war crimes in Ukraine

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

Politics and human rights

Some information about the doubles of public campaign “PORA!”

The public campaign “PORA!” started at night of 28 March 2004, when leaflets with the question “What Kuchmism is?” were posted in 17 regional centers of Ukraine. 10 our activists were arrested during this action. Yet, it seems that OTHER people began to use this idea for their own purposes.

Distribution of leaflets was accompanied with the information that the site was the only official source of the campaign. The site read that the public campaign “PORA!” did not support any candidate, but struggled for honest election and against the regime ruling in Ukraine. It was also said that the campaign would not stop its work after the election too, since the main goal of the campaign was the development of civil society. The campaign was formed after the network principle of absence of formal leaders and official posts.

Almost a month later, during the election in Mukachevo, a “double” of the campaign “PORA!” appeared there: another organization with the same name presented itself as an informational- educational campaign (IEC) and created the site The IEC “PORA!” had hierarchical structure, leaders and posts of various levels. The Council of the IEC existed, the decisions of which were obligatory for fulfillment, and the overwhelming majority of activists did not know the complete composition of this organization. In spite of declaration of the principle of not-supporting of any candidate (similar to the principle of public campaign “PORA!”), some people’s deputies from the bloc “Our Ukraine”, such as Stetskiv and Pavlenko, were the members of the Council. Founders and activists of the PC “PORA!” had not taken part in creation of the IEC “PORA!” and learned about its existence only from mass media.

In this situation the public campaign “PORA!” took the decision not to protest against copying of its name, since the PC “PORA!” was not well-known then, so such protest would be interpreted by people as a competition for the brand, which would hinder the main goal – struggle with the existing regime. The decision was also taken on establishment of relations with the IEC “PORA!”, conduction of joint actions and negotiations about unification. By mutual agreement of the both parties, it was announced on 22 August that from that day the united public campaign “PORA!” would exist with the logotype combining the logotypes of these organizations (rising sun plus a clock).

At the moment of unification the public campaign “PORA!” essentially surpassed the IEC both by the number of actions and the number of regions, in which these actions were conducted. Activists of the PC “PORA!” became coordinators of the united campaign in the majority of regions (only in some regions they were members of both organizations).

On 28 January 2005 a forum of the PC “PORA!” was held. About 300 activists of the campaign, including those activists, who were recognized by regional coordinators as founders of the PC and IEC “PORA!”, took part in the forum. The participants of the forum declared about the continuation of activities in the form of public campaign, in the organizational-legal format of all-Ukrainian public organizations, the main goal of which is “dekuchmization” – liquidation of negative tendencies in the political, economic and social life of our country, which were inherited from the previous regime.

However, on the next day a part of activities of the PC “PORA!” conducted the so-called “grand closing” of the public campaign “PORA!”. Only 30 activists of the campaign were present at this action, who were neither founders nor regional coordinators. The informational message signed by Vlad Kaskiv also stated about closing of the campaign.

Activists of the public campaign “PORA!” recognize the right of Vlad Kaskiv and his associates to stop their participation in the campaign, but they cannot agree with the right of the latter to disband the campaign regardless of the will of overwhelming majority of activists of the campaign.

The most surprising fact was that the same persons, who had announced about “closing” of the public campaign “PORA!”, created after that new organization called… public campaign “PORA!”, which intended to realize the public control of political figures. At the same time the founders of this organization declare the intention to create a political party. It is incomprehensible how they are going to combine the public control of political figures and their own role of political figures.

Most detailed information can be obtained from representatives of the public campaign “PORA!”:

+38 (050) 310 46 98 – Mykhaylo

+38 (097) 921 18 64 – Volodymir

and on the OFFICIAL site of the PC “PORA!”:


Will the prosecutor’s office be reformed?

This question was discussed at the round table “Reform of the constitutional status of prosecutor’s office and its role in the system of human rights protection”, which was conducted on 2 February 2005 by the Parliamentary committee in charge of human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations. People’s deputies, officers of law-enforcing organs, representatives of human rights protecting organizations took part in the round table. Some participants endorsed reforming of the prosecutor’s office, and some considered necessary to preserve the general supervision.

The round table was opened by Head of the Committee Gennadiy Udovenko. In his opinion, court reform cannot be completed without solution of the question concerning status and competences of prosecutor’s office. The PACE more than once told about the necessity of bringing Ukrainian prosecutor’s office in conformity with European standards. The adopted Constitutional reform excludes such reforming of prosecutor’s office. Mr. Udovenko pointed out that the changes, introduced into the Constitution, confirmed the wish of the state to keep the prosecutor’s institute unreformed. “Reanimating the functions of general supervision under the guise of protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, we are returning to the old system of Soviet prosecutor’s office. Such system does not comply with European standards and European practice”.

Ex-General Prosecutor of Ukraine Mykhaylo Potebenko stated that reform of prosecutor’s office should be carried out in the direction of its deprivation of investigation functions: it is necessary to detach investigating subunits of prosecutor’s office, Ministry of Interior, tax militia, USS and to unite them into the Investigation committee, inside which the division into the units should be done again. And the general supervision should be kept untouched, since, in the opinion of M. Potebenko, the acts of prosecutor’s response are the most efficient method of human rights protection, which snaps into action at once after prosecutor’s interference. According to his words, in 2004 the prosecutor’s organs restored rights of 886000 Ukrainian citizens, and 45 officials were brought to responsibility. I reckon that the speech of Mr. Potebenko evidences that he confuses citizens’ rights with their interests.

The majority of the participants, in particular, Yuri Shemshuchenko, the director of the Institute of state and right of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Tetiana Korniakova, a deputy of the General Prosecutor, Oleksandr Gashitskiy, the first deputy of the head of the DSAU, and Tetiana Varfolomeeva, the rector of the Academy of advocacy, somehow or other expressed the same opinions about the necessity of preservation of general supervision for the protection of human rights and reforming of the investigation system. Only head of the Main investigation department of the Ministry of Interior Viktor Zakharov remarked that he did not know, how it was possible to create the united Investigation committee, when investigating organs of the Ministry of Interior were financed only by 36%, and one thousand out of 12 thousand workers of the organs of pre-trial investigation left the service every year. It is interesting that academician Shemshuchenko said that court system had turned into a “monster” and the people had been moved away from court.

