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Olexandra Matviychuk

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It is necessary to win this war, but not to turn to Russia

February 25, 2017

Under the guise of the formula “we are fighting against Russian aggression”, the Ukrainian government is not always justified limits the rights and freedoms of its citizens. “The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan, “- said Ukrainian human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk.

She adds that it is important to remember that you must not only fight for the temporarily occupied territories, but also to build a democratic model of society.

For more information about tasks that are currently facing the Ukrainians, Alexander Matviychuk told FaceNews. Human rights activist also told about why we still do not know who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Heaven.

Alexander, for three years Ukrainians are waiting for answers to questions about who was shooting at people at the time of the dignity of the Revolution, who gave the orders. Why, in your opinion, the answer is still no?

There are objective and subjective reasons. During euromaidan bodies that were supposed to investigate the crimes and to conduct initial investigations, we did not. They were so busy that committed these crimes. Was destroyed by a huge number of documents, the former leadership of the country is on the run in the Russian Federation and other countries. That is, there are a number of objective things that complicate the investigation.

What are the subjective factors? The fact that, unfortunately, the investigation and the accomplishment of justice has fallen on the shoulders of the unreformed system of law enforcement bodies and the judges, many of whom are at the time of the Maidan themselves carried knowingly unjust decisions. It is difficult to expect them to some higher standards of justice, as in the good they realize that sooner or later, if the investigation will be effective, they also held accountable.

Also, I do not see a lot of attention of the government. Thus, during the first year we did not create even a single investigation into the center, things were questioned by different investigators, and even structures.

Once this center is finally appeared, he was for a long time did not receive the necessary support. At the end of 2015 the year it worked eighteen investigators, they investigated more than 2000 episodes literally “on the knee”, without premises and logistics. This is clearly not the way to relate to a case that the president names most resonant in the history of independent Ukraine.

The last thing we are very annoyed when in October last year, Yuriy Lutsenko made a decision to change, and in his opinion, to improve the investigation process of the organization. He had the idea, which he, fortunately, refused to merge into a single production and make a big deal Yanukovych.

The most important thing in this decision – a change in the focus of the investigation. After all, if we start immediately to collect evidence only against the top, we will lose the middle link – people who, relatively speaking, stood between Yanukovych and those who committed crimes with their own hands. Question – why it is done. I venture to suggest that it is the middle link is successfully incorporated into the current system of power and easy feeling.

However, in the investigation there are also positive things. It is clear that not all so clear.

Fair investigation of crimes during euromaidan – is not the only challenge for the authorities. What other challenges do you think, is now acute for Ukraine?

During euromaidan we were fighting for their democratic choice. It turns out, the most important task now – to implement the democratic choice in practice.

We need to carry out radical reforms that will change the course of history. While we like the people who go into the pit in a circle, and once in ten years, when it gets really bad, and the bottom is getting closer, a revolutionary way to correct the motion path and try to get out of it. But as building democratic institutions much harder, for some reason we returned back to this circling. That is our main goal – to make a qualitative leap and get out of this turbulence zone, transitional period in which we are in the last few decades.

After the fall of the authoritarian regime the possibility of these democratic changes became so real, that the Russian Federation, defending his authoritarian regime was forced to intervene. She occupied the Crimea, began the hybrid war in Donbas. And now we are fighting for our right to have a choice per se.

Therefore, in these difficult and dramatic time we are faced with a second very important task – to not forget what we are fighting. We need to win this war, but not to turn himself into the Russian Federation.

What I mean? In response to Russia’s aggression power starts to limit the rights and freedoms and making it is not always justified. It is important to understand that even in times of war, human rights should be limited in proportion to, and not just because the authorities felt like it and it has a beautiful phrase, “we are fighting against Russian aggression.”

The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan. This should not be allowed.

We need very clearly aware that we are fighting not only for the territory and for the choice of a model of society, where the rights of everyone are protected, where there is a fair judicial system, where the government is accountable to the citizens.

Sourse, 24/02/2017

The fate of the “Kremlin prisoners”: what to do with Ukraine, have become hostages of the Russian Federation

January 6, 2017

Torture, which apply to the Ukrainians, who became prisoners or hostages of Russia, starting at the stage of the investigation, when the detainees from trying to beat out the testimony, said a human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk. All this, according to her, accompanied by the exclusion of prisoners from their families, independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul. “All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation,” – emphasizes Matviychuk.

She adds: Ukrainians have become hostages to the Kremlin, can be divided into three groups. Firstly, those who pass on trumped-up processes with political motives in the Russian Federation and on the territory of Crimea. Secondly, located in basements in the uncontrolled territory of Ukraine, Donbass. Third, more than 5 million people who live in the occupied territory. “We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a” gray zone “in Donbass” – human rights activist said.

Read more about the features of the release of members of each of their groups, and where the situation with the “prisoners of the Kremlin’s” most critical, in an interview FaceNews told Alexander Matviychuk.

Which groups you share “the Kremlin’s prisoners?” And why is the issue of their release is important to talk about conditional groups?

Why do we combine these people in a pretty conventional groups? Understanding who these people are and what group they are in, it helps us to determine what can and should do in a particular situation.

When we talk about “hostage of the Kremlin” that belong to the first group of people who go on trumped-up criminal proceedings on political grounds in Russia and in the occupied Crimea. It is clear that there is no independent judiciary. But there is a building, where it says “trial”, there is a man in the mantle, who calls himself a judge. With the right to a fair trial that has nothing in common, but there is at least some kind of simulacra. In such cases, lawyers fulfill all the legal and procedural possibilities, and do everything in their power at the federal level, and then continue to work with international organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights.

The second group of “hostages of the Kremlin” – people who are in the basement of the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Even if illegal armed formations charges against them in violation of the Criminal Code is still the Soviet regime, it is clear that there is nothing at all to talk about the quasi-even procedure.

Together with colleagues we interviewed 165 people and recorded evidence. People were kept in cellars, garages, dog cages, manholes. Every second civilian said he had succumbed to torture. And we must understand that it is not just about beating. This is rape, electric current, cutting off fingers, prostrelivanie body parts. We have fixed many terrible things done by people with guns, because felt complete impunity. It is interesting that 16% of the civilians we interviewed said they were direct witnesses, when, during the so-called confrontation or interrogation of people beaten to death. All that we have documented and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The third category, which I would say as a hostage of the Kremlin, is 5.5 million people living in the occupied territory, no matter how they relate to the occupation. We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a “gray zone” in the Donbas. The latter, for example, have no way to protect against the tyranny of man with a gun his property, health, life and the lives of loved ones.

With regard to the Crimea, then we see that there is no way to protect themselves from political persecution. It’s starting to feel the even pro-Russian part of the population, those who rejoiced at the annexation. However, they are used to that under Ukrainian jurisdiction have the right to peaceful assembly, and now, when they go out to protest against the closure of the Cadet Corps with portraits of Putin, beaten and brought to administrative responsibility. Russia, which they saw from the TV, suddenly found a very different Russia, which reigned in the peninsula.

About a third category also need to talk, because they need our protection. Now Ukraine has very limited opportunities to directly influence what happens with a specific person or group of people, but this is not an excuse for us to do nothing. Our country needs to make use of existing international mechanisms or, if not available, create new ones.

Recent years have shown that Ukraine is difficult to stand up to Russia at the international level. For example, the federation has the right to veto in the UN Security Council. In addition, about a year ago, the Russian Federation made a decision, according to which can selectively implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. What international mechanisms can help to influence Russia?

This is a question that we need to have a strategy that will be provided in the complex legal, diplomatic, economic and other activities. But such a strategy in Ukraine, unfortunately, no. And this is a problem.

You are right: consolidated procedure in Russia in the summer of last year, which is to try to bring the legal form of a breach of international obligations, and now they are free to decide how to execute the decision of the European Court, and what – no. When Russia is beginning to show a similar situation goes from a legal plane in diplomatic. And the Ukrainian diplomats have to say: if the law does not apply, and Russia does not understand the PACE resolution requirements of the UN Committee or the European Court, then let us talk to her language that she understands. If Russia fails to comply with judgments of the European Court, let’s talk about toughening sanctions. This should act as a package.

Until we have a full-fledged strategy on the issue of “the Kremlin’s prisoners’ state of the task falls on the shoulders of social activists. You are one of the initiators of the campaign LetMyPeopleGo, which oversees the Russian theme of liberation of the hostages. Who is on this list?

In LetMyPeopleGo list – citizens of Ukraine, which are held for political reasons in the areas of non-freedom in Russia and in the occupied Crimea.

How many people are now included in the list?

This is a very sensitive issue, because it is sometimes very difficult to determine the presence of a political motive. For example, human rights activists say that the Crimea was illegally moved to 2200 prisoners. How do I know that all they have been lawfully convicted or not? Knowing how the authoritarian system, assuming that many illegally. But if we include in the person list also it depends on whether there is in fact a political motive.

In the summer, we were talking about 28 people, and then added, “Panova group.” We met with a lawyer, and is now waiting for the case file. It is likely that they will be included in our list, but we want to see the material. The second example – the journalist Roman Sushchenko, the materials of his case in general there is no access, because it passes through the article “spying” and classified. How to be in this case? All indications are that it is very similar to the case Yuriya Soloshenko, Valentine Vygovskogo, but there is always a risk, because it is impossible to check (at the time of publication of the article “a group Panova” and journalist Roman Sushchenko were included in the list of campaigns, – FaceNews).

When those who managed to escape from captivity, told that they had to endure, it becomes really scary. Such as torture, which Gennady Afanasiev said. Where is the most critical situation in the aspect of the treatment of our prisoners?

The fact that said Gennady Afanasiev, and after that was a lot of people from the list, did not start while serving their sentence, but much earlier, during the so-called investigation. Then they were isolated from their families, are not allowed independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul, and had been tortured to extract confessions. All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation. One of the Russian lawyers, when she saw in what condition is her client, came to the investigator with a direct question: “What do you with the person did” what he said to her: “What do you want with us since the days of Ivana Groznogo methods of investigation We have not changed. “

Therefore, here it is necessary to monitor what happens to the man on the stage of the investigation, what happens to them during the trial, and what happens after the verdict. These stages have their own characteristics. During the investigation, as I said, there is the problem of artificial isolation, and while serving their conclusion is very hard to produce any information about the person then gradually forgotten. Here the task of the public – do not forget to constantly remind that the person is sitting. This increases the chances that he will be released.

About who is in the worst state, from what we know, we can separately identify Stanislaus Klyha. Torture does not have consequences for the people and, unfortunately, he lost his sanity. It has become apparent to all, when he gave up an independent lawyer who fought for his release and said he wanted to protect his Stas Mikhailov, Pelagia, Shura or beast. He was sentenced to twenty years, with medical and psychological examination, which took place in Chechnya, found him completely sane. Naturally, he is now in a very serious condition.

Alexander, it is unlikely you surprised that the appeal in the case Karpyuk and Klyha who viewed Russian Supreme Court about a month ago, upheld the judgment of conviction of 22.5 years and 20 years.

No hope there is no legal solution. There is hope that the leadership of Russia as a result of international pressure to take a political decision to release them. And then they will exchange, pardon, extradited or find any other legal mechanism to a face-saving, Russia could bring them home.

Sourse, 05/01/2017

Ukrainophobia in Crimea. What puts the Kremlin

June 24, 2016

Reintegration of Crimea – is not only the return of the territory. A key element of the strategy – the people. And Russia is well aware of, so make an effort to us there was no one to return: Ukrainophobia educates through the TV, change the demographic composition of the population, which in itself is a war crime. And everything – methodically destroys the independent civil society, which should be one of the key factors of reintegration. Keep it at least in some form – our task.

For more than two years, we are monitoring the political persecution in the occupied Crimea. Arsenal of repression is quite broad: people are arrested in their homes were searched prohibit peaceful assemblies, fabricated criminal and administrative cases. Occupying power does not shrink from abductions, intimidation, beatings and torture. Russia has been consistently replacing active people of the peninsula, or causes them to shut up.

In situations where the right to influence the situation is rather difficult, as the international community is limited only by the angry resolutions of simple ways to save the remnants of the civil society on the peninsula does not exist. At the same time, there are several areas of work.

Firstly, it is necessary to overcome the informational isolation of Crimea. People on the peninsula should be able to get excellent information from the pro-Kremlin language accessible to them. In parallel, it should be given instructions on how to bypass the blocking of websites, when it comes to broadcasting on the Internet. Crimea various questions should be in the top of the political agenda, they should write about the Ukrainian press. It is necessary to develop relations with the religious, professional, cultural communities on the topics that are the subject of their interest. People who have kept the Ukrainian citizenship, should simplify administrative procedures online methods of management.

Secondly, the Crimean youth should have access on favorable terms to education on the mainland Ukraine. Educational institutions at various levels should implement distance learning programs, focused on the Crimea. It is necessary to increase the number of specialized institutions, such as moving to Kiev Tauride University, which take into account the difference in school programs of Ukraine and Russia. They should be seen as a communicator with the Crimea, because the students are friends and family on the peninsula, as well as a base for the formation of the Crimean elite. Learn to be in these prestigious institutions.

Third, Ukraine needs to learn how to protect the people who were left alone with the occupiers. It is necessary to define the scope of work for the Russian human rights activists in the Crimea, which can connect to the practical protection of persecuted people on the spot. Cases of people persecuted by the Putin regime, should always sound at the level of international organizations. Involved in this persecution should expand the list of personal sanctions. Public authorities should carry out an effective investigation and collect evidence on these facts. You also need to develop a program of support for these people on the territory of continental Ukraine.

In general, the lack of a comprehensive policy towards the occupied Crimea can complicate the reintegration of these areas in the future. Ukraine needs to be translated into the language of practical actions to Oleg Sentsova “my country, I will not leave” and send a clear signal to the people that it is fighting for them.

Author: Alexander Matviychuk, human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the NGO Center for Civil Liberties

Sourse, 23/06/2016

Donbass lawlessness

April 17, 2016

Ukrainian human rights activists talk about the testimonies of victims of illegal detention places in the district of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of illegal armed groups. Human rights activists questioned 162 people emerged from captivity. Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom.

Conclusion human rights: torture faced each second respondent civilian and 86% military in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. Power in illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: I’m in the hands of the research – the evidence of the victims of the places of illegal detention in the territory of the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of “Russian separatist forces,” as they are called United States President Barack Obama. The authors of the study today in our studio: this Alexander Matviychuk , chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, and Boris Zakharov , head of the advocacy center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union .

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed 162 people emerged from captivity. We have information on what are the conditions of detention and of dealing with people who are 79 places of unfreedom. When we say “people in basements”, it is not a metaphor, because most of those 79 seats are not designed even for a short stay. It’s really a basement room, cellars in the office buildings, even a dog cages, aviaries in use of illegal armed groups that hold people.

Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom. Our conclusion: torture faced each second civil, surveyed, and 86% of the soldiers in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. This, relatively speaking, the power of the illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: Boris, there are in this situation, any possible human rights may be, at least from the Russian side?

Boris Zakharov: Those doctors who are allowed to see the hostages are controlled, they do not allow any independent medical examination.

Alexander Matviychuk: We had a block of questions about whether the medical assistance. Prisoners of war were taken sometimes in a serious condition, civilians too, then adjusted to a very serious condition and needed medical care. Male nurses function often performed the same guards. For example, we interviewed Alexander Grishchenko said openly: he was a vet, he improvised means sewing up wounds his fellow inmates.

Vitaly Portnikov: You’re talking about the military, but it is very important to understand what is happening to civilians.

Alexander Matviychuk: The fact that every second civilian man who fell into place bondage tortured – is nothing less than a crime against humanity. We were trying to figure out which categories of persons and for what reasons are subject to such treatment, but our main conclusion: there is no algorithm of actions, which would help to avoid falling victim to such breaking.

Vitaly Portnikov: I saw in this study is evidence of forced press conference for the Russian media.

Boris Zakharov: they were tortured to force to give an interview, which is given once almost immediately after torture.

Alexander Matviychuk: she interrogates me personally was the fourth month of pregnancy. She was beaten with iron rods, although she said she was pregnant. She answered: “You are a Jew, and even pro-Ukrainian views, your child does not have the right to life.” She’s gone from the Ukraine, and I very much hope that it and all is well with her child.

And the second pregnant woman we interviewed, as a result of beatings in the same place had a miscarriage. She said: “We’ll give you a ticket for free, but you must admit that you are a sniper battalion” Tornado “, tell about it to our colleagues, the Russian journalists.” Come, if I’m not mistaken, the TV channel “Russia-1”. We recorded it in the report, found the interview. It shows when she was approached by the so-called journalists, she was asked to sit down so as not to be seen that it is in position.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, the old Russian history: during the Chechen war were “Lithuanian snipers women”, which no one has ever seen.

Do not you think that outside of Ukraine in the world (I’m not talking about Russia) little information about what is happening there?

Boris Zakharov: We are trying to inform her. This UN report officially took for distribution through its own channels.

Vitaly Portnikov: With minors there is something similar?

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, there is. We stayed beyond the study completely separate issue – sexual violence. Men told us about sexual violence against women, who were held with them, and the women – no. Individual cases which we have recorded, again, of stories: Woman gave as a gift to the front, and it’s happened several times, that is, gave it back and returned. It was a minor, her seemingly give 14-15 years.

Vitaly Portnikov: What is the level of transparency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions?

Boris Zakharov: There’s generally no publicity, all this is transmitted exclusively by word of mouth. There is a full atmosphere of fear. In fact, there is a totalitarian regime in wartime.

Vitaly Portnikov: But there are people who are not afraid to go back there – it is also a fact.

Boris Zakharov: Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov: When the shelling subsided when this whole situation stopped at the freezing point, we saw that many displaced people returning to their homes.

Boris Zakharov: In this way, there is a very large wine Ukraine, which can not provide the conditions for internally displaced persons in the territory under its control.

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, I was faced with the fact that do not know about what is happening in Kiev, Donetsk, and not even know the journalists and civil society activists. List captured in basement, updated and replenished at the expense of the people who went to visit his family, absolutely not understanding what is happening there. Apparently, they do not read the papers, do not listen to our broadcasts. Moreover, a journalist recently told me in Kiev, she would like to go and work behind the scenes in Donetsk journalist. She asked me how the situation is with the detentions … What do we want from the people in the occupied territory, if here in Kyiv journalists do not know anything?

Boris Zakharov: Prior to October 2015 121 000 internally displaced persons have returned to the occupied territories. DNR says that half a million returned to them. Of course, these figures can not be trusted.

Vitaly Portnikov: Who protects these cellars?

Alexander Matviychuk: In 40% of cases, people claim that those who directed the beatings, was present during the interrogation and organized place of unfreedom, it is the Russian military. We do not undertake to judge, it was this ordinary professional soldiers or mercenaries, but they claim that they were Russian citizens. They have been so presented, called his military rank, or told where they came from, or say, “You, Ukrainian pig, I came to protect you, but are you doing!”. According to statistics, it appears that the rest – it’s local, the citizens of Ukraine. All this points to a chain of accountability to the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic of the Russian Federation.

Vitaly Portnikov: How Ukrainian prison system, the system of detention of persons, who on the other side of the war, more controllable, more than the State? Can we talk about that in Ukrainian prisons can not happen this?

Boris Zakharov: The prison system is not reformed. We present illegal violence in the police and in the prison system. Kharkiv Human Rights Group conducted a study in conjunction with the Kharkov Institute of Sociology. Despite the war, despite the increase in aggression in society, we have compared to the years 2011-12 to halve the number of torture and ill-treatment, unlawful violence to the police. If before about a million people a year were subjected to unlawful violence, and torture – 120 thousand, and now about half a million are exposed to unlawful violence and in some cases 62 000 – torture and ill-treatment.

Alexander Matviychuk: We as a human rights organization demand that the Ukrainian authorities comply with all standards and the reform of this sector, because the gross violations, abuse, unfortunately, occur. Also, there is a problem with violations by Ukrainian forces in unofficial places of unfreedom. Of course, you can not even compare the scale, but we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Ukrainian state differs from the illegal armed groups that it must investigate each case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Boris Zakharov: The state is struggling with this problem – perhaps not yet sufficiently effective, but because there is a political will to implement these reforms, to investigate the facts of abuse and torture, sooner or later this problem will be if not completely defeated, then reduced to minimum.

As for the captured parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, there effective control of Russia carries out, it is actually occupied by the Russian Federation territory. We have to communicate all at the diplomatic level.

But most importantly, the Ukrainian side is not enough high quality evidence documenting how the presence of Russian troops, and cases of torture, abuse, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against property. Our organization, submitting complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, Feeds them and against Ukraine and against Russia. Against Russia – for all the chaos that’s going on, on specific articles – is the right to life, freedom from torture, ill-treatment and so on. Against Ukraine – for inactivity, for that Ukraine has enough quality documents and is investigating these crimes. The court’s decision may well be against both countries – for example, the payment of fifty thousand euros from Russia for the fact that it all happened, and five thousand euro from Ukraine for inaction. Such precedents have been in the practice of the European Court.

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed people, we collect documents for international justice. But we can not say to a man: but now thanks, goodbye, you helped us a lot. Naturally, we will cooperate with initiatives that provide psychological and medical assistance.

Government policy in this regard is catastrophic. If in respect of servicemen still have some sort of guarantee, the civilian hostages just to themselves. It is necessary to change at least for reasons of humanity, not to mention some rights.

Vitaly Portnikov: When I’m on the program topics it covers me despair. Too many people, our Russian audience is easy to believe you. But many people will never believe in what you are talking about Donbass, because there is a blatant propaganda: “there can not be such, there is defend the Russian people.” Lived Statement usual area is no different from the Bryansk and Kharkov, and suddenly there is such a nightmare …

Alexander Matviychuk: I have a different professional despair: we interview people, but realize how much they still in the field of non-freedom – it’s still going on. About two months ago, we took the famous scientist, religious Igorya Kozlovskogo.

I understand very well what you are saying. When we document when sending alternative reports to the UN Committee, introduced them to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we can not stop it. It really frustrates some … That is why we have launched a campaign at the Munich conference fields: we demand the release of all hostages and prisoners of war and civilians. According to official figures from the Ukrainian side of 130 people. They were released a year ago, according to the sixth paragraph of the Minsk agreements .

Vitaly Portnikov: It is clearly stated on the exchange of all for all. By the way, the Russian side, at least as represented by its Special Representative on the Minsk talks Borisa Gryzlova, insists that there should be exchange of all for all. Where are the results?

Alexander Matviychuk: The same Mr. Gryzlov said that the first Ukrainian party must give a total amnesty to people who committed these crimes. We as the human rights organizations a clear position: it can not be an amnesty for serious crimes. Of course, the world is better than war, but there is no peace without justice.

If we look at the leaders of these illegal groups, who all began … As we were told the Russian colleague in April 2014: “Oh, you come to our death squads”. They were led by people who were previously in Abkhazia, Chechnya, Transnistria, where they performed the same. They were not punished were amnestied and now continue it in the Donbas.

So that there is no amnesty for war crimes can not be. To be honest, I’m very strange that I did not hear this from the members of the Norman format , I do not hear such rhetoric from France, from Germany. In my opinion, it is not just the norms of national legislation – is the basic tenet of international humanitarian law. If you give a clear message on the part of not only Ukraine, but also in France, Germany, perhaps in the occupied territories would someone think about now. They also think that sooner or later they will be amnestied.

Boris Zakharov: Amnesty, from the point of view of the law in this case is inapplicable. Amnesty happens when there is a judgment, it’s commutation. In this case we are talking about the withdrawal of charges of grave and especially grave crimes.

Vitaly Portnikov: It is understood that the Minsk agreement, we should grant amnesty to people who have worked all this, based on the Russian side logic.

Boris Zakharov: They want Ukraine changed the hierarchy and sequence of steps. They say, fulfills all its conditions, and then we say of Russia: “What you do not do your own?”. But the logic of the sequence of steps it consists in the fact that the elections in the Donbass, amnesty and other things can only happen if Ukraine will receive effective control over these territories. This means that we are at an impasse, we need a different format other than Minsk. And Minsk must continue.

Vitaly Portnikov: But the people who are in these basements, should be released in any case, regardless of what kind of formula we will discuss with you now.

Alexander Matviychuk: Minsk format just might fulfill it. If we talk about the value of human life, then obviously, it had to be done in the first place, and can be no terms such as “but first you give amnesty, but you first hold elections.” That is why our campaign appeals to France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia: decide the issue now, it is impossible to discuss all other political issues, as long as people are in such circumstances, they can not survive until the next round of negotiations!

Boris Zakharov: There are people who need medical care, many of them have already become chronicles after injuries. They should be exempt immediately!

Vitaly Portnikov: Was POW hits you about it, too, mention in their study – this is an obvious form of torture. In Ukraine, there has never been any parades of prisoners of war, in spite of what was captured by a huge number of people who are fighting on the side of the illegal armed groups in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This parade was shown on Russian television. In a huge part of the audience is caused, unfortunately, not the horror and delight.

Alexander Matviychuk: According to the Rome Statute , it is a war crime. We also describe what’s left of this parade personnel. Prisoners of war did not want to leave voluntarily, and in order to get them to go to the parade in front of them very cruelly killed several people (to have witnesses).

Vitaly Portnikov: This is actually what the Nazis did to their parades of its kind.

Boris Zakharov: Yes, it’s exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Putin is somehow able to defeat the concept of Popper’s an open and a closed society, showed that in a relatively open society, where there are alternative sources of information, you can use the new information and communication technologies so wash people brains because their zombie that you can create on the territory of Russia subtotalitarnogo mode.

Vitaly Portnikov: On the other hand, what can be such a thing, and thus know about them, but do not pay attention – this is just the result of the hybrid war, of which we speak. That is, it is like a war and not a war, and prisoners of war – like and not prisoners of war, and some people who are up in arms came to fight against their own countrymen, and the parade – like and not hits.

Alexander Matviychuk: I tried to investigate the influence of Russian propaganda on the escalation of violence. And this, of course, the question of hybridity of the war, when nothing at all is not clear, the rule of law does not correspond to the norm. But the fact is that very increased level of hatred, is the dehumanization of the country. That is, with these people, you can do so, because “it is not the people – a” dill “, Ukrainians, Germans, this junta, which all oppressed and drinks the blood of Russian babies.”

If we talk about responsibility … We are talking about the so-called “journalists” – I think that should be personal sanctions and proceedings to establish the degree of guilt and punishment of people who incite hatred and war by creating a parallel reality.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, in the sanctions of the civilized world are mentioned the names of several so-called Russian “journalists” of the most zealous and frenzied propaganda. I think everyone understands that propagandists blame for the fate of these people is obvious. We often say that the propaganda, but so what? Someone something did not understand, someone made a different conclusion. And here it is really the result of a real propaganda – it is death, torture, humiliation, abuse and the transformation of the opposite side in the “non-humans”.

Boris Zakharov: There is still a problem in international law. In fact, these hybrid wars do not fit into a modern security system in the contemporary legal space. These challenges need adequate answers. In June 2014, I proposed a package of laws on hybrid war, because the Ukrainian authorities could not answer the question: what’s going on? Say “war” and declare martial law – scared, because then Russia may begin a large-scale military campaign. “ATO” – chose this formula, but it is absolutely not appropriate from a legal point of view. Because of this formula, we have a lot of negative consequences at the international level and in international law too.

It would be nice at the time and even now already being late, it is still to take a package of laws, first at the national level, to call a spade a spade, to simulate the situation and describe a departure from the conventions, in accordance with these simulated situations. And then – to collect the international conference in Kiev and declare to the world that you need to make changes and adopt new Convention on the hybrid war, which take into account the current state of affairs.

Alexander Matviychuk: I think the problem is not even the fact that the existing international conventions do not take into account all aspects of a hybrid war, and that no one really wants to solve the problem with this challenge. The international community is trying to freeze the conflict. Amnesty? Well, let it be a total amnesty. Elections? It is clear that they will be controlled by the Russian Federation, but the de facto authorities in Ukraine, we have our own voters can say that it’s all over. Just think, people will die – the whole planet in general is very unsafe, people die …

The biggest problem is that the international community does not want to solve these problems, the hopes that they will somehow dissolve themselves. But the problems do not disappear, they just grow. Let me remind you that Ukraine – this is another point on the globe where these “gray areas” have been created. We live in a highly interconnected world. Europe or other countries, can not be shielded by fences. We have already seen, as it were, by the example of the war in Syria. Problems still find us if they are not addressed.

Sourse, 16/04/2016

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them

April 11, 2016

Oleksandra Matviychuk used to avoid police on the street. As a participant in protests for human rights, she knew, as did many Ukrainians, of the police’s reputation for using excessive force.

Today, as a member of Ukraine’s civil society, Matviychuk teaches the country’s new patrol police how to interact peacefully with citizens.

Before Ukraine’s Euromaidan — protests from November 2013 to February 2014 demanding closer ties with Europe — police had one objective: to fulfill the orders of their higher-ups, according to Matviychuk. Now, she says, they make decisions for themselves and focus on serving the publi

“Patrol policing is a job that requires thinking,” Matviychuk said. Officers not only have to know Ukraine’s laws and international standards, but quickly act in ways that affect people’s overall well-being and even their lives.

Standing up for human rights

Matviychuk remains committed to human rights in Ukraine. As head of the board at the nongovernmental organization Center for Civil Liberties in Kyiv, she works with others to push the government toward reforms that would protect freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly as well as the rights of civil activists generally.

Helping survivors

Matviychuk is also involved in Euromaidan SOS, established during the Euromaidan to locate those who had gone missing after the Yanukovych-led government launched violent attacks against peaceful protesters and to provide legal assistance for protesters who were imprisoned.

Euromaidan SOS’s role has expanded. Today, it establishes human rights agencies and mobile teams in and near the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea. “We make visits there and document everything, and work with hostages and torture survivors,” Matviychuk said.

In May 2015, the Center for Civil Liberties joined Euromaidan SOS to launch #LetMyPeopleGo, a campaign to help Ukrainian citizens imprisoned in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea for their political views. The campaign is working on the cases of eight prisoners in Crimea and 13 in Russia, including Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

Oleksandra Matviychuk holding award and standing with Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)
Matviychuk (left) with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of gunned-down Russian activist Boris Nemtsov. (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)

Recently, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer presented Matviychuk with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Democracy Defender Award for her work on reform, accountability, human rights and rule-of-law in Ukraine. Baer said he admires people like Matviychuk, “who are committed to a unified, democratic, prosperous, European Ukraine.”

Matviychuk, for her part, sees the fight for human rights as a global cause, bigger than Ukraine. “We live in a very interconnected world. … We can’t build fences and close our eyes to real problems of human rights in our world,” she said.

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them.

Matviychuk’s speech at Democracy Defender Award 2016

February 24, 2016

Human rights defender Oleksandra Matviychuks statement at the official prizegiving ceremony of Democracy Defender Award-2016

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I represent the civil initiative Euromaidan SOS that was created in response to brutal dispersal of peaceful student demonstration. We have brought together thousands of ordinary people to provide legal protection for protesters. Every day a large number of people passed through our care. People who were arrested, beaten, tortured, accused of trumped-up criminal cases, and later – the dead and the missing people.

For the second time in the last ten years, Ukrainian people rose to defend their choice to build a democratic state based on common values with European countries. We paid a rather high price for it.

After the fall of authoritarian regime, in order to stop democratic transformations in Ukraine Russia occupied Crimea and started a hybrid war in Donbas. Murders, abductions, tortures, sexual violence, human shields, political persecutions on the occupied territories – all this has become our reality.

Today we gather victims’ evidence and document these violations to present them for international justice. At the same time, we struggle to reform our police, courts and prosecutors, so in the future we are not facing a situation in where our government shoots unarmed demonstrators.

In this regard, I would like to share a few lessons that we have learned from these past events:

  1. In many countries human rights activists aren’t just working for protection of human rights. These activists are fighting every day for human rights. Often it seems almost hopeless. However, we should do our work honestly. The results of our efforts can unexpectedly be achieved.
  1. When people achieve the recognition of human rights from authorities, often in practice it means only one thing. No authorities but just civil society needs freedom of associations, the right to a fair trial, civil society oversight of police. This only means that human rights activists simply won new tasks for themselves. This is why the civil society should become an equal partner with the state authorities in the eyes of international organizations.
  2. The so-called “Ukrainian crisis”, in fact, is a direct reflection of a global crisis in the post-war world system. This is a value crisis. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is often and openly questioned. International human rights law has become secondary. Civil activists, journalists, human rights defenders are persecuted and held in prisons in Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan etc. There is an ongoing fundamental change of ideologies, which, for decades, have been the basis for international organizations.

There is a great temptation to avoid solving difficult problems, hoping that they will just vanish. But the truth is that these problems are increasing. There are new gray areas with uncertain statuses appearing on the map. That is not only about the future of the OSCE and the Helsinki Accords. That is about the entire world where everything is interconnected and only the spread of freedom and human rights is making it safe.

Finding the solution to this crisis is our historic task. We must continue fighting for human dignity. Even if there is nothing left but words and our own example.

