of Bogoraz and others about the amnesty was, this time, endorsed by a number of well-known figures of the Soviet culture. In January 1987 M. Gorbachev started to release the political prisoners. Yet, Larisas husband A. Marchenko did not have time to take advantage of this amnesty: in December 1986 he had died in the Chistopol prison.
Larisa Bogoraz continued her public activities in the years of perestroika and after the perestroika. She took part in the preparation and work of the Moscow public seminar (December 1987); in autumn 1989 she joined the recreated Moscow Helsinki Group and for some time was its co-chairperson; in 1993-1997 she was a member of the board of the Russian-American Project group of human rights. In 1991-1996 Larisa Bogoraz directed the enlightenment seminar on human rights for public organizations of Russia and the CIS.
Larisa Bogoraz was the author of a number of articles and notes on history and theory of human rights protection movement. During recent years she was writing her memoirs, edited many texts of «Memorial».
Larisa Bogoraz died on 6 April 2004 after a long grave disease.
A. Daniel, with additions by E. Zakharov