The opposite viewpoint was expressed by representatives of the “monster”. Deputy head of the Constitutional Court Volodymir Shapoval said that there were two components of the problem: political and legal ones. The political component lies in the fact that prosecutor’s office is interpreted as a political tool, since the functions of general supervision are used just in that way. That is why this aspect attracts more attention than human rights protection. No Constitution in the world envisages political responsibility of General Prosecutor’s office before the Parliament, which responsibility exists in Ukraine, and this means, in fact, that prosecutor’s office has the political functions. Juridical side of the problem is that the Constitution gives the double standards of authorities of prosecutor’s office. According to item 9 of the Transitional provisions to the Constitution, “prosecutor’s office continues to execute the function of supervision over observance and application of law and the function of preliminary investigation until introduction of the laws regulating the activities of state organs concerning the control over law observance and until forming of the system of pre-trial investigation”. So, insertion of item 5 into Article 121 of the Constitution, in which prosecutor’s office gets the additional function – “supervision over the observance of human rights and freedoms of citizens, observance of laws concerning these questions by the organs of state power, organs of local self-government and their officials”, is absurd. The very formulation of this item is contradictory, it demands interpretation, not to mention the fact that the organs of state power do not observe laws, but execute them. In the opinion of Mr. Shapoval, the conception of reforming of prosecutor’s office does not exist today. And, instead of preservation of the general supervision, which contradicts the European standards, it is necessary to reinforce court protection of human rights, to realize the profound court reform, and then the supervision functions of prosecutor’s office would be needless.

Judge of the Supreme Court Viktor Panevin remarked that the Supreme Court had given the negative conclusion about draft 4180. Yet, since the draft of changes of Constitution was adopted, the present composition of the Parliament may not, according to Article 158 of the Constitution, introduce changes to Article 121: it would be possible to do that only after the parliamentary election-2006. Mr. Panevin pointed out that it was necessary to protect the General Prosecutor from the arbitrary actions of state officials, and, on the other hand, the relations between prosecutor’s office and courts should be based only on procedural principles. He gave very critical assessment of the work of investigation organs of the Ministry of Interior and prosecutor’s office, stating that every tenth case was sent for additional investigation. The investigation functions should be taken away from these agencies, and a special organ should be created.

Deputy of the Ministry of Justice Inna Emelyanova commented that one should understand the difference between the agency control and the protection of human rights, which protection should be realized in court. She pointed out that in 2004 courts had considered about 3 millions of civil cases. Court system must be changed, it is abnormal that more than 30 thousand cassations has accumulated in the Civil chamber of the Supreme Court. It is necessary to solve the problem with financing: now courts are financed only for 30%. She believes that court protection is much more efficient by all characteristics except cost.

I, in my speech, turned the attention to the fact that Ukraine had voluntarily assumed the obligation to reform the institute of prosecutor’s office in accordance with the European standards. And from this viewpoint the adoption of the constitutional norm contradicting this obligation looks rather strange. This was already stated by the Venetian commission, which wrote about the repeated reminding in the PACE resolutions about the necessity of fulfillment of the obligation of Ukrainian power organs to change the role and functions of prosecutor’s office and that the widening of functions of prosecutor’s office might be regarded as a step backwards, but not towards the observance of historical functions of prosecutor’s office in a law-abiding state. In the opinion of the Venetian commission, the proposed changes concerning widening of the role of General Prosecutor taking into account part 1 of Article 156 of the Constitution demands the organization of all-Ukrainian referendum for its adoption. On the another hand, the entire course of the discussion shows that the conception of reforming of prosecutor’s office does not exist at all, so it is necessary to make a step backwards for elaboration of such conception, and then to create the law draft “On prosecutor’s office” again. As to the widespread idea that the constitutional reform, which was adopted on 8 December, must be realized, I reckon that one should not think that the changes to the Constitution have been approved finally. Draft No. 4180 was essentially changed, and these were not only editing changes, but the substantial ones, so the draft of 8 December would demand new consideration by the Constitutional Court and new voting in the Parliament.

I also pointed out that the suggested changes were extremely contradictory because of the following reasons. Prosecutor’s office has, in particular, the functions of maintenance of state accusation in court and representation in court of other state interests according to laws. And who is the violator of human rights? The state – state organs and their officials. So, how prosecutor’s office can simultaneously defend both human rights and interests of the state? It cannot bifurcate, and it cannot be independent and unbiased. In general, if to consider attentively the formulation of Article 45 of the law draft “Realization of supervision”, one can see that the authors of the draft do not distinguish rights and interests, do not understand that human rights are violated by the state and, in fact, the old good Soviet supervision is returning under the mask of human rights protection. One can draw this conclusion reading the last part of Article 45: “Control over the observance of laws is carried out after the complaints and information about violations of laws, which demand prosecutor’s reaction, and, if there are sufficient grounds, on personal initiative of a prosecutor. Prosecutor’s office does not replace the organs of departmental administration and control and does not interfere into the economic activities, if such activities do not contradict the operating laws”.

In the end of my speech I turned the attention to the special place of prosecutor’s office in the system of power organs. It is not a part of executive or court power – more than once prosecutor’s organs did not answer informational requests just by this reason. The General Prosecutor’s office does not register its normative-legal acts in the Ministry of Justice. Finally, it illegally classifies the information about its activities. As an example I told about General Prosecutor’s order No. 89 of 28 December 2002 and tried to read out some items from this order. Yet, prosecutor’s officers began to cry indignantly: “From where did you take that?”, “It is incredible!”, etc. In order to confirm my words I gave everybody bulletin “SviP” No. 2 for 2004, where this order had been published (in what follows we are printing its text).

In the end of the discussion Gennadiy Udovenko stated that the reform of court system could not be completed until the questions of status and functions of prosecutor’s office would be solved. I believe, nothing can be said against it.


List of the documents, created in the course of activities of prosecutor’s organs of Ukraine, which contain confidential information and to which classification “for service use only” is given

Approved by order of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine No. 89 of 28 December 2002

1.  Organizational-administrative documents (orders, instructions, directions) of governing bodies of the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine, prosecutor’s offices of the Crimean Autonomous republic, regions, cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, regional military prosecutor’s offices and prosecutor’s office of the Naval forces of Ukraine (by proposition of the initiator).

2.  Stuff documents (personal records of prosecutor’s officers of Ukraine).

3.  Memorandums, references, informational letters, methodical recommendations concerning prosecutor’s supervision over the observance of laws during realization of the ODA (if do not disclose the information regarded as state secrets).

4.  Conclusions, analyses, reviews (by proposition of the initiator).

5.  Documents of prosecutor’s response (by proposition of the initiator).

6.  Special informational messages about the catastrophes, accidents and other extraordinary events, which entailed deaths of people or inflicted noticeable material damage.

7.  Index cards of individuals for rendering the access to state secrets (after completion).

8.  Correspondence with the organs of the Security Service of Ukraine concerning rendering the access to state secrets to prosecutor’s officers.

9.  Orders on rendering the access to state secrets to prosecutor’s officers.

10.  Nomenclatures of the posts of workers, who get the access to state secrets (if do not disclose the information regarded as state secrets).