February 24, 2016, Vienna

Ukrainian media does not care about Kazakhstan?

June 25, 2015

Journalist portal “Respublika” Natalia Sadykov talked to the chairman of the board Ukrainian “Center for Civil Liberties” Aleksandroy Matveychuk disregard for Ukrainian journalists presentation of the report on the events in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan. Later also had to observe the situation when the Ukrainian press persistently ignored the events concerning other countries. But at the same time in Ukraine want to support the whole world.

During familiarization Alexander said that after the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Zhanaozen social activists observed the trial in Aktau. Seen and heard in the case of the thirty-seven oil workers are not left indifferent Ukrainians. All the horrors endured Zhanaozen, they wanted to tell in Kiev. Report planned to present at a public event.

“We understand that we are dealing not just with gross human rights violations, and dangerous practices of authoritarian suppression of dissent, which can be easily transferred to the Ukrainian soil. We have suffered a great disappointment. At a press conference on “The shooting of peaceful demonstrations in Zhanaozen and its results: Ukraine – not Zhanaozen” came not a single journalist. Ukraine was not interested in shooting of peaceful protesters in other countries “, – said Matveichuk.

Two years later, Ukraine on Independence outlive your Zhanaozen, about a hundred of Heaven knows the whole world. Then there will be the annexation of Crimea, the war in the Donbas and downed Boeing. But Ukrainian journalists continue to ignore the press conference spoken about the problems of other countries. Even if the problems that have recently faced the Ukrainian people. Alexander Matveichuk believes that the lack of interest in what is happening in other countries – a bright sign of provincialism of thinking.

“Especially when it comes to human rights in the post-Soviet region, which I call the region the” new independent states “(even with a thousand years of history). There is a clear trend for all the processes that make up the so-called “authoritarian Club”: they quickly take over all repressive ” know-how ” of each other, so you need to know the consequences of certain decisions and be able to see their conditions in their own country “, – he explained Chairman of the Board “Center for civil liberties.”

Aleksandra Matveychuk believes that in Ukraine is only now beginning to realize, as the Russian law on foreign agents, dispersal and destruction of the Marsh press freedom in Ukraine affected. First, following the “first swallow” as maimed in law, and then annexation Crimean, which according to sociological studies endorse Russians 88% (94% of which get their information from TV screens).

“Ukraine is gradually realizes that the civil societies of our countries, too, should unite and support each other, even at the level of ordinary communication. Not by chance, after a flood in Georgia Ukrainian segment of Facebook was filled with words of support and solidarity. But at the same time, none of the Ukrainian political establishment has not publicly urged to boycott European Games in Azerbaijan, which are held on the background of total stripping of civil society and the imprisonment of almost all human rights defenders.

In Ukraine, will remember this when we have, in turn, will talk about the inadmissibility of the football championship in Russia, which is unleashed and bloody war in the Donbass, the victims of which are already at least eight thousand people “, – said Alexander.

This topic, we are actively discussing with the Ukrainian colleagues. Media journalist Roman Kabachy Institute, suggested that the indifference of the sources can be found in the history of the Ukrainian people, who were interested in a purely internal problem. But anthropologist and PhD in History Lesya Gasidzhak refutes this theory.

“I strongly disagree with the idea that Ukrainian journalists indifference to the problems of other countries related to ethnic features. Sympathy, help your neighbor, custody of those who is weaker – it has always been with us, and regulated at the level of customary law. In the calendar year, even were the days when we were not allowed to work for oneself, but it was necessary to help the widows, the lonely, the old and infirm. Not to shelter for the night the one who travels, or asks for a piece of bread – always considered a great sin. Little has changed in 1920- 1930 th years, when the communist Soviet regime began to encourage snitching, the neighbor became an enemy – to social hatred and hostility build a new society, “- says Gasidzhak.

Ethnologist believes that the root of the problem must be sought in another – lack of professional journalism.

“We have very few good analytical texts. For us, more typical of the news publication of character. Large Text “people” can not read. “Fried” the facts always have a rating. Alas. And what you say – this is a new level, which we are still only aspire, “- says Lesya Gasidzhak, which itself is the editor of the web portal” museum space “.

However, Roman Kabachy said that the situation in Ukraine is quite similar to other countries of the former Soviet Union, except Baltic countries and Russia.

“Russia is itself a provider of news and news generator of other countries (it’s happening now, such a trend” Che there with Ukrainians, “used to be” Estonians Nazis dismantled monument “,” the Georgians attacked South Ossetia “and so on). Since we are all accustomed to the fact that it was in Moscow “know better” that tell Ukrainians about Estonians and Kazakhs about Ukrainians, too, we are all to blame. The Baltic countries have a short period of statehood in the interwar period, and they increasingly do not care what he thinks about them heiress occupant country “, – says Roman Kabachy.

Journalist offers steps to help Ukrainian media interest what is happening in the CIS countries. “The first is to understand that alone can not cope with the Kremlin ideological machine, and together and” Dad beat more easily. ” Second, throw the approach of “we the center of the world and we are all important” – important, but in the same way, other than important for us. Third: to develop its own network of bureaus in the capitals of CIS and Baltic countries, refusing to gradually from the horn of Moscow. And the fourth: to stimulate the foundation of media bureaus of post-Soviet countries in Kiev “, – lists Kabachy.

However, in addition to correspondents, in Kiev today can say about the influx of the opposition forces of the CIS countries, where it is still too early to talk about democracy. Russians, Belarusians, Kazakhs and even the Georgian opposition have settled in the Ukrainian capital, and from there try to influence the situation in their countries. Today, these idealists like anyone else in need of the support of Ukrainian media. Then, perhaps, and in these countries it will be possible to speak of the victory of human rights over the dictatorship.

Author: Natalia Sadykov

Sourse, 24/06/2015

War and human rights

June 8, 2015

Vitaly Portnikov:  Human rights and the war – it would seem, no concepts more mutually exclusive, although for centuries, even during the war, people are trying to establish some rules of conduct so as not to slip into the absolute savagery. But here’s human rights and hybrid warfare, hybrid world, uncertain legal status, a situation where the people themselves the territories involved in the conflict do not understand in what world they are … What is there can make human rights activists?

We were invited to the Kiev studio of Radio Liberty programs coordinator for the Russian Center for Documentation named Natali Estemirovoy Stanislav Dmitrievsky  and head of the Center for Civil Liberties  Alexander Matveichuk  – Russian human rights activist and Ukrainian human rights activist, who are now engaged in this issue, important for the society of the two countries, of course, if these societies in the future they want to overcome the effects of the nightmare in which we all are.

I know you have just recently conducted one of these projects, trying to understand what is happening to human rights in the occupied territories of Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. To summarize your findings, what is the situation today?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  I would like to recall a very simple thing, which, nevertheless, have to constantly talk – about the two types of rights that people for some reason are very often confused. There are so-called law of the country and the state to protect against aggression – the right associated with the territorial integrity and its protection. In this sense, of course, Ukraine, being in his own right, to protect its territorial integrity and lead a military operation in the East. And there is another side – it is international humanitarian law, which must abide by both sides, regardless of whether they believe this war just or unjust, whether they are victims of aggression or its initiators.

Violation of humanitarian law, as happens in any war, committing both parties to the conflict. Our task as human rights – to do everything possible to avoid a climate of impunity. The difference is really only one thing: if all the gigantic problems that are now experiencing the Ukrainian state, there still exists the right legal framework by which we can while working, to change something (to achieve, for example, the release of illegally detained persons), then on the territory of the unrecognized breakaway republics of this legal framework is not at all, which significantly complicates the execution of such missions.

Alexander Matveichuk: Of course, we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Regardless of what these rights are, we will always stand on the side of the victim have been violated. But it must be said about the difference between the scope of such activities. Studies that have been carried out, including our human rights organization show that the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics from the very beginning of the occupation, that is, for many months in a forced, deliberate policy was implemented terror against the civilian population in the first place on the basis of their political views. That is to get into the basement and to be subjected to ill-treatment, torture and extrajudicial executions could only be for the fact that at one time you were a member of pro-Ukrainian rallies that once you say something, and the neighbors called the hotline and was told. This terror

Vitaly Portnikov:  it is clear to me that the Russian human rights activists, to put it mildly, not the most desirable category of persons, which is ready to deal with power. We see the law on “foreign agents” and their constant defamation in the media controlled by the Russian government. In Ukraine, I also noticed lately some irritation over reports of human rights, whether they are doing international organizations or local human rights activists. It is clear: the country wants to look better than it is, under the conditions in which it is difficult to be crystal clear. How do you overcome these challenges?

Alexander Matveichuk:  It is natural that in times of war increases the level of radicalization, the threshold of tolerance towards violence also becomes very high, the society is polarized: there are enemies, is “our”. We as a civil initiative (including “euromaidan the SOS”, which I also represent) are constantly trying to remind the public that one of the requirements euromaidan was – “Human Rights First” Now the challenge before us It is very difficult in war.. even on a symbolic level, the level of our words and thoughts, but we have to implement in practice. The problem is, it is natural for all the companies that are in a state of armed conflict, it is necessary to work.

Vitaly Portnikov: Stanislav, reflecting on your experience, I think that you are in a difficult situation, even from a legal perspective. Take the example of Chechnya – there is always a human rights activists tried to protect the rights of people who are illegally detained, disappeared, got in some court cases on spurious pretexts, or under the same denunciations. Nevertheless citizenship institute was obvious, transparent – there were Russian citizens. Even in the short period of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was not designed so that it was impossible to classify these people as the Russian citizens. In the case of Donbass and the Crimea Institute for Citizenship is in a mixed state. There are people who themselves qualify as citizens of Ukraine, and they qualify as Russian citizens and citizens of the DNI. A beautiful story with film director Olegom Sentsovym, who believes that he is a citizen of Ukraine, Russia and spur of the moment considers as its citizen, because he could not renounce Russian citizenship, because he was detained at the time when he had a legal possibility. How to get out of such situations?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  There is a way. Of course, they are not as straightforward as, for example, in Chechnya. But there are criteria for effective control. Of course, we do not recognize the annexation of Crimea legitimate, the international community does not recognize the Russian human rights community does not recognize, but regardless of this, Russia exercises effective control over the territory. They’ve got their own police, its own prosecutors, its courts. In this case Russia will be responsible for all human rights obligations, including if we are talking about the complaints in the  European Court of Human Rights .

More difficult situation in the Donbass, because it is not just about proving the fact of aggression, as set forth in the relevant UN documents. There’s a large-scale infiltration of gangs is enough to raise the question of aggression, but there is still the question of effective control. To prove that the authorities of the breakaway republics are effectively controlled by the Russian Federation and, therefore, the Russian Federation as a state is responsible for the fate of these people – I believe that it is a challenge, a task that, including in the European courts, must decide right now the human rights community : both the Russian and Ukrainian.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Incidentally, we are taking the first steps towards this. The UN Committee on Human Rights Two months ago, I considered Russia’s obligations in the light of its compliance with international human rights standards. And we, as a Ukrainian human rights organization, was sent to your application. We have tried to justify the arguments, referring to the sources and the evidence that was collected by our field missions, which Russia exercises effective and total control of the territory, as well as coordinating the military operations against the Ukrainian army. Despite the fact that at the meeting of the UN Committee was surprised my presentation (to me the word has been given on behalf of the Ukrainian human rights community, I was talking about the Crimea and pro Donbass), in the final recommendations of the Committee thought of Donbas in a very diplomatic manner. This is the signal for the Russian Federation that even such unwieldy and very bureaucratic structures such as the UN,

There is another important point – this can never be done by the efforts of civil society only. It is the task of the Ukrainian authorities – to gather evidence of Russian aggression, demonstrate effective control. And here I unfortunately have to say that the work, as always, being ineffective, there is no single center. On all of our recommendations that it should be created, to be debugged system of gathering information, analyzing it, save photos and videos, we do not get proper answers. I very much fear that, when the war is over (as it will ever be over anyway), this issue is a factor of war crimes will be put in this light that we do not have any evidence, nor, consequently, the victims and the perpetrators.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Maybe the parties are generally not very interested in how to document things that can interfere with the negotiation process?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This element is always the case in any conflict. Still, it seems to me that, according to the documents, which are published officially accepted Rada, for the official position, as far as I could see her here, the state officially declares the need. On the other hand, I have the impression that the lion’s share of the work that should make the state, makes civil society. It’s amazing to us in Russia is not even dream! I believe that there is a civil society can not only help the state that is trying to do to become a democratic and goes to Europe. In Russia, it has long been a fig leaf, and here is the desire to eat, and the human rights community has much to teach the state. Here really have a chance.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to give a specific example, that we understand the scale of the disaster. Everyone has heard about Slavyansk, it is quite a long time for people who have been in his basement, it was under occupation. Immediately after his release went to our mobile team “euromaidan SOS”. The basement was open. Members of the mobile teams have seen that all lying on the floor, that the basement wash some utilities. Our lawyer has been in the mobile group, she saw some documents. She realized that, if it just does not gather them on the floor, they disappear. It turned out to be death sentences signed by almost  Strelkov (Igor Girkin)And lists of pro-Ukrainian activists in the Donbas. After we passed these documents, we rang round all these people say, be careful, you’re on the list. This is to ensure that no members of the mobile teams of civil society organizations were to withdraw these documents, and state agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  It is important to understand how, in principle, the people behave in similar areas, because there is no guarantee that the front line (now stable delineation line) will be stable for a long time. People who feel the attention of repressive structures, is also very difficult in this situation. How capable the human rights community to provide assistance to such people?

Alexander Matveichuk:  This is a big challenge for the human rights community, we were not ready for him. But a year has passed, we gradually adapt. We have formed a coalition to document war crimes in the Donbas, we are now talking about the free legal reception, which returned to the place previously occupied, and before that it acted enjoyed authority. And we’re talking about, accompanied by cases in international courts, because right now, seeing the level of the investigation, it is not necessary to talk about its effectiveness.

A striking example – Ivan Reznichenko, killed a policeman from Soledar, whose body was found by his friend, who organized their own investigation in a few months. his body showed the man, who identified himself as involved in the murder of Ivan. Recently, he was released on bail, the case is artificially inhibited, and relatives are constant threats, including from local law enforcement agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Stanislav, with the Ukrainian state is clear, it is in such a state as it is, somewhere it is replaced by a society where, it acts itself … But if he understands that he is dealing with its own citizens, which should be protected? It can do it or not – is another question. And with the Russian state is much more difficult, if we are talking about the citizens of the Russian Federation, then the official services comes just a screeching halt, as happened with those soldiers, which the Russian Federation has not yet been considered by Russian and attempts by them as citizens of the refuse. We can say that the Russian consul met with the two men formed only under the pressure of public opinion. What to do?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Frankly, I do not know. I have not cherish any illusions here. In Russia, it is clear who the “fifth column”, “enemies of the people”. We all joke that “fifth column” came to the meeting with the other four at our conference. But still, despite all the horror, all this reaction, in which we have fallen after losing our unfinished “Snow Revolution” 2011-12 years, some public pressure tools of social influence are preserved. You are quite right to say about these two soldiers – have refused them the native state, which they have served, and the company has managed to pull this topic. No one knows what will happen to us tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Do what you must, and the rest is in God’s hands. You just need to do their job, no matter what.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I have a feeling that the Russian state structures do not act as State organs, even when it is their direct responsibility – that’s the problem. Here the question is not even ideology and functioning.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This and all other areas of the case. I’m in his native Nizhny Novgorod, is involved in activities to protect cultural heritage. I do not see the state, I do not see bodies to perform their functions. I come here, I see a huge level of problems, but I was jealous because I understand that this is a problem of a completely different level. There is political will, the desire, there is a civil society. I do not know how much we still have to go before that. But we still work together, although there is a huge propaganda force, aiming to ensure that we have to separate, to divide. I friends say, “How are you to ride?” I say, “Well now eat me, probably to be crucified.” Certainly I laugh. Nevertheless, we are working together.

Alexander Matveichuk:  In this  situation of detainees gereushnikami  is an important aspect interesting. This Monday I went to see them with our Russian colleague, a human rights activist. We have been working together, there are values that unite us. Human rights have no borders.

Vitaly Portnikov:  You also do talk to them?

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov:  How do these people feel themselves?

Alexander Matveichuk:  They have no complaints about the content, they are totally shallow that they are being tortured, as it says is now the General Staff of the Russian Federation. They have one request, and it is very revealing: they want to get in touch with their families, and their Consul said that a month can not find a wife of Sergeant. He is very worried, why so much time Russian consulate is unable to establish contact with her.

Vitaly Portnikov:  In my opinion, this woman was interviewed, he said he was discharged from the armed forces. She found great employees of the Russian TV channels.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There is another important point. Detainees gereushnikov was me, a Ukrainian human rights activist, and our colleague – Russian human rights activist. And our Ukrainian citizens who are detained for political reasons pronounced in Russia, did the spies,  “right sector” , saboteurs, terrorists, and they even Ukrainian Consul can not get for months. Nikolai Karpyuk – 14 months, Stanislav Klich – 8. It has recently been an alarming statement by a lawyer Savchenko Ili Nadezhda Novikova that he does not know whether Nicholas Karpyuk alive, just such a long time to it no one is allowed.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This, incidentally, was in recent history with two Ukrainian citizens, young people, who were detained at the Russian-Ukrainian border, in one of the border towns, it was almost the students. They are very long kept imprisoned in Russia on a completely trumped-up charges, they barely pulled out.

Alexander Matveichuk:  During the year! The first three months they were held in defiance of a court decision on deportation. And they are not just kept – tortured them. They were taken to the woods, beaten. The incident is now present at our joint conference. Before that we worked on this briefcase, he is well known to me. But I personally have heard of it, why one of them was forced to open his veins, and the second – to cut his stomach. They just realized that they would be killed in a specific time. They wanted to get to the hospital to stop the torture and abuse.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This is a very striking example of what can happen with the Russian penal system, when it is faced with the Ukrainian crisis. You agree that such explicit complaints still in Russia recorded very rarely.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  If you exclude Chechnya, Dagestan. There’s just a stream. The worst thing – is now at the conference there was talk in the Crimea, were human rights activists working there, and I see that the methods that have been developed, tested, and found widespread in Chechnya, begin to be gradually introduced in the Crimea – thank God, not yet on the same scale, but it is a very frightening trend. Crimea on the background of all other regions (they believe that it is the Russian state) is gradually drifting to the Chechen side, I mean, enforced disappearances, killings and torture. You just have to be ready for it. Yet there can not find some of the people responsible for torture brought to justice for the killings. It is still good, because in Chechnya, it is in principle impossible. But everything is there.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I remind you that a huge number of missing in the Crimea (the figure was named  Elloy Pamfilovoy , the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation) Human rights defenders need to tell, at least about 9 of them, who went on a pronounced political motives – eg , members of the “Ukrainian house”. Time of the abduction of one of them was recorded on video, which gives us the opportunity to say that it was made of the Crimean “self-defense”. The whereabouts of these people is unknown. Regarding torture can bring a bright example of the latter case Alexander Kostenko, who was named the most important thing a dictator of the Crimean branch  of “Freedom” , and she  Poklonskaya I read out the horrific for each lawyer and the prosecution lawyer. Just listen to what evidence operates the main Crimean prosecutor – and understandable farce and absurdity of the whole situation.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Poklonskaya – Yanukovych ward system – what wonder that it is all the principles of the system suffered in the Crimea?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  The feeling of a  friend Wyszynski , and even caricature.

Alexander Matveichuk:  It should be noted that during the trial the lawyer Dmitry Sotnikov has repeatedly said that his client had been tortured, but that request was rejected and not considered. We have other examples – black and Afanasyev, who are in the case of so-called “Crimean terrorists” is Oleg Sentsov, which we remembered. So, they admitted their guilt, now have 7 years of the colony. The court session was held behind closed doors. But we know that they complained of torture. Later, they were afraid to take the other lawyers, except those assigned to the State Service of the Russian Federation. One of them contained even in a psychiatric hospital for a while, but now they are serving a 7-year sentence.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This is a common practice. Indeed, with regard to allegations of torture, all without exception, Russian courts have rejected these claims. Organization  “Committee against Torture” , with which I work, which is now also declared a “foreign agent”, managed in 15 years to prosecute about 115 law enforcement personnel. Proving torture – generally a difficult matter, and when the investigation is opposed to it … We had cases when it was possible to bring to justice after 7 years, 6 years. For example, the famous case of Mikheyev – the criminal case was stopped 20 times, and each time the lawyers appealed the decision of the Committee. This is a very long struggle. But now the situation is deteriorating. If earlier we watched as annoying flies, now – both overt enemies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  After the law on “foreign agents” will be the human rights movement in Russia?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Law on “foreign agents” – is not the worst. By the way, I am very pleased that the human rights community to boycott it almost unanimously, no one volunteered himself the star is not sewn. But now we adopted another law on the “undesirable organizations”, which, as I understand it, is intended to announce such …

Vitaly Portnikov:  Anyone who fails to declare a “foreign agents.”

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  … foreign organizations, that is, funds from which we get the funding, our partners, and to criminalize it. Of course, I think that this will complicate the matter. Gradually comes to reformat the human rights movement in a movement of civil resistance. Perhaps there all this will drift.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There are examples in other countries, which also started with a similar law, and ended up in the summer of last year jail all human rights – I mean Azerbaijan. The problem is that the legislation, which is now accepted in Russia, especially in the field of taxation, provides the potential for public authorities for some time to accumulate evidence and then put human rights defenders are not under political articles, and present to the public that they are just fighting for your pocket. Including a huge propaganda machine, and the people who now live in poverty, of course, will not be sympathetic to this concern. The situation is very worrying, we are very worried about our Russian colleagues.

Vitaly Portnikov:  We was not very optimistic program, because it is unclear how to get out of all situations, at least, how to prove that not only the organization, but also ordinary people become targets of repression, pressure objects. If those areas that should be the object of attention of human rights organizations, the authority of law and human rights protection itself is so low, how to get out of this situation before the end of the conflict?

Alexander Matveichuk:  I’ll start with a joke. We were at the conference were to arrive on the same flight several dozen Russian human rights activists, and the flight was canceled. We do not associate it with the conference. A colleague of ours, which in Soviet times was a dissident, said: “You do not know the underground practitioner How did you hit upon the idea of all invited to sit on an airplane.?”

Vitaly Portnikov:  Because they thought it was underground.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes. I mean, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. History repeats itself, and there is what you need to do. We as “euromaidan SOS” addressed to people who, while living in the Crimea, are engaged in public activities, or have their own independent position, with the suggestion that they began to study and implement in their daily life safety practices: information, legal, physical. Have accumulated an arsenal of techniques, they do not save, do not give an absolute guarantee, but significantly reduces the risk and make the price of attacks on individual higher.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  With this activity we are also engaged in a long time, is the protection of human rights defenders. Of course, no one can guarantee. Now you can go to the wonderful Kiev, and on the head of a brick will fall …

Vitaly Portnikov:  You know, drop a brick on his head and some deliberate action structures, which should be a law – it is not the same thing.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Just probability … of course, we will do our best to anticipate these probabilities.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to make an optimistic note in our program. Still, despite all the difficulties that are now fighting Ukraine, – the war that Russia started occupying the Crimea, and then launch a hybrid war through their proxy agents of the DNI, LC in the east, to the fact that reforms in the area of human rights man do not go with us as quickly and effectively as we would like – in spite of all this, we are seeing a huge rise of civil society. Create hundreds of different initiatives at different levels, which, in fact, carry out public functions. It gives us an opportunity to look ahead optimistically. Our society is now much stronger than the state apparatus.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I think it’s something that should inspire hope, and something that will help, anyway, rehabilitation Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the Crimea in the future, when the law will be restored in those areas where human rights would not work, and the ordinary life of every citizen living there. Although this is true of all the Russians, and not only the inhabitants of these regions.

Sourse, 07/06/2015

Let my people go: about Ukrainian prisoners in Russia

May 30, 2015

Guests transmission “Your Freedom” to “Radio Liberty” Ukrainian studio Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Russian human rights activist, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group (by telephone from Moscow); Alexandra Matviychuk, lawyer, chairman of the board of the Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine).

Alexander Lashchenko: June 1 this year in Kiev, “Kinopanorama” cinema premiere of the documentary “euromaidan SOS». As part of the premiere, in particular, the presentation of the world, we can say the campaign «Let my people go». We are talking about the liberation of Ukrainian citizens who are, in the opinion of human rights activists, for political reasons behind bars in Russia. It is not just about Hope Savchenko and Oleg Sentsov. Those citizens of Ukraine, which still holds Russia, about thirty men, for the SBU data.

What is the fate of the Ukrainian people? And can they be exempt? At least some chance there is to it?

– Mrs. Matviychuk, what kind of campaign? It lasts longer than one day, the presentation will be June 1 this year. What has already been done?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We started this campaign at the April session of the Council of Europe. We would like to draw the attention of parliamentarians that in addition to courageous Nadia Savchenko, which contains illegally fabricated criminal case in Russia, such people, at least a few dozen. And only we know about 11 people, contained behind bars. Here is the chart shows who was appointed “punitive”, who was appointed as “terrorists”, who was appointed “spies”. And these people, according to our calculations, we were able to identify 11 people here, as we have seen, different sex, age, occupation, property status, place of origin, but they all have in common is that their deeds clearly political motive.

If we talk about the results of this campaign, which we launched in Strasbourg and now continue, the first of these results – the release Yuriya Yatsenko, a student at the University of Lvov, who was appointed “right sector” is banned in Russia, a “terrorist”.

– From the point of view of Russian law enforcement agencies.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Of course. The thing is absolutely absurd. They engaged with fellow small business activities have come to Russia, and there have been illegally detained for three months. During this detention authorities did not carry out the court’s decision and did not deport them. But they are subject to brutal torture. And to imagine that the guys in the usual Lviv students had to go through, I’ll just say that in order to stop it, one of them cut his wrists, and another cut his stomach.

Well, actually, about the fate of our Ukrainian prisoners – they are not to be envied. In fact, the lawyer Nadia Savchenko Ilya Novikov says that he does not even know whether alive Nikolai Karpyuk as 14 months to it do not allow Ukrainian consul.

And here is indicative of the response of Ukraine. Everyone has heard about the famous case Grushnik detention. They allowed the Russian consul.

– Yes. This refers to the two detained Russian riot police, who are now in the Kiev hospital. Russia asserts that they are citizens of Russia, the Russians, the military, but in the past. Although the detainees in an interview with Russian “Novaya Gazeta” Paul Kanygin admitted that they were Russian servicemen.

Alexandra Matviychuk: I pay attention only to the fact that in this case Ukraine immediately admitted the Russian consul to the arrested Russian citizens. But many of the people arrested in Russia Ukrainian consul simply can not get there. Some of them refer to themselves as Ukrainian citizens, as Oleg Sentsov, and define them as Russian citizens. “Submitted to the ground during the occupation of the Crimea,” as he said at Oleg court.

Indeed, the essence of this campaign – is to draw people’s attention to the fact that there are such people, it is not one, not two, not three, they need our help, and in this authoritarian country like Russia without external strong pressure these people just no one let go.

– By the way, remind, indeed among those people who are still behind bars in Russia, there is a Ukrainian citizen 73 years of age? Mr Soloshenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. Yuri Soloshenko 72 years. His poor health. And it’s all very concerned about the doctors, his family.

– And what he is accused? What is also forbidden “Right Sector” in Russian? What is it?

Alexandra Matviychuk: He is accused of spying, that he illegally received and disclose information constituting a secret. That is, espionage. In that way, it shines 20 years in prison. That’s him in ’72 and another 20 plus can give.

– (by phone). Ms. Alekseeva, what is your opinion about what is happening in Russia, with Ukrainian citizens, who are in prison? What it is: political persecution, says Ms. Matviychuk, or, as Russian law enforcers really a criminal investigation made by lawyers will be a trial, if the court finds them guilty, they go free?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: All true. But, unfortunately, it is not only Ukrainian citizens, Russian citizens also suffer from it. In Russia we do not have just qualified court. And the conditions of detention in prisons and other detention centers are heavy, and very often the mode of construction in violation of Russian laws is much more humane than the actual stay in prison.

– You are engaged in human rights work for decades. It began in the USSR. By the way, it was my colleague, including “Voice of America” ​​in the “Radio Liberty”, leading the program. Now, 25 years later, a quarter century after the collapse of the USSR, does not change to protect the human rights situation in Russia?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Unfortunately, it is much worse than it was in the 1990s.

– Have a chance to release the citizens of Ukraine, which are contained in Russian prisons? Some observers, including Russia, the pro-Kremlin does not claim that all depends in this case and in the case of Hope Savchenko, and in the case Olega Sentsova, and other citizens of Ukraine less famous, from a single person – Putin.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Absolutely.

– Like, if there is more pressure on Putin, the less chance there. He does not give in to pressure. Do you agree?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Anyway, so declare.

– What do you do? Dead end?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Fight. And for Ukrainian citizens, and for our citizens. Prison conditions have to be civilized.

Well, the court? I believe that this is our main problem, despite the fact that we have a whole bunch of other problems. This lack of qualified and independent in their actions the court. Because if any problem could be resolved in a court of law, then we have a much better it would be in the country.

But the fact of the matter is that we go to court involuntarily. Where else? But we know in advance that, most likely, will not be made a fair decision, and is one that our government wants.

– Not too optimistic, as far as I understand you. Ms. Alekseeva, then what to do? Pressure from the West? What are some other levers?

Even Brezhnev managed (you remember it from my own experience) anyway. For example, emigration to Israel and other moments. Yet Brezhnev signed the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. Some success was still on the pressure. Although small. What, then, Putin may be affected now?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: I do not know. I’m not Putin. I believe that, in general, not only in relation to Russia, but also with regard to Ukraine, of any other country, only a strong civil society in the state can influence the behavior of the authorities.

We civil society (thank God!) Is, but to call it a strong and powerful language is not rotated. I know from my practice. Of the 10 cases for which I take, and I take only when I am sure that the law is on my side and the Constitution, work out about three and seven is impossible, because the government does not listen to what the public wants.

Unfortunately, recipes, taking into account the situation in our country, there are, but it will run slowly. It is necessary to cultivate, strengthen civil society. We will have rule of law, we will have a democracy.

– Ms. Alekseeva, the Soviet Union is clear, what was the civil society prior to the restructuring, but in 1968, just a handful of people came to Red Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. There were other examples. Were dissidents. You know many of them personally.

Now the company – 86% of support for Putin. On what to expect? When will the fruits? When will “own perestroika”?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: What it is, I know. And when – I can not say. Kills me, this statistic (86% support Putin – Ed.), Because, frankly, I thought that 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we, my fellow citizens, have already got rid of the imperial syndrome. But what happened in the Crimea, has convinced me otherwise. A lot of people happy and maintain it. So we have not ceased to be an imperial nation. It is very hard to realize. Because as long as we Empire, we can not become a democratic country. Empire democracies do not happen.

– Mrs. Matviychuk, can be any blame Putin, Russia’s law enforcement system that dozens of Ukrainian citizens for political reasons are behind bars in Russia. But they, the listed person I have a responsibility? The Ukrainian government is doing something to rescue them?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Very good question. After all, the duty of every government – to protect its citizens, no matter what difficult situations they find themselves. Actually, we decided to test how the Ukrainian government carries out at least a minimum minimorum, what can be done in this situation.

In particular, according Aleksandru Kostenko. It is a well-known environmental activist, the “case Sentsova” was also detained in the Crimea. He “sew”, that he party “sabotage” of the “Right Sector”, who allegedly tried to organize and organized several attacks. He faces 20 years in prison. And now the courts are going over it. And it is in the “Lefortovo” in custody.

We sent a request to the GPU and asked them whether open proceedings on the fact of illegal abduction Aleksandra Kolchenko from the territory occupied Ukraine, travel to the territory of Russia, which, incidentally, is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. Just as, for example, the GPU is done in the case Olega Sentsova.

We got answers. GPU we were told that our application is considered and included information in the Unified State Register, it is forwarded to pre-trial investigation in the Pechersky District Police Department.

But the response of the Pechersk district police have shocked! I’ll just show it. It says that in the course of working out of the statement, it was found that all the problematic issues that arise in other countries (please!), Outside the competence of the bodies of internal affairs and are considered by the Ministry (and it says here) for Foreign Affairs. Probably had in mind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Actually, so they do not see grounds for the opening of criminal proceedings and to make our statements in a single register of pre-trial investigations.

It is already very sad. We see who has signed: the head of the Pechersk district department, police colonel, acting Head of Pechersk district department. If they do not know that the Crimea – it is Ukraine, albeit temporarily occupied territory, then what kind of protection of our citizens who have been alone with the occupier, can we talk ?! Of course, we will appeal.

– Appeal where?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We will write to the GPU. As they we were told that our statement made in a single register of pre-trial investigations, we say: you’ve made or not made, and to appeal to a higher court – the leaders of the Pechersk district department in the Interior Ministry.

– «Let my people go». What further specific measures will be part of this campaign for the release of Ukrainian citizens who are in prison in Russia?