11.  Other documents, for creation of which confidential information is used.

Against torture and ill-treatment

Brief results of the poll carried out by the Kharkiv institute of social research in the framework of the project “Campaign against torture and cruel treatment during the pre-trial investigation in Ukraine”

The poll showed that the practice of illegal application of violence is quite common in the activities of Ukrainian militia. 23% of respondents got into the situations, when militia could inflict them beating and torture (stay in an investigative isolation ward or temporary detention center, transportation to a militia station as a suspected, detention and search in the street by militia patrol, summon to a militia station as a suspected or a witness). One third of the respondents, who contacted militia in that way (7.3% of the total number of respondents), underwent the illegal violence aimed at clearance or investigation of crimes. 3% have become the victims of illegal violence on the side of militia officers during past 12 months, 6% -- before this period. Among the members of families, relatives and close friends of 10-12% of the respondents there is at least one person, which has suffered from violence applied by law-enforcers.

The poll has showed that probability to become a victim of illegal violence on the side of militia officers is rather great: 65% for the persons staying in investigative wards, 57% for the persons staying in temporary detention centers, 36% -- for the persons transported to a militia station as suspected, 31% -- for the detained and searched in the street and 8% -- for witnesses summoned to a militia station. Even if there were no such situations in the life of a person, all the same, there is 1% of probability to become a victim of illegal violence on the side of law-enforcing officers.

The most frequent forms of physical violence during detention are cruel treatment, torture and beating; in the course of investigation – beating, infliction of bodily injuries, less often – torture with use of special means and methods. The most commonly used forms of psychical violence are: degrading treatment, intimidation, threats (in particular, concerning near relations) and blackmail.

On the whole, 52% of the respondents reckon that illegal violence may not be applied under any circumstances; 31% believe that it may be applied only in extraordinary cases; 14% justify the application of violence to some concrete groups and categories of people and 3% are sure that the work of militia.

The main reasons of illegal violence, in the opinion of population, are such: “impunity of militia officers, who use violence” (48% of respondents pointed at that factor); “low professional and cultural level of militia officers” (38%); “bad selection of personnel, when people with sadistic propensity get to militia” (35%).

The population believes that the following measures should be taken for prevention of illegal physical and psychical violence: to punish severely the militiamen for application of unjustified violence, cruelty, torture (52% of respondents suggested this measure); to improve the selection of candidates to the work in militia (50%); to improve the training of militia officers in special educational establishments (40%). However, only small part of respondents believes that it is possible to extirpate the illegal violence in the activities of law-enforcing organs during next three years.

The respondents mentioned the following drawbacks peculiar to militia officers: use of service authorities for personal enrichment (49%); unwillingness to help “the common citizens” (39%); low cultural level (39%); rudeness and callousness (33%). This opinion is expressed both by population as a whole and the victims of illegal violence, but the latter more frequently point at the use of service authorities for personal enrichment, rudeness, callousness and unhealthy inclination to aggression and humiliation of other people.

Among the main drawbacks peculiar to militia as a state organ, the respondents mentioned the following ones: corruption, coercion of citizens to bribe-giving (50%); permissiveness, misuse of power and service authorities (38%); cover-up, impunity of militiamen violating laws (35%); inefficient control over the activities of militia on the side of higher organs (30%).

The respondents, who had suffered from the illegal violence, pointed at the following drawbacks: corruption, coercion of citizens to bribe-giving (61%); cover-up, impunity of militiamen violating laws (49%); permissiveness, misuse of power and service authorities (42%); application of physical and psychical violence as admissible methods of work (38%); internal corruption, payment for appointment to posts (35%).

The poll showed that, in the opinion of public, the application of physical and psychical violence as admissible methods of work occupies the 8th-9th place by importance for the population. Yet, for the victims of the illegal violence, these methods have 4th place among the drawbacks of the work of law-enforcing organs.

Prevalence of illegal violence in the activities of Ukrainian militia significantly undermines the credence of population to militia, credence to the state as a whole, credence to the President. Besides, this factor also influences the readiness of population to assist militia. Among those, who reckon that the illegal violence is widespread in practices of Ukrainian militia, 54% do not give credence to militia, 49% do not trust to the Ukrainian state as a whole; among those, who have the opposite opinion, only 15% do not trust to militia and 22% -- to the state.

Thus, the practice of application of illegal violence by Ukrainian militia is widespread, 7% of the respondents have experienced it by themselves, and in the closes circle of every tenth respondent there is at least one person, who has suffered from the violence.

The public opinion adequately reflects the situation. One half of the respondents regard the application of illegal violence as inadmissible, second half justifies the illegal violence in some infrequent cases, but by no means for improvement of characteristics of work of law-enforcing organs. Besides, the respondents do not accept the illegal violence as a temporary mean for struggle with crime. Yet, the population does not consider the illegal violence to be the main drawback in the work of Ukrainian militia.

The right to a fair trial

Defense becomes more accessible

Starting from the next week advocates of the Kharkiv group for human rights protection will commence on granting free defense to the detained.

They will work in the framework of the pilot project supported by the International Foundation “Vidrodjennia”. For the time being the free legal aid will be granted in one district militia station of Kharkiv, in Chervonozavodskiy, the chief of which have already given his agreement and permission to the Kharkiv group for human rights protection to be present at interrogations from the moment of detention to determination of the preventive measure. Advocates will also provide their services to their clients during the whole period of detention and represent their interests in court.

As Arkadiy Bushchenko informs, the direct executor of the project, there is nothing unlawful in the project, since providing the detained with defense is stipulated by the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine. Yet, because of the lack of financial ability of the detained to invite an advocate and the absence of free advocates at law-enforcing organs, the right for defense is regularly violated.

The main goal of the project is elaboration of the methods of defense by outside advocates and development of cooperation between the representatives of public organizations and the Ministry of Interior. However, as Arkadiy Bushchenko points out, it is not a public control yet. “It’s rather a routine job undertaken by the Kharkiv group for human rights protection because of the lack of people and organizations, who should do this job”.

It should be mentioned that the attitude of militia to this initiative is positive.

A report on the fulfilled work is planned to be presented at a round table after the end of the project. Besides, during the project a methodological manual will be prepared for advocates that will also be presented at the round table, where advocates, militia representatives, researchers and human rights protectors will be invited. “If the experience would be positive and our work would be beneficial, we should talk about continuation of the project and dissemination of this experience in other regions of Ukraine”, Arkadiy Bushchenko said.

A RUPOR correspondent has also learnt that a similar project is realized in Chernihiv by a public organization “Dobrochyn”.

Freedom of conscience and religion

End of the State Committee in charge of religion?

Recently President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko has declared his intention to start shortening of the state committees from the State Committee of Ukraine in charge of religion. According to Yushchenko, the government is not going to carry out special policy regarding religious confessions, since the question in what church to pray is a private affair of every individual. However, President said nothing about the further plans in this sphere.

Society treated this decision of President in different ways. Yet, the Committee-pioneer keeps silent… for there is nobody to speak.