Alexandra Matviychuk: The first thing we must understand that these people need our information support. When Yuri Yatsenko was released from prison, he said that investigators followed by the FSB for each publication, for each press conference, which was done “euromaidan SOS» in his defense, brought him the printout and discussed with him. For him, it was a confirmation that he had not forgotten about him that Ukraine remembers him struggling. And it actually holds.

Second. We will put pressure on the international human rights institutions, namely the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, the EU.

– The court in Strasbourg is too early to apply, because there is no verdict of the Russian court, so it turns out?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. As demonstrated by the case Nadia Savchenko, the Court – is not the best tool in this system. After all, the Court considers the violation of the rights and is always trying to avoid the politicization of the issue. And since the matter has clearly political motive, but the pressure it can be solved at the political level favorable for our citizens means.

– Perhaps, in the administration of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in that it is changed or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mr Klimkin?

Alexandra Matviychuk: This is our next event. Since Poroshenko, and Klimkin talk about a narrow circle of people.

– About the most famous: Hope Savchenko Oleg Sentsova.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And even now about Aleksandre Kolchenko. A year after the work of his friends. They have the ability to speak and represent the entire list.

Plus, we are talking about the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, and there are still people who are detained, arrested and now sit in the occupied territories in the Crimea. And these people do not forget. This Alexander Kostenko, it Ahtem Chiygoz son Mustafy Dzhemileva.

– Ministry of Justice of Ukraine appealed to her son Cemil extradited to Ukraine. While there is no answer Russian law enforcers.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And there is another point that we do not raise in the campaign, but about which we always say. There are a large number of missing persons in the area ATO. According to the information, which comes to relatives, to the Russian human rights activists, to us, they are transported not only in the occupied territories, some of the hostages were gone.

– That is, it turns out, as Nadezhda Savchenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Like Nadezhda Savchenko. Their whereabouts are unknown.

We are now asked our colleagues to Russian human rights defenders to send requests to the prison to at least understand whether there are there Ukrainian citizens. And if they are military, the more clearly where they …

– We are talking about tens, hundreds? Hard to say?

Alexandra Matviychuk: If we talk about the official statistics of the missing, we have their 1500. Of course, some of them – this is, unfortunately, the people who were killed. And we are talking about 400 people, according to official statistics which are in captivity (separatists – Ed.).

Sourse, 29/05/2015

Maidan has not won yet

July 23, 2014

Aleksandra Matveychuk, chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, euromaidan SOS coordinator in an exclusive interview with ” Republic ” recalls fourth in his life and thinks Maidan, where you want to move Ukraine to become a democratic state.

– Alexander, please tell us what the Center of civil liberties?

– Our organization is engaged in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Our focus freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, combating discrimination, the protection of human rights defenders. We work not only in Ukraine. After all, human rights are known, do not have national boundaries. If the authoritarian regimes in the former Soviet Union are working closely together to stifle civil society, we, human rights organizations should also work to create a joint international platform.

– What is the situation with civil liberties in Ukraine today?

– Ukraine is now faced with a new reality – the military occupation of the Crimea and “neoglashennoy” war waged by Russia in the East of Ukraine. In such conditions it is very difficult to move the selected people to the democratic way of development – to reform the police, to conduct the lustration judges, root out corruption, etc.

The very human rights situation varies depending on the region. There Donbass, which are acts of war, where Russia supported illegal military formations are policies of terror among the civilian population, torture and kidnap civilians. There Crimea, where de facto entered the Russian repressive legislation, which prohibits even the prayer prayer on the anniversary of Crimean Tatars deportation. Other regions are preparing to defend against external aggression, but it should be noted that there is the situation with the observance of human rights is normalized.

In fact, we live in a very interesting period of history. Since the end of World War II, there was no precedent for States to “overcame” the other part of the territory and formally annexed it to her. And then the question is not only in the fact that Ukraine should do in such a situation. Here the question that should be in this situation, do other countries do? Downed passenger airliner by terrorists and the death of 298-mi man once again demonstrated that everything is interconnected in this fragile world.

– In your life there were four Maidan, tell us how you, so young, is it? You were talking about the persecution – you and loved ones, in what it consisted of?

– During the Orange Revolution I was a law student. Symbol of the revolution was orange. I remember that I wore the ribbon at a time when few people wore it. And she thought: now I have to behave so that no one even questioned my integrity. Because I’m here, this ribbon, and I will judge the people who support democracy.

I went to the polls observer. Once at the site vote count ended, I was taken to his woman with the election commission. I remember early in the morning we sit in front of TV, where from the screen to announce the victory of Yanukovich. And both crying. And then on television reported that some people are going to protest on Independence. And I went.

Then there was the tax (against strangulation small businesses), Movny (against Russification) now euromaidan. The main thing I realized: no one is safe, that Ukraine in its way to becoming as a democratic state does not need another one. But we need to create a guarantee that no power would not come to mind to shoot unarmed people in the streets.

During euromaidan we were all under the gun. Power led terror cruel and merciless, it could become the victims of everything, even random people. In my case, there were bandits in the house, and the “invitation” to the Prosecutor General. I remember, I was asked if I was ready to sit down. I honestly said that many people consider themselves to something ready until fate will check their availability. That is very interesting. And thought to myself, I had a wonderful life, which gave me an appointment with a very wonderful people, I did what she believed. The only thing that was not in time, because it is to give birth to children. Here the war is over, and these loans.

– Where have you been and what they did during the tragic events of February? What can you tell us about them?

– In euromaidan SOS office. At that moment I could no longer go home. I remember just before the volunteers went to the Maidan, and again there was a telephone our hotline. But when it all began and we started calling that people are shot, we could not do anything. We do legal aid. Then the volunteers went to morgues, hospitals, and places where to bring the dead. We were afraid that the government will destroy the body, and hastily drew up lists. So we were the first to know what killed not ten or twenty.

And my husband called me here. He said: “You do realize that I am on the Maidan?” I told him that, of course, I understand. Although I would like to say: please, run out. But how could I? Most of the were on the Maidan were family. I just asked him if he had a bulletproof vest. He laughed, and said that they are useless. We said good-bye. Remember, I left the office for fifteen minutes to recover, and then went back to work.

Honestly, I’m now very hard to pass the street Institutska, where people were killed. I now know many by name, and I still somehow embarrassing that we have survived, and they have not.

– How did the idea to establish SOS euromaidan and what are the problems encountered? Who are these people who have been searching for?

– On Saturday, November 30 last year, our organization was to conduct a seminar for activists from the regions. It is clear that when all arrived and learned that a few hours before the police brutally beat students on the Maidan was not up to the workshop.

People were crushed, most breaks to go to the St. Michael’s Square, where the rally going. But we decided to think about what we, as human rights activists, could be useful in this situation. After all, at that time there were many people affected, and it is not clear whether they provided legal assistance.

About ten o’clock in the morning we opened the SOS euromaidan page in the “Facebook” and published two posts. The first numbers of our hotlines. The second – with a request to lawyers who are willing to provide free legal assistance to respond. And it worked.

During euromaidan number of calls per day (and we took out the clock) could reach several thousand. Only in our official list of the contacts were more than 400 lawyers, who agreed to during the day and at night to work pro bono. But euromaidan SOS would not take place if we did not support the hundreds of volunteers and an active fb Community euromaidan SOS.

It is important to note that most of these people had never engaged in any civic activity. Just when the critical moment, they did not remain indifferent. Euromaidan gave people the opportunity to express their most good features. Therefore, it is called Revolution Benefits.

– How does the SOS Maidan involved in tracing people? How many could find? How many are unaccounted for?

– During euromaidan just a list of the missing held up to a thousand people. Most of them were very fast. In the search for other took days, weeks, months. After the wounded brought to the hospital and into the underground, equipped through donations, exported to other cities of the country to protect them from persecution. Someone unconscious, someone without a phone. Relatives called us. Well, not to the police as they were then apply.

Someone is missing from the list passed in the death toll. Now we are looking for more than thirty people who disappeared during euromaidan.

– A lot of talk about that with Maidana kidnapped people and deal with them, what can you say about this? It is known to you about such cases?

– I can tell you about the case of the kidnapping of my good friend Igor Lutsenko. Before euromaidan I knew him as one of their “Save Old Kyiv” leaders of the movement, they fought for the preservation of green spaces and monuments in the city. His kidnapped by unknown people (the so-called “titushky” that cooperated with the police) directly from the hospital, along with scientist seismologist Yuri Verbitsky. Yuri on the Maidan was injured in the eye. It is not superfluous to note that the police then loved to shoot sighting over his eyes, we have more than 50 of the victims.

That night I spent on the phone with his brother George. Both stolen tortured, then separately taken into the forest. Igor was able to escape and survive. Yuri no.

– What happened with that organization after the Maidan won?

– Independence is not yet won. We must reform the country, not just shifting it onto the shoulders of politicians, to drive for the state border of the Russian gangs, to return the occupied Crimea. Therefore, SOS euromaidan continues to work and help people. However, the military action lawyers zone will not send him, so our methods have changed. Now we form a human rights mission and mobile, we go and document, working with the hostages and victims of torture.

– Alexander, what do you think, is it right that maydanovtsy not diverge. What they want, in your opinion?

– euromaidan SOS on this occasion made a statement. We wrote that if before to go to the Maidan was the duty of every honest man, but now there are a lot of real work, and it is necessary for someone to do. The momentum of the Maidan, that is, the democratic transformation should reach all of the small village. I’m not talking about the war in the East.

– Do you think that today the country needed not to lose the momentum that gave her the Maidan and to develop further?

– You know, Independence ended, and civic engagement does not drop. Just in time of war it is not very visible to an outside observer. People work in different initiatives: conducting an investigation of crimes on the Maidan, help the wounded, and bringing to ensure military control of the parliament, that he may carry out the necessary reforms the country.

I’m sure the time will come and the world will study our unique experience of self-organization, when ordinary people come together and perform essentially the function of the state. After euromaidan we stayed “Heavenly Hundred”. But heroes are not vyedesh, propping his shoulders public institutions must all. And we understand that.

Sourse, 22/07/2014

Результаты поиска:

It is necessary to win this war, but not to turn to Russia

February 25, 2017

Under the guise of the formula “we are fighting against Russian aggression”, the Ukrainian government is not always justified limits the rights and freedoms of its citizens. “The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan, “- said Ukrainian human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk.

She adds that it is important to remember that you must not only fight for the temporarily occupied territories, but also to build a democratic model of society.

For more information about tasks that are currently facing the Ukrainians, Alexander Matviychuk told FaceNews. Human rights activist also told about why we still do not know who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Heaven.

Alexander, for three years Ukrainians are waiting for answers to questions about who was shooting at people at the time of the dignity of the Revolution, who gave the orders. Why, in your opinion, the answer is still no?

There are objective and subjective reasons. During euromaidan bodies that were supposed to investigate the crimes and to conduct initial investigations, we did not. They were so busy that committed these crimes. Was destroyed by a huge number of documents, the former leadership of the country is on the run in the Russian Federation and other countries. That is, there are a number of objective things that complicate the investigation.

What are the subjective factors? The fact that, unfortunately, the investigation and the accomplishment of justice has fallen on the shoulders of the unreformed system of law enforcement bodies and the judges, many of whom are at the time of the Maidan themselves carried knowingly unjust decisions. It is difficult to expect them to some higher standards of justice, as in the good they realize that sooner or later, if the investigation will be effective, they also held accountable.

Also, I do not see a lot of attention of the government. Thus, during the first year we did not create even a single investigation into the center, things were questioned by different investigators, and even structures.

Once this center is finally appeared, he was for a long time did not receive the necessary support. At the end of 2015 the year it worked eighteen investigators, they investigated more than 2000 episodes literally “on the knee”, without premises and logistics. This is clearly not the way to relate to a case that the president names most resonant in the history of independent Ukraine.

The last thing we are very annoyed when in October last year, Yuriy Lutsenko made a decision to change, and in his opinion, to improve the investigation process of the organization. He had the idea, which he, fortunately, refused to merge into a single production and make a big deal Yanukovych.

The most important thing in this decision – a change in the focus of the investigation. After all, if we start immediately to collect evidence only against the top, we will lose the middle link – people who, relatively speaking, stood between Yanukovych and those who committed crimes with their own hands. Question – why it is done. I venture to suggest that it is the middle link is successfully incorporated into the current system of power and easy feeling.

However, in the investigation there are also positive things. It is clear that not all so clear.

Fair investigation of crimes during euromaidan – is not the only challenge for the authorities. What other challenges do you think, is now acute for Ukraine?

During euromaidan we were fighting for their democratic choice. It turns out, the most important task now – to implement the democratic choice in practice.

We need to carry out radical reforms that will change the course of history. While we like the people who go into the pit in a circle, and once in ten years, when it gets really bad, and the bottom is getting closer, a revolutionary way to correct the motion path and try to get out of it. But as building democratic institutions much harder, for some reason we returned back to this circling. That is our main goal – to make a qualitative leap and get out of this turbulence zone, transitional period in which we are in the last few decades.

After the fall of the authoritarian regime the possibility of these democratic changes became so real, that the Russian Federation, defending his authoritarian regime was forced to intervene. She occupied the Crimea, began the hybrid war in Donbas. And now we are fighting for our right to have a choice per se.

Therefore, in these difficult and dramatic time we are faced with a second very important task – to not forget what we are fighting. We need to win this war, but not to turn himself into the Russian Federation.

What I mean? In response to Russia’s aggression power starts to limit the rights and freedoms and making it is not always justified. It is important to understand that even in times of war, human rights should be limited in proportion to, and not just because the authorities felt like it and it has a beautiful phrase, “we are fighting against Russian aggression.”

The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan. This should not be allowed.

We need very clearly aware that we are fighting not only for the territory and for the choice of a model of society, where the rights of everyone are protected, where there is a fair judicial system, where the government is accountable to the citizens.

Sourse, 24/02/2017

The fate of the “Kremlin prisoners”: what to do with Ukraine, have become hostages of the Russian Federation

January 6, 2017

Torture, which apply to the Ukrainians, who became prisoners or hostages of Russia, starting at the stage of the investigation, when the detainees from trying to beat out the testimony, said a human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk. All this, according to her, accompanied by the exclusion of prisoners from their families, independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul. “All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation,” – emphasizes Matviychuk.

She adds: Ukrainians have become hostages to the Kremlin, can be divided into three groups. Firstly, those who pass on trumped-up processes with political motives in the Russian Federation and on the territory of Crimea. Secondly, located in basements in the uncontrolled territory of Ukraine, Donbass. Third, more than 5 million people who live in the occupied territory. “We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a” gray zone “in Donbass” – human rights activist said.

Read more about the features of the release of members of each of their groups, and where the situation with the “prisoners of the Kremlin’s” most critical, in an interview FaceNews told Alexander Matviychuk.

Which groups you share “the Kremlin’s prisoners?” And why is the issue of their release is important to talk about conditional groups?

Why do we combine these people in a pretty conventional groups? Understanding who these people are and what group they are in, it helps us to determine what can and should do in a particular situation.

When we talk about “hostage of the Kremlin” that belong to the first group of people who go on trumped-up criminal proceedings on political grounds in Russia and in the occupied Crimea. It is clear that there is no independent judiciary. But there is a building, where it says “trial”, there is a man in the mantle, who calls himself a judge. With the right to a fair trial that has nothing in common, but there is at least some kind of simulacra. In such cases, lawyers fulfill all the legal and procedural possibilities, and do everything in their power at the federal level, and then continue to work with international organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights.

The second group of “hostages of the Kremlin” – people who are in the basement of the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Even if illegal armed formations charges against them in violation of the Criminal Code is still the Soviet regime, it is clear that there is nothing at all to talk about the quasi-even procedure.

Together with colleagues we interviewed 165 people and recorded evidence. People were kept in cellars, garages, dog cages, manholes. Every second civilian said he had succumbed to torture. And we must understand that it is not just about beating. This is rape, electric current, cutting off fingers, prostrelivanie body parts. We have fixed many terrible things done by people with guns, because felt complete impunity. It is interesting that 16% of the civilians we interviewed said they were direct witnesses, when, during the so-called confrontation or interrogation of people beaten to death. All that we have documented and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The third category, which I would say as a hostage of the Kremlin, is 5.5 million people living in the occupied territory, no matter how they relate to the occupation. We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a “gray zone” in the Donbas. The latter, for example, have no way to protect against the tyranny of man with a gun his property, health, life and the lives of loved ones.

With regard to the Crimea, then we see that there is no way to protect themselves from political persecution. It’s starting to feel the even pro-Russian part of the population, those who rejoiced at the annexation. However, they are used to that under Ukrainian jurisdiction have the right to peaceful assembly, and now, when they go out to protest against the closure of the Cadet Corps with portraits of Putin, beaten and brought to administrative responsibility. Russia, which they saw from the TV, suddenly found a very different Russia, which reigned in the peninsula.

About a third category also need to talk, because they need our protection. Now Ukraine has very limited opportunities to directly influence what happens with a specific person or group of people, but this is not an excuse for us to do nothing. Our country needs to make use of existing international mechanisms or, if not available, create new ones.

Recent years have shown that Ukraine is difficult to stand up to Russia at the international level. For example, the federation has the right to veto in the UN Security Council. In addition, about a year ago, the Russian Federation made a decision, according to which can selectively implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. What international mechanisms can help to influence Russia?

This is a question that we need to have a strategy that will be provided in the complex legal, diplomatic, economic and other activities. But such a strategy in Ukraine, unfortunately, no. And this is a problem.

You are right: consolidated procedure in Russia in the summer of last year, which is to try to bring the legal form of a breach of international obligations, and now they are free to decide how to execute the decision of the European Court, and what – no. When Russia is beginning to show a similar situation goes from a legal plane in diplomatic. And the Ukrainian diplomats have to say: if the law does not apply, and Russia does not understand the PACE resolution requirements of the UN Committee or the European Court, then let us talk to her language that she understands. If Russia fails to comply with judgments of the European Court, let’s talk about toughening sanctions. This should act as a package.

Until we have a full-fledged strategy on the issue of “the Kremlin’s prisoners’ state of the task falls on the shoulders of social activists. You are one of the initiators of the campaign LetMyPeopleGo, which oversees the Russian theme of liberation of the hostages. Who is on this list?

In LetMyPeopleGo list – citizens of Ukraine, which are held for political reasons in the areas of non-freedom in Russia and in the occupied Crimea.

How many people are now included in the list?

This is a very sensitive issue, because it is sometimes very difficult to determine the presence of a political motive. For example, human rights activists say that the Crimea was illegally moved to 2200 prisoners. How do I know that all they have been lawfully convicted or not? Knowing how the authoritarian system, assuming that many illegally. But if we include in the person list also it depends on whether there is in fact a political motive.

In the summer, we were talking about 28 people, and then added, “Panova group.” We met with a lawyer, and is now waiting for the case file. It is likely that they will be included in our list, but we want to see the material. The second example – the journalist Roman Sushchenko, the materials of his case in general there is no access, because it passes through the article “spying” and classified. How to be in this case? All indications are that it is very similar to the case Yuriya Soloshenko, Valentine Vygovskogo, but there is always a risk, because it is impossible to check (at the time of publication of the article “a group Panova” and journalist Roman Sushchenko were included in the list of campaigns, – FaceNews).

When those who managed to escape from captivity, told that they had to endure, it becomes really scary. Such as torture, which Gennady Afanasiev said. Where is the most critical situation in the aspect of the treatment of our prisoners?

The fact that said Gennady Afanasiev, and after that was a lot of people from the list, did not start while serving their sentence, but much earlier, during the so-called investigation. Then they were isolated from their families, are not allowed independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul, and had been tortured to extract confessions. All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation. One of the Russian lawyers, when she saw in what condition is her client, came to the investigator with a direct question: “What do you with the person did” what he said to her: “What do you want with us since the days of Ivana Groznogo methods of investigation We have not changed. “

Therefore, here it is necessary to monitor what happens to the man on the stage of the investigation, what happens to them during the trial, and what happens after the verdict. These stages have their own characteristics. During the investigation, as I said, there is the problem of artificial isolation, and while serving their conclusion is very hard to produce any information about the person then gradually forgotten. Here the task of the public – do not forget to constantly remind that the person is sitting. This increases the chances that he will be released.

About who is in the worst state, from what we know, we can separately identify Stanislaus Klyha. Torture does not have consequences for the people and, unfortunately, he lost his sanity. It has become apparent to all, when he gave up an independent lawyer who fought for his release and said he wanted to protect his Stas Mikhailov, Pelagia, Shura or beast. He was sentenced to twenty years, with medical and psychological examination, which took place in Chechnya, found him completely sane. Naturally, he is now in a very serious condition.

Alexander, it is unlikely you surprised that the appeal in the case Karpyuk and Klyha who viewed Russian Supreme Court about a month ago, upheld the judgment of conviction of 22.5 years and 20 years.

No hope there is no legal solution. There is hope that the leadership of Russia as a result of international pressure to take a political decision to release them. And then they will exchange, pardon, extradited or find any other legal mechanism to a face-saving, Russia could bring them home.

Sourse, 05/01/2017

Ukrainophobia in Crimea. What puts the Kremlin

June 24, 2016

Reintegration of Crimea – is not only the return of the territory. A key element of the strategy – the people. And Russia is well aware of, so make an effort to us there was no one to return: Ukrainophobia educates through the TV, change the demographic composition of the population, which in itself is a war crime. And everything – methodically destroys the independent civil society, which should be one of the key factors of reintegration. Keep it at least in some form – our task.

For more than two years, we are monitoring the political persecution in the occupied Crimea. Arsenal of repression is quite broad: people are arrested in their homes were searched prohibit peaceful assemblies, fabricated criminal and administrative cases. Occupying power does not shrink from abductions, intimidation, beatings and torture. Russia has been consistently replacing active people of the peninsula, or causes them to shut up.

In situations where the right to influence the situation is rather difficult, as the international community is limited only by the angry resolutions of simple ways to save the remnants of the civil society on the peninsula does not exist. At the same time, there are several areas of work.

Firstly, it is necessary to overcome the informational isolation of Crimea. People on the peninsula should be able to get excellent information from the pro-Kremlin language accessible to them. In parallel, it should be given instructions on how to bypass the blocking of websites, when it comes to broadcasting on the Internet. Crimea various questions should be in the top of the political agenda, they should write about the Ukrainian press. It is necessary to develop relations with the religious, professional, cultural communities on the topics that are the subject of their interest. People who have kept the Ukrainian citizenship, should simplify administrative procedures online methods of management.

Secondly, the Crimean youth should have access on favorable terms to education on the mainland Ukraine. Educational institutions at various levels should implement distance learning programs, focused on the Crimea. It is necessary to increase the number of specialized institutions, such as moving to Kiev Tauride University, which take into account the difference in school programs of Ukraine and Russia. They should be seen as a communicator with the Crimea, because the students are friends and family on the peninsula, as well as a base for the formation of the Crimean elite. Learn to be in these prestigious institutions.

Third, Ukraine needs to learn how to protect the people who were left alone with the occupiers. It is necessary to define the scope of work for the Russian human rights activists in the Crimea, which can connect to the practical protection of persecuted people on the spot. Cases of people persecuted by the Putin regime, should always sound at the level of international organizations. Involved in this persecution should expand the list of personal sanctions. Public authorities should carry out an effective investigation and collect evidence on these facts. You also need to develop a program of support for these people on the territory of continental Ukraine.

In general, the lack of a comprehensive policy towards the occupied Crimea can complicate the reintegration of these areas in the future. Ukraine needs to be translated into the language of practical actions to Oleg Sentsova “my country, I will not leave” and send a clear signal to the people that it is fighting for them.

Author: Alexander Matviychuk, human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the NGO Center for Civil Liberties

Sourse, 23/06/2016

Donbass lawlessness

April 17, 2016

Ukrainian human rights activists talk about the testimonies of victims of illegal detention places in the district of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of illegal armed groups. Human rights activists questioned 162 people emerged from captivity. Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom.

Conclusion human rights: torture faced each second respondent civilian and 86% military in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. Power in illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: I’m in the hands of the research – the evidence of the victims of the places of illegal detention in the territory of the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of “Russian separatist forces,” as they are called United States President Barack Obama. The authors of the study today in our studio: this Alexander Matviychuk , chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, and Boris Zakharov , head of the advocacy center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union .

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed 162 people emerged from captivity. We have information on what are the conditions of detention and of dealing with people who are 79 places of unfreedom. When we say “people in basements”, it is not a metaphor, because most of those 79 seats are not designed even for a short stay. It’s really a basement room, cellars in the office buildings, even a dog cages, aviaries in use of illegal armed groups that hold people.

Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom. Our conclusion: torture faced each second civil, surveyed, and 86% of the soldiers in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. This, relatively speaking, the power of the illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: Boris, there are in this situation, any possible human rights may be, at least from the Russian side?

Boris Zakharov: Those doctors who are allowed to see the hostages are controlled, they do not allow any independent medical examination.

Alexander Matviychuk: We had a block of questions about whether the medical assistance. Prisoners of war were taken sometimes in a serious condition, civilians too, then adjusted to a very serious condition and needed medical care. Male nurses function often performed the same guards. For example, we interviewed Alexander Grishchenko said openly: he was a vet, he improvised means sewing up wounds his fellow inmates.

Vitaly Portnikov: You’re talking about the military, but it is very important to understand what is happening to civilians.

Alexander Matviychuk: The fact that every second civilian man who fell into place bondage tortured – is nothing less than a crime against humanity. We were trying to figure out which categories of persons and for what reasons are subject to such treatment, but our main conclusion: there is no algorithm of actions, which would help to avoid falling victim to such breaking.

Vitaly Portnikov: I saw in this study is evidence of forced press conference for the Russian media.

Boris Zakharov: they were tortured to force to give an interview, which is given once almost immediately after torture.

Alexander Matviychuk: she interrogates me personally was the fourth month of pregnancy. She was beaten with iron rods, although she said she was pregnant. She answered: “You are a Jew, and even pro-Ukrainian views, your child does not have the right to life.” She’s gone from the Ukraine, and I very much hope that it and all is well with her child.

And the second pregnant woman we interviewed, as a result of beatings in the same place had a miscarriage. She said: “We’ll give you a ticket for free, but you must admit that you are a sniper battalion” Tornado “, tell about it to our colleagues, the Russian journalists.” Come, if I’m not mistaken, the TV channel “Russia-1”. We recorded it in the report, found the interview. It shows when she was approached by the so-called journalists, she was asked to sit down so as not to be seen that it is in position.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, the old Russian history: during the Chechen war were “Lithuanian snipers women”, which no one has ever seen.

Do not you think that outside of Ukraine in the world (I’m not talking about Russia) little information about what is happening there?

Boris Zakharov: We are trying to inform her. This UN report officially took for distribution through its own channels.

Vitaly Portnikov: With minors there is something similar?

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, there is. We stayed beyond the study completely separate issue – sexual violence. Men told us about sexual violence against women, who were held with them, and the women – no. Individual cases which we have recorded, again, of stories: Woman gave as a gift to the front, and it’s happened several times, that is, gave it back and returned. It was a minor, her seemingly give 14-15 years.

Vitaly Portnikov: What is the level of transparency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions?

Boris Zakharov: There’s generally no publicity, all this is transmitted exclusively by word of mouth. There is a full atmosphere of fear. In fact, there is a totalitarian regime in wartime.

Vitaly Portnikov: But there are people who are not afraid to go back there – it is also a fact.

Boris Zakharov: Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov: When the shelling subsided when this whole situation stopped at the freezing point, we saw that many displaced people returning to their homes.

Boris Zakharov: In this way, there is a very large wine Ukraine, which can not provide the conditions for internally displaced persons in the territory under its control.

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, I was faced with the fact that do not know about what is happening in Kiev, Donetsk, and not even know the journalists and civil society activists. List captured in basement, updated and replenished at the expense of the people who went to visit his family, absolutely not understanding what is happening there. Apparently, they do not read the papers, do not listen to our broadcasts. Moreover, a journalist recently told me in Kiev, she would like to go and work behind the scenes in Donetsk journalist. She asked me how the situation is with the detentions … What do we want from the people in the occupied territory, if here in Kyiv journalists do not know anything?

Boris Zakharov: Prior to October 2015 121 000 internally displaced persons have returned to the occupied territories. DNR says that half a million returned to them. Of course, these figures can not be trusted.

Vitaly Portnikov: Who protects these cellars?

Alexander Matviychuk: In 40% of cases, people claim that those who directed the beatings, was present during the interrogation and organized place of unfreedom, it is the Russian military. We do not undertake to judge, it was this ordinary professional soldiers or mercenaries, but they claim that they were Russian citizens. They have been so presented, called his military rank, or told where they came from, or say, “You, Ukrainian pig, I came to protect you, but are you doing!”. According to statistics, it appears that the rest – it’s local, the citizens of Ukraine. All this points to a chain of accountability to the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic of the Russian Federation.

Vitaly Portnikov: How Ukrainian prison system, the system of detention of persons, who on the other side of the war, more controllable, more than the State? Can we talk about that in Ukrainian prisons can not happen this?

Boris Zakharov: The prison system is not reformed. We present illegal violence in the police and in the prison system. Kharkiv Human Rights Group conducted a study in conjunction with the Kharkov Institute of Sociology. Despite the war, despite the increase in aggression in society, we have compared to the years 2011-12 to halve the number of torture and ill-treatment, unlawful violence to the police. If before about a million people a year were subjected to unlawful violence, and torture – 120 thousand, and now about half a million are exposed to unlawful violence and in some cases 62 000 – torture and ill-treatment.

Alexander Matviychuk: We as a human rights organization demand that the Ukrainian authorities comply with all standards and the reform of this sector, because the gross violations, abuse, unfortunately, occur. Also, there is a problem with violations by Ukrainian forces in unofficial places of unfreedom. Of course, you can not even compare the scale, but we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Ukrainian state differs from the illegal armed groups that it must investigate each case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Boris Zakharov: The state is struggling with this problem – perhaps not yet sufficiently effective, but because there is a political will to implement these reforms, to investigate the facts of abuse and torture, sooner or later this problem will be if not completely defeated, then reduced to minimum.

As for the captured parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, there effective control of Russia carries out, it is actually occupied by the Russian Federation territory. We have to communicate all at the diplomatic level.

But most importantly, the Ukrainian side is not enough high quality evidence documenting how the presence of Russian troops, and cases of torture, abuse, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against property. Our organization, submitting complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, Feeds them and against Ukraine and against Russia. Against Russia – for all the chaos that’s going on, on specific articles – is the right to life, freedom from torture, ill-treatment and so on. Against Ukraine – for inactivity, for that Ukraine has enough quality documents and is investigating these crimes. The court’s decision may well be against both countries – for example, the payment of fifty thousand euros from Russia for the fact that it all happened, and five thousand euro from Ukraine for inaction. Such precedents have been in the practice of the European Court.

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed people, we collect documents for international justice. But we can not say to a man: but now thanks, goodbye, you helped us a lot. Naturally, we will cooperate with initiatives that provide psychological and medical assistance.

Government policy in this regard is catastrophic. If in respect of servicemen still have some sort of guarantee, the civilian hostages just to themselves. It is necessary to change at least for reasons of humanity, not to mention some rights.

Vitaly Portnikov: When I’m on the program topics it covers me despair. Too many people, our Russian audience is easy to believe you. But many people will never believe in what you are talking about Donbass, because there is a blatant propaganda: “there can not be such, there is defend the Russian people.” Lived Statement usual area is no different from the Bryansk and Kharkov, and suddenly there is such a nightmare …

Alexander Matviychuk: I have a different professional despair: we interview people, but realize how much they still in the field of non-freedom – it’s still going on. About two months ago, we took the famous scientist, religious Igorya Kozlovskogo.

I understand very well what you are saying. When we document when sending alternative reports to the UN Committee, introduced them to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we can not stop it. It really frustrates some … That is why we have launched a campaign at the Munich conference fields: we demand the release of all hostages and prisoners of war and civilians. According to official figures from the Ukrainian side of 130 people. They were released a year ago, according to the sixth paragraph of the Minsk agreements .

Vitaly Portnikov: It is clearly stated on the exchange of all for all. By the way, the Russian side, at least as represented by its Special Representative on the Minsk talks Borisa Gryzlova, insists that there should be exchange of all for all. Where are the results?

Alexander Matviychuk: The same Mr. Gryzlov said that the first Ukrainian party must give a total amnesty to people who committed these crimes. We as the human rights organizations a clear position: it can not be an amnesty for serious crimes. Of course, the world is better than war, but there is no peace without justice.

If we look at the leaders of these illegal groups, who all began … As we were told the Russian colleague in April 2014: “Oh, you come to our death squads”. They were led by people who were previously in Abkhazia, Chechnya, Transnistria, where they performed the same. They were not punished were amnestied and now continue it in the Donbas.