Two-day attempts of the “RUPOR” correspondent to find out the position of representatives of the Committee failed. In the reception office he got the advice to address for a commentary to Bondarenko, the deputy chief of the State Committee in charge of religion, but Mr. Bondarenko was out. It was impossible to reach him via telephone. According to the secretary of the reception office, the deputy chief had to be somewhere in the Committee, but was probably “out of his office”, that is why he did not answer phone calls. It was impossible to communicate under the pretext that “nobody except him could answer the questions”.

An attempt to liquidate the State Committee in charge of religion, according to Taras Antoshevsky, a representative of the Religious Information Service of Ukraine, is connected with the fact that during last few years the Committee proved itself not in the best light. Mr. Antoshevsky informed that, because of the policy implemented by former government, the State Committee in charge of religion more than once exerted pressure upon religious communities.

Ruefully known presidential elections finally discredited this state body. Taras Antoshevsky said that the Committee sent the so-called “temniks” (letters in which state employees explained why one or another church had to openly support the former Prime-minister). Obedient church servants agreed even without prior discussion with the community, and the decision about the support of the “true candidate” was proclaimed on behalf of the All-Ukrainian Church Council.

Nevertheless, in Antoshevsky’s opinion, it’s unreasonable to liquidate the Committee because of the discrediting policy of the preceding government regarding it. It is necessary to observe inner and outer safety in the sphere of religion and to fulfill forecasting function.

“However, in case of final decision on liquidation, it would be expedient to create a corresponding department at the Council of National Safety and Defense as to the registration of religious communities, it is expected to be done by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine,” – Antoshevsky supposes.

The idea of immediate and irrevocable liquidation of the State Committee of Ukraine in charge of religion is also not supported by Ludmyla Fylypovych, professor, dean of the faculty of religious processes of the National Academy of the Psychological Sciences, executive director of the Religious Information and Liberty Center.

“In general, I support the process of shortening the state committees, but it is not an apposite time to liquidate this very committee”, - she guesses.

In her opinion, at present, when the role of church in the society increases, a competent mediator is needed for achievement of stability in the religious life. “Taking into consideration the opposition of the orthodox churches, concordance is impossible without state’s assistance.”

It is not judiciously to pass the entire function of registration of religion communities to the Department of the Ministry of Justice, Ludmyla Fylypovych believes. In her viewpoint, registration should be carried out by specialists in this sphere in order to prevent the existence of unlawful religious organizations.

Volodymir Yavorskiy, the executive director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union of Human Rights, asserts that today’s structure of the governmental bodies makes the processes in the society, in particular in the sphere of religion, uncontrollable.

The State Committee in charge of religion mostly performs consultative-advisory and registration functions. Its authorities include registration of religious centers, administrations, monasteries, religious fraternities, missions and clerical educational establishments, as well as the right to agree activities of foreign clergymen in Ukraine.

In reality, local representatives of the Committee perform only advisory functions, and their existence, in the opinion of Volodymir Yavorskiy, is absolutely inexpedient. At the same time, there is a situation when religious communities are registered by the local bodies of executive power that have nothing to do with the Ministry of Justice and the State Committee in charge of religion. “Therefore, registration of local communities entirely depends on the local officials, which in their turn, logically depend on local traditional church.”

“Thus, a priori conflict is created by legislation, when different power bodies deal in the same sphere, while there is a branchy system of special power body for religion”.

According to a representative of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union of Human Rights, the structure of this type does not contribute to realization of unified state policy in this sphere and contributes to intensification of violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“Therefore, it seems to me that it is really useful to reform this sphere and pass the registration functions of religious organizations to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, practically unifying the procedure of registration of religious organizations with registration of associations of citizens. As to the controlling functions, they would belong to law machinery and, in some aspects, to the Ministry of Justice”, Volodymir Yavorskiy supposes.

So far we have not obtained any explanations or commentaries from the competent persons. Probably the situation will be cleared out after the tomorrow’s press conference of the new Minister of Justice. Meanwhile one can only pray for… reasonable state policy in the sphere of religion freedoms.

Access to information

Is a session of town council a military secret?

During the election race human rights in Ukraine were violated permanently and massively. Local administrations and organs of local self-government, taking the political decisions, tried to do that behind the back public. So, the access to information, which is anyway restricted, became almost impossible.

In what follows I want to give an example from the practice of our local authorities.

On 24 November 2004 Galina Minayeva, the mayor of Chuguev (the Kharkiv region), convoked a special session and appointed it, contrary to part 9 of Article 46 of the Law “On local self-government in Ukraine”, on the same day. One of the items of the session was adoption of the appeal against “anti-Constitutional actions of opposition”. Probably, the mayor and some “people’s representatives”, who wanted to express denunciation to their own people, did not want this information to became known to the dwellers of the town, where not everybody supported don Yanukovich. So, the representatives of mass media, who came to the session, where driven away.

The mayor proposed for voting the question on presence at the plenary sitting of the Chuguev town council of journalists Sergiy Rogozin and Roman Gnoyevoy (the latter, by the way, worked at that time as a correspondent of the newspaper “Novyny Chugueva”, the printed organ of the council!). 13 deputies voted for their going away from the room. Although the town council includes 32 deputies, and the decision, according to the law, should be approved by the majority of the composition in compliance with the list (so, in our case, it was necessary to get 17 votes “for”), Ms. Minayeva showed the creative approach and declared that “in that case 13 votes would be enough, and the decision is taken”.

This decision is particularly illegal, since, in accordance with Articles 4 and 46 of the above-mentioned law, work of organs of local self-government must be elucidated on the basis of principles of openness.

Correspondent of the newspaper “Tochka zoru” Yuri Chumak was also driven away from the session room even without voting. Deputies of the Chuguev town council prohibited him to make video record of the work of the session, used bad law-language towards him.

The mayor and her companions-in-arms ignored the arguments of journalists that they had the right to be present at the OPEN sitting of the council in order to deliver to public the information about the “epoch-making” decisions of the deputies. However, some part of the deputies, as a token of protest against the arbitrariness, refused to take part in this demonstration of absurd and left the room…

After all, Minayeva and her stooges did not give a chance to journalists to realize their professional duty and voted for their appeal. Let us have the text of this document on their consciousness, but the impediment to professional activities of journalists should be considered by court in according to Article 171 if the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

And there the second part of this story begins. On the same day the journalists, whose rights were abused, turned to General Prosecutor of Ukraine (now the former one) Mr. Vasylyev with the corresponding complaint. In December they received the letter that the complaint had been passed to the Kharkiv region prosecutor’s office and… And it was all. Now it is the middle of February 2005, but no information has been got since that time. It is an interesting fact: the prosecutor’s office, one of whose functions is the control over the observance of laws, violates itself the law “On appeals of citizens”.

Probably, new (old) General Prosecutor Sviatoslav Piskun will read would letter, would be ashamed for his subordinates, and the case would move from the dead point? Or maybe the claim should be handed to court against the passivity of prosecutor’s office?

Level of openness in the Secretariat of President Yushchenko is the same as in the Administration of President Kuchma

This is confirmed by 11 edicts with classification “not for publishing” out of 148 edicts signed by Viktor Yushchenko. Similar number of edicts with this classification was signed by Leonid Kuchma every month.

It should be noted that classification appears already after the signing, that is the question about openness of an edict is solved by the corresponding clerk of Administra…, oh, sorry! Secretariat of the President. Well, on what this decision is based?

Article 57 of the Constitution of Ukraine establishes that “laws and other normative-legal acts, stipulating the rights and freedoms of citizens, must be made known to population according to the order envisaged by law” and that the documents of that type that have not made known to population according to the order envisaged by law are invalid”. The corresponding law was adopted, but Kuchma used his veto right, which was not overridden. There is President’s Edict No. 503 of 10 June 1997 “On the order of official publication of normative-legal acts and their coming into force”. The Edict reads that resolutions and decrees, which do not concern rights and freedoms of citizens, are spread by direct informing of interested citizens, organs of state power and local self-government.

We did not find any normative acts regulating the application of this classification, as well as classification “not for printing” (used mainly by the Cabinet of Ministers), which had been registered by the Ministry of Justice. We made the attempt to clear up the grounds and order of application of these classifications by sending informational requests to President’s Administration and the Cabinet of Ministers, and came to the conclusion that these classifications are used by officials on their own understanding (details of the correspondence see in the quarterly “Svoboda vyslovluvan i pryvatnist” No. 1, 2003).

So, what are the contents of the documents with these classifications? Once one of the officials of President’s Administration said, in a private talk, that they concerned the questions of personnel and awards, which was not, in his opinion, interesting for public. It is difficult to believe this simple explanation. Moreover, the contents of such documents became known sometimes, and it turned out that they concerned either decorating of top officials and their servants, both by money and by some other material comforts: villas, health-centers, transport, etc., or the lobby political agreements. One of the latest examples: on 11 February Valentina Semeniuk communicated that the Edicts of President Kuchma classified “not for publishing” made possible the sale of 10 sanatoriums, which were especially valuable because of mineral springs and could not be privatized.

So, what are the contents of 11 secret edicts of President Yushchenko? Several competent sources informed, independently of one another, that one of the edicts, adopted on 28 February, approved the distribution of spheres of activities between the Prime Minister and the SNBO secretary, in particular, the informational sphere abs force structures were given to the SNBO. If it is truth, then this truth is very bitter: nobody may distribute the competence of executive power by secret edicts – it is an anti-Constitutional action! By the way, something like that happened in 1994, when Kuchma, Moroz and Marchuk concluded the secret agreement on distribution of the spheres of influence. At the same time, in the beginning of the first Presidential term of Leonid Kuchma, Edict No. 709/94 was issued with classification “not for printing”, and one year later it became known (in indirect way) that it was called “On informational-analytical provision of the President of Ukraine”. And who can guarantee that one of 11 last Yushchenko’s edicts does not concern the same problem, and another one does not contain, for instance, the Resolution on the Cabinet of Ministers?

According to the message of “Ukrainska pravda”, on 15 February, at the press conference, Aleksandr Zinchenko stated that it was impossible to stop the practice of signing the secret President’s Edicts with classification “not for printing” (I was not point out that all these edicts have classification “not for publishing”, but it seems that even the officials do not understand the difference), since “their absence meant the absence of state secrets”. By Zinchenko’s words, “if the state secrets would not be protected, than the interests of Ukrainian citizens and some very important persons would be damaged”. Thus, the state secretary demonstrated the total absence of culture of openness and misunderstanding of the problem of restriction of the access to information.

We hope that President Yushchenko, who has declared more than once that the power would be transparent, will put an end to anti-Constitutional actions of his apparatus. These 11 edicts must be declassified and published! Otherwise, it would become obvious that new administration begins its work from illegal classifying of information on its activities.

221 normative-legal acts in Ukraine are classified as “for service use only”, “secret” or “top secret”

221 normative-legal acts and 10391 acts, which have been registered in Ukraine from the moment of establishment of state registration of normative-legal acts (from 1 January 1993 to 21 January 2005) contain access restriction because of classifications “for service use only”, “secret” and “top secret”. The overwhelming majority of these acts have been issued by the Ukrainian Security Service, Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine. This information was obtained from Lydia Gorbunova, a deputy of the Minister of Justice of Ukraine, who referred to the data of the Unified state register of normative-legal acts of Ukraine possessed by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

L. Gorbunova communicated that during 12 years the State tax administration of Ukraine had registered 4 normative-legal acts with restricted access, but not a single such act had been registered from 1 January 2004 to 31 January 2005. According to the words of the deputy of the Minister of Justice, during the past 13 months 74 normative-legal acts with restricted access have been registered in Ukraine, among which, along with the acts of force agencies, there were 3 normative-legal acts issued by the National Bank of Ukraine.

The reasons, according to which an informational item may be classified as state secret, the level of secrecy and the circle of persons, who have the access to such information, are established by state experts. This information was given to LIGABiznesInform in the press-service of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. The experts also assess the validity of secret classifications and necessity of declassification of the acts with giving them the status “declassified”. State experts in charge of secrets are appointed by corresponding Edict of the President of Ukraine, follow in their activities the laws of Ukraine and are responsible in accordance with the law. These norms are stipulated by the Law of Ukraine “On state secrets”.

In compliance with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers “On approval of the Instruction on the procedure of registration, storage and use of documents, files, editions and other material carriers of information, containing confidential information owned by the state”, the classification “for service use only” is given by the organs owning or possessing these data. At that, according to the Law “On information”, the persons, owning the professional, business, industrial, bank, commercial and other information, determine the access to it, including the categories of confidentiality, by themselves.

L. Gorbunova also pointed out that, in accordance with the operating laws, in particular, the Constitution of Ukraine, the Ministry of Justice was not empowered to solve the questions concerning the status of information with the restricted access. According to the Law of Ukraine “On state secrets” and the above-mentioned Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, any public divulgation of information with the restricted access is prohibited.

Leonid Chernovetskiy reckons that the Ministry of Justice must carry out public inventory of secret normative acts of force agencies

Leader of the Christian-Liberal party Leonid Chernovetskiy reckons that many “surprises” in the form of illegally classified normative acts of force agencies are waiting for new Ukrainian power. Chernovetskiy believes that the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, which has registered these documents and conceals it from public, is responsible for this situation.

The leader of the ChLP stated that he more than once tried to get from the Ministry of Justice the documents issued, in particular, by the State tax administration of Ukraine, but got no responses to his requests.

“In all these cases Lavrynovich executed orders of the criminal power”, believes Chernovetskiy. “And he continues to do that. If we want to stop this and to make public all illegally registered documents, the Ministry of Justice must carry out immediate inventory of all normative acts, especially tax ones, which have been classified as secret”, pointed out the ChLP leader. In his opinion, the results of the inventory should be published.