So that there is no amnesty for war crimes can not be. To be honest, I’m very strange that I did not hear this from the members of the Norman format , I do not hear such rhetoric from France, from Germany. In my opinion, it is not just the norms of national legislation – is the basic tenet of international humanitarian law. If you give a clear message on the part of not only Ukraine, but also in France, Germany, perhaps in the occupied territories would someone think about now. They also think that sooner or later they will be amnestied.

Boris Zakharov: Amnesty, from the point of view of the law in this case is inapplicable. Amnesty happens when there is a judgment, it’s commutation. In this case we are talking about the withdrawal of charges of grave and especially grave crimes.

Vitaly Portnikov: It is understood that the Minsk agreement, we should grant amnesty to people who have worked all this, based on the Russian side logic.

Boris Zakharov: They want Ukraine changed the hierarchy and sequence of steps. They say, fulfills all its conditions, and then we say of Russia: “What you do not do your own?”. But the logic of the sequence of steps it consists in the fact that the elections in the Donbass, amnesty and other things can only happen if Ukraine will receive effective control over these territories. This means that we are at an impasse, we need a different format other than Minsk. And Minsk must continue.

Vitaly Portnikov: But the people who are in these basements, should be released in any case, regardless of what kind of formula we will discuss with you now.

Alexander Matviychuk: Minsk format just might fulfill it. If we talk about the value of human life, then obviously, it had to be done in the first place, and can be no terms such as “but first you give amnesty, but you first hold elections.” That is why our campaign appeals to France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia: decide the issue now, it is impossible to discuss all other political issues, as long as people are in such circumstances, they can not survive until the next round of negotiations!

Boris Zakharov: There are people who need medical care, many of them have already become chronicles after injuries. They should be exempt immediately!

Vitaly Portnikov: Was POW hits you about it, too, mention in their study – this is an obvious form of torture. In Ukraine, there has never been any parades of prisoners of war, in spite of what was captured by a huge number of people who are fighting on the side of the illegal armed groups in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This parade was shown on Russian television. In a huge part of the audience is caused, unfortunately, not the horror and delight.

Alexander Matviychuk: According to the Rome Statute , it is a war crime. We also describe what’s left of this parade personnel. Prisoners of war did not want to leave voluntarily, and in order to get them to go to the parade in front of them very cruelly killed several people (to have witnesses).

Vitaly Portnikov: This is actually what the Nazis did to their parades of its kind.

Boris Zakharov: Yes, it’s exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Putin is somehow able to defeat the concept of Popper’s an open and a closed society, showed that in a relatively open society, where there are alternative sources of information, you can use the new information and communication technologies so wash people brains because their zombie that you can create on the territory of Russia subtotalitarnogo mode.

Vitaly Portnikov: On the other hand, what can be such a thing, and thus know about them, but do not pay attention – this is just the result of the hybrid war, of which we speak. That is, it is like a war and not a war, and prisoners of war – like and not prisoners of war, and some people who are up in arms came to fight against their own countrymen, and the parade – like and not hits.

Alexander Matviychuk: I tried to investigate the influence of Russian propaganda on the escalation of violence. And this, of course, the question of hybridity of the war, when nothing at all is not clear, the rule of law does not correspond to the norm. But the fact is that very increased level of hatred, is the dehumanization of the country. That is, with these people, you can do so, because “it is not the people – a” dill “, Ukrainians, Germans, this junta, which all oppressed and drinks the blood of Russian babies.”

If we talk about responsibility … We are talking about the so-called “journalists” – I think that should be personal sanctions and proceedings to establish the degree of guilt and punishment of people who incite hatred and war by creating a parallel reality.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, in the sanctions of the civilized world are mentioned the names of several so-called Russian “journalists” of the most zealous and frenzied propaganda. I think everyone understands that propagandists blame for the fate of these people is obvious. We often say that the propaganda, but so what? Someone something did not understand, someone made a different conclusion. And here it is really the result of a real propaganda – it is death, torture, humiliation, abuse and the transformation of the opposite side in the “non-humans”.

Boris Zakharov: There is still a problem in international law. In fact, these hybrid wars do not fit into a modern security system in the contemporary legal space. These challenges need adequate answers. In June 2014, I proposed a package of laws on hybrid war, because the Ukrainian authorities could not answer the question: what’s going on? Say “war” and declare martial law – scared, because then Russia may begin a large-scale military campaign. “ATO” – chose this formula, but it is absolutely not appropriate from a legal point of view. Because of this formula, we have a lot of negative consequences at the international level and in international law too.

It would be nice at the time and even now already being late, it is still to take a package of laws, first at the national level, to call a spade a spade, to simulate the situation and describe a departure from the conventions, in accordance with these simulated situations. And then – to collect the international conference in Kiev and declare to the world that you need to make changes and adopt new Convention on the hybrid war, which take into account the current state of affairs.

Alexander Matviychuk: I think the problem is not even the fact that the existing international conventions do not take into account all aspects of a hybrid war, and that no one really wants to solve the problem with this challenge. The international community is trying to freeze the conflict. Amnesty? Well, let it be a total amnesty. Elections? It is clear that they will be controlled by the Russian Federation, but the de facto authorities in Ukraine, we have our own voters can say that it’s all over. Just think, people will die – the whole planet in general is very unsafe, people die …

The biggest problem is that the international community does not want to solve these problems, the hopes that they will somehow dissolve themselves. But the problems do not disappear, they just grow. Let me remind you that Ukraine – this is another point on the globe where these “gray areas” have been created. We live in a highly interconnected world. Europe or other countries, can not be shielded by fences. We have already seen, as it were, by the example of the war in Syria. Problems still find us if they are not addressed.

Sourse, 16/04/2016

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them

April 11, 2016

Oleksandra Matviychuk used to avoid police on the street. As a participant in protests for human rights, she knew, as did many Ukrainians, of the police’s reputation for using excessive force.

Today, as a member of Ukraine’s civil society, Matviychuk teaches the country’s new patrol police how to interact peacefully with citizens.

Before Ukraine’s Euromaidan — protests from November 2013 to February 2014 demanding closer ties with Europe — police had one objective: to fulfill the orders of their higher-ups, according to Matviychuk. Now, she says, they make decisions for themselves and focus on serving the publi

“Patrol policing is a job that requires thinking,” Matviychuk said. Officers not only have to know Ukraine’s laws and international standards, but quickly act in ways that affect people’s overall well-being and even their lives.

Standing up for human rights

Matviychuk remains committed to human rights in Ukraine. As head of the board at the nongovernmental organization Center for Civil Liberties in Kyiv, she works with others to push the government toward reforms that would protect freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly as well as the rights of civil activists generally.

Helping survivors

Matviychuk is also involved in Euromaidan SOS, established during the Euromaidan to locate those who had gone missing after the Yanukovych-led government launched violent attacks against peaceful protesters and to provide legal assistance for protesters who were imprisoned.

Euromaidan SOS’s role has expanded. Today, it establishes human rights agencies and mobile teams in and near the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea. “We make visits there and document everything, and work with hostages and torture survivors,” Matviychuk said.

In May 2015, the Center for Civil Liberties joined Euromaidan SOS to launch #LetMyPeopleGo, a campaign to help Ukrainian citizens imprisoned in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea for their political views. The campaign is working on the cases of eight prisoners in Crimea and 13 in Russia, including Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

Oleksandra Matviychuk holding award and standing with Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)
Matviychuk (left) with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of gunned-down Russian activist Boris Nemtsov. (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)

Recently, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer presented Matviychuk with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Democracy Defender Award for her work on reform, accountability, human rights and rule-of-law in Ukraine. Baer said he admires people like Matviychuk, “who are committed to a unified, democratic, prosperous, European Ukraine.”

Matviychuk, for her part, sees the fight for human rights as a global cause, bigger than Ukraine. “We live in a very interconnected world. … We can’t build fences and close our eyes to real problems of human rights in our world,” she said.

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them.

Matviychuk’s speech at Democracy Defender Award 2016

February 24, 2016

Human rights defender Oleksandra Matviychuks statement at the official prizegiving ceremony of Democracy Defender Award-2016

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I represent the civil initiative Euromaidan SOS that was created in response to brutal dispersal of peaceful student demonstration. We have brought together thousands of ordinary people to provide legal protection for protesters. Every day a large number of people passed through our care. People who were arrested, beaten, tortured, accused of trumped-up criminal cases, and later – the dead and the missing people.

For the second time in the last ten years, Ukrainian people rose to defend their choice to build a democratic state based on common values with European countries. We paid a rather high price for it.

After the fall of authoritarian regime, in order to stop democratic transformations in Ukraine Russia occupied Crimea and started a hybrid war in Donbas. Murders, abductions, tortures, sexual violence, human shields, political persecutions on the occupied territories – all this has become our reality.

Today we gather victims’ evidence and document these violations to present them for international justice. At the same time, we struggle to reform our police, courts and prosecutors, so in the future we are not facing a situation in where our government shoots unarmed demonstrators.

In this regard, I would like to share a few lessons that we have learned from these past events:

  1. In many countries human rights activists aren’t just working for protection of human rights. These activists are fighting every day for human rights. Often it seems almost hopeless. However, we should do our work honestly. The results of our efforts can unexpectedly be achieved.
  1. When people achieve the recognition of human rights from authorities, often in practice it means only one thing. No authorities but just civil society needs freedom of associations, the right to a fair trial, civil society oversight of police. This only means that human rights activists simply won new tasks for themselves. This is why the civil society should become an equal partner with the state authorities in the eyes of international organizations.
  2. The so-called “Ukrainian crisis”, in fact, is a direct reflection of a global crisis in the post-war world system. This is a value crisis. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is often and openly questioned. International human rights law has become secondary. Civil activists, journalists, human rights defenders are persecuted and held in prisons in Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan etc. There is an ongoing fundamental change of ideologies, which, for decades, have been the basis for international organizations.

There is a great temptation to avoid solving difficult problems, hoping that they will just vanish. But the truth is that these problems are increasing. There are new gray areas with uncertain statuses appearing on the map. That is not only about the future of the OSCE and the Helsinki Accords. That is about the entire world where everything is interconnected and only the spread of freedom and human rights is making it safe.

Finding the solution to this crisis is our historic task. We must continue fighting for human dignity. Even if there is nothing left but words and our own example.

February 24, 2016, Vienna

Ukrainian media does not care about Kazakhstan?

June 25, 2015

Journalist portal “Respublika” Natalia Sadykov talked to the chairman of the board Ukrainian “Center for Civil Liberties” Aleksandroy Matveychuk disregard for Ukrainian journalists presentation of the report on the events in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan. Later also had to observe the situation when the Ukrainian press persistently ignored the events concerning other countries. But at the same time in Ukraine want to support the whole world.

During familiarization Alexander said that after the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Zhanaozen social activists observed the trial in Aktau. Seen and heard in the case of the thirty-seven oil workers are not left indifferent Ukrainians. All the horrors endured Zhanaozen, they wanted to tell in Kiev. Report planned to present at a public event.

“We understand that we are dealing not just with gross human rights violations, and dangerous practices of authoritarian suppression of dissent, which can be easily transferred to the Ukrainian soil. We have suffered a great disappointment. At a press conference on “The shooting of peaceful demonstrations in Zhanaozen and its results: Ukraine – not Zhanaozen” came not a single journalist. Ukraine was not interested in shooting of peaceful protesters in other countries “, – said Matveichuk.

Two years later, Ukraine on Independence outlive your Zhanaozen, about a hundred of Heaven knows the whole world. Then there will be the annexation of Crimea, the war in the Donbas and downed Boeing. But Ukrainian journalists continue to ignore the press conference spoken about the problems of other countries. Even if the problems that have recently faced the Ukrainian people. Alexander Matveichuk believes that the lack of interest in what is happening in other countries – a bright sign of provincialism of thinking.

“Especially when it comes to human rights in the post-Soviet region, which I call the region the” new independent states “(even with a thousand years of history). There is a clear trend for all the processes that make up the so-called “authoritarian Club”: they quickly take over all repressive ” know-how ” of each other, so you need to know the consequences of certain decisions and be able to see their conditions in their own country “, – he explained Chairman of the Board “Center for civil liberties.”

Aleksandra Matveychuk believes that in Ukraine is only now beginning to realize, as the Russian law on foreign agents, dispersal and destruction of the Marsh press freedom in Ukraine affected. First, following the “first swallow” as maimed in law, and then annexation Crimean, which according to sociological studies endorse Russians 88% (94% of which get their information from TV screens).

“Ukraine is gradually realizes that the civil societies of our countries, too, should unite and support each other, even at the level of ordinary communication. Not by chance, after a flood in Georgia Ukrainian segment of Facebook was filled with words of support and solidarity. But at the same time, none of the Ukrainian political establishment has not publicly urged to boycott European Games in Azerbaijan, which are held on the background of total stripping of civil society and the imprisonment of almost all human rights defenders.

In Ukraine, will remember this when we have, in turn, will talk about the inadmissibility of the football championship in Russia, which is unleashed and bloody war in the Donbass, the victims of which are already at least eight thousand people “, – said Alexander.

This topic, we are actively discussing with the Ukrainian colleagues. Media journalist Roman Kabachy Institute, suggested that the indifference of the sources can be found in the history of the Ukrainian people, who were interested in a purely internal problem. But anthropologist and PhD in History Lesya Gasidzhak refutes this theory.

“I strongly disagree with the idea that Ukrainian journalists indifference to the problems of other countries related to ethnic features. Sympathy, help your neighbor, custody of those who is weaker – it has always been with us, and regulated at the level of customary law. In the calendar year, even were the days when we were not allowed to work for oneself, but it was necessary to help the widows, the lonely, the old and infirm. Not to shelter for the night the one who travels, or asks for a piece of bread – always considered a great sin. Little has changed in 1920- 1930 th years, when the communist Soviet regime began to encourage snitching, the neighbor became an enemy – to social hatred and hostility build a new society, “- says Gasidzhak.

Ethnologist believes that the root of the problem must be sought in another – lack of professional journalism.

“We have very few good analytical texts. For us, more typical of the news publication of character. Large Text “people” can not read. “Fried” the facts always have a rating. Alas. And what you say – this is a new level, which we are still only aspire, “- says Lesya Gasidzhak, which itself is the editor of the web portal” museum space “.

However, Roman Kabachy said that the situation in Ukraine is quite similar to other countries of the former Soviet Union, except Baltic countries and Russia.

“Russia is itself a provider of news and news generator of other countries (it’s happening now, such a trend” Che there with Ukrainians, “used to be” Estonians Nazis dismantled monument “,” the Georgians attacked South Ossetia “and so on). Since we are all accustomed to the fact that it was in Moscow “know better” that tell Ukrainians about Estonians and Kazakhs about Ukrainians, too, we are all to blame. The Baltic countries have a short period of statehood in the interwar period, and they increasingly do not care what he thinks about them heiress occupant country “, – says Roman Kabachy.

Journalist offers steps to help Ukrainian media interest what is happening in the CIS countries. “The first is to understand that alone can not cope with the Kremlin ideological machine, and together and” Dad beat more easily. ” Second, throw the approach of “we the center of the world and we are all important” – important, but in the same way, other than important for us. Third: to develop its own network of bureaus in the capitals of CIS and Baltic countries, refusing to gradually from the horn of Moscow. And the fourth: to stimulate the foundation of media bureaus of post-Soviet countries in Kiev “, – lists Kabachy.

However, in addition to correspondents, in Kiev today can say about the influx of the opposition forces of the CIS countries, where it is still too early to talk about democracy. Russians, Belarusians, Kazakhs and even the Georgian opposition have settled in the Ukrainian capital, and from there try to influence the situation in their countries. Today, these idealists like anyone else in need of the support of Ukrainian media. Then, perhaps, and in these countries it will be possible to speak of the victory of human rights over the dictatorship.

Author: Natalia Sadykov

Sourse, 24/06/2015

War and human rights

June 8, 2015

Vitaly Portnikov:  Human rights and the war – it would seem, no concepts more mutually exclusive, although for centuries, even during the war, people are trying to establish some rules of conduct so as not to slip into the absolute savagery. But here’s human rights and hybrid warfare, hybrid world, uncertain legal status, a situation where the people themselves the territories involved in the conflict do not understand in what world they are … What is there can make human rights activists?

We were invited to the Kiev studio of Radio Liberty programs coordinator for the Russian Center for Documentation named Natali Estemirovoy Stanislav Dmitrievsky  and head of the Center for Civil Liberties  Alexander Matveichuk  – Russian human rights activist and Ukrainian human rights activist, who are now engaged in this issue, important for the society of the two countries, of course, if these societies in the future they want to overcome the effects of the nightmare in which we all are.

I know you have just recently conducted one of these projects, trying to understand what is happening to human rights in the occupied territories of Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. To summarize your findings, what is the situation today?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  I would like to recall a very simple thing, which, nevertheless, have to constantly talk – about the two types of rights that people for some reason are very often confused. There are so-called law of the country and the state to protect against aggression – the right associated with the territorial integrity and its protection. In this sense, of course, Ukraine, being in his own right, to protect its territorial integrity and lead a military operation in the East. And there is another side – it is international humanitarian law, which must abide by both sides, regardless of whether they believe this war just or unjust, whether they are victims of aggression or its initiators.

Violation of humanitarian law, as happens in any war, committing both parties to the conflict. Our task as human rights – to do everything possible to avoid a climate of impunity. The difference is really only one thing: if all the gigantic problems that are now experiencing the Ukrainian state, there still exists the right legal framework by which we can while working, to change something (to achieve, for example, the release of illegally detained persons), then on the territory of the unrecognized breakaway republics of this legal framework is not at all, which significantly complicates the execution of such missions.

Alexander Matveichuk: Of course, we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Regardless of what these rights are, we will always stand on the side of the victim have been violated. But it must be said about the difference between the scope of such activities. Studies that have been carried out, including our human rights organization show that the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics from the very beginning of the occupation, that is, for many months in a forced, deliberate policy was implemented terror against the civilian population in the first place on the basis of their political views. That is to get into the basement and to be subjected to ill-treatment, torture and extrajudicial executions could only be for the fact that at one time you were a member of pro-Ukrainian rallies that once you say something, and the neighbors called the hotline and was told. This terror

Vitaly Portnikov:  it is clear to me that the Russian human rights activists, to put it mildly, not the most desirable category of persons, which is ready to deal with power. We see the law on “foreign agents” and their constant defamation in the media controlled by the Russian government. In Ukraine, I also noticed lately some irritation over reports of human rights, whether they are doing international organizations or local human rights activists. It is clear: the country wants to look better than it is, under the conditions in which it is difficult to be crystal clear. How do you overcome these challenges?

Alexander Matveichuk:  It is natural that in times of war increases the level of radicalization, the threshold of tolerance towards violence also becomes very high, the society is polarized: there are enemies, is “our”. We as a civil initiative (including “euromaidan the SOS”, which I also represent) are constantly trying to remind the public that one of the requirements euromaidan was – “Human Rights First” Now the challenge before us It is very difficult in war.. even on a symbolic level, the level of our words and thoughts, but we have to implement in practice. The problem is, it is natural for all the companies that are in a state of armed conflict, it is necessary to work.

Vitaly Portnikov: Stanislav, reflecting on your experience, I think that you are in a difficult situation, even from a legal perspective. Take the example of Chechnya – there is always a human rights activists tried to protect the rights of people who are illegally detained, disappeared, got in some court cases on spurious pretexts, or under the same denunciations. Nevertheless citizenship institute was obvious, transparent – there were Russian citizens. Even in the short period of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was not designed so that it was impossible to classify these people as the Russian citizens. In the case of Donbass and the Crimea Institute for Citizenship is in a mixed state. There are people who themselves qualify as citizens of Ukraine, and they qualify as Russian citizens and citizens of the DNI. A beautiful story with film director Olegom Sentsovym, who believes that he is a citizen of Ukraine, Russia and spur of the moment considers as its citizen, because he could not renounce Russian citizenship, because he was detained at the time when he had a legal possibility. How to get out of such situations?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  There is a way. Of course, they are not as straightforward as, for example, in Chechnya. But there are criteria for effective control. Of course, we do not recognize the annexation of Crimea legitimate, the international community does not recognize the Russian human rights community does not recognize, but regardless of this, Russia exercises effective control over the territory. They’ve got their own police, its own prosecutors, its courts. In this case Russia will be responsible for all human rights obligations, including if we are talking about the complaints in the  European Court of Human Rights .

More difficult situation in the Donbass, because it is not just about proving the fact of aggression, as set forth in the relevant UN documents. There’s a large-scale infiltration of gangs is enough to raise the question of aggression, but there is still the question of effective control. To prove that the authorities of the breakaway republics are effectively controlled by the Russian Federation and, therefore, the Russian Federation as a state is responsible for the fate of these people – I believe that it is a challenge, a task that, including in the European courts, must decide right now the human rights community : both the Russian and Ukrainian.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Incidentally, we are taking the first steps towards this. The UN Committee on Human Rights Two months ago, I considered Russia’s obligations in the light of its compliance with international human rights standards. And we, as a Ukrainian human rights organization, was sent to your application. We have tried to justify the arguments, referring to the sources and the evidence that was collected by our field missions, which Russia exercises effective and total control of the territory, as well as coordinating the military operations against the Ukrainian army. Despite the fact that at the meeting of the UN Committee was surprised my presentation (to me the word has been given on behalf of the Ukrainian human rights community, I was talking about the Crimea and pro Donbass), in the final recommendations of the Committee thought of Donbas in a very diplomatic manner. This is the signal for the Russian Federation that even such unwieldy and very bureaucratic structures such as the UN,

There is another important point – this can never be done by the efforts of civil society only. It is the task of the Ukrainian authorities – to gather evidence of Russian aggression, demonstrate effective control. And here I unfortunately have to say that the work, as always, being ineffective, there is no single center. On all of our recommendations that it should be created, to be debugged system of gathering information, analyzing it, save photos and videos, we do not get proper answers. I very much fear that, when the war is over (as it will ever be over anyway), this issue is a factor of war crimes will be put in this light that we do not have any evidence, nor, consequently, the victims and the perpetrators.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Maybe the parties are generally not very interested in how to document things that can interfere with the negotiation process?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This element is always the case in any conflict. Still, it seems to me that, according to the documents, which are published officially accepted Rada, for the official position, as far as I could see her here, the state officially declares the need. On the other hand, I have the impression that the lion’s share of the work that should make the state, makes civil society. It’s amazing to us in Russia is not even dream! I believe that there is a civil society can not only help the state that is trying to do to become a democratic and goes to Europe. In Russia, it has long been a fig leaf, and here is the desire to eat, and the human rights community has much to teach the state. Here really have a chance.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to give a specific example, that we understand the scale of the disaster. Everyone has heard about Slavyansk, it is quite a long time for people who have been in his basement, it was under occupation. Immediately after his release went to our mobile team “euromaidan SOS”. The basement was open. Members of the mobile teams have seen that all lying on the floor, that the basement wash some utilities. Our lawyer has been in the mobile group, she saw some documents. She realized that, if it just does not gather them on the floor, they disappear. It turned out to be death sentences signed by almost  Strelkov (Igor Girkin)And lists of pro-Ukrainian activists in the Donbas. After we passed these documents, we rang round all these people say, be careful, you’re on the list. This is to ensure that no members of the mobile teams of civil society organizations were to withdraw these documents, and state agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  It is important to understand how, in principle, the people behave in similar areas, because there is no guarantee that the front line (now stable delineation line) will be stable for a long time. People who feel the attention of repressive structures, is also very difficult in this situation. How capable the human rights community to provide assistance to such people?

Alexander Matveichuk:  This is a big challenge for the human rights community, we were not ready for him. But a year has passed, we gradually adapt. We have formed a coalition to document war crimes in the Donbas, we are now talking about the free legal reception, which returned to the place previously occupied, and before that it acted enjoyed authority. And we’re talking about, accompanied by cases in international courts, because right now, seeing the level of the investigation, it is not necessary to talk about its effectiveness.

A striking example – Ivan Reznichenko, killed a policeman from Soledar, whose body was found by his friend, who organized their own investigation in a few months. his body showed the man, who identified himself as involved in the murder of Ivan. Recently, he was released on bail, the case is artificially inhibited, and relatives are constant threats, including from local law enforcement agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Stanislav, with the Ukrainian state is clear, it is in such a state as it is, somewhere it is replaced by a society where, it acts itself … But if he understands that he is dealing with its own citizens, which should be protected? It can do it or not – is another question. And with the Russian state is much more difficult, if we are talking about the citizens of the Russian Federation, then the official services comes just a screeching halt, as happened with those soldiers, which the Russian Federation has not yet been considered by Russian and attempts by them as citizens of the refuse. We can say that the Russian consul met with the two men formed only under the pressure of public opinion. What to do?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Frankly, I do not know. I have not cherish any illusions here. In Russia, it is clear who the “fifth column”, “enemies of the people”. We all joke that “fifth column” came to the meeting with the other four at our conference. But still, despite all the horror, all this reaction, in which we have fallen after losing our unfinished “Snow Revolution” 2011-12 years, some public pressure tools of social influence are preserved. You are quite right to say about these two soldiers – have refused them the native state, which they have served, and the company has managed to pull this topic. No one knows what will happen to us tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Do what you must, and the rest is in God’s hands. You just need to do their job, no matter what.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I have a feeling that the Russian state structures do not act as State organs, even when it is their direct responsibility – that’s the problem. Here the question is not even ideology and functioning.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This and all other areas of the case. I’m in his native Nizhny Novgorod, is involved in activities to protect cultural heritage. I do not see the state, I do not see bodies to perform their functions. I come here, I see a huge level of problems, but I was jealous because I understand that this is a problem of a completely different level. There is political will, the desire, there is a civil society. I do not know how much we still have to go before that. But we still work together, although there is a huge propaganda force, aiming to ensure that we have to separate, to divide. I friends say, “How are you to ride?” I say, “Well now eat me, probably to be crucified.” Certainly I laugh. Nevertheless, we are working together.

Alexander Matveichuk:  In this  situation of detainees gereushnikami  is an important aspect interesting. This Monday I went to see them with our Russian colleague, a human rights activist. We have been working together, there are values that unite us. Human rights have no borders.

Vitaly Portnikov:  You also do talk to them?

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov:  How do these people feel themselves?

Alexander Matveichuk:  They have no complaints about the content, they are totally shallow that they are being tortured, as it says is now the General Staff of the Russian Federation. They have one request, and it is very revealing: they want to get in touch with their families, and their Consul said that a month can not find a wife of Sergeant. He is very worried, why so much time Russian consulate is unable to establish contact with her.

Vitaly Portnikov:  In my opinion, this woman was interviewed, he said he was discharged from the armed forces. She found great employees of the Russian TV channels.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There is another important point. Detainees gereushnikov was me, a Ukrainian human rights activist, and our colleague – Russian human rights activist. And our Ukrainian citizens who are detained for political reasons pronounced in Russia, did the spies,  “right sector” , saboteurs, terrorists, and they even Ukrainian Consul can not get for months. Nikolai Karpyuk – 14 months, Stanislav Klich – 8. It has recently been an alarming statement by a lawyer Savchenko Ili Nadezhda Novikova that he does not know whether Nicholas Karpyuk alive, just such a long time to it no one is allowed.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This, incidentally, was in recent history with two Ukrainian citizens, young people, who were detained at the Russian-Ukrainian border, in one of the border towns, it was almost the students. They are very long kept imprisoned in Russia on a completely trumped-up charges, they barely pulled out.

Alexander Matveichuk:  During the year! The first three months they were held in defiance of a court decision on deportation. And they are not just kept – tortured them. They were taken to the woods, beaten. The incident is now present at our joint conference. Before that we worked on this briefcase, he is well known to me. But I personally have heard of it, why one of them was forced to open his veins, and the second – to cut his stomach. They just realized that they would be killed in a specific time. They wanted to get to the hospital to stop the torture and abuse.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This is a very striking example of what can happen with the Russian penal system, when it is faced with the Ukrainian crisis. You agree that such explicit complaints still in Russia recorded very rarely.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  If you exclude Chechnya, Dagestan. There’s just a stream. The worst thing – is now at the conference there was talk in the Crimea, were human rights activists working there, and I see that the methods that have been developed, tested, and found widespread in Chechnya, begin to be gradually introduced in the Crimea – thank God, not yet on the same scale, but it is a very frightening trend. Crimea on the background of all other regions (they believe that it is the Russian state) is gradually drifting to the Chechen side, I mean, enforced disappearances, killings and torture. You just have to be ready for it. Yet there can not find some of the people responsible for torture brought to justice for the killings. It is still good, because in Chechnya, it is in principle impossible. But everything is there.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I remind you that a huge number of missing in the Crimea (the figure was named  Elloy Pamfilovoy , the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation) Human rights defenders need to tell, at least about 9 of them, who went on a pronounced political motives – eg , members of the “Ukrainian house”. Time of the abduction of one of them was recorded on video, which gives us the opportunity to say that it was made of the Crimean “self-defense”. The whereabouts of these people is unknown. Regarding torture can bring a bright example of the latter case Alexander Kostenko, who was named the most important thing a dictator of the Crimean branch  of “Freedom” , and she  Poklonskaya I read out the horrific for each lawyer and the prosecution lawyer. Just listen to what evidence operates the main Crimean prosecutor – and understandable farce and absurdity of the whole situation.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Poklonskaya – Yanukovych ward system – what wonder that it is all the principles of the system suffered in the Crimea?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  The feeling of a  friend Wyszynski , and even caricature.

Alexander Matveichuk:  It should be noted that during the trial the lawyer Dmitry Sotnikov has repeatedly said that his client had been tortured, but that request was rejected and not considered. We have other examples – black and Afanasyev, who are in the case of so-called “Crimean terrorists” is Oleg Sentsov, which we remembered. So, they admitted their guilt, now have 7 years of the colony. The court session was held behind closed doors. But we know that they complained of torture. Later, they were afraid to take the other lawyers, except those assigned to the State Service of the Russian Federation. One of them contained even in a psychiatric hospital for a while, but now they are serving a 7-year sentence.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This is a common practice. Indeed, with regard to allegations of torture, all without exception, Russian courts have rejected these claims. Organization  “Committee against Torture” , with which I work, which is now also declared a “foreign agent”, managed in 15 years to prosecute about 115 law enforcement personnel. Proving torture – generally a difficult matter, and when the investigation is opposed to it … We had cases when it was possible to bring to justice after 7 years, 6 years. For example, the famous case of Mikheyev – the criminal case was stopped 20 times, and each time the lawyers appealed the decision of the Committee. This is a very long struggle. But now the situation is deteriorating. If earlier we watched as annoying flies, now – both overt enemies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  After the law on “foreign agents” will be the human rights movement in Russia?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Law on “foreign agents” – is not the worst. By the way, I am very pleased that the human rights community to boycott it almost unanimously, no one volunteered himself the star is not sewn. But now we adopted another law on the “undesirable organizations”, which, as I understand it, is intended to announce such …

Vitaly Portnikov:  Anyone who fails to declare a “foreign agents.”

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  … foreign organizations, that is, funds from which we get the funding, our partners, and to criminalize it. Of course, I think that this will complicate the matter. Gradually comes to reformat the human rights movement in a movement of civil resistance. Perhaps there all this will drift.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There are examples in other countries, which also started with a similar law, and ended up in the summer of last year jail all human rights – I mean Azerbaijan. The problem is that the legislation, which is now accepted in Russia, especially in the field of taxation, provides the potential for public authorities for some time to accumulate evidence and then put human rights defenders are not under political articles, and present to the public that they are just fighting for your pocket. Including a huge propaganda machine, and the people who now live in poverty, of course, will not be sympathetic to this concern. The situation is very worrying, we are very worried about our Russian colleagues.

Vitaly Portnikov:  We was not very optimistic program, because it is unclear how to get out of all situations, at least, how to prove that not only the organization, but also ordinary people become targets of repression, pressure objects. If those areas that should be the object of attention of human rights organizations, the authority of law and human rights protection itself is so low, how to get out of this situation before the end of the conflict?

Alexander Matveichuk:  I’ll start with a joke. We were at the conference were to arrive on the same flight several dozen Russian human rights activists, and the flight was canceled. We do not associate it with the conference. A colleague of ours, which in Soviet times was a dissident, said: “You do not know the underground practitioner How did you hit upon the idea of all invited to sit on an airplane.?”

Vitaly Portnikov:  Because they thought it was underground.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes. I mean, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. History repeats itself, and there is what you need to do. We as “euromaidan SOS” addressed to people who, while living in the Crimea, are engaged in public activities, or have their own independent position, with the suggestion that they began to study and implement in their daily life safety practices: information, legal, physical. Have accumulated an arsenal of techniques, they do not save, do not give an absolute guarantee, but significantly reduces the risk and make the price of attacks on individual higher.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  With this activity we are also engaged in a long time, is the protection of human rights defenders. Of course, no one can guarantee. Now you can go to the wonderful Kiev, and on the head of a brick will fall …

Vitaly Portnikov:  You know, drop a brick on his head and some deliberate action structures, which should be a law – it is not the same thing.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Just probability … of course, we will do our best to anticipate these probabilities.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to make an optimistic note in our program. Still, despite all the difficulties that are now fighting Ukraine, – the war that Russia started occupying the Crimea, and then launch a hybrid war through their proxy agents of the DNI, LC in the east, to the fact that reforms in the area of human rights man do not go with us as quickly and effectively as we would like – in spite of all this, we are seeing a huge rise of civil society. Create hundreds of different initiatives at different levels, which, in fact, carry out public functions. It gives us an opportunity to look ahead optimistically. Our society is now much stronger than the state apparatus.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I think it’s something that should inspire hope, and something that will help, anyway, rehabilitation Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the Crimea in the future, when the law will be restored in those areas where human rights would not work, and the ordinary life of every citizen living there. Although this is true of all the Russians, and not only the inhabitants of these regions.