“If such state of affairs would remain the same, then Ukraine would get an enormous number of new normative acts, which would be directed against the Ukrainian people”, reckons Chernovetskiy.

1 February 2005 12:31

Freedom of peaceful assembly

Chernigiv judges learned the freedom of peaceful assemblies and discussed the film about the storm of the town council

On 25-26 the seminar for judges of the Chernigiv region “The right for freedom of peaceful assemblies. Article 11 of the Convention on protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms” was held in Chernigiv in the building of the Educational-methodical center if the region council of federation of trade unions. The seminar was organized by the Chernigiv regional public committee of human rights protection jointly with the Federation of assistance to justice and the Appeal court of the Chernigiv region.

The seminar was devoted to the right to peaceful assemblies, problems of restriction of realization by citizens of the right for freedom of peaceful assemblies, meetings and demonstrations. Rather great attention of judges was evoked by the question of the beforehand informing of the organs of local self-government about conduction of meetings, assemblies, etc. The participants were interested with the practices of other courts concerning this problem and the decisions of the Constitutional Court. Guarantees of the right for freedom of gatherings were discussed from the viewpoint of their correlation in Ukrainian legislation and the Convention on human rights and fundamental freedoms. The judges familiarized themselves with practices and recommendations of the European Court of human rights on these questions.

Before the beginning of the seminar the video record was demonstrated to the participants, which record had been made by the Chernigiv regional public committee of human rights protection. The video record concerned the events of 26 November 2004, when the participants of the 10-thousand meeting under the leadership of MP Mykola Rudkovskiy tried to occupy the building of the Chernigiv town council. The record made a great impression on the judges, and, after the vivid discussion, they decided to create a documentary film on the basis of these materials and to spread this film through Ukraine in order to make such events impossible in future.

Speeches on the seminar were delivered by Volodymir Cheremis, the head of the institute “Respublika”, ex-organizer of the tent camp “Ukraine without Kuchma”, candidate of law Mykola Gnatovskiy, a representative of the Institute of international right at T. Shevchenko State University, and advocate Oleksandr Nagorny.

In the course of the seminar and the discussion on the problem of freedom of peaceful assemblies in Ukraine, the present drew the conclusion that the number of cases connected with this right would rise steeply, because many people were taking part in public mass actions under the influence of the “orange revolution”. This is also confirmed by the latest events in the Chernigiv region. Besides, the judges-participants pointed out the necessity of regulation of responsibility of the organizers of meetings and rallies that resulted in mass illegal deeds.

The considered seminar has been carried out in the framework of the project “Introduction of international norms into the legal proceedings of Ukraine”, which is realized by the Chernigiv regional public committee of human rights protection in cooperation with the Appeal court of the Chernigiv region and the Chernigiv regional Center of raising the level of skill for judges. The project is financially supported by the program “Democratic grants” of the US Embassy in Ukraine. The goal of the project is promotion of implementation of international legal norms into the legal proceedings in Ukraine by means of conduction of seminars for judges of local courts of the Chernigiv region and preparation of educational materials for them.

Human trafficking

Social-legal protection of family, children and youth: ways, form and methods of the solution at the regional level

Experience in social work is formed with years. And, certainly, there is no place for indifference, complacency, and heartlessness. The compassion to adolescents must prevail there, but not connivance and permissiveness. We taught our children to be dependent and irresponsible for their behavior. In Western countries children, as a rule, start to earn their living when they are about fourteen years old, so they learn the life, become adapted to it. And they do not grow like spiders-bloodsucker on the necks of their parents. Well, look at behavior of our minors, their attitude to parents: mother is turned into a pitiful servant, who cannot please her son or daughter. And the more we move away from the age of children’s ingenuousness, the greater is our dissatisfaction by our children, by their outlooks, morals and ideals. Now young people have become more pragmatic, more liberated, more intolerant to any kind of pressure. There is significant number of young people, who have disappointed in the life, from which they do not expect anything good.

The children, who are deprived of maternal love and joy, kindness and respect, cannot find their place in the adult life, even the teenagers. And the minors of 13-17 years old, alas, bring more distress than pleasure.

During the past year about 10 thousand minors-vagrants were taken to militia stations throughout Ukraine.

Almost every 45 minutes one person commits suicide somewhere in Ukraine. They decide on suicide because of the feeling of hopelessness, feebleness, fault, humbleness, etc. The minors have got lost in the dusk of our carelessness.

According to the information of the UNICEF (the UNO children’s foundation), in 9 out of 27 countries one third of children (144 millions out of 44 millions) in 2001-2002 lived under the conditions of absolute poverty: low income, poor nourishment, diseases, absence of access to basic services. This situation resulted in great quantity of children in boarding schools, growth of alcoholism among young people and many other negative phenomena.

In Ukraine the overwhelming majority of boys and girls (73%) live in families with low material level (by the data of the WHO). The UNICEF doubts about the “necessity of economic growth, if it is not of use of children” and is connected with ascertainment of the reasons of “inability of a number of countries to measure systematically the level of children’s poverty, which is a critical index of success or insolvency of social-economic politics”.

1. Knowledge of legislative base

During the past 5 years more than 160 Edicts of the President of Ukraine and decrees of the Cabinet of Ministers in charge of questions of state policy were issued, Civil and Family Codes were adopted, and the words “family” and “children” were added to the name of the corresponding state committee. The upper age limits were established: 18 years old for children and 35 – for youth.

Tens of new terms (such as, for example, “social accompaniment”, “social inspection”, “mobile consultation center”,  “juridical clinic”, “crisis center” etc.) were introduced.

Yet, in our opinion:

-  The inner world of minors and youths does not accept the existing approaches in education;

-  The same stereotype actions are organized from year to year: the year of volunteer movement, the year of family and so on;

-  Parents, youths and minors (and, to be frank, even teachers) do not understand the essence, goals and specifics of the work of youth departments of the local organs of state power and self-government;

-  There is no distinct delimitation and separation of power between structures;

-  Mentality of “Komsomol-youth” departments remains invariable, everybody works only “from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.” All these services do not pass on to other forms of work.



-  Whereas in Europe 60 % of minors of 15 years old smoke or smoked before, and every 10th girl and every 5th boy among minors of 11 years old, in Ukraine -- every 5th and every 2nd. The age of the beginning of sexual life have also decreased.

-  35% of boys and 15 % of girls in Ukraine tasted marijuana. The frequency of poisoning with alcohol increased by more than 2.5 during 1989-2002.

2.  Enlightenment, consultation and explanation must be the main tasks, but not moral admonition, pressure and compulsion.

It is necessary:

-  to help the minors to take the correct decisions in their life.

-  to show the real consequences of negative deeds;

-  to teach the life without conflicts, to nip in the bud aggression and violence;

-  to familiarize minors with the Criminal Code of Ukraine (reasons and terms of deprivation of liberty);

-  social advertising should be active and comprehensible.