Sourse, 07/06/2015

Let my people go: about Ukrainian prisoners in Russia

May 30, 2015

Guests transmission “Your Freedom” to “Radio Liberty” Ukrainian studio Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Russian human rights activist, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group (by telephone from Moscow); Alexandra Matviychuk, lawyer, chairman of the board of the Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine).

Alexander Lashchenko: June 1 this year in Kiev, “Kinopanorama” cinema premiere of the documentary “euromaidan SOS». As part of the premiere, in particular, the presentation of the world, we can say the campaign «Let my people go». We are talking about the liberation of Ukrainian citizens who are, in the opinion of human rights activists, for political reasons behind bars in Russia. It is not just about Hope Savchenko and Oleg Sentsov. Those citizens of Ukraine, which still holds Russia, about thirty men, for the SBU data.

What is the fate of the Ukrainian people? And can they be exempt? At least some chance there is to it?

– Mrs. Matviychuk, what kind of campaign? It lasts longer than one day, the presentation will be June 1 this year. What has already been done?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We started this campaign at the April session of the Council of Europe. We would like to draw the attention of parliamentarians that in addition to courageous Nadia Savchenko, which contains illegally fabricated criminal case in Russia, such people, at least a few dozen. And only we know about 11 people, contained behind bars. Here is the chart shows who was appointed “punitive”, who was appointed as “terrorists”, who was appointed “spies”. And these people, according to our calculations, we were able to identify 11 people here, as we have seen, different sex, age, occupation, property status, place of origin, but they all have in common is that their deeds clearly political motive.

If we talk about the results of this campaign, which we launched in Strasbourg and now continue, the first of these results – the release Yuriya Yatsenko, a student at the University of Lvov, who was appointed “right sector” is banned in Russia, a “terrorist”.

– From the point of view of Russian law enforcement agencies.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Of course. The thing is absolutely absurd. They engaged with fellow small business activities have come to Russia, and there have been illegally detained for three months. During this detention authorities did not carry out the court’s decision and did not deport them. But they are subject to brutal torture. And to imagine that the guys in the usual Lviv students had to go through, I’ll just say that in order to stop it, one of them cut his wrists, and another cut his stomach.

Well, actually, about the fate of our Ukrainian prisoners – they are not to be envied. In fact, the lawyer Nadia Savchenko Ilya Novikov says that he does not even know whether alive Nikolai Karpyuk as 14 months to it do not allow Ukrainian consul.

And here is indicative of the response of Ukraine. Everyone has heard about the famous case Grushnik detention. They allowed the Russian consul.

– Yes. This refers to the two detained Russian riot police, who are now in the Kiev hospital. Russia asserts that they are citizens of Russia, the Russians, the military, but in the past. Although the detainees in an interview with Russian “Novaya Gazeta” Paul Kanygin admitted that they were Russian servicemen.

Alexandra Matviychuk: I pay attention only to the fact that in this case Ukraine immediately admitted the Russian consul to the arrested Russian citizens. But many of the people arrested in Russia Ukrainian consul simply can not get there. Some of them refer to themselves as Ukrainian citizens, as Oleg Sentsov, and define them as Russian citizens. “Submitted to the ground during the occupation of the Crimea,” as he said at Oleg court.

Indeed, the essence of this campaign – is to draw people’s attention to the fact that there are such people, it is not one, not two, not three, they need our help, and in this authoritarian country like Russia without external strong pressure these people just no one let go.

– By the way, remind, indeed among those people who are still behind bars in Russia, there is a Ukrainian citizen 73 years of age? Mr Soloshenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. Yuri Soloshenko 72 years. His poor health. And it’s all very concerned about the doctors, his family.

– And what he is accused? What is also forbidden “Right Sector” in Russian? What is it?

Alexandra Matviychuk: He is accused of spying, that he illegally received and disclose information constituting a secret. That is, espionage. In that way, it shines 20 years in prison. That’s him in ’72 and another 20 plus can give.

– (by phone). Ms. Alekseeva, what is your opinion about what is happening in Russia, with Ukrainian citizens, who are in prison? What it is: political persecution, says Ms. Matviychuk, or, as Russian law enforcers really a criminal investigation made by lawyers will be a trial, if the court finds them guilty, they go free?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: All true. But, unfortunately, it is not only Ukrainian citizens, Russian citizens also suffer from it. In Russia we do not have just qualified court. And the conditions of detention in prisons and other detention centers are heavy, and very often the mode of construction in violation of Russian laws is much more humane than the actual stay in prison.

– You are engaged in human rights work for decades. It began in the USSR. By the way, it was my colleague, including “Voice of America” ​​in the “Radio Liberty”, leading the program. Now, 25 years later, a quarter century after the collapse of the USSR, does not change to protect the human rights situation in Russia?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Unfortunately, it is much worse than it was in the 1990s.

– Have a chance to release the citizens of Ukraine, which are contained in Russian prisons? Some observers, including Russia, the pro-Kremlin does not claim that all depends in this case and in the case of Hope Savchenko, and in the case Olega Sentsova, and other citizens of Ukraine less famous, from a single person – Putin.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Absolutely.

– Like, if there is more pressure on Putin, the less chance there. He does not give in to pressure. Do you agree?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Anyway, so declare.

– What do you do? Dead end?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Fight. And for Ukrainian citizens, and for our citizens. Prison conditions have to be civilized.

Well, the court? I believe that this is our main problem, despite the fact that we have a whole bunch of other problems. This lack of qualified and independent in their actions the court. Because if any problem could be resolved in a court of law, then we have a much better it would be in the country.

But the fact of the matter is that we go to court involuntarily. Where else? But we know in advance that, most likely, will not be made a fair decision, and is one that our government wants.

– Not too optimistic, as far as I understand you. Ms. Alekseeva, then what to do? Pressure from the West? What are some other levers?

Even Brezhnev managed (you remember it from my own experience) anyway. For example, emigration to Israel and other moments. Yet Brezhnev signed the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. Some success was still on the pressure. Although small. What, then, Putin may be affected now?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: I do not know. I’m not Putin. I believe that, in general, not only in relation to Russia, but also with regard to Ukraine, of any other country, only a strong civil society in the state can influence the behavior of the authorities.

We civil society (thank God!) Is, but to call it a strong and powerful language is not rotated. I know from my practice. Of the 10 cases for which I take, and I take only when I am sure that the law is on my side and the Constitution, work out about three and seven is impossible, because the government does not listen to what the public wants.

Unfortunately, recipes, taking into account the situation in our country, there are, but it will run slowly. It is necessary to cultivate, strengthen civil society. We will have rule of law, we will have a democracy.

– Ms. Alekseeva, the Soviet Union is clear, what was the civil society prior to the restructuring, but in 1968, just a handful of people came to Red Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. There were other examples. Were dissidents. You know many of them personally.

Now the company – 86% of support for Putin. On what to expect? When will the fruits? When will “own perestroika”?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: What it is, I know. And when – I can not say. Kills me, this statistic (86% support Putin – Ed.), Because, frankly, I thought that 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we, my fellow citizens, have already got rid of the imperial syndrome. But what happened in the Crimea, has convinced me otherwise. A lot of people happy and maintain it. So we have not ceased to be an imperial nation. It is very hard to realize. Because as long as we Empire, we can not become a democratic country. Empire democracies do not happen.

– Mrs. Matviychuk, can be any blame Putin, Russia’s law enforcement system that dozens of Ukrainian citizens for political reasons are behind bars in Russia. But they, the listed person I have a responsibility? The Ukrainian government is doing something to rescue them?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Very good question. After all, the duty of every government – to protect its citizens, no matter what difficult situations they find themselves. Actually, we decided to test how the Ukrainian government carries out at least a minimum minimorum, what can be done in this situation.

In particular, according Aleksandru Kostenko. It is a well-known environmental activist, the “case Sentsova” was also detained in the Crimea. He “sew”, that he party “sabotage” of the “Right Sector”, who allegedly tried to organize and organized several attacks. He faces 20 years in prison. And now the courts are going over it. And it is in the “Lefortovo” in custody.

We sent a request to the GPU and asked them whether open proceedings on the fact of illegal abduction Aleksandra Kolchenko from the territory occupied Ukraine, travel to the territory of Russia, which, incidentally, is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. Just as, for example, the GPU is done in the case Olega Sentsova.

We got answers. GPU we were told that our application is considered and included information in the Unified State Register, it is forwarded to pre-trial investigation in the Pechersky District Police Department.

But the response of the Pechersk district police have shocked! I’ll just show it. It says that in the course of working out of the statement, it was found that all the problematic issues that arise in other countries (please!), Outside the competence of the bodies of internal affairs and are considered by the Ministry (and it says here) for Foreign Affairs. Probably had in mind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Actually, so they do not see grounds for the opening of criminal proceedings and to make our statements in a single register of pre-trial investigations.

It is already very sad. We see who has signed: the head of the Pechersk district department, police colonel, acting Head of Pechersk district department. If they do not know that the Crimea – it is Ukraine, albeit temporarily occupied territory, then what kind of protection of our citizens who have been alone with the occupier, can we talk ?! Of course, we will appeal.

– Appeal where?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We will write to the GPU. As they we were told that our statement made in a single register of pre-trial investigations, we say: you’ve made or not made, and to appeal to a higher court – the leaders of the Pechersk district department in the Interior Ministry.

– «Let my people go». What further specific measures will be part of this campaign for the release of Ukrainian citizens who are in prison in Russia?

Alexandra Matviychuk: The first thing we must understand that these people need our information support. When Yuri Yatsenko was released from prison, he said that investigators followed by the FSB for each publication, for each press conference, which was done “euromaidan SOS» in his defense, brought him the printout and discussed with him. For him, it was a confirmation that he had not forgotten about him that Ukraine remembers him struggling. And it actually holds.

Second. We will put pressure on the international human rights institutions, namely the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, the EU.

– The court in Strasbourg is too early to apply, because there is no verdict of the Russian court, so it turns out?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. As demonstrated by the case Nadia Savchenko, the Court – is not the best tool in this system. After all, the Court considers the violation of the rights and is always trying to avoid the politicization of the issue. And since the matter has clearly political motive, but the pressure it can be solved at the political level favorable for our citizens means.

– Perhaps, in the administration of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in that it is changed or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mr Klimkin?

Alexandra Matviychuk: This is our next event. Since Poroshenko, and Klimkin talk about a narrow circle of people.

– About the most famous: Hope Savchenko Oleg Sentsova.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And even now about Aleksandre Kolchenko. A year after the work of his friends. They have the ability to speak and represent the entire list.

Plus, we are talking about the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, and there are still people who are detained, arrested and now sit in the occupied territories in the Crimea. And these people do not forget. This Alexander Kostenko, it Ahtem Chiygoz son Mustafy Dzhemileva.

– Ministry of Justice of Ukraine appealed to her son Cemil extradited to Ukraine. While there is no answer Russian law enforcers.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And there is another point that we do not raise in the campaign, but about which we always say. There are a large number of missing persons in the area ATO. According to the information, which comes to relatives, to the Russian human rights activists, to us, they are transported not only in the occupied territories, some of the hostages were gone.

– That is, it turns out, as Nadezhda Savchenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Like Nadezhda Savchenko. Their whereabouts are unknown.

We are now asked our colleagues to Russian human rights defenders to send requests to the prison to at least understand whether there are there Ukrainian citizens. And if they are military, the more clearly where they …

– We are talking about tens, hundreds? Hard to say?

Alexandra Matviychuk: If we talk about the official statistics of the missing, we have their 1500. Of course, some of them – this is, unfortunately, the people who were killed. And we are talking about 400 people, according to official statistics which are in captivity (separatists – Ed.).

Sourse, 29/05/2015

Maidan has not won yet

July 23, 2014

Aleksandra Matveychuk, chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, euromaidan SOS coordinator in an exclusive interview with ” Republic ” recalls fourth in his life and thinks Maidan, where you want to move Ukraine to become a democratic state.

– Alexander, please tell us what the Center of civil liberties?

– Our organization is engaged in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Our focus freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, combating discrimination, the protection of human rights defenders. We work not only in Ukraine. After all, human rights are known, do not have national boundaries. If the authoritarian regimes in the former Soviet Union are working closely together to stifle civil society, we, human rights organizations should also work to create a joint international platform.

– What is the situation with civil liberties in Ukraine today?

– Ukraine is now faced with a new reality – the military occupation of the Crimea and “neoglashennoy” war waged by Russia in the East of Ukraine. In such conditions it is very difficult to move the selected people to the democratic way of development – to reform the police, to conduct the lustration judges, root out corruption, etc.

The very human rights situation varies depending on the region. There Donbass, which are acts of war, where Russia supported illegal military formations are policies of terror among the civilian population, torture and kidnap civilians. There Crimea, where de facto entered the Russian repressive legislation, which prohibits even the prayer prayer on the anniversary of Crimean Tatars deportation. Other regions are preparing to defend against external aggression, but it should be noted that there is the situation with the observance of human rights is normalized.

In fact, we live in a very interesting period of history. Since the end of World War II, there was no precedent for States to “overcame” the other part of the territory and formally annexed it to her. And then the question is not only in the fact that Ukraine should do in such a situation. Here the question that should be in this situation, do other countries do? Downed passenger airliner by terrorists and the death of 298-mi man once again demonstrated that everything is interconnected in this fragile world.

– In your life there were four Maidan, tell us how you, so young, is it? You were talking about the persecution – you and loved ones, in what it consisted of?

– During the Orange Revolution I was a law student. Symbol of the revolution was orange. I remember that I wore the ribbon at a time when few people wore it. And she thought: now I have to behave so that no one even questioned my integrity. Because I’m here, this ribbon, and I will judge the people who support democracy.

I went to the polls observer. Once at the site vote count ended, I was taken to his woman with the election commission. I remember early in the morning we sit in front of TV, where from the screen to announce the victory of Yanukovich. And both crying. And then on television reported that some people are going to protest on Independence. And I went.

Then there was the tax (against strangulation small businesses), Movny (against Russification) now euromaidan. The main thing I realized: no one is safe, that Ukraine in its way to becoming as a democratic state does not need another one. But we need to create a guarantee that no power would not come to mind to shoot unarmed people in the streets.

During euromaidan we were all under the gun. Power led terror cruel and merciless, it could become the victims of everything, even random people. In my case, there were bandits in the house, and the “invitation” to the Prosecutor General. I remember, I was asked if I was ready to sit down. I honestly said that many people consider themselves to something ready until fate will check their availability. That is very interesting. And thought to myself, I had a wonderful life, which gave me an appointment with a very wonderful people, I did what she believed. The only thing that was not in time, because it is to give birth to children. Here the war is over, and these loans.

– Where have you been and what they did during the tragic events of February? What can you tell us about them?

– In euromaidan SOS office. At that moment I could no longer go home. I remember just before the volunteers went to the Maidan, and again there was a telephone our hotline. But when it all began and we started calling that people are shot, we could not do anything. We do legal aid. Then the volunteers went to morgues, hospitals, and places where to bring the dead. We were afraid that the government will destroy the body, and hastily drew up lists. So we were the first to know what killed not ten or twenty.

And my husband called me here. He said: “You do realize that I am on the Maidan?” I told him that, of course, I understand. Although I would like to say: please, run out. But how could I? Most of the were on the Maidan were family. I just asked him if he had a bulletproof vest. He laughed, and said that they are useless. We said good-bye. Remember, I left the office for fifteen minutes to recover, and then went back to work.

Honestly, I’m now very hard to pass the street Institutska, where people were killed. I now know many by name, and I still somehow embarrassing that we have survived, and they have not.

– How did the idea to establish SOS euromaidan and what are the problems encountered? Who are these people who have been searching for?

– On Saturday, November 30 last year, our organization was to conduct a seminar for activists from the regions. It is clear that when all arrived and learned that a few hours before the police brutally beat students on the Maidan was not up to the workshop.

People were crushed, most breaks to go to the St. Michael’s Square, where the rally going. But we decided to think about what we, as human rights activists, could be useful in this situation. After all, at that time there were many people affected, and it is not clear whether they provided legal assistance.

About ten o’clock in the morning we opened the SOS euromaidan page in the “Facebook” and published two posts. The first numbers of our hotlines. The second – with a request to lawyers who are willing to provide free legal assistance to respond. And it worked.

During euromaidan number of calls per day (and we took out the clock) could reach several thousand. Only in our official list of the contacts were more than 400 lawyers, who agreed to during the day and at night to work pro bono. But euromaidan SOS would not take place if we did not support the hundreds of volunteers and an active fb Community euromaidan SOS.

It is important to note that most of these people had never engaged in any civic activity. Just when the critical moment, they did not remain indifferent. Euromaidan gave people the opportunity to express their most good features. Therefore, it is called Revolution Benefits.

– How does the SOS Maidan involved in tracing people? How many could find? How many are unaccounted for?

– During euromaidan just a list of the missing held up to a thousand people. Most of them were very fast. In the search for other took days, weeks, months. After the wounded brought to the hospital and into the underground, equipped through donations, exported to other cities of the country to protect them from persecution. Someone unconscious, someone without a phone. Relatives called us. Well, not to the police as they were then apply.

Someone is missing from the list passed in the death toll. Now we are looking for more than thirty people who disappeared during euromaidan.

– A lot of talk about that with Maidana kidnapped people and deal with them, what can you say about this? It is known to you about such cases?

– I can tell you about the case of the kidnapping of my good friend Igor Lutsenko. Before euromaidan I knew him as one of their “Save Old Kyiv” leaders of the movement, they fought for the preservation of green spaces and monuments in the city. His kidnapped by unknown people (the so-called “titushky” that cooperated with the police) directly from the hospital, along with scientist seismologist Yuri Verbitsky. Yuri on the Maidan was injured in the eye. It is not superfluous to note that the police then loved to shoot sighting over his eyes, we have more than 50 of the victims.

That night I spent on the phone with his brother George. Both stolen tortured, then separately taken into the forest. Igor was able to escape and survive. Yuri no.

– What happened with that organization after the Maidan won?

– Independence is not yet won. We must reform the country, not just shifting it onto the shoulders of politicians, to drive for the state border of the Russian gangs, to return the occupied Crimea. Therefore, SOS euromaidan continues to work and help people. However, the military action lawyers zone will not send him, so our methods have changed. Now we form a human rights mission and mobile, we go and document, working with the hostages and victims of torture.

– Alexander, what do you think, is it right that maydanovtsy not diverge. What they want, in your opinion?

– euromaidan SOS on this occasion made a statement. We wrote that if before to go to the Maidan was the duty of every honest man, but now there are a lot of real work, and it is necessary for someone to do. The momentum of the Maidan, that is, the democratic transformation should reach all of the small village. I’m not talking about the war in the East.

– Do you think that today the country needed not to lose the momentum that gave her the Maidan and to develop further?

– You know, Independence ended, and civic engagement does not drop. Just in time of war it is not very visible to an outside observer. People work in different initiatives: conducting an investigation of crimes on the Maidan, help the wounded, and bringing to ensure military control of the parliament, that he may carry out the necessary reforms the country.

I’m sure the time will come and the world will study our unique experience of self-organization, when ordinary people come together and perform essentially the function of the state. After euromaidan we stayed “Heavenly Hundred”. But heroes are not vyedesh, propping his shoulders public institutions must all. And we understand that.

Sourse, 22/07/2014

Результаты поиска:

It is necessary to win this war, but not to turn to Russia

February 25, 2017

Under the guise of the formula “we are fighting against Russian aggression”, the Ukrainian government is not always justified limits the rights and freedoms of its citizens. “The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan, “- said Ukrainian human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk.

She adds that it is important to remember that you must not only fight for the temporarily occupied territories, but also to build a democratic model of society.

For more information about tasks that are currently facing the Ukrainians, Alexander Matviychuk told FaceNews. Human rights activist also told about why we still do not know who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Heaven.

Alexander, for three years Ukrainians are waiting for answers to questions about who was shooting at people at the time of the dignity of the Revolution, who gave the orders. Why, in your opinion, the answer is still no?

There are objective and subjective reasons. During euromaidan bodies that were supposed to investigate the crimes and to conduct initial investigations, we did not. They were so busy that committed these crimes. Was destroyed by a huge number of documents, the former leadership of the country is on the run in the Russian Federation and other countries. That is, there are a number of objective things that complicate the investigation.

What are the subjective factors? The fact that, unfortunately, the investigation and the accomplishment of justice has fallen on the shoulders of the unreformed system of law enforcement bodies and the judges, many of whom are at the time of the Maidan themselves carried knowingly unjust decisions. It is difficult to expect them to some higher standards of justice, as in the good they realize that sooner or later, if the investigation will be effective, they also held accountable.

Also, I do not see a lot of attention of the government. Thus, during the first year we did not create even a single investigation into the center, things were questioned by different investigators, and even structures.

Once this center is finally appeared, he was for a long time did not receive the necessary support. At the end of 2015 the year it worked eighteen investigators, they investigated more than 2000 episodes literally “on the knee”, without premises and logistics. This is clearly not the way to relate to a case that the president names most resonant in the history of independent Ukraine.

The last thing we are very annoyed when in October last year, Yuriy Lutsenko made a decision to change, and in his opinion, to improve the investigation process of the organization. He had the idea, which he, fortunately, refused to merge into a single production and make a big deal Yanukovych.

The most important thing in this decision – a change in the focus of the investigation. After all, if we start immediately to collect evidence only against the top, we will lose the middle link – people who, relatively speaking, stood between Yanukovych and those who committed crimes with their own hands. Question – why it is done. I venture to suggest that it is the middle link is successfully incorporated into the current system of power and easy feeling.

However, in the investigation there are also positive things. It is clear that not all so clear.

Fair investigation of crimes during euromaidan – is not the only challenge for the authorities. What other challenges do you think, is now acute for Ukraine?

During euromaidan we were fighting for their democratic choice. It turns out, the most important task now – to implement the democratic choice in practice.

We need to carry out radical reforms that will change the course of history. While we like the people who go into the pit in a circle, and once in ten years, when it gets really bad, and the bottom is getting closer, a revolutionary way to correct the motion path and try to get out of it. But as building democratic institutions much harder, for some reason we returned back to this circling. That is our main goal – to make a qualitative leap and get out of this turbulence zone, transitional period in which we are in the last few decades.

After the fall of the authoritarian regime the possibility of these democratic changes became so real, that the Russian Federation, defending his authoritarian regime was forced to intervene. She occupied the Crimea, began the hybrid war in Donbas. And now we are fighting for our right to have a choice per se.

Therefore, in these difficult and dramatic time we are faced with a second very important task – to not forget what we are fighting. We need to win this war, but not to turn himself into the Russian Federation.

What I mean? In response to Russia’s aggression power starts to limit the rights and freedoms and making it is not always justified. It is important to understand that even in times of war, human rights should be limited in proportion to, and not just because the authorities felt like it and it has a beautiful phrase, “we are fighting against Russian aggression.”

The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan. This should not be allowed.

We need very clearly aware that we are fighting not only for the territory and for the choice of a model of society, where the rights of everyone are protected, where there is a fair judicial system, where the government is accountable to the citizens.

Sourse, 24/02/2017

The fate of the “Kremlin prisoners”: what to do with Ukraine, have become hostages of the Russian Federation

January 6, 2017

Torture, which apply to the Ukrainians, who became prisoners or hostages of Russia, starting at the stage of the investigation, when the detainees from trying to beat out the testimony, said a human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk. All this, according to her, accompanied by the exclusion of prisoners from their families, independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul. “All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation,” – emphasizes Matviychuk.

She adds: Ukrainians have become hostages to the Kremlin, can be divided into three groups. Firstly, those who pass on trumped-up processes with political motives in the Russian Federation and on the territory of Crimea. Secondly, located in basements in the uncontrolled territory of Ukraine, Donbass. Third, more than 5 million people who live in the occupied territory. “We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a” gray zone “in Donbass” – human rights activist said.

Read more about the features of the release of members of each of their groups, and where the situation with the “prisoners of the Kremlin’s” most critical, in an interview FaceNews told Alexander Matviychuk.

Which groups you share “the Kremlin’s prisoners?” And why is the issue of their release is important to talk about conditional groups?

Why do we combine these people in a pretty conventional groups? Understanding who these people are and what group they are in, it helps us to determine what can and should do in a particular situation.

When we talk about “hostage of the Kremlin” that belong to the first group of people who go on trumped-up criminal proceedings on political grounds in Russia and in the occupied Crimea. It is clear that there is no independent judiciary. But there is a building, where it says “trial”, there is a man in the mantle, who calls himself a judge. With the right to a fair trial that has nothing in common, but there is at least some kind of simulacra. In such cases, lawyers fulfill all the legal and procedural possibilities, and do everything in their power at the federal level, and then continue to work with international organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights.

The second group of “hostages of the Kremlin” – people who are in the basement of the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Even if illegal armed formations charges against them in violation of the Criminal Code is still the Soviet regime, it is clear that there is nothing at all to talk about the quasi-even procedure.

Together with colleagues we interviewed 165 people and recorded evidence. People were kept in cellars, garages, dog cages, manholes. Every second civilian said he had succumbed to torture. And we must understand that it is not just about beating. This is rape, electric current, cutting off fingers, prostrelivanie body parts. We have fixed many terrible things done by people with guns, because felt complete impunity. It is interesting that 16% of the civilians we interviewed said they were direct witnesses, when, during the so-called confrontation or interrogation of people beaten to death. All that we have documented and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The third category, which I would say as a hostage of the Kremlin, is 5.5 million people living in the occupied territory, no matter how they relate to the occupation. We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a “gray zone” in the Donbas. The latter, for example, have no way to protect against the tyranny of man with a gun his property, health, life and the lives of loved ones.

With regard to the Crimea, then we see that there is no way to protect themselves from political persecution. It’s starting to feel the even pro-Russian part of the population, those who rejoiced at the annexation. However, they are used to that under Ukrainian jurisdiction have the right to peaceful assembly, and now, when they go out to protest against the closure of the Cadet Corps with portraits of Putin, beaten and brought to administrative responsibility. Russia, which they saw from the TV, suddenly found a very different Russia, which reigned in the peninsula.

About a third category also need to talk, because they need our protection. Now Ukraine has very limited opportunities to directly influence what happens with a specific person or group of people, but this is not an excuse for us to do nothing. Our country needs to make use of existing international mechanisms or, if not available, create new ones.

Recent years have shown that Ukraine is difficult to stand up to Russia at the international level. For example, the federation has the right to veto in the UN Security Council. In addition, about a year ago, the Russian Federation made a decision, according to which can selectively implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. What international mechanisms can help to influence Russia?

This is a question that we need to have a strategy that will be provided in the complex legal, diplomatic, economic and other activities. But such a strategy in Ukraine, unfortunately, no. And this is a problem.

You are right: consolidated procedure in Russia in the summer of last year, which is to try to bring the legal form of a breach of international obligations, and now they are free to decide how to execute the decision of the European Court, and what – no. When Russia is beginning to show a similar situation goes from a legal plane in diplomatic. And the Ukrainian diplomats have to say: if the law does not apply, and Russia does not understand the PACE resolution requirements of the UN Committee or the European Court, then let us talk to her language that she understands. If Russia fails to comply with judgments of the European Court, let’s talk about toughening sanctions. This should act as a package.

Until we have a full-fledged strategy on the issue of “the Kremlin’s prisoners’ state of the task falls on the shoulders of social activists. You are one of the initiators of the campaign LetMyPeopleGo, which oversees the Russian theme of liberation of the hostages. Who is on this list?

In LetMyPeopleGo list – citizens of Ukraine, which are held for political reasons in the areas of non-freedom in Russia and in the occupied Crimea.

How many people are now included in the list?

This is a very sensitive issue, because it is sometimes very difficult to determine the presence of a political motive. For example, human rights activists say that the Crimea was illegally moved to 2200 prisoners. How do I know that all they have been lawfully convicted or not? Knowing how the authoritarian system, assuming that many illegally. But if we include in the person list also it depends on whether there is in fact a political motive.

In the summer, we were talking about 28 people, and then added, “Panova group.” We met with a lawyer, and is now waiting for the case file. It is likely that they will be included in our list, but we want to see the material. The second example – the journalist Roman Sushchenko, the materials of his case in general there is no access, because it passes through the article “spying” and classified. How to be in this case? All indications are that it is very similar to the case Yuriya Soloshenko, Valentine Vygovskogo, but there is always a risk, because it is impossible to check (at the time of publication of the article “a group Panova” and journalist Roman Sushchenko were included in the list of campaigns, – FaceNews).

When those who managed to escape from captivity, told that they had to endure, it becomes really scary. Such as torture, which Gennady Afanasiev said. Where is the most critical situation in the aspect of the treatment of our prisoners?

The fact that said Gennady Afanasiev, and after that was a lot of people from the list, did not start while serving their sentence, but much earlier, during the so-called investigation. Then they were isolated from their families, are not allowed independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul, and had been tortured to extract confessions. All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation. One of the Russian lawyers, when she saw in what condition is her client, came to the investigator with a direct question: “What do you with the person did” what he said to her: “What do you want with us since the days of Ivana Groznogo methods of investigation We have not changed. “

Therefore, here it is necessary to monitor what happens to the man on the stage of the investigation, what happens to them during the trial, and what happens after the verdict. These stages have their own characteristics. During the investigation, as I said, there is the problem of artificial isolation, and while serving their conclusion is very hard to produce any information about the person then gradually forgotten. Here the task of the public – do not forget to constantly remind that the person is sitting. This increases the chances that he will be released.

About who is in the worst state, from what we know, we can separately identify Stanislaus Klyha. Torture does not have consequences for the people and, unfortunately, he lost his sanity. It has become apparent to all, when he gave up an independent lawyer who fought for his release and said he wanted to protect his Stas Mikhailov, Pelagia, Shura or beast. He was sentenced to twenty years, with medical and psychological examination, which took place in Chechnya, found him completely sane. Naturally, he is now in a very serious condition.

Alexander, it is unlikely you surprised that the appeal in the case Karpyuk and Klyha who viewed Russian Supreme Court about a month ago, upheld the judgment of conviction of 22.5 years and 20 years.

No hope there is no legal solution. There is hope that the leadership of Russia as a result of international pressure to take a political decision to release them. And then they will exchange, pardon, extradited or find any other legal mechanism to a face-saving, Russia could bring them home.

Sourse, 05/01/2017

Ukrainophobia in Crimea. What puts the Kremlin

June 24, 2016

Reintegration of Crimea – is not only the return of the territory. A key element of the strategy – the people. And Russia is well aware of, so make an effort to us there was no one to return: Ukrainophobia educates through the TV, change the demographic composition of the population, which in itself is a war crime. And everything – methodically destroys the independent civil society, which should be one of the key factors of reintegration. Keep it at least in some form – our task.

For more than two years, we are monitoring the political persecution in the occupied Crimea. Arsenal of repression is quite broad: people are arrested in their homes were searched prohibit peaceful assemblies, fabricated criminal and administrative cases. Occupying power does not shrink from abductions, intimidation, beatings and torture. Russia has been consistently replacing active people of the peninsula, or causes them to shut up.

In situations where the right to influence the situation is rather difficult, as the international community is limited only by the angry resolutions of simple ways to save the remnants of the civil society on the peninsula does not exist. At the same time, there are several areas of work.

Firstly, it is necessary to overcome the informational isolation of Crimea. People on the peninsula should be able to get excellent information from the pro-Kremlin language accessible to them. In parallel, it should be given instructions on how to bypass the blocking of websites, when it comes to broadcasting on the Internet. Crimea various questions should be in the top of the political agenda, they should write about the Ukrainian press. It is necessary to develop relations with the religious, professional, cultural communities on the topics that are the subject of their interest. People who have kept the Ukrainian citizenship, should simplify administrative procedures online methods of management.

Secondly, the Crimean youth should have access on favorable terms to education on the mainland Ukraine. Educational institutions at various levels should implement distance learning programs, focused on the Crimea. It is necessary to increase the number of specialized institutions, such as moving to Kiev Tauride University, which take into account the difference in school programs of Ukraine and Russia. They should be seen as a communicator with the Crimea, because the students are friends and family on the peninsula, as well as a base for the formation of the Crimean elite. Learn to be in these prestigious institutions.

Third, Ukraine needs to learn how to protect the people who were left alone with the occupiers. It is necessary to define the scope of work for the Russian human rights activists in the Crimea, which can connect to the practical protection of persecuted people on the spot. Cases of people persecuted by the Putin regime, should always sound at the level of international organizations. Involved in this persecution should expand the list of personal sanctions. Public authorities should carry out an effective investigation and collect evidence on these facts. You also need to develop a program of support for these people on the territory of continental Ukraine.

In general, the lack of a comprehensive policy towards the occupied Crimea can complicate the reintegration of these areas in the future. Ukraine needs to be translated into the language of practical actions to Oleg Sentsova “my country, I will not leave” and send a clear signal to the people that it is fighting for them.

Author: Alexander Matviychuk, human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the NGO Center for Civil Liberties

Sourse, 23/06/2016

Donbass lawlessness

April 17, 2016

Ukrainian human rights activists talk about the testimonies of victims of illegal detention places in the district of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of illegal armed groups. Human rights activists questioned 162 people emerged from captivity. Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom.

Conclusion human rights: torture faced each second respondent civilian and 86% military in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. Power in illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: I’m in the hands of the research – the evidence of the victims of the places of illegal detention in the territory of the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of “Russian separatist forces,” as they are called United States President Barack Obama. The authors of the study today in our studio: this Alexander Matviychuk , chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, and Boris Zakharov , head of the advocacy center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union .

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed 162 people emerged from captivity. We have information on what are the conditions of detention and of dealing with people who are 79 places of unfreedom. When we say “people in basements”, it is not a metaphor, because most of those 79 seats are not designed even for a short stay. It’s really a basement room, cellars in the office buildings, even a dog cages, aviaries in use of illegal armed groups that hold people.

Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom. Our conclusion: torture faced each second civil, surveyed, and 86% of the soldiers in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. This, relatively speaking, the power of the illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: Boris, there are in this situation, any possible human rights may be, at least from the Russian side?

Boris Zakharov: Those doctors who are allowed to see the hostages are controlled, they do not allow any independent medical examination.

Alexander Matviychuk: We had a block of questions about whether the medical assistance. Prisoners of war were taken sometimes in a serious condition, civilians too, then adjusted to a very serious condition and needed medical care. Male nurses function often performed the same guards. For example, we interviewed Alexander Grishchenko said openly: he was a vet, he improvised means sewing up wounds his fellow inmates.

Vitaly Portnikov: You’re talking about the military, but it is very important to understand what is happening to civilians.

Alexander Matviychuk: The fact that every second civilian man who fell into place bondage tortured – is nothing less than a crime against humanity. We were trying to figure out which categories of persons and for what reasons are subject to such treatment, but our main conclusion: there is no algorithm of actions, which would help to avoid falling victim to such breaking.

Vitaly Portnikov: I saw in this study is evidence of forced press conference for the Russian media.

Boris Zakharov: they were tortured to force to give an interview, which is given once almost immediately after torture.

Alexander Matviychuk: she interrogates me personally was the fourth month of pregnancy. She was beaten with iron rods, although she said she was pregnant. She answered: “You are a Jew, and even pro-Ukrainian views, your child does not have the right to life.” She’s gone from the Ukraine, and I very much hope that it and all is well with her child.

And the second pregnant woman we interviewed, as a result of beatings in the same place had a miscarriage. She said: “We’ll give you a ticket for free, but you must admit that you are a sniper battalion” Tornado “, tell about it to our colleagues, the Russian journalists.” Come, if I’m not mistaken, the TV channel “Russia-1”. We recorded it in the report, found the interview. It shows when she was approached by the so-called journalists, she was asked to sit down so as not to be seen that it is in position.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, the old Russian history: during the Chechen war were “Lithuanian snipers women”, which no one has ever seen.

Do not you think that outside of Ukraine in the world (I’m not talking about Russia) little information about what is happening there?

Boris Zakharov: We are trying to inform her. This UN report officially took for distribution through its own channels.

Vitaly Portnikov: With minors there is something similar?

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, there is. We stayed beyond the study completely separate issue – sexual violence. Men told us about sexual violence against women, who were held with them, and the women – no. Individual cases which we have recorded, again, of stories: Woman gave as a gift to the front, and it’s happened several times, that is, gave it back and returned. It was a minor, her seemingly give 14-15 years.

Vitaly Portnikov: What is the level of transparency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions?

Boris Zakharov: There’s generally no publicity, all this is transmitted exclusively by word of mouth. There is a full atmosphere of fear. In fact, there is a totalitarian regime in wartime.

Vitaly Portnikov: But there are people who are not afraid to go back there – it is also a fact.

Boris Zakharov: Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov: When the shelling subsided when this whole situation stopped at the freezing point, we saw that many displaced people returning to their homes.

Boris Zakharov: In this way, there is a very large wine Ukraine, which can not provide the conditions for internally displaced persons in the territory under its control.

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, I was faced with the fact that do not know about what is happening in Kiev, Donetsk, and not even know the journalists and civil society activists. List captured in basement, updated and replenished at the expense of the people who went to visit his family, absolutely not understanding what is happening there. Apparently, they do not read the papers, do not listen to our broadcasts. Moreover, a journalist recently told me in Kiev, she would like to go and work behind the scenes in Donetsk journalist. She asked me how the situation is with the detentions … What do we want from the people in the occupied territory, if here in Kyiv journalists do not know anything?

Boris Zakharov: Prior to October 2015 121 000 internally displaced persons have returned to the occupied territories. DNR says that half a million returned to them. Of course, these figures can not be trusted.

Vitaly Portnikov: Who protects these cellars?

Alexander Matviychuk: In 40% of cases, people claim that those who directed the beatings, was present during the interrogation and organized place of unfreedom, it is the Russian military. We do not undertake to judge, it was this ordinary professional soldiers or mercenaries, but they claim that they were Russian citizens. They have been so presented, called his military rank, or told where they came from, or say, “You, Ukrainian pig, I came to protect you, but are you doing!”. According to statistics, it appears that the rest – it’s local, the citizens of Ukraine. All this points to a chain of accountability to the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic of the Russian Federation.

Vitaly Portnikov: How Ukrainian prison system, the system of detention of persons, who on the other side of the war, more controllable, more than the State? Can we talk about that in Ukrainian prisons can not happen this?

Boris Zakharov: The prison system is not reformed. We present illegal violence in the police and in the prison system. Kharkiv Human Rights Group conducted a study in conjunction with the Kharkov Institute of Sociology. Despite the war, despite the increase in aggression in society, we have compared to the years 2011-12 to halve the number of torture and ill-treatment, unlawful violence to the police. If before about a million people a year were subjected to unlawful violence, and torture – 120 thousand, and now about half a million are exposed to unlawful violence and in some cases 62 000 – torture and ill-treatment.

Alexander Matviychuk: We as a human rights organization demand that the Ukrainian authorities comply with all standards and the reform of this sector, because the gross violations, abuse, unfortunately, occur. Also, there is a problem with violations by Ukrainian forces in unofficial places of unfreedom. Of course, you can not even compare the scale, but we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Ukrainian state differs from the illegal armed groups that it must investigate each case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Boris Zakharov: The state is struggling with this problem – perhaps not yet sufficiently effective, but because there is a political will to implement these reforms, to investigate the facts of abuse and torture, sooner or later this problem will be if not completely defeated, then reduced to minimum.

As for the captured parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, there effective control of Russia carries out, it is actually occupied by the Russian Federation territory. We have to communicate all at the diplomatic level.

But most importantly, the Ukrainian side is not enough high quality evidence documenting how the presence of Russian troops, and cases of torture, abuse, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against property. Our organization, submitting complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, Feeds them and against Ukraine and against Russia. Against Russia – for all the chaos that’s going on, on specific articles – is the right to life, freedom from torture, ill-treatment and so on. Against Ukraine – for inactivity, for that Ukraine has enough quality documents and is investigating these crimes. The court’s decision may well be against both countries – for example, the payment of fifty thousand euros from Russia for the fact that it all happened, and five thousand euro from Ukraine for inaction. Such precedents have been in the practice of the European Court.

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed people, we collect documents for international justice. But we can not say to a man: but now thanks, goodbye, you helped us a lot. Naturally, we will cooperate with initiatives that provide psychological and medical assistance.

Government policy in this regard is catastrophic. If in respect of servicemen still have some sort of guarantee, the civilian hostages just to themselves. It is necessary to change at least for reasons of humanity, not to mention some rights.

Vitaly Portnikov: When I’m on the program topics it covers me despair. Too many people, our Russian audience is easy to believe you. But many people will never believe in what you are talking about Donbass, because there is a blatant propaganda: “there can not be such, there is defend the Russian people.” Lived Statement usual area is no different from the Bryansk and Kharkov, and suddenly there is such a nightmare …

Alexander Matviychuk: I have a different professional despair: we interview people, but realize how much they still in the field of non-freedom – it’s still going on. About two months ago, we took the famous scientist, religious Igorya Kozlovskogo.

I understand very well what you are saying. When we document when sending alternative reports to the UN Committee, introduced them to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we can not stop it. It really frustrates some … That is why we have launched a campaign at the Munich conference fields: we demand the release of all hostages and prisoners of war and civilians. According to official figures from the Ukrainian side of 130 people. They were released a year ago, according to the sixth paragraph of the Minsk agreements .

Vitaly Portnikov: It is clearly stated on the exchange of all for all. By the way, the Russian side, at least as represented by its Special Representative on the Minsk talks Borisa Gryzlova, insists that there should be exchange of all for all. Where are the results?

Alexander Matviychuk: The same Mr. Gryzlov said that the first Ukrainian party must give a total amnesty to people who committed these crimes. We as the human rights organizations a clear position: it can not be an amnesty for serious crimes. Of course, the world is better than war, but there is no peace without justice.

If we look at the leaders of these illegal groups, who all began … As we were told the Russian colleague in April 2014: “Oh, you come to our death squads”. They were led by people who were previously in Abkhazia, Chechnya, Transnistria, where they performed the same. They were not punished were amnestied and now continue it in the Donbas.

So that there is no amnesty for war crimes can not be. To be honest, I’m very strange that I did not hear this from the members of the Norman format , I do not hear such rhetoric from France, from Germany. In my opinion, it is not just the norms of national legislation – is the basic tenet of international humanitarian law. If you give a clear message on the part of not only Ukraine, but also in France, Germany, perhaps in the occupied territories would someone think about now. They also think that sooner or later they will be amnestied.

Boris Zakharov: Amnesty, from the point of view of the law in this case is inapplicable. Amnesty happens when there is a judgment, it’s commutation. In this case we are talking about the withdrawal of charges of grave and especially grave crimes.

Vitaly Portnikov: It is understood that the Minsk agreement, we should grant amnesty to people who have worked all this, based on the Russian side logic.

Boris Zakharov: They want Ukraine changed the hierarchy and sequence of steps. They say, fulfills all its conditions, and then we say of Russia: “What you do not do your own?”. But the logic of the sequence of steps it consists in the fact that the elections in the Donbass, amnesty and other things can only happen if Ukraine will receive effective control over these territories. This means that we are at an impasse, we need a different format other than Minsk. And Minsk must continue.

Vitaly Portnikov: But the people who are in these basements, should be released in any case, regardless of what kind of formula we will discuss with you now.

Alexander Matviychuk: Minsk format just might fulfill it. If we talk about the value of human life, then obviously, it had to be done in the first place, and can be no terms such as “but first you give amnesty, but you first hold elections.” That is why our campaign appeals to France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia: decide the issue now, it is impossible to discuss all other political issues, as long as people are in such circumstances, they can not survive until the next round of negotiations!

Boris Zakharov: There are people who need medical care, many of them have already become chronicles after injuries. They should be exempt immediately!

Vitaly Portnikov: Was POW hits you about it, too, mention in their study – this is an obvious form of torture. In Ukraine, there has never been any parades of prisoners of war, in spite of what was captured by a huge number of people who are fighting on the side of the illegal armed groups in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This parade was shown on Russian television. In a huge part of the audience is caused, unfortunately, not the horror and delight.

Alexander Matviychuk: According to the Rome Statute , it is a war crime. We also describe what’s left of this parade personnel. Prisoners of war did not want to leave voluntarily, and in order to get them to go to the parade in front of them very cruelly killed several people (to have witnesses).

Vitaly Portnikov: This is actually what the Nazis did to their parades of its kind.

Boris Zakharov: Yes, it’s exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Putin is somehow able to defeat the concept of Popper’s an open and a closed society, showed that in a relatively open society, where there are alternative sources of information, you can use the new information and communication technologies so wash people brains because their zombie that you can create on the territory of Russia subtotalitarnogo mode.

Vitaly Portnikov: On the other hand, what can be such a thing, and thus know about them, but do not pay attention – this is just the result of the hybrid war, of which we speak. That is, it is like a war and not a war, and prisoners of war – like and not prisoners of war, and some people who are up in arms came to fight against their own countrymen, and the parade – like and not hits.

Alexander Matviychuk: I tried to investigate the influence of Russian propaganda on the escalation of violence. And this, of course, the question of hybridity of the war, when nothing at all is not clear, the rule of law does not correspond to the norm. But the fact is that very increased level of hatred, is the dehumanization of the country. That is, with these people, you can do so, because “it is not the people – a” dill “, Ukrainians, Germans, this junta, which all oppressed and drinks the blood of Russian babies.”

If we talk about responsibility … We are talking about the so-called “journalists” – I think that should be personal sanctions and proceedings to establish the degree of guilt and punishment of people who incite hatred and war by creating a parallel reality.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, in the sanctions of the civilized world are mentioned the names of several so-called Russian “journalists” of the most zealous and frenzied propaganda. I think everyone understands that propagandists blame for the fate of these people is obvious. We often say that the propaganda, but so what? Someone something did not understand, someone made a different conclusion. And here it is really the result of a real propaganda – it is death, torture, humiliation, abuse and the transformation of the opposite side in the “non-humans”.

Boris Zakharov: There is still a problem in international law. In fact, these hybrid wars do not fit into a modern security system in the contemporary legal space. These challenges need adequate answers. In June 2014, I proposed a package of laws on hybrid war, because the Ukrainian authorities could not answer the question: what’s going on? Say “war” and declare martial law – scared, because then Russia may begin a large-scale military campaign. “ATO” – chose this formula, but it is absolutely not appropriate from a legal point of view. Because of this formula, we have a lot of negative consequences at the international level and in international law too.

It would be nice at the time and even now already being late, it is still to take a package of laws, first at the national level, to call a spade a spade, to simulate the situation and describe a departure from the conventions, in accordance with these simulated situations. And then – to collect the international conference in Kiev and declare to the world that you need to make changes and adopt new Convention on the hybrid war, which take into account the current state of affairs.

Alexander Matviychuk: I think the problem is not even the fact that the existing international conventions do not take into account all aspects of a hybrid war, and that no one really wants to solve the problem with this challenge. The international community is trying to freeze the conflict. Amnesty? Well, let it be a total amnesty. Elections? It is clear that they will be controlled by the Russian Federation, but the de facto authorities in Ukraine, we have our own voters can say that it’s all over. Just think, people will die – the whole planet in general is very unsafe, people die …

The biggest problem is that the international community does not want to solve these problems, the hopes that they will somehow dissolve themselves. But the problems do not disappear, they just grow. Let me remind you that Ukraine – this is another point on the globe where these “gray areas” have been created. We live in a highly interconnected world. Europe or other countries, can not be shielded by fences. We have already seen, as it were, by the example of the war in Syria. Problems still find us if they are not addressed.

Sourse, 16/04/2016

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them

April 11, 2016

Oleksandra Matviychuk used to avoid police on the street. As a participant in protests for human rights, she knew, as did many Ukrainians, of the police’s reputation for using excessive force.

Today, as a member of Ukraine’s civil society, Matviychuk teaches the country’s new patrol police how to interact peacefully with citizens.

Before Ukraine’s Euromaidan — protests from November 2013 to February 2014 demanding closer ties with Europe — police had one objective: to fulfill the orders of their higher-ups, according to Matviychuk. Now, she says, they make decisions for themselves and focus on serving the publi

“Patrol policing is a job that requires thinking,” Matviychuk said. Officers not only have to know Ukraine’s laws and international standards, but quickly act in ways that affect people’s overall well-being and even their lives.

Standing up for human rights

Matviychuk remains committed to human rights in Ukraine. As head of the board at the nongovernmental organization Center for Civil Liberties in Kyiv, she works with others to push the government toward reforms that would protect freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly as well as the rights of civil activists generally.

Helping survivors

Matviychuk is also involved in Euromaidan SOS, established during the Euromaidan to locate those who had gone missing after the Yanukovych-led government launched violent attacks against peaceful protesters and to provide legal assistance for protesters who were imprisoned.

Euromaidan SOS’s role has expanded. Today, it establishes human rights agencies and mobile teams in and near the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea. “We make visits there and document everything, and work with hostages and torture survivors,” Matviychuk said.

In May 2015, the Center for Civil Liberties joined Euromaidan SOS to launch #LetMyPeopleGo, a campaign to help Ukrainian citizens imprisoned in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea for their political views. The campaign is working on the cases of eight prisoners in Crimea and 13 in Russia, including Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

Oleksandra Matviychuk holding award and standing with Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)
Matviychuk (left) with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of gunned-down Russian activist Boris Nemtsov. (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)

Recently, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer presented Matviychuk with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Democracy Defender Award for her work on reform, accountability, human rights and rule-of-law in Ukraine. Baer said he admires people like Matviychuk, “who are committed to a unified, democratic, prosperous, European Ukraine.”

Matviychuk, for her part, sees the fight for human rights as a global cause, bigger than Ukraine. “We live in a very interconnected world. … We can’t build fences and close our eyes to real problems of human rights in our world,” she said.

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them.

Matviychuk’s speech at Democracy Defender Award 2016

February 24, 2016

Human rights defender Oleksandra Matviychuks statement at the official prizegiving ceremony of Democracy Defender Award-2016

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I represent the civil initiative Euromaidan SOS that was created in response to brutal dispersal of peaceful student demonstration. We have brought together thousands of ordinary people to provide legal protection for protesters. Every day a large number of people passed through our care. People who were arrested, beaten, tortured, accused of trumped-up criminal cases, and later – the dead and the missing people.

For the second time in the last ten years, Ukrainian people rose to defend their choice to build a democratic state based on common values with European countries. We paid a rather high price for it.

After the fall of authoritarian regime, in order to stop democratic transformations in Ukraine Russia occupied Crimea and started a hybrid war in Donbas. Murders, abductions, tortures, sexual violence, human shields, political persecutions on the occupied territories – all this has become our reality.

Today we gather victims’ evidence and document these violations to present them for international justice. At the same time, we struggle to reform our police, courts and prosecutors, so in the future we are not facing a situation in where our government shoots unarmed demonstrators.

In this regard, I would like to share a few lessons that we have learned from these past events:

  1. In many countries human rights activists aren’t just working for protection of human rights. These activists are fighting every day for human rights. Often it seems almost hopeless. However, we should do our work honestly. The results of our efforts can unexpectedly be achieved.
  1. When people achieve the recognition of human rights from authorities, often in practice it means only one thing. No authorities but just civil society needs freedom of associations, the right to a fair trial, civil society oversight of police. This only means that human rights activists simply won new tasks for themselves. This is why the civil society should become an equal partner with the state authorities in the eyes of international organizations.
  2. The so-called “Ukrainian crisis”, in fact, is a direct reflection of a global crisis in the post-war world system. This is a value crisis. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is often and openly questioned. International human rights law has become secondary. Civil activists, journalists, human rights defenders are persecuted and held in prisons in Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan etc. There is an ongoing fundamental change of ideologies, which, for decades, have been the basis for international organizations.

There is a great temptation to avoid solving difficult problems, hoping that they will just vanish. But the truth is that these problems are increasing. There are new gray areas with uncertain statuses appearing on the map. That is not only about the future of the OSCE and the Helsinki Accords. That is about the entire world where everything is interconnected and only the spread of freedom and human rights is making it safe.

Finding the solution to this crisis is our historic task. We must continue fighting for human dignity. Even if there is nothing left but words and our own example.

February 24, 2016, Vienna

Ukrainian media does not care about Kazakhstan?

June 25, 2015

Journalist portal “Respublika” Natalia Sadykov talked to the chairman of the board Ukrainian “Center for Civil Liberties” Aleksandroy Matveychuk disregard for Ukrainian journalists presentation of the report on the events in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan. Later also had to observe the situation when the Ukrainian press persistently ignored the events concerning other countries. But at the same time in Ukraine want to support the whole world.

During familiarization Alexander said that after the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Zhanaozen social activists observed the trial in Aktau. Seen and heard in the case of the thirty-seven oil workers are not left indifferent Ukrainians. All the horrors endured Zhanaozen, they wanted to tell in Kiev. Report planned to present at a public event.

“We understand that we are dealing not just with gross human rights violations, and dangerous practices of authoritarian suppression of dissent, which can be easily transferred to the Ukrainian soil. We have suffered a great disappointment. At a press conference on “The shooting of peaceful demonstrations in Zhanaozen and its results: Ukraine – not Zhanaozen” came not a single journalist. Ukraine was not interested in shooting of peaceful protesters in other countries “, – said Matveichuk.

Two years later, Ukraine on Independence outlive your Zhanaozen, about a hundred of Heaven knows the whole world. Then there will be the annexation of Crimea, the war in the Donbas and downed Boeing. But Ukrainian journalists continue to ignore the press conference spoken about the problems of other countries. Even if the problems that have recently faced the Ukrainian people. Alexander Matveichuk believes that the lack of interest in what is happening in other countries – a bright sign of provincialism of thinking.

“Especially when it comes to human rights in the post-Soviet region, which I call the region the” new independent states “(even with a thousand years of history). There is a clear trend for all the processes that make up the so-called “authoritarian Club”: they quickly take over all repressive ” know-how ” of each other, so you need to know the consequences of certain decisions and be able to see their conditions in their own country “, – he explained Chairman of the Board “Center for civil liberties.”

Aleksandra Matveychuk believes that in Ukraine is only now beginning to realize, as the Russian law on foreign agents, dispersal and destruction of the Marsh press freedom in Ukraine affected. First, following the “first swallow” as maimed in law, and then annexation Crimean, which according to sociological studies endorse Russians 88% (94% of which get their information from TV screens).

“Ukraine is gradually realizes that the civil societies of our countries, too, should unite and support each other, even at the level of ordinary communication. Not by chance, after a flood in Georgia Ukrainian segment of Facebook was filled with words of support and solidarity. But at the same time, none of the Ukrainian political establishment has not publicly urged to boycott European Games in Azerbaijan, which are held on the background of total stripping of civil society and the imprisonment of almost all human rights defenders.

In Ukraine, will remember this when we have, in turn, will talk about the inadmissibility of the football championship in Russia, which is unleashed and bloody war in the Donbass, the victims of which are already at least eight thousand people “, – said Alexander.

This topic, we are actively discussing with the Ukrainian colleagues. Media journalist Roman Kabachy Institute, suggested that the indifference of the sources can be found in the history of the Ukrainian people, who were interested in a purely internal problem. But anthropologist and PhD in History Lesya Gasidzhak refutes this theory.

“I strongly disagree with the idea that Ukrainian journalists indifference to the problems of other countries related to ethnic features. Sympathy, help your neighbor, custody of those who is weaker – it has always been with us, and regulated at the level of customary law. In the calendar year, even were the days when we were not allowed to work for oneself, but it was necessary to help the widows, the lonely, the old and infirm. Not to shelter for the night the one who travels, or asks for a piece of bread – always considered a great sin. Little has changed in 1920- 1930 th years, when the communist Soviet regime began to encourage snitching, the neighbor became an enemy – to social hatred and hostility build a new society, “- says Gasidzhak.

Ethnologist believes that the root of the problem must be sought in another – lack of professional journalism.

“We have very few good analytical texts. For us, more typical of the news publication of character. Large Text “people” can not read. “Fried” the facts always have a rating. Alas. And what you say – this is a new level, which we are still only aspire, “- says Lesya Gasidzhak, which itself is the editor of the web portal” museum space “.

However, Roman Kabachy said that the situation in Ukraine is quite similar to other countries of the former Soviet Union, except Baltic countries and Russia.

“Russia is itself a provider of news and news generator of other countries (it’s happening now, such a trend” Che there with Ukrainians, “used to be” Estonians Nazis dismantled monument “,” the Georgians attacked South Ossetia “and so on). Since we are all accustomed to the fact that it was in Moscow “know better” that tell Ukrainians about Estonians and Kazakhs about Ukrainians, too, we are all to blame. The Baltic countries have a short period of statehood in the interwar period, and they increasingly do not care what he thinks about them heiress occupant country “, – says Roman Kabachy.

Journalist offers steps to help Ukrainian media interest what is happening in the CIS countries. “The first is to understand that alone can not cope with the Kremlin ideological machine, and together and” Dad beat more easily. ” Second, throw the approach of “we the center of the world and we are all important” – important, but in the same way, other than important for us. Third: to develop its own network of bureaus in the capitals of CIS and Baltic countries, refusing to gradually from the horn of Moscow. And the fourth: to stimulate the foundation of media bureaus of post-Soviet countries in Kiev “, – lists Kabachy.

However, in addition to correspondents, in Kiev today can say about the influx of the opposition forces of the CIS countries, where it is still too early to talk about democracy. Russians, Belarusians, Kazakhs and even the Georgian opposition have settled in the Ukrainian capital, and from there try to influence the situation in their countries. Today, these idealists like anyone else in need of the support of Ukrainian media. Then, perhaps, and in these countries it will be possible to speak of the victory of human rights over the dictatorship.

Author: Natalia Sadykov

Sourse, 24/06/2015

War and human rights

June 8, 2015

Vitaly Portnikov:  Human rights and the war – it would seem, no concepts more mutually exclusive, although for centuries, even during the war, people are trying to establish some rules of conduct so as not to slip into the absolute savagery. But here’s human rights and hybrid warfare, hybrid world, uncertain legal status, a situation where the people themselves the territories involved in the conflict do not understand in what world they are … What is there can make human rights activists?

We were invited to the Kiev studio of Radio Liberty programs coordinator for the Russian Center for Documentation named Natali Estemirovoy Stanislav Dmitrievsky  and head of the Center for Civil Liberties  Alexander Matveichuk  – Russian human rights activist and Ukrainian human rights activist, who are now engaged in this issue, important for the society of the two countries, of course, if these societies in the future they want to overcome the effects of the nightmare in which we all are.

I know you have just recently conducted one of these projects, trying to understand what is happening to human rights in the occupied territories of Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. To summarize your findings, what is the situation today?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  I would like to recall a very simple thing, which, nevertheless, have to constantly talk – about the two types of rights that people for some reason are very often confused. There are so-called law of the country and the state to protect against aggression – the right associated with the territorial integrity and its protection. In this sense, of course, Ukraine, being in his own right, to protect its territorial integrity and lead a military operation in the East. And there is another side – it is international humanitarian law, which must abide by both sides, regardless of whether they believe this war just or unjust, whether they are victims of aggression or its initiators.

Violation of humanitarian law, as happens in any war, committing both parties to the conflict. Our task as human rights – to do everything possible to avoid a climate of impunity. The difference is really only one thing: if all the gigantic problems that are now experiencing the Ukrainian state, there still exists the right legal framework by which we can while working, to change something (to achieve, for example, the release of illegally detained persons), then on the territory of the unrecognized breakaway republics of this legal framework is not at all, which significantly complicates the execution of such missions.

Alexander Matveichuk: Of course, we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Regardless of what these rights are, we will always stand on the side of the victim have been violated. But it must be said about the difference between the scope of such activities. Studies that have been carried out, including our human rights organization show that the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics from the very beginning of the occupation, that is, for many months in a forced, deliberate policy was implemented terror against the civilian population in the first place on the basis of their political views. That is to get into the basement and to be subjected to ill-treatment, torture and extrajudicial executions could only be for the fact that at one time you were a member of pro-Ukrainian rallies that once you say something, and the neighbors called the hotline and was told. This terror

Vitaly Portnikov:  it is clear to me that the Russian human rights activists, to put it mildly, not the most desirable category of persons, which is ready to deal with power. We see the law on “foreign agents” and their constant defamation in the media controlled by the Russian government. In Ukraine, I also noticed lately some irritation over reports of human rights, whether they are doing international organizations or local human rights activists. It is clear: the country wants to look better than it is, under the conditions in which it is difficult to be crystal clear. How do you overcome these challenges?

Alexander Matveichuk:  It is natural that in times of war increases the level of radicalization, the threshold of tolerance towards violence also becomes very high, the society is polarized: there are enemies, is “our”. We as a civil initiative (including “euromaidan the SOS”, which I also represent) are constantly trying to remind the public that one of the requirements euromaidan was – “Human Rights First” Now the challenge before us It is very difficult in war.. even on a symbolic level, the level of our words and thoughts, but we have to implement in practice. The problem is, it is natural for all the companies that are in a state of armed conflict, it is necessary to work.

Vitaly Portnikov: Stanislav, reflecting on your experience, I think that you are in a difficult situation, even from a legal perspective. Take the example of Chechnya – there is always a human rights activists tried to protect the rights of people who are illegally detained, disappeared, got in some court cases on spurious pretexts, or under the same denunciations. Nevertheless citizenship institute was obvious, transparent – there were Russian citizens. Even in the short period of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was not designed so that it was impossible to classify these people as the Russian citizens. In the case of Donbass and the Crimea Institute for Citizenship is in a mixed state. There are people who themselves qualify as citizens of Ukraine, and they qualify as Russian citizens and citizens of the DNI. A beautiful story with film director Olegom Sentsovym, who believes that he is a citizen of Ukraine, Russia and spur of the moment considers as its citizen, because he could not renounce Russian citizenship, because he was detained at the time when he had a legal possibility. How to get out of such situations?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  There is a way. Of course, they are not as straightforward as, for example, in Chechnya. But there are criteria for effective control. Of course, we do not recognize the annexation of Crimea legitimate, the international community does not recognize the Russian human rights community does not recognize, but regardless of this, Russia exercises effective control over the territory. They’ve got their own police, its own prosecutors, its courts. In this case Russia will be responsible for all human rights obligations, including if we are talking about the complaints in the  European Court of Human Rights .

More difficult situation in the Donbass, because it is not just about proving the fact of aggression, as set forth in the relevant UN documents. There’s a large-scale infiltration of gangs is enough to raise the question of aggression, but there is still the question of effective control. To prove that the authorities of the breakaway republics are effectively controlled by the Russian Federation and, therefore, the Russian Federation as a state is responsible for the fate of these people – I believe that it is a challenge, a task that, including in the European courts, must decide right now the human rights community : both the Russian and Ukrainian.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Incidentally, we are taking the first steps towards this. The UN Committee on Human Rights Two months ago, I considered Russia’s obligations in the light of its compliance with international human rights standards. And we, as a Ukrainian human rights organization, was sent to your application. We have tried to justify the arguments, referring to the sources and the evidence that was collected by our field missions, which Russia exercises effective and total control of the territory, as well as coordinating the military operations against the Ukrainian army. Despite the fact that at the meeting of the UN Committee was surprised my presentation (to me the word has been given on behalf of the Ukrainian human rights community, I was talking about the Crimea and pro Donbass), in the final recommendations of the Committee thought of Donbas in a very diplomatic manner. This is the signal for the Russian Federation that even such unwieldy and very bureaucratic structures such as the UN,

There is another important point – this can never be done by the efforts of civil society only. It is the task of the Ukrainian authorities – to gather evidence of Russian aggression, demonstrate effective control. And here I unfortunately have to say that the work, as always, being ineffective, there is no single center. On all of our recommendations that it should be created, to be debugged system of gathering information, analyzing it, save photos and videos, we do not get proper answers. I very much fear that, when the war is over (as it will ever be over anyway), this issue is a factor of war crimes will be put in this light that we do not have any evidence, nor, consequently, the victims and the perpetrators.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Maybe the parties are generally not very interested in how to document things that can interfere with the negotiation process?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This element is always the case in any conflict. Still, it seems to me that, according to the documents, which are published officially accepted Rada, for the official position, as far as I could see her here, the state officially declares the need. On the other hand, I have the impression that the lion’s share of the work that should make the state, makes civil society. It’s amazing to us in Russia is not even dream! I believe that there is a civil society can not only help the state that is trying to do to become a democratic and goes to Europe. In Russia, it has long been a fig leaf, and here is the desire to eat, and the human rights community has much to teach the state. Here really have a chance.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to give a specific example, that we understand the scale of the disaster. Everyone has heard about Slavyansk, it is quite a long time for people who have been in his basement, it was under occupation. Immediately after his release went to our mobile team “euromaidan SOS”. The basement was open. Members of the mobile teams have seen that all lying on the floor, that the basement wash some utilities. Our lawyer has been in the mobile group, she saw some documents. She realized that, if it just does not gather them on the floor, they disappear. It turned out to be death sentences signed by almost  Strelkov (Igor Girkin)And lists of pro-Ukrainian activists in the Donbas. After we passed these documents, we rang round all these people say, be careful, you’re on the list. This is to ensure that no members of the mobile teams of civil society organizations were to withdraw these documents, and state agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  It is important to understand how, in principle, the people behave in similar areas, because there is no guarantee that the front line (now stable delineation line) will be stable for a long time. People who feel the attention of repressive structures, is also very difficult in this situation. How capable the human rights community to provide assistance to such people?