-  During 10 months of the current year the number of minors in the Lugansk region has become 11% less.

-  The number of minors registered in militia service in charge of minors has become 50% more.

-  The number of applications about going away from families and special educational establishments has grown from 541 to 711.

-  17 minors were not found.

-  Since November 2002 the all-Ukrainian phone help-line (8-800-500-80) functions at the State committee in charge of family and youth. But where a minor can find this phone number? Who knows it?

Every day, every hour we must persuade young people that it is better not to fight with each other, but for each other

3. The list of basic problems, ways, forms and methods of this solution.

-  The power is far from the real problems and needs of family, children and youth.

-  The professional level of personnel working with this category is extremely low.

-  The main acute problem is that nobody analyzes and forecasts.

-  As a rule, a child from bad family passes the following way: special establishment for babies -- children’s home – boarding school -- trade school – and the life, most frequently without job and habitation.

The problem of adoption demands special attention. The data on adoption in Ukraine are adduced in the table:




By Ukrainian citizens



2-3 times

By foreigners



5 times

One of the hardest problems today is the fact that mothers do not want to bring up their own children. As it is known, a home stands not on the land but on mother. And when such concepts as beauty, spirituality and kindness are not absorbed with mother’s milk, then the verb “to love” means only “to sleep with somebody in one bed”, the phrase “to achieve success” means “to do everything in spite of other people”. And then it is not a sin to steal, to kill, to deceive one’s neighbor. The children are not guilty of this situation, because these are their parents, who speak with them in incorrect language, and children’s comprehension remains on the primitive level, they despair of the possibility to find a way out.

Our second principle is not to hinder, not to command and not to direct orders to educational establishments. Instead of this, at the September seminar of social teachers of the Leninskiy district, we proposed our recommendations on about 20 forms of work for their educational establishments.


4. To increase the role of family and family education.

Preparation to family life.

To start from ourselves:

-  To read the Family Code of Ukraine.

-  To change cardinally our own attitude to our children and parents.

-  To increase the role of fathers in families.


-  Only 40% of families have children. Almost 80% of children are born in young families. There is one million of childless spouses in Ukraine. Every second family divorces (among them – 50% lived together less than 5 years). Every sixth family is not complete. The number of common-law marriages is growing.

The situation with violence is terrible. The official complaint handed to militia evidence that physical violence is regarded by many people (about a half) as the universal method of settling conflicts. 39% of respondents stated that they would keep together, even if the actions of their friends would be illegal.

-  40% of women complain against men’s tyranny, and 12% of men – against women’s.

Out of 82.5 thousand home violators in Ukraine are registered by militia:

-  20 thousand – for physical violence;

-  5 thousand – for psychological violence;

-  1.2 thousand – for economic violence;

-  78 thousand – for sexual violence.

26 thousand of cases of violence out of 82.5 were registered during this year, and 9% of victims were young girls. Reasons of home violence:

-  34% -- hard drinking;

-  31% -- stealing of home utensils, unemployment, material debts;

-  60% of victims were drunk too.

5. To teach youth to create their non-governmental organizations

Because of objective reasons the state structures are not able to solve the considered problems without active participation of every of us. It is necessary to rake the numerous abatis that have been heaped on in the sphere of childhood.


-  From 5 to 8% of youth leaves Ukraine every year.

-  More than 50% of youth take no interest in politics.

-  Every third young person at the age from 18 to 23 does not work and do not study.

6. The most important task is to turn our face to minors, to their problems, internal world, spiritual state.

-  It is necessary to learn to forgive for our own sake and, of course for the sake of those, who are good to us. Possibly, this would help us to free ourselves from the feeling of resentment, hate or revenge.

-  We must respect those, who do not observe our rules. At the same time we must learn to explain, why the traditions and rules of normal life are valuable and efficacious, to identify the destructing actions and to turn them into constructive ones, to persuade such people to become a part of our group, our common line, the territory, where we are living.

Statistical data on the persons, who turned to the Social Center for youth of the Leninskiy district, Lugansk





9 months of 2004













Among them:  

- pupils of schools

- pupils of trade schools











Students of higher education establishments









Main questions and problems




9 months of 2004







Violations of human rights





Social protection





Housing problems and subsidies





Defense of rights in court









There is not doubt about the necessity to persuade that the prison system does not reform. It only serves for restriction of liberty. Yet, penitentiaries change many people psychologically, and these changes are not always positive.

Were often, talking with those, who have released from custody, I heard that they were reappraising the sufferings and ordeals that occurred to them. I heard that in the Perevalska colony, especially at individual receptions. One convicts said to me that he wanted to die, because his death would recompense everything he had done.

Father of one incarcerated said with annoyance: “Nobody visited him, nobody phoned him, nobody supported him either before, or during, or after the trial”. And he accessed this silence as indirect denunciation of the crime of his son even before the trial, and I – as the complete indifference to the boy, who had taken a false step.

After the release the former prisoners, who have become adult and become acquainted with life, who have lost social and friendly relations, do not get any social and moral help from the power organs and become social outcasts.

Working in the sphere of social accompaniment, I understood that if a young man does not want to change, then it is his own choice. First of all, because he is left on his own, does not get any support for adaptation in our difficult reality. Outside the penal colony, without money, job, dwelling and documents (plus the permanently indifferent attitude of state structures), without psychological aid and unwillingness to contact with workers of social services these people, as a rule, commit a crime again. That happens with every fourth former prisoner in our district. Of course, more than a half of them do not want to come to our center. One of the main reasons is that, being in institution of confinement, they did not get enough information about existence, goals and tasks of the centers of social accompaniment.

Every region should determine the complex of problems, which such young people can confront, to look for the ways for solution of these problems and to answer the questions of the youths.

It would be possible to change the situation, if the youth policy would be directed at liquidation of direct causes of the heavy state of “unmanageable children” and inadequate protection of children, at the use of address approaches positively influencing evolution and protection of children.

Cooperation with businessmen may be useful for solution of these problems. Only in our district businessmen maintain monthly 18 orphans and 7 handicapped children.


Project "Uslysh menia!" (“Hear me!”)

Recently new Ukrainian site appeared in the Internet:, which is dedicated to adolescents, who serve sentence in penitentiaries establishments. It is addressed to their contemporaries, who stay at large. Every letter, which is placed on the site, concerns fates of those, whose childhood has finished in the colony. Maybe the changes in our society and economic problems made us more callous, so we – all our society, did not give enough cordiality to these children of heat. And they appeared in the most terrible place – behind the bars. It is painful to read the letters of these adolescents; however, it is necessary to reflect on these grievous lines. And these confessions should not frighten away – souls of these children need the support, and others should understand what would be the results of transgression of law.