Alexander Matveichuk:  This is a big challenge for the human rights community, we were not ready for him. But a year has passed, we gradually adapt. We have formed a coalition to document war crimes in the Donbas, we are now talking about the free legal reception, which returned to the place previously occupied, and before that it acted enjoyed authority. And we’re talking about, accompanied by cases in international courts, because right now, seeing the level of the investigation, it is not necessary to talk about its effectiveness.

A striking example – Ivan Reznichenko, killed a policeman from Soledar, whose body was found by his friend, who organized their own investigation in a few months. his body showed the man, who identified himself as involved in the murder of Ivan. Recently, he was released on bail, the case is artificially inhibited, and relatives are constant threats, including from local law enforcement agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Stanislav, with the Ukrainian state is clear, it is in such a state as it is, somewhere it is replaced by a society where, it acts itself … But if he understands that he is dealing with its own citizens, which should be protected? It can do it or not – is another question. And with the Russian state is much more difficult, if we are talking about the citizens of the Russian Federation, then the official services comes just a screeching halt, as happened with those soldiers, which the Russian Federation has not yet been considered by Russian and attempts by them as citizens of the refuse. We can say that the Russian consul met with the two men formed only under the pressure of public opinion. What to do?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Frankly, I do not know. I have not cherish any illusions here. In Russia, it is clear who the “fifth column”, “enemies of the people”. We all joke that “fifth column” came to the meeting with the other four at our conference. But still, despite all the horror, all this reaction, in which we have fallen after losing our unfinished “Snow Revolution” 2011-12 years, some public pressure tools of social influence are preserved. You are quite right to say about these two soldiers – have refused them the native state, which they have served, and the company has managed to pull this topic. No one knows what will happen to us tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Do what you must, and the rest is in God’s hands. You just need to do their job, no matter what.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I have a feeling that the Russian state structures do not act as State organs, even when it is their direct responsibility – that’s the problem. Here the question is not even ideology and functioning.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This and all other areas of the case. I’m in his native Nizhny Novgorod, is involved in activities to protect cultural heritage. I do not see the state, I do not see bodies to perform their functions. I come here, I see a huge level of problems, but I was jealous because I understand that this is a problem of a completely different level. There is political will, the desire, there is a civil society. I do not know how much we still have to go before that. But we still work together, although there is a huge propaganda force, aiming to ensure that we have to separate, to divide. I friends say, “How are you to ride?” I say, “Well now eat me, probably to be crucified.” Certainly I laugh. Nevertheless, we are working together.

Alexander Matveichuk:  In this  situation of detainees gereushnikami  is an important aspect interesting. This Monday I went to see them with our Russian colleague, a human rights activist. We have been working together, there are values that unite us. Human rights have no borders.

Vitaly Portnikov:  You also do talk to them?

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov:  How do these people feel themselves?

Alexander Matveichuk:  They have no complaints about the content, they are totally shallow that they are being tortured, as it says is now the General Staff of the Russian Federation. They have one request, and it is very revealing: they want to get in touch with their families, and their Consul said that a month can not find a wife of Sergeant. He is very worried, why so much time Russian consulate is unable to establish contact with her.

Vitaly Portnikov:  In my opinion, this woman was interviewed, he said he was discharged from the armed forces. She found great employees of the Russian TV channels.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There is another important point. Detainees gereushnikov was me, a Ukrainian human rights activist, and our colleague – Russian human rights activist. And our Ukrainian citizens who are detained for political reasons pronounced in Russia, did the spies,  “right sector” , saboteurs, terrorists, and they even Ukrainian Consul can not get for months. Nikolai Karpyuk – 14 months, Stanislav Klich – 8. It has recently been an alarming statement by a lawyer Savchenko Ili Nadezhda Novikova that he does not know whether Nicholas Karpyuk alive, just such a long time to it no one is allowed.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This, incidentally, was in recent history with two Ukrainian citizens, young people, who were detained at the Russian-Ukrainian border, in one of the border towns, it was almost the students. They are very long kept imprisoned in Russia on a completely trumped-up charges, they barely pulled out.

Alexander Matveichuk:  During the year! The first three months they were held in defiance of a court decision on deportation. And they are not just kept – tortured them. They were taken to the woods, beaten. The incident is now present at our joint conference. Before that we worked on this briefcase, he is well known to me. But I personally have heard of it, why one of them was forced to open his veins, and the second – to cut his stomach. They just realized that they would be killed in a specific time. They wanted to get to the hospital to stop the torture and abuse.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This is a very striking example of what can happen with the Russian penal system, when it is faced with the Ukrainian crisis. You agree that such explicit complaints still in Russia recorded very rarely.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  If you exclude Chechnya, Dagestan. There’s just a stream. The worst thing – is now at the conference there was talk in the Crimea, were human rights activists working there, and I see that the methods that have been developed, tested, and found widespread in Chechnya, begin to be gradually introduced in the Crimea – thank God, not yet on the same scale, but it is a very frightening trend. Crimea on the background of all other regions (they believe that it is the Russian state) is gradually drifting to the Chechen side, I mean, enforced disappearances, killings and torture. You just have to be ready for it. Yet there can not find some of the people responsible for torture brought to justice for the killings. It is still good, because in Chechnya, it is in principle impossible. But everything is there.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I remind you that a huge number of missing in the Crimea (the figure was named  Elloy Pamfilovoy , the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation) Human rights defenders need to tell, at least about 9 of them, who went on a pronounced political motives – eg , members of the “Ukrainian house”. Time of the abduction of one of them was recorded on video, which gives us the opportunity to say that it was made of the Crimean “self-defense”. The whereabouts of these people is unknown. Regarding torture can bring a bright example of the latter case Alexander Kostenko, who was named the most important thing a dictator of the Crimean branch  of “Freedom” , and she  Poklonskaya I read out the horrific for each lawyer and the prosecution lawyer. Just listen to what evidence operates the main Crimean prosecutor – and understandable farce and absurdity of the whole situation.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Poklonskaya – Yanukovych ward system – what wonder that it is all the principles of the system suffered in the Crimea?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  The feeling of a  friend Wyszynski , and even caricature.

Alexander Matveichuk:  It should be noted that during the trial the lawyer Dmitry Sotnikov has repeatedly said that his client had been tortured, but that request was rejected and not considered. We have other examples – black and Afanasyev, who are in the case of so-called “Crimean terrorists” is Oleg Sentsov, which we remembered. So, they admitted their guilt, now have 7 years of the colony. The court session was held behind closed doors. But we know that they complained of torture. Later, they were afraid to take the other lawyers, except those assigned to the State Service of the Russian Federation. One of them contained even in a psychiatric hospital for a while, but now they are serving a 7-year sentence.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This is a common practice. Indeed, with regard to allegations of torture, all without exception, Russian courts have rejected these claims. Organization  “Committee against Torture” , with which I work, which is now also declared a “foreign agent”, managed in 15 years to prosecute about 115 law enforcement personnel. Proving torture – generally a difficult matter, and when the investigation is opposed to it … We had cases when it was possible to bring to justice after 7 years, 6 years. For example, the famous case of Mikheyev – the criminal case was stopped 20 times, and each time the lawyers appealed the decision of the Committee. This is a very long struggle. But now the situation is deteriorating. If earlier we watched as annoying flies, now – both overt enemies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  After the law on “foreign agents” will be the human rights movement in Russia?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Law on “foreign agents” – is not the worst. By the way, I am very pleased that the human rights community to boycott it almost unanimously, no one volunteered himself the star is not sewn. But now we adopted another law on the “undesirable organizations”, which, as I understand it, is intended to announce such …

Vitaly Portnikov:  Anyone who fails to declare a “foreign agents.”

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  … foreign organizations, that is, funds from which we get the funding, our partners, and to criminalize it. Of course, I think that this will complicate the matter. Gradually comes to reformat the human rights movement in a movement of civil resistance. Perhaps there all this will drift.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There are examples in other countries, which also started with a similar law, and ended up in the summer of last year jail all human rights – I mean Azerbaijan. The problem is that the legislation, which is now accepted in Russia, especially in the field of taxation, provides the potential for public authorities for some time to accumulate evidence and then put human rights defenders are not under political articles, and present to the public that they are just fighting for your pocket. Including a huge propaganda machine, and the people who now live in poverty, of course, will not be sympathetic to this concern. The situation is very worrying, we are very worried about our Russian colleagues.

Vitaly Portnikov:  We was not very optimistic program, because it is unclear how to get out of all situations, at least, how to prove that not only the organization, but also ordinary people become targets of repression, pressure objects. If those areas that should be the object of attention of human rights organizations, the authority of law and human rights protection itself is so low, how to get out of this situation before the end of the conflict?

Alexander Matveichuk:  I’ll start with a joke. We were at the conference were to arrive on the same flight several dozen Russian human rights activists, and the flight was canceled. We do not associate it with the conference. A colleague of ours, which in Soviet times was a dissident, said: “You do not know the underground practitioner How did you hit upon the idea of all invited to sit on an airplane.?”

Vitaly Portnikov:  Because they thought it was underground.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes. I mean, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. History repeats itself, and there is what you need to do. We as “euromaidan SOS” addressed to people who, while living in the Crimea, are engaged in public activities, or have their own independent position, with the suggestion that they began to study and implement in their daily life safety practices: information, legal, physical. Have accumulated an arsenal of techniques, they do not save, do not give an absolute guarantee, but significantly reduces the risk and make the price of attacks on individual higher.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  With this activity we are also engaged in a long time, is the protection of human rights defenders. Of course, no one can guarantee. Now you can go to the wonderful Kiev, and on the head of a brick will fall …

Vitaly Portnikov:  You know, drop a brick on his head and some deliberate action structures, which should be a law – it is not the same thing.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Just probability … of course, we will do our best to anticipate these probabilities.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to make an optimistic note in our program. Still, despite all the difficulties that are now fighting Ukraine, – the war that Russia started occupying the Crimea, and then launch a hybrid war through their proxy agents of the DNI, LC in the east, to the fact that reforms in the area of human rights man do not go with us as quickly and effectively as we would like – in spite of all this, we are seeing a huge rise of civil society. Create hundreds of different initiatives at different levels, which, in fact, carry out public functions. It gives us an opportunity to look ahead optimistically. Our society is now much stronger than the state apparatus.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I think it’s something that should inspire hope, and something that will help, anyway, rehabilitation Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the Crimea in the future, when the law will be restored in those areas where human rights would not work, and the ordinary life of every citizen living there. Although this is true of all the Russians, and not only the inhabitants of these regions.

Sourse, 07/06/2015

Let my people go: about Ukrainian prisoners in Russia

May 30, 2015

Guests transmission “Your Freedom” to “Radio Liberty” Ukrainian studio Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Russian human rights activist, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group (by telephone from Moscow); Alexandra Matviychuk, lawyer, chairman of the board of the Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine).

Alexander Lashchenko: June 1 this year in Kiev, “Kinopanorama” cinema premiere of the documentary “euromaidan SOS». As part of the premiere, in particular, the presentation of the world, we can say the campaign «Let my people go». We are talking about the liberation of Ukrainian citizens who are, in the opinion of human rights activists, for political reasons behind bars in Russia. It is not just about Hope Savchenko and Oleg Sentsov. Those citizens of Ukraine, which still holds Russia, about thirty men, for the SBU data.

What is the fate of the Ukrainian people? And can they be exempt? At least some chance there is to it?

– Mrs. Matviychuk, what kind of campaign? It lasts longer than one day, the presentation will be June 1 this year. What has already been done?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We started this campaign at the April session of the Council of Europe. We would like to draw the attention of parliamentarians that in addition to courageous Nadia Savchenko, which contains illegally fabricated criminal case in Russia, such people, at least a few dozen. And only we know about 11 people, contained behind bars. Here is the chart shows who was appointed “punitive”, who was appointed as “terrorists”, who was appointed “spies”. And these people, according to our calculations, we were able to identify 11 people here, as we have seen, different sex, age, occupation, property status, place of origin, but they all have in common is that their deeds clearly political motive.

If we talk about the results of this campaign, which we launched in Strasbourg and now continue, the first of these results – the release Yuriya Yatsenko, a student at the University of Lvov, who was appointed “right sector” is banned in Russia, a “terrorist”.

– From the point of view of Russian law enforcement agencies.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Of course. The thing is absolutely absurd. They engaged with fellow small business activities have come to Russia, and there have been illegally detained for three months. During this detention authorities did not carry out the court’s decision and did not deport them. But they are subject to brutal torture. And to imagine that the guys in the usual Lviv students had to go through, I’ll just say that in order to stop it, one of them cut his wrists, and another cut his stomach.

Well, actually, about the fate of our Ukrainian prisoners – they are not to be envied. In fact, the lawyer Nadia Savchenko Ilya Novikov says that he does not even know whether alive Nikolai Karpyuk as 14 months to it do not allow Ukrainian consul.

And here is indicative of the response of Ukraine. Everyone has heard about the famous case Grushnik detention. They allowed the Russian consul.

– Yes. This refers to the two detained Russian riot police, who are now in the Kiev hospital. Russia asserts that they are citizens of Russia, the Russians, the military, but in the past. Although the detainees in an interview with Russian “Novaya Gazeta” Paul Kanygin admitted that they were Russian servicemen.

Alexandra Matviychuk: I pay attention only to the fact that in this case Ukraine immediately admitted the Russian consul to the arrested Russian citizens. But many of the people arrested in Russia Ukrainian consul simply can not get there. Some of them refer to themselves as Ukrainian citizens, as Oleg Sentsov, and define them as Russian citizens. “Submitted to the ground during the occupation of the Crimea,” as he said at Oleg court.

Indeed, the essence of this campaign – is to draw people’s attention to the fact that there are such people, it is not one, not two, not three, they need our help, and in this authoritarian country like Russia without external strong pressure these people just no one let go.

– By the way, remind, indeed among those people who are still behind bars in Russia, there is a Ukrainian citizen 73 years of age? Mr Soloshenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. Yuri Soloshenko 72 years. His poor health. And it’s all very concerned about the doctors, his family.

– And what he is accused? What is also forbidden “Right Sector” in Russian? What is it?

Alexandra Matviychuk: He is accused of spying, that he illegally received and disclose information constituting a secret. That is, espionage. In that way, it shines 20 years in prison. That’s him in ’72 and another 20 plus can give.

– (by phone). Ms. Alekseeva, what is your opinion about what is happening in Russia, with Ukrainian citizens, who are in prison? What it is: political persecution, says Ms. Matviychuk, or, as Russian law enforcers really a criminal investigation made by lawyers will be a trial, if the court finds them guilty, they go free?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: All true. But, unfortunately, it is not only Ukrainian citizens, Russian citizens also suffer from it. In Russia we do not have just qualified court. And the conditions of detention in prisons and other detention centers are heavy, and very often the mode of construction in violation of Russian laws is much more humane than the actual stay in prison.

– You are engaged in human rights work for decades. It began in the USSR. By the way, it was my colleague, including “Voice of America” ​​in the “Radio Liberty”, leading the program. Now, 25 years later, a quarter century after the collapse of the USSR, does not change to protect the human rights situation in Russia?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Unfortunately, it is much worse than it was in the 1990s.

– Have a chance to release the citizens of Ukraine, which are contained in Russian prisons? Some observers, including Russia, the pro-Kremlin does not claim that all depends in this case and in the case of Hope Savchenko, and in the case Olega Sentsova, and other citizens of Ukraine less famous, from a single person – Putin.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Absolutely.

– Like, if there is more pressure on Putin, the less chance there. He does not give in to pressure. Do you agree?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Anyway, so declare.

– What do you do? Dead end?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Fight. And for Ukrainian citizens, and for our citizens. Prison conditions have to be civilized.

Well, the court? I believe that this is our main problem, despite the fact that we have a whole bunch of other problems. This lack of qualified and independent in their actions the court. Because if any problem could be resolved in a court of law, then we have a much better it would be in the country.

But the fact of the matter is that we go to court involuntarily. Where else? But we know in advance that, most likely, will not be made a fair decision, and is one that our government wants.

– Not too optimistic, as far as I understand you. Ms. Alekseeva, then what to do? Pressure from the West? What are some other levers?

Even Brezhnev managed (you remember it from my own experience) anyway. For example, emigration to Israel and other moments. Yet Brezhnev signed the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. Some success was still on the pressure. Although small. What, then, Putin may be affected now?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: I do not know. I’m not Putin. I believe that, in general, not only in relation to Russia, but also with regard to Ukraine, of any other country, only a strong civil society in the state can influence the behavior of the authorities.

We civil society (thank God!) Is, but to call it a strong and powerful language is not rotated. I know from my practice. Of the 10 cases for which I take, and I take only when I am sure that the law is on my side and the Constitution, work out about three and seven is impossible, because the government does not listen to what the public wants.

Unfortunately, recipes, taking into account the situation in our country, there are, but it will run slowly. It is necessary to cultivate, strengthen civil society. We will have rule of law, we will have a democracy.

– Ms. Alekseeva, the Soviet Union is clear, what was the civil society prior to the restructuring, but in 1968, just a handful of people came to Red Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. There were other examples. Were dissidents. You know many of them personally.

Now the company – 86% of support for Putin. On what to expect? When will the fruits? When will “own perestroika”?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: What it is, I know. And when – I can not say. Kills me, this statistic (86% support Putin – Ed.), Because, frankly, I thought that 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we, my fellow citizens, have already got rid of the imperial syndrome. But what happened in the Crimea, has convinced me otherwise. A lot of people happy and maintain it. So we have not ceased to be an imperial nation. It is very hard to realize. Because as long as we Empire, we can not become a democratic country. Empire democracies do not happen.

– Mrs. Matviychuk, can be any blame Putin, Russia’s law enforcement system that dozens of Ukrainian citizens for political reasons are behind bars in Russia. But they, the listed person I have a responsibility? The Ukrainian government is doing something to rescue them?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Very good question. After all, the duty of every government – to protect its citizens, no matter what difficult situations they find themselves. Actually, we decided to test how the Ukrainian government carries out at least a minimum minimorum, what can be done in this situation.

In particular, according Aleksandru Kostenko. It is a well-known environmental activist, the “case Sentsova” was also detained in the Crimea. He “sew”, that he party “sabotage” of the “Right Sector”, who allegedly tried to organize and organized several attacks. He faces 20 years in prison. And now the courts are going over it. And it is in the “Lefortovo” in custody.

We sent a request to the GPU and asked them whether open proceedings on the fact of illegal abduction Aleksandra Kolchenko from the territory occupied Ukraine, travel to the territory of Russia, which, incidentally, is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. Just as, for example, the GPU is done in the case Olega Sentsova.

We got answers. GPU we were told that our application is considered and included information in the Unified State Register, it is forwarded to pre-trial investigation in the Pechersky District Police Department.

But the response of the Pechersk district police have shocked! I’ll just show it. It says that in the course of working out of the statement, it was found that all the problematic issues that arise in other countries (please!), Outside the competence of the bodies of internal affairs and are considered by the Ministry (and it says here) for Foreign Affairs. Probably had in mind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Actually, so they do not see grounds for the opening of criminal proceedings and to make our statements in a single register of pre-trial investigations.

It is already very sad. We see who has signed: the head of the Pechersk district department, police colonel, acting Head of Pechersk district department. If they do not know that the Crimea – it is Ukraine, albeit temporarily occupied territory, then what kind of protection of our citizens who have been alone with the occupier, can we talk ?! Of course, we will appeal.

– Appeal where?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We will write to the GPU. As they we were told that our statement made in a single register of pre-trial investigations, we say: you’ve made or not made, and to appeal to a higher court – the leaders of the Pechersk district department in the Interior Ministry.

– «Let my people go». What further specific measures will be part of this campaign for the release of Ukrainian citizens who are in prison in Russia?

Alexandra Matviychuk: The first thing we must understand that these people need our information support. When Yuri Yatsenko was released from prison, he said that investigators followed by the FSB for each publication, for each press conference, which was done “euromaidan SOS» in his defense, brought him the printout and discussed with him. For him, it was a confirmation that he had not forgotten about him that Ukraine remembers him struggling. And it actually holds.

Second. We will put pressure on the international human rights institutions, namely the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, the EU.

– The court in Strasbourg is too early to apply, because there is no verdict of the Russian court, so it turns out?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. As demonstrated by the case Nadia Savchenko, the Court – is not the best tool in this system. After all, the Court considers the violation of the rights and is always trying to avoid the politicization of the issue. And since the matter has clearly political motive, but the pressure it can be solved at the political level favorable for our citizens means.

– Perhaps, in the administration of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in that it is changed or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mr Klimkin?

Alexandra Matviychuk: This is our next event. Since Poroshenko, and Klimkin talk about a narrow circle of people.

– About the most famous: Hope Savchenko Oleg Sentsova.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And even now about Aleksandre Kolchenko. A year after the work of his friends. They have the ability to speak and represent the entire list.

Plus, we are talking about the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, and there are still people who are detained, arrested and now sit in the occupied territories in the Crimea. And these people do not forget. This Alexander Kostenko, it Ahtem Chiygoz son Mustafy Dzhemileva.

– Ministry of Justice of Ukraine appealed to her son Cemil extradited to Ukraine. While there is no answer Russian law enforcers.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And there is another point that we do not raise in the campaign, but about which we always say. There are a large number of missing persons in the area ATO. According to the information, which comes to relatives, to the Russian human rights activists, to us, they are transported not only in the occupied territories, some of the hostages were gone.

– That is, it turns out, as Nadezhda Savchenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Like Nadezhda Savchenko. Their whereabouts are unknown.

We are now asked our colleagues to Russian human rights defenders to send requests to the prison to at least understand whether there are there Ukrainian citizens. And if they are military, the more clearly where they …

– We are talking about tens, hundreds? Hard to say?

Alexandra Matviychuk: If we talk about the official statistics of the missing, we have their 1500. Of course, some of them – this is, unfortunately, the people who were killed. And we are talking about 400 people, according to official statistics which are in captivity (separatists – Ed.).

Sourse, 29/05/2015

Maidan has not won yet

July 23, 2014

Aleksandra Matveychuk, chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, euromaidan SOS coordinator in an exclusive interview with ” Republic ” recalls fourth in his life and thinks Maidan, where you want to move Ukraine to become a democratic state.

– Alexander, please tell us what the Center of civil liberties?

– Our organization is engaged in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Our focus freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, combating discrimination, the protection of human rights defenders. We work not only in Ukraine. After all, human rights are known, do not have national boundaries. If the authoritarian regimes in the former Soviet Union are working closely together to stifle civil society, we, human rights organizations should also work to create a joint international platform.

– What is the situation with civil liberties in Ukraine today?

– Ukraine is now faced with a new reality – the military occupation of the Crimea and “neoglashennoy” war waged by Russia in the East of Ukraine. In such conditions it is very difficult to move the selected people to the democratic way of development – to reform the police, to conduct the lustration judges, root out corruption, etc.

The very human rights situation varies depending on the region. There Donbass, which are acts of war, where Russia supported illegal military formations are policies of terror among the civilian population, torture and kidnap civilians. There Crimea, where de facto entered the Russian repressive legislation, which prohibits even the prayer prayer on the anniversary of Crimean Tatars deportation. Other regions are preparing to defend against external aggression, but it should be noted that there is the situation with the observance of human rights is normalized.

In fact, we live in a very interesting period of history. Since the end of World War II, there was no precedent for States to “overcame” the other part of the territory and formally annexed it to her. And then the question is not only in the fact that Ukraine should do in such a situation. Here the question that should be in this situation, do other countries do? Downed passenger airliner by terrorists and the death of 298-mi man once again demonstrated that everything is interconnected in this fragile world.

– In your life there were four Maidan, tell us how you, so young, is it? You were talking about the persecution – you and loved ones, in what it consisted of?

– During the Orange Revolution I was a law student. Symbol of the revolution was orange. I remember that I wore the ribbon at a time when few people wore it. And she thought: now I have to behave so that no one even questioned my integrity. Because I’m here, this ribbon, and I will judge the people who support democracy.

I went to the polls observer. Once at the site vote count ended, I was taken to his woman with the election commission. I remember early in the morning we sit in front of TV, where from the screen to announce the victory of Yanukovich. And both crying. And then on television reported that some people are going to protest on Independence. And I went.

Then there was the tax (against strangulation small businesses), Movny (against Russification) now euromaidan. The main thing I realized: no one is safe, that Ukraine in its way to becoming as a democratic state does not need another one. But we need to create a guarantee that no power would not come to mind to shoot unarmed people in the streets.

During euromaidan we were all under the gun. Power led terror cruel and merciless, it could become the victims of everything, even random people. In my case, there were bandits in the house, and the “invitation” to the Prosecutor General. I remember, I was asked if I was ready to sit down. I honestly said that many people consider themselves to something ready until fate will check their availability. That is very interesting. And thought to myself, I had a wonderful life, which gave me an appointment with a very wonderful people, I did what she believed. The only thing that was not in time, because it is to give birth to children. Here the war is over, and these loans.

– Where have you been and what they did during the tragic events of February? What can you tell us about them?

– In euromaidan SOS office. At that moment I could no longer go home. I remember just before the volunteers went to the Maidan, and again there was a telephone our hotline. But when it all began and we started calling that people are shot, we could not do anything. We do legal aid. Then the volunteers went to morgues, hospitals, and places where to bring the dead. We were afraid that the government will destroy the body, and hastily drew up lists. So we were the first to know what killed not ten or twenty.

And my husband called me here. He said: “You do realize that I am on the Maidan?” I told him that, of course, I understand. Although I would like to say: please, run out. But how could I? Most of the were on the Maidan were family. I just asked him if he had a bulletproof vest. He laughed, and said that they are useless. We said good-bye. Remember, I left the office for fifteen minutes to recover, and then went back to work.

Honestly, I’m now very hard to pass the street Institutska, where people were killed. I now know many by name, and I still somehow embarrassing that we have survived, and they have not.

– How did the idea to establish SOS euromaidan and what are the problems encountered? Who are these people who have been searching for?

– On Saturday, November 30 last year, our organization was to conduct a seminar for activists from the regions. It is clear that when all arrived and learned that a few hours before the police brutally beat students on the Maidan was not up to the workshop.

People were crushed, most breaks to go to the St. Michael’s Square, where the rally going. But we decided to think about what we, as human rights activists, could be useful in this situation. After all, at that time there were many people affected, and it is not clear whether they provided legal assistance.

About ten o’clock in the morning we opened the SOS euromaidan page in the “Facebook” and published two posts. The first numbers of our hotlines. The second – with a request to lawyers who are willing to provide free legal assistance to respond. And it worked.

During euromaidan number of calls per day (and we took out the clock) could reach several thousand. Only in our official list of the contacts were more than 400 lawyers, who agreed to during the day and at night to work pro bono. But euromaidan SOS would not take place if we did not support the hundreds of volunteers and an active fb Community euromaidan SOS.

It is important to note that most of these people had never engaged in any civic activity. Just when the critical moment, they did not remain indifferent. Euromaidan gave people the opportunity to express their most good features. Therefore, it is called Revolution Benefits.

– How does the SOS Maidan involved in tracing people? How many could find? How many are unaccounted for?

– During euromaidan just a list of the missing held up to a thousand people. Most of them were very fast. In the search for other took days, weeks, months. After the wounded brought to the hospital and into the underground, equipped through donations, exported to other cities of the country to protect them from persecution. Someone unconscious, someone without a phone. Relatives called us. Well, not to the police as they were then apply.

Someone is missing from the list passed in the death toll. Now we are looking for more than thirty people who disappeared during euromaidan.

– A lot of talk about that with Maidana kidnapped people and deal with them, what can you say about this? It is known to you about such cases?

– I can tell you about the case of the kidnapping of my good friend Igor Lutsenko. Before euromaidan I knew him as one of their “Save Old Kyiv” leaders of the movement, they fought for the preservation of green spaces and monuments in the city. His kidnapped by unknown people (the so-called “titushky” that cooperated with the police) directly from the hospital, along with scientist seismologist Yuri Verbitsky. Yuri on the Maidan was injured in the eye. It is not superfluous to note that the police then loved to shoot sighting over his eyes, we have more than 50 of the victims.

That night I spent on the phone with his brother George. Both stolen tortured, then separately taken into the forest. Igor was able to escape and survive. Yuri no.

– What happened with that organization after the Maidan won?

– Independence is not yet won. We must reform the country, not just shifting it onto the shoulders of politicians, to drive for the state border of the Russian gangs, to return the occupied Crimea. Therefore, SOS euromaidan continues to work and help people. However, the military action lawyers zone will not send him, so our methods have changed. Now we form a human rights mission and mobile, we go and document, working with the hostages and victims of torture.

– Alexander, what do you think, is it right that maydanovtsy not diverge. What they want, in your opinion?

– euromaidan SOS on this occasion made a statement. We wrote that if before to go to the Maidan was the duty of every honest man, but now there are a lot of real work, and it is necessary for someone to do. The momentum of the Maidan, that is, the democratic transformation should reach all of the small village. I’m not talking about the war in the East.

– Do you think that today the country needed not to lose the momentum that gave her the Maidan and to develop further?

– You know, Independence ended, and civic engagement does not drop. Just in time of war it is not very visible to an outside observer. People work in different initiatives: conducting an investigation of crimes on the Maidan, help the wounded, and bringing to ensure military control of the parliament, that he may carry out the necessary reforms the country.

I’m sure the time will come and the world will study our unique experience of self-organization, when ordinary people come together and perform essentially the function of the state. After euromaidan we stayed “Heavenly Hundred”. But heroes are not vyedesh, propping his shoulders public institutions must all. And we understand that.

Sourse, 22/07/2014

Результаты поиска:

It is necessary to win this war, but not to turn to Russia

February 25, 2017

Under the guise of the formula “we are fighting against Russian aggression”, the Ukrainian government is not always justified limits the rights and freedoms of its citizens. “The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan, “- said Ukrainian human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk.

She adds that it is important to remember that you must not only fight for the temporarily occupied territories, but also to build a democratic model of society.

For more information about tasks that are currently facing the Ukrainians, Alexander Matviychuk told FaceNews. Human rights activist also told about why we still do not know who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Heaven.

Alexander, for three years Ukrainians are waiting for answers to questions about who was shooting at people at the time of the dignity of the Revolution, who gave the orders. Why, in your opinion, the answer is still no?

There are objective and subjective reasons. During euromaidan bodies that were supposed to investigate the crimes and to conduct initial investigations, we did not. They were so busy that committed these crimes. Was destroyed by a huge number of documents, the former leadership of the country is on the run in the Russian Federation and other countries. That is, there are a number of objective things that complicate the investigation.

What are the subjective factors? The fact that, unfortunately, the investigation and the accomplishment of justice has fallen on the shoulders of the unreformed system of law enforcement bodies and the judges, many of whom are at the time of the Maidan themselves carried knowingly unjust decisions. It is difficult to expect them to some higher standards of justice, as in the good they realize that sooner or later, if the investigation will be effective, they also held accountable.

Also, I do not see a lot of attention of the government. Thus, during the first year we did not create even a single investigation into the center, things were questioned by different investigators, and even structures.

Once this center is finally appeared, he was for a long time did not receive the necessary support. At the end of 2015 the year it worked eighteen investigators, they investigated more than 2000 episodes literally “on the knee”, without premises and logistics. This is clearly not the way to relate to a case that the president names most resonant in the history of independent Ukraine.

The last thing we are very annoyed when in October last year, Yuriy Lutsenko made a decision to change, and in his opinion, to improve the investigation process of the organization. He had the idea, which he, fortunately, refused to merge into a single production and make a big deal Yanukovych.

The most important thing in this decision – a change in the focus of the investigation. After all, if we start immediately to collect evidence only against the top, we will lose the middle link – people who, relatively speaking, stood between Yanukovych and those who committed crimes with their own hands. Question – why it is done. I venture to suggest that it is the middle link is successfully incorporated into the current system of power and easy feeling.

However, in the investigation there are also positive things. It is clear that not all so clear.

Fair investigation of crimes during euromaidan – is not the only challenge for the authorities. What other challenges do you think, is now acute for Ukraine?

During euromaidan we were fighting for their democratic choice. It turns out, the most important task now – to implement the democratic choice in practice.

We need to carry out radical reforms that will change the course of history. While we like the people who go into the pit in a circle, and once in ten years, when it gets really bad, and the bottom is getting closer, a revolutionary way to correct the motion path and try to get out of it. But as building democratic institutions much harder, for some reason we returned back to this circling. That is our main goal – to make a qualitative leap and get out of this turbulence zone, transitional period in which we are in the last few decades.

After the fall of the authoritarian regime the possibility of these democratic changes became so real, that the Russian Federation, defending his authoritarian regime was forced to intervene. She occupied the Crimea, began the hybrid war in Donbas. And now we are fighting for our right to have a choice per se.