Dmitry B., 15 years old. A person, who was not there, would not comprehend anything, despite all explanations. I have understood only now that I am a child yet, and that I need liberty as every child. Even a bird cannot live in a cage for a long time.

Ruslan L., 16 years old. Just there, in the colony, I said to my mother for the first time that I loved her. And we cried together.

Vika L., 17 years old. I want very much to turn to you. Maybe, you are even older than me, and maybe, my friend, you are younger, and I would have time to caution you against future mistakes. Word of honor, I want to do that very much. I think that if I knew about responsibility, then I would try to refrain from many things. I was a good pupil in the school, teachers never complained about me. Yet, in 14 I, with my friends, committed a crime and was condemned to 12 years of incarceration. This term is only 2 years less than the term, which I had lived at large…

Sergey V., 17 years old. I learned many things staying behind the bars. However, this can be learned at large too. Boys, learn, first of all, to appreciate your parents. And the rest will come by itself.

Lena Sh., 15 years old. You are trying to reverse time, but it is too late. “I am afraid, my dear daughter that the sorrow will kill me, and the shame will burn me”. How to get rid of this black stain in my soul, how to prove that I am not a callous, heartless creature?

Inna S., 18 years old. Where are my friends now? They have disappeared! I devoted all my time to them, and they deserted me. Well, maybe they were not real friends, but only people, who strolled with me, visited discotheques, helped me to waste money?

It becomes clear who is who, when you get into a mess, when you are arrested. Those, who truly love you, for the sake of which you must live, learn and work, suffer together with you. Alas, I understood that too late…

During the time of my stay in the colony my mother died and now, believe me, I would be ready not only to listen to my parents and be a worthy daughter, but even to go to convent, to devote my life to goodness, to forget everything mundane, if only my mother was alive! No crime is worth of the punishment you can bear!

Maksim B., 18 years old. It is necessary to feel the pain of bereavement for feeling the guilt. I am afraid to be released and to look into my mother’s eyes. How could I leave her alone and get behind the bars?

Children’s rights

Rubber batons, handcuffs and dactyloscopy or “prophylactic” intimidation of Gypsies

The event that happened in a winter morning of this year disturbed all inhabitants of Gypsy district Radvanka of Uzhgorod. On 20 January, about 6 a.m., in Radvanka, where the Roma community lives, militiamen, accompanied by the special squad “Berkut” in masks and with rubber batons, appeared. They rushed in almost every house, where Gypsies lived, disturbing the sleeping families, knocked at doors and windows, and if they were not let in at once, they broke the doors. Rushing to the houses, they ordered the adult men to get dressed quickly and to get into the bus, which stayed near the houses. After the release from the militia station, the group of Gypsies turned to the all-Ukrainian human rights protecting Roma organization “Chachipe” (“True protection”).

Having listened the complaints of the Roma, which turned to the human rights protection center “Chachipe”, we, for our turn, resolved to turn to Oleksandr Latsko, the headmen of the encampment situated on Telman Street.

-- At daybreak I was awaken by Gipsy Olga Kosoru. The woman told that her husband Oleksandr and 15-years-old son Alik were detained by “Berkyt” officers, who unexpectedly rushed into their house, beat the men with batons, twisted their arms and threw them to the militia bus. About forty persons were detained together with them, even aged and ill people some militiamen, who took part in this raid, had wooden clubs.

I came to the bus and asked one of the officers about the reasons of these actions. The law-enforcer explained that this was a prophylactic raid. When I asked the “Berkut” officers to let go the aged Roma, they threatened that they would detain me too.

Besides, during the raid the militiamen took away a tape-recorder from one of the houses.

In the morning I went to the town militia station in order to clear up the reasons of detention of the Roma. There I again got the confirmation that this action was planned by law-enforcing organs. The men, who were released, told me that militiamen got their finger- and palm-prints, looked into their mouths and checked teeth, like with horses. The seized tape-recorder was not given back, the militiamen said that they would keep it until Monday.

-  Mr. Latsko, what is your opinion about the events that happened on 20 January?

-  This has been the greatest humiliation of Roma during the recent time; their human rights were trampled.

The militiamen spoke with me indecently, taking into account my age and social status; they did not want to listen to my advices. If they turned to me, as a headman, beforehand, it would be possible to prevent such brutal treatment of Roma.



To Head of the Zakarpatska Regional Department of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine

Militia colonel I. Proshkovskiy

Copies: to Head of the Uzhgorod town Department of the Ministry of Interior A. Zelinskiy

To prosecutor of Uzhgorod Mr. Tatsiun

From Head of the all-Ukrainian human rights protecting Roma organization “Chachipe” Aladar Adam

Respected colonel Proshkovskiy!

On behalf of Roma community of Uzhgorod is forced to turn to you with the request to investigate the situation that has arisen with the Roma population that lives in the micro-district Radvanka.

On 20 January 2005 Gypsies turned to our organization, who complained that on 20 January 2005, about 6 a.m. militiamen in masks had rushed into the houses of Roma, situated on Pogranichna, Telmana and Granitna streets, and, using brute physical force, without any explanations, made Roma to get into the bus and transported them to the Uzhgorod town militia station. When some detained asked militiamen about the reasons of such treatment, the latter started to beat Gypsies. As a result of these illegal actions of militia officers, some victims got physical injuries and their clothes were damaged.

After coming to the militia station fingerprints of the Roma were taken. They got no explanations and no documents were given to them for signing during this procedure. Yet, according to the Law of Ukraine “On militia”, militia officers have the right to “make photographs, audio and video records, dactylography of the persons, but only of those who are:

-  detained on suspicion of commitment of a crime or for vagrancy;

-  accused of commitment of a crime;

-  taken into custody;

-  put under administrative arrest.

So, there are only four grounds for making dactyloscopy, and every of this grounds must be formalized in compliance with proper procedure (resolution of the investigating officer, protocol, etc.) the same grounds are stipulated by item 1.5 of the instruction “On procedure of functioning of dactyloscopic registration at the expert service of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine” introduced by the Order of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine of 11 March 2003. Yet, no one of the Gypsies was “detained on the suspicion of commitment of a crime”, was not “taken into custody” and was not “accused of commitment of a crime”. So, the actions of militiamen were illegal, and no “operative necessity” could justify these actions.

Taking into account the deplorable fact that lately such cases became very frequent in Ukraine, we are forced to inform about such cases ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva, profile committee of the Supreme Council of Ukraine (G. Udovenko) and the European Center for protection of Roma’s rights (in Budapest).

Taking into consideration everything above-said, I am earnestly requesting for your urgent interference into the situation for preventing the violations of rights of the citizens of Roma nationality and for clarification of the reasons of the so-called “visit” of militiamen to Roma community accompanied with inflicting of bodily injuries.

20 January 2005
Sincerely yours,
Aladar Adam,
Head of the all-Ukrainian human rights protecting Roma organization “Chachipe”

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2005, #02