Therefore, in these difficult and dramatic time we are faced with a second very important task – to not forget what we are fighting. We need to win this war, but not to turn himself into the Russian Federation.

What I mean? In response to Russia’s aggression power starts to limit the rights and freedoms and making it is not always justified. It is important to understand that even in times of war, human rights should be limited in proportion to, and not just because the authorities felt like it and it has a beautiful phrase, “we are fighting against Russian aggression.”

The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan. This should not be allowed.

We need very clearly aware that we are fighting not only for the territory and for the choice of a model of society, where the rights of everyone are protected, where there is a fair judicial system, where the government is accountable to the citizens.

Sourse, 24/02/2017

The fate of the “Kremlin prisoners”: what to do with Ukraine, have become hostages of the Russian Federation

January 6, 2017

Torture, which apply to the Ukrainians, who became prisoners or hostages of Russia, starting at the stage of the investigation, when the detainees from trying to beat out the testimony, said a human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk. All this, according to her, accompanied by the exclusion of prisoners from their families, independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul. “All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation,” – emphasizes Matviychuk.

She adds: Ukrainians have become hostages to the Kremlin, can be divided into three groups. Firstly, those who pass on trumped-up processes with political motives in the Russian Federation and on the territory of Crimea. Secondly, located in basements in the uncontrolled territory of Ukraine, Donbass. Third, more than 5 million people who live in the occupied territory. “We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a” gray zone “in Donbass” – human rights activist said.

Read more about the features of the release of members of each of their groups, and where the situation with the “prisoners of the Kremlin’s” most critical, in an interview FaceNews told Alexander Matviychuk.

Which groups you share “the Kremlin’s prisoners?” And why is the issue of their release is important to talk about conditional groups?

Why do we combine these people in a pretty conventional groups? Understanding who these people are and what group they are in, it helps us to determine what can and should do in a particular situation.

When we talk about “hostage of the Kremlin” that belong to the first group of people who go on trumped-up criminal proceedings on political grounds in Russia and in the occupied Crimea. It is clear that there is no independent judiciary. But there is a building, where it says “trial”, there is a man in the mantle, who calls himself a judge. With the right to a fair trial that has nothing in common, but there is at least some kind of simulacra. In such cases, lawyers fulfill all the legal and procedural possibilities, and do everything in their power at the federal level, and then continue to work with international organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights.

The second group of “hostages of the Kremlin” – people who are in the basement of the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Even if illegal armed formations charges against them in violation of the Criminal Code is still the Soviet regime, it is clear that there is nothing at all to talk about the quasi-even procedure.

Together with colleagues we interviewed 165 people and recorded evidence. People were kept in cellars, garages, dog cages, manholes. Every second civilian said he had succumbed to torture. And we must understand that it is not just about beating. This is rape, electric current, cutting off fingers, prostrelivanie body parts. We have fixed many terrible things done by people with guns, because felt complete impunity. It is interesting that 16% of the civilians we interviewed said they were direct witnesses, when, during the so-called confrontation or interrogation of people beaten to death. All that we have documented and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The third category, which I would say as a hostage of the Kremlin, is 5.5 million people living in the occupied territory, no matter how they relate to the occupation. We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a “gray zone” in the Donbas. The latter, for example, have no way to protect against the tyranny of man with a gun his property, health, life and the lives of loved ones.

With regard to the Crimea, then we see that there is no way to protect themselves from political persecution. It’s starting to feel the even pro-Russian part of the population, those who rejoiced at the annexation. However, they are used to that under Ukrainian jurisdiction have the right to peaceful assembly, and now, when they go out to protest against the closure of the Cadet Corps with portraits of Putin, beaten and brought to administrative responsibility. Russia, which they saw from the TV, suddenly found a very different Russia, which reigned in the peninsula.

About a third category also need to talk, because they need our protection. Now Ukraine has very limited opportunities to directly influence what happens with a specific person or group of people, but this is not an excuse for us to do nothing. Our country needs to make use of existing international mechanisms or, if not available, create new ones.

Recent years have shown that Ukraine is difficult to stand up to Russia at the international level. For example, the federation has the right to veto in the UN Security Council. In addition, about a year ago, the Russian Federation made a decision, according to which can selectively implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. What international mechanisms can help to influence Russia?

This is a question that we need to have a strategy that will be provided in the complex legal, diplomatic, economic and other activities. But such a strategy in Ukraine, unfortunately, no. And this is a problem.

You are right: consolidated procedure in Russia in the summer of last year, which is to try to bring the legal form of a breach of international obligations, and now they are free to decide how to execute the decision of the European Court, and what – no. When Russia is beginning to show a similar situation goes from a legal plane in diplomatic. And the Ukrainian diplomats have to say: if the law does not apply, and Russia does not understand the PACE resolution requirements of the UN Committee or the European Court, then let us talk to her language that she understands. If Russia fails to comply with judgments of the European Court, let’s talk about toughening sanctions. This should act as a package.

Until we have a full-fledged strategy on the issue of “the Kremlin’s prisoners’ state of the task falls on the shoulders of social activists. You are one of the initiators of the campaign LetMyPeopleGo, which oversees the Russian theme of liberation of the hostages. Who is on this list?

In LetMyPeopleGo list – citizens of Ukraine, which are held for political reasons in the areas of non-freedom in Russia and in the occupied Crimea.

How many people are now included in the list?

This is a very sensitive issue, because it is sometimes very difficult to determine the presence of a political motive. For example, human rights activists say that the Crimea was illegally moved to 2200 prisoners. How do I know that all they have been lawfully convicted or not? Knowing how the authoritarian system, assuming that many illegally. But if we include in the person list also it depends on whether there is in fact a political motive.

In the summer, we were talking about 28 people, and then added, “Panova group.” We met with a lawyer, and is now waiting for the case file. It is likely that they will be included in our list, but we want to see the material. The second example – the journalist Roman Sushchenko, the materials of his case in general there is no access, because it passes through the article “spying” and classified. How to be in this case? All indications are that it is very similar to the case Yuriya Soloshenko, Valentine Vygovskogo, but there is always a risk, because it is impossible to check (at the time of publication of the article “a group Panova” and journalist Roman Sushchenko were included in the list of campaigns, – FaceNews).

When those who managed to escape from captivity, told that they had to endure, it becomes really scary. Such as torture, which Gennady Afanasiev said. Where is the most critical situation in the aspect of the treatment of our prisoners?

The fact that said Gennady Afanasiev, and after that was a lot of people from the list, did not start while serving their sentence, but much earlier, during the so-called investigation. Then they were isolated from their families, are not allowed independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul, and had been tortured to extract confessions. All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation. One of the Russian lawyers, when she saw in what condition is her client, came to the investigator with a direct question: “What do you with the person did” what he said to her: “What do you want with us since the days of Ivana Groznogo methods of investigation We have not changed. “

Therefore, here it is necessary to monitor what happens to the man on the stage of the investigation, what happens to them during the trial, and what happens after the verdict. These stages have their own characteristics. During the investigation, as I said, there is the problem of artificial isolation, and while serving their conclusion is very hard to produce any information about the person then gradually forgotten. Here the task of the public – do not forget to constantly remind that the person is sitting. This increases the chances that he will be released.

About who is in the worst state, from what we know, we can separately identify Stanislaus Klyha. Torture does not have consequences for the people and, unfortunately, he lost his sanity. It has become apparent to all, when he gave up an independent lawyer who fought for his release and said he wanted to protect his Stas Mikhailov, Pelagia, Shura or beast. He was sentenced to twenty years, with medical and psychological examination, which took place in Chechnya, found him completely sane. Naturally, he is now in a very serious condition.

Alexander, it is unlikely you surprised that the appeal in the case Karpyuk and Klyha who viewed Russian Supreme Court about a month ago, upheld the judgment of conviction of 22.5 years and 20 years.

No hope there is no legal solution. There is hope that the leadership of Russia as a result of international pressure to take a political decision to release them. And then they will exchange, pardon, extradited or find any other legal mechanism to a face-saving, Russia could bring them home.

Sourse, 05/01/2017

Ukrainophobia in Crimea. What puts the Kremlin

June 24, 2016

Reintegration of Crimea – is not only the return of the territory. A key element of the strategy – the people. And Russia is well aware of, so make an effort to us there was no one to return: Ukrainophobia educates through the TV, change the demographic composition of the population, which in itself is a war crime. And everything – methodically destroys the independent civil society, which should be one of the key factors of reintegration. Keep it at least in some form – our task.

For more than two years, we are monitoring the political persecution in the occupied Crimea. Arsenal of repression is quite broad: people are arrested in their homes were searched prohibit peaceful assemblies, fabricated criminal and administrative cases. Occupying power does not shrink from abductions, intimidation, beatings and torture. Russia has been consistently replacing active people of the peninsula, or causes them to shut up.

In situations where the right to influence the situation is rather difficult, as the international community is limited only by the angry resolutions of simple ways to save the remnants of the civil society on the peninsula does not exist. At the same time, there are several areas of work.

Firstly, it is necessary to overcome the informational isolation of Crimea. People on the peninsula should be able to get excellent information from the pro-Kremlin language accessible to them. In parallel, it should be given instructions on how to bypass the blocking of websites, when it comes to broadcasting on the Internet. Crimea various questions should be in the top of the political agenda, they should write about the Ukrainian press. It is necessary to develop relations with the religious, professional, cultural communities on the topics that are the subject of their interest. People who have kept the Ukrainian citizenship, should simplify administrative procedures online methods of management.

Secondly, the Crimean youth should have access on favorable terms to education on the mainland Ukraine. Educational institutions at various levels should implement distance learning programs, focused on the Crimea. It is necessary to increase the number of specialized institutions, such as moving to Kiev Tauride University, which take into account the difference in school programs of Ukraine and Russia. They should be seen as a communicator with the Crimea, because the students are friends and family on the peninsula, as well as a base for the formation of the Crimean elite. Learn to be in these prestigious institutions.

Third, Ukraine needs to learn how to protect the people who were left alone with the occupiers. It is necessary to define the scope of work for the Russian human rights activists in the Crimea, which can connect to the practical protection of persecuted people on the spot. Cases of people persecuted by the Putin regime, should always sound at the level of international organizations. Involved in this persecution should expand the list of personal sanctions. Public authorities should carry out an effective investigation and collect evidence on these facts. You also need to develop a program of support for these people on the territory of continental Ukraine.

In general, the lack of a comprehensive policy towards the occupied Crimea can complicate the reintegration of these areas in the future. Ukraine needs to be translated into the language of practical actions to Oleg Sentsova “my country, I will not leave” and send a clear signal to the people that it is fighting for them.

Author: Alexander Matviychuk, human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the NGO Center for Civil Liberties

Sourse, 23/06/2016

Donbass lawlessness

April 17, 2016

Ukrainian human rights activists talk about the testimonies of victims of illegal detention places in the district of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of illegal armed groups. Human rights activists questioned 162 people emerged from captivity. Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom.

Conclusion human rights: torture faced each second respondent civilian and 86% military in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. Power in illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: I’m in the hands of the research – the evidence of the victims of the places of illegal detention in the territory of the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of “Russian separatist forces,” as they are called United States President Barack Obama. The authors of the study today in our studio: this Alexander Matviychuk , chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, and Boris Zakharov , head of the advocacy center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union .

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed 162 people emerged from captivity. We have information on what are the conditions of detention and of dealing with people who are 79 places of unfreedom. When we say “people in basements”, it is not a metaphor, because most of those 79 seats are not designed even for a short stay. It’s really a basement room, cellars in the office buildings, even a dog cages, aviaries in use of illegal armed groups that hold people.

Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom. Our conclusion: torture faced each second civil, surveyed, and 86% of the soldiers in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. This, relatively speaking, the power of the illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: Boris, there are in this situation, any possible human rights may be, at least from the Russian side?

Boris Zakharov: Those doctors who are allowed to see the hostages are controlled, they do not allow any independent medical examination.

Alexander Matviychuk: We had a block of questions about whether the medical assistance. Prisoners of war were taken sometimes in a serious condition, civilians too, then adjusted to a very serious condition and needed medical care. Male nurses function often performed the same guards. For example, we interviewed Alexander Grishchenko said openly: he was a vet, he improvised means sewing up wounds his fellow inmates.

Vitaly Portnikov: You’re talking about the military, but it is very important to understand what is happening to civilians.

Alexander Matviychuk: The fact that every second civilian man who fell into place bondage tortured – is nothing less than a crime against humanity. We were trying to figure out which categories of persons and for what reasons are subject to such treatment, but our main conclusion: there is no algorithm of actions, which would help to avoid falling victim to such breaking.

Vitaly Portnikov: I saw in this study is evidence of forced press conference for the Russian media.

Boris Zakharov: they were tortured to force to give an interview, which is given once almost immediately after torture.

Alexander Matviychuk: she interrogates me personally was the fourth month of pregnancy. She was beaten with iron rods, although she said she was pregnant. She answered: “You are a Jew, and even pro-Ukrainian views, your child does not have the right to life.” She’s gone from the Ukraine, and I very much hope that it and all is well with her child.

And the second pregnant woman we interviewed, as a result of beatings in the same place had a miscarriage. She said: “We’ll give you a ticket for free, but you must admit that you are a sniper battalion” Tornado “, tell about it to our colleagues, the Russian journalists.” Come, if I’m not mistaken, the TV channel “Russia-1”. We recorded it in the report, found the interview. It shows when she was approached by the so-called journalists, she was asked to sit down so as not to be seen that it is in position.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, the old Russian history: during the Chechen war were “Lithuanian snipers women”, which no one has ever seen.

Do not you think that outside of Ukraine in the world (I’m not talking about Russia) little information about what is happening there?

Boris Zakharov: We are trying to inform her. This UN report officially took for distribution through its own channels.

Vitaly Portnikov: With minors there is something similar?

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, there is. We stayed beyond the study completely separate issue – sexual violence. Men told us about sexual violence against women, who were held with them, and the women – no. Individual cases which we have recorded, again, of stories: Woman gave as a gift to the front, and it’s happened several times, that is, gave it back and returned. It was a minor, her seemingly give 14-15 years.

Vitaly Portnikov: What is the level of transparency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions?

Boris Zakharov: There’s generally no publicity, all this is transmitted exclusively by word of mouth. There is a full atmosphere of fear. In fact, there is a totalitarian regime in wartime.

Vitaly Portnikov: But there are people who are not afraid to go back there – it is also a fact.

Boris Zakharov: Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov: When the shelling subsided when this whole situation stopped at the freezing point, we saw that many displaced people returning to their homes.

Boris Zakharov: In this way, there is a very large wine Ukraine, which can not provide the conditions for internally displaced persons in the territory under its control.

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, I was faced with the fact that do not know about what is happening in Kiev, Donetsk, and not even know the journalists and civil society activists. List captured in basement, updated and replenished at the expense of the people who went to visit his family, absolutely not understanding what is happening there. Apparently, they do not read the papers, do not listen to our broadcasts. Moreover, a journalist recently told me in Kiev, she would like to go and work behind the scenes in Donetsk journalist. She asked me how the situation is with the detentions … What do we want from the people in the occupied territory, if here in Kyiv journalists do not know anything?

Boris Zakharov: Prior to October 2015 121 000 internally displaced persons have returned to the occupied territories. DNR says that half a million returned to them. Of course, these figures can not be trusted.

Vitaly Portnikov: Who protects these cellars?

Alexander Matviychuk: In 40% of cases, people claim that those who directed the beatings, was present during the interrogation and organized place of unfreedom, it is the Russian military. We do not undertake to judge, it was this ordinary professional soldiers or mercenaries, but they claim that they were Russian citizens. They have been so presented, called his military rank, or told where they came from, or say, “You, Ukrainian pig, I came to protect you, but are you doing!”. According to statistics, it appears that the rest – it’s local, the citizens of Ukraine. All this points to a chain of accountability to the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic of the Russian Federation.

Vitaly Portnikov: How Ukrainian prison system, the system of detention of persons, who on the other side of the war, more controllable, more than the State? Can we talk about that in Ukrainian prisons can not happen this?

Boris Zakharov: The prison system is not reformed. We present illegal violence in the police and in the prison system. Kharkiv Human Rights Group conducted a study in conjunction with the Kharkov Institute of Sociology. Despite the war, despite the increase in aggression in society, we have compared to the years 2011-12 to halve the number of torture and ill-treatment, unlawful violence to the police. If before about a million people a year were subjected to unlawful violence, and torture – 120 thousand, and now about half a million are exposed to unlawful violence and in some cases 62 000 – torture and ill-treatment.

Alexander Matviychuk: We as a human rights organization demand that the Ukrainian authorities comply with all standards and the reform of this sector, because the gross violations, abuse, unfortunately, occur. Also, there is a problem with violations by Ukrainian forces in unofficial places of unfreedom. Of course, you can not even compare the scale, but we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Ukrainian state differs from the illegal armed groups that it must investigate each case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Boris Zakharov: The state is struggling with this problem – perhaps not yet sufficiently effective, but because there is a political will to implement these reforms, to investigate the facts of abuse and torture, sooner or later this problem will be if not completely defeated, then reduced to minimum.

As for the captured parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, there effective control of Russia carries out, it is actually occupied by the Russian Federation territory. We have to communicate all at the diplomatic level.

But most importantly, the Ukrainian side is not enough high quality evidence documenting how the presence of Russian troops, and cases of torture, abuse, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against property. Our organization, submitting complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, Feeds them and against Ukraine and against Russia. Against Russia – for all the chaos that’s going on, on specific articles – is the right to life, freedom from torture, ill-treatment and so on. Against Ukraine – for inactivity, for that Ukraine has enough quality documents and is investigating these crimes. The court’s decision may well be against both countries – for example, the payment of fifty thousand euros from Russia for the fact that it all happened, and five thousand euro from Ukraine for inaction. Such precedents have been in the practice of the European Court.

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed people, we collect documents for international justice. But we can not say to a man: but now thanks, goodbye, you helped us a lot. Naturally, we will cooperate with initiatives that provide psychological and medical assistance.

Government policy in this regard is catastrophic. If in respect of servicemen still have some sort of guarantee, the civilian hostages just to themselves. It is necessary to change at least for reasons of humanity, not to mention some rights.

Vitaly Portnikov: When I’m on the program topics it covers me despair. Too many people, our Russian audience is easy to believe you. But many people will never believe in what you are talking about Donbass, because there is a blatant propaganda: “there can not be such, there is defend the Russian people.” Lived Statement usual area is no different from the Bryansk and Kharkov, and suddenly there is such a nightmare …

Alexander Matviychuk: I have a different professional despair: we interview people, but realize how much they still in the field of non-freedom – it’s still going on. About two months ago, we took the famous scientist, religious Igorya Kozlovskogo.

I understand very well what you are saying. When we document when sending alternative reports to the UN Committee, introduced them to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we can not stop it. It really frustrates some … That is why we have launched a campaign at the Munich conference fields: we demand the release of all hostages and prisoners of war and civilians. According to official figures from the Ukrainian side of 130 people. They were released a year ago, according to the sixth paragraph of the Minsk agreements .

Vitaly Portnikov: It is clearly stated on the exchange of all for all. By the way, the Russian side, at least as represented by its Special Representative on the Minsk talks Borisa Gryzlova, insists that there should be exchange of all for all. Where are the results?

Alexander Matviychuk: The same Mr. Gryzlov said that the first Ukrainian party must give a total amnesty to people who committed these crimes. We as the human rights organizations a clear position: it can not be an amnesty for serious crimes. Of course, the world is better than war, but there is no peace without justice.

If we look at the leaders of these illegal groups, who all began … As we were told the Russian colleague in April 2014: “Oh, you come to our death squads”. They were led by people who were previously in Abkhazia, Chechnya, Transnistria, where they performed the same. They were not punished were amnestied and now continue it in the Donbas.

So that there is no amnesty for war crimes can not be. To be honest, I’m very strange that I did not hear this from the members of the Norman format , I do not hear such rhetoric from France, from Germany. In my opinion, it is not just the norms of national legislation – is the basic tenet of international humanitarian law. If you give a clear message on the part of not only Ukraine, but also in France, Germany, perhaps in the occupied territories would someone think about now. They also think that sooner or later they will be amnestied.

Boris Zakharov: Amnesty, from the point of view of the law in this case is inapplicable. Amnesty happens when there is a judgment, it’s commutation. In this case we are talking about the withdrawal of charges of grave and especially grave crimes.

Vitaly Portnikov: It is understood that the Minsk agreement, we should grant amnesty to people who have worked all this, based on the Russian side logic.

Boris Zakharov: They want Ukraine changed the hierarchy and sequence of steps. They say, fulfills all its conditions, and then we say of Russia: “What you do not do your own?”. But the logic of the sequence of steps it consists in the fact that the elections in the Donbass, amnesty and other things can only happen if Ukraine will receive effective control over these territories. This means that we are at an impasse, we need a different format other than Minsk. And Minsk must continue.

Vitaly Portnikov: But the people who are in these basements, should be released in any case, regardless of what kind of formula we will discuss with you now.

Alexander Matviychuk: Minsk format just might fulfill it. If we talk about the value of human life, then obviously, it had to be done in the first place, and can be no terms such as “but first you give amnesty, but you first hold elections.” That is why our campaign appeals to France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia: decide the issue now, it is impossible to discuss all other political issues, as long as people are in such circumstances, they can not survive until the next round of negotiations!

Boris Zakharov: There are people who need medical care, many of them have already become chronicles after injuries. They should be exempt immediately!

Vitaly Portnikov: Was POW hits you about it, too, mention in their study – this is an obvious form of torture. In Ukraine, there has never been any parades of prisoners of war, in spite of what was captured by a huge number of people who are fighting on the side of the illegal armed groups in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This parade was shown on Russian television. In a huge part of the audience is caused, unfortunately, not the horror and delight.

Alexander Matviychuk: According to the Rome Statute , it is a war crime. We also describe what’s left of this parade personnel. Prisoners of war did not want to leave voluntarily, and in order to get them to go to the parade in front of them very cruelly killed several people (to have witnesses).

Vitaly Portnikov: This is actually what the Nazis did to their parades of its kind.

Boris Zakharov: Yes, it’s exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Putin is somehow able to defeat the concept of Popper’s an open and a closed society, showed that in a relatively open society, where there are alternative sources of information, you can use the new information and communication technologies so wash people brains because their zombie that you can create on the territory of Russia subtotalitarnogo mode.

Vitaly Portnikov: On the other hand, what can be such a thing, and thus know about them, but do not pay attention – this is just the result of the hybrid war, of which we speak. That is, it is like a war and not a war, and prisoners of war – like and not prisoners of war, and some people who are up in arms came to fight against their own countrymen, and the parade – like and not hits.

Alexander Matviychuk: I tried to investigate the influence of Russian propaganda on the escalation of violence. And this, of course, the question of hybridity of the war, when nothing at all is not clear, the rule of law does not correspond to the norm. But the fact is that very increased level of hatred, is the dehumanization of the country. That is, with these people, you can do so, because “it is not the people – a” dill “, Ukrainians, Germans, this junta, which all oppressed and drinks the blood of Russian babies.”

If we talk about responsibility … We are talking about the so-called “journalists” – I think that should be personal sanctions and proceedings to establish the degree of guilt and punishment of people who incite hatred and war by creating a parallel reality.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, in the sanctions of the civilized world are mentioned the names of several so-called Russian “journalists” of the most zealous and frenzied propaganda. I think everyone understands that propagandists blame for the fate of these people is obvious. We often say that the propaganda, but so what? Someone something did not understand, someone made a different conclusion. And here it is really the result of a real propaganda – it is death, torture, humiliation, abuse and the transformation of the opposite side in the “non-humans”.

Boris Zakharov: There is still a problem in international law. In fact, these hybrid wars do not fit into a modern security system in the contemporary legal space. These challenges need adequate answers. In June 2014, I proposed a package of laws on hybrid war, because the Ukrainian authorities could not answer the question: what’s going on? Say “war” and declare martial law – scared, because then Russia may begin a large-scale military campaign. “ATO” – chose this formula, but it is absolutely not appropriate from a legal point of view. Because of this formula, we have a lot of negative consequences at the international level and in international law too.

It would be nice at the time and even now already being late, it is still to take a package of laws, first at the national level, to call a spade a spade, to simulate the situation and describe a departure from the conventions, in accordance with these simulated situations. And then – to collect the international conference in Kiev and declare to the world that you need to make changes and adopt new Convention on the hybrid war, which take into account the current state of affairs.

Alexander Matviychuk: I think the problem is not even the fact that the existing international conventions do not take into account all aspects of a hybrid war, and that no one really wants to solve the problem with this challenge. The international community is trying to freeze the conflict. Amnesty? Well, let it be a total amnesty. Elections? It is clear that they will be controlled by the Russian Federation, but the de facto authorities in Ukraine, we have our own voters can say that it’s all over. Just think, people will die – the whole planet in general is very unsafe, people die …

The biggest problem is that the international community does not want to solve these problems, the hopes that they will somehow dissolve themselves. But the problems do not disappear, they just grow. Let me remind you that Ukraine – this is another point on the globe where these “gray areas” have been created. We live in a highly interconnected world. Europe or other countries, can not be shielded by fences. We have already seen, as it were, by the example of the war in Syria. Problems still find us if they are not addressed.

Sourse, 16/04/2016

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them

April 11, 2016

Oleksandra Matviychuk used to avoid police on the street. As a participant in protests for human rights, she knew, as did many Ukrainians, of the police’s reputation for using excessive force.

Today, as a member of Ukraine’s civil society, Matviychuk teaches the country’s new patrol police how to interact peacefully with citizens.

Before Ukraine’s Euromaidan — protests from November 2013 to February 2014 demanding closer ties with Europe — police had one objective: to fulfill the orders of their higher-ups, according to Matviychuk. Now, she says, they make decisions for themselves and focus on serving the publi

“Patrol policing is a job that requires thinking,” Matviychuk said. Officers not only have to know Ukraine’s laws and international standards, but quickly act in ways that affect people’s overall well-being and even their lives.

Standing up for human rights

Matviychuk remains committed to human rights in Ukraine. As head of the board at the nongovernmental organization Center for Civil Liberties in Kyiv, she works with others to push the government toward reforms that would protect freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly as well as the rights of civil activists generally.

Helping survivors

Matviychuk is also involved in Euromaidan SOS, established during the Euromaidan to locate those who had gone missing after the Yanukovych-led government launched violent attacks against peaceful protesters and to provide legal assistance for protesters who were imprisoned.

Euromaidan SOS’s role has expanded. Today, it establishes human rights agencies and mobile teams in and near the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea. “We make visits there and document everything, and work with hostages and torture survivors,” Matviychuk said.

In May 2015, the Center for Civil Liberties joined Euromaidan SOS to launch #LetMyPeopleGo, a campaign to help Ukrainian citizens imprisoned in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea for their political views. The campaign is working on the cases of eight prisoners in Crimea and 13 in Russia, including Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

Oleksandra Matviychuk holding award and standing with Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)
Matviychuk (left) with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of gunned-down Russian activist Boris Nemtsov. (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)

Recently, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer presented Matviychuk with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Democracy Defender Award for her work on reform, accountability, human rights and rule-of-law in Ukraine. Baer said he admires people like Matviychuk, “who are committed to a unified, democratic, prosperous, European Ukraine.”

Matviychuk, for her part, sees the fight for human rights as a global cause, bigger than Ukraine. “We live in a very interconnected world. … We can’t build fences and close our eyes to real problems of human rights in our world,” she said.

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them.

Matviychuk’s speech at Democracy Defender Award 2016

February 24, 2016

Human rights defender Oleksandra Matviychuks statement at the official prizegiving ceremony of Democracy Defender Award-2016

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I represent the civil initiative Euromaidan SOS that was created in response to brutal dispersal of peaceful student demonstration. We have brought together thousands of ordinary people to provide legal protection for protesters. Every day a large number of people passed through our care. People who were arrested, beaten, tortured, accused of trumped-up criminal cases, and later – the dead and the missing people.

For the second time in the last ten years, Ukrainian people rose to defend their choice to build a democratic state based on common values with European countries. We paid a rather high price for it.

After the fall of authoritarian regime, in order to stop democratic transformations in Ukraine Russia occupied Crimea and started a hybrid war in Donbas. Murders, abductions, tortures, sexual violence, human shields, political persecutions on the occupied territories – all this has become our reality.

Today we gather victims’ evidence and document these violations to present them for international justice. At the same time, we struggle to reform our police, courts and prosecutors, so in the future we are not facing a situation in where our government shoots unarmed demonstrators.

In this regard, I would like to share a few lessons that we have learned from these past events:

  1. In many countries human rights activists aren’t just working for protection of human rights. These activists are fighting every day for human rights. Often it seems almost hopeless. However, we should do our work honestly. The results of our efforts can unexpectedly be achieved.
  1. When people achieve the recognition of human rights from authorities, often in practice it means only one thing. No authorities but just civil society needs freedom of associations, the right to a fair trial, civil society oversight of police. This only means that human rights activists simply won new tasks for themselves. This is why the civil society should become an equal partner with the state authorities in the eyes of international organizations.
  2. The so-called “Ukrainian crisis”, in fact, is a direct reflection of a global crisis in the post-war world system. This is a value crisis. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is often and openly questioned. International human rights law has become secondary. Civil activists, journalists, human rights defenders are persecuted and held in prisons in Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan etc. There is an ongoing fundamental change of ideologies, which, for decades, have been the basis for international organizations.

There is a great temptation to avoid solving difficult problems, hoping that they will just vanish. But the truth is that these problems are increasing. There are new gray areas with uncertain statuses appearing on the map. That is not only about the future of the OSCE and the Helsinki Accords. That is about the entire world where everything is interconnected and only the spread of freedom and human rights is making it safe.

Finding the solution to this crisis is our historic task. We must continue fighting for human dignity. Even if there is nothing left but words and our own example.

February 24, 2016, Vienna

Ukrainian media does not care about Kazakhstan?

June 25, 2015

Journalist portal “Respublika” Natalia Sadykov talked to the chairman of the board Ukrainian “Center for Civil Liberties” Aleksandroy Matveychuk disregard for Ukrainian journalists presentation of the report on the events in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan. Later also had to observe the situation when the Ukrainian press persistently ignored the events concerning other countries. But at the same time in Ukraine want to support the whole world.

During familiarization Alexander said that after the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Zhanaozen social activists observed the trial in Aktau. Seen and heard in the case of the thirty-seven oil workers are not left indifferent Ukrainians. All the horrors endured Zhanaozen, they wanted to tell in Kiev. Report planned to present at a public event.

“We understand that we are dealing not just with gross human rights violations, and dangerous practices of authoritarian suppression of dissent, which can be easily transferred to the Ukrainian soil. We have suffered a great disappointment. At a press conference on “The shooting of peaceful demonstrations in Zhanaozen and its results: Ukraine – not Zhanaozen” came not a single journalist. Ukraine was not interested in shooting of peaceful protesters in other countries “, – said Matveichuk.

Two years later, Ukraine on Independence outlive your Zhanaozen, about a hundred of Heaven knows the whole world. Then there will be the annexation of Crimea, the war in the Donbas and downed Boeing. But Ukrainian journalists continue to ignore the press conference spoken about the problems of other countries. Even if the problems that have recently faced the Ukrainian people. Alexander Matveichuk believes that the lack of interest in what is happening in other countries – a bright sign of provincialism of thinking.

“Especially when it comes to human rights in the post-Soviet region, which I call the region the” new independent states “(even with a thousand years of history). There is a clear trend for all the processes that make up the so-called “authoritarian Club”: they quickly take over all repressive ” know-how ” of each other, so you need to know the consequences of certain decisions and be able to see their conditions in their own country “, – he explained Chairman of the Board “Center for civil liberties.”

Aleksandra Matveychuk believes that in Ukraine is only now beginning to realize, as the Russian law on foreign agents, dispersal and destruction of the Marsh press freedom in Ukraine affected. First, following the “first swallow” as maimed in law, and then annexation Crimean, which according to sociological studies endorse Russians 88% (94% of which get their information from TV screens).

“Ukraine is gradually realizes that the civil societies of our countries, too, should unite and support each other, even at the level of ordinary communication. Not by chance, after a flood in Georgia Ukrainian segment of Facebook was filled with words of support and solidarity. But at the same time, none of the Ukrainian political establishment has not publicly urged to boycott European Games in Azerbaijan, which are held on the background of total stripping of civil society and the imprisonment of almost all human rights defenders.

In Ukraine, will remember this when we have, in turn, will talk about the inadmissibility of the football championship in Russia, which is unleashed and bloody war in the Donbass, the victims of which are already at least eight thousand people “, – said Alexander.

This topic, we are actively discussing with the Ukrainian colleagues. Media journalist Roman Kabachy Institute, suggested that the indifference of the sources can be found in the history of the Ukrainian people, who were interested in a purely internal problem. But anthropologist and PhD in History Lesya Gasidzhak refutes this theory.

“I strongly disagree with the idea that Ukrainian journalists indifference to the problems of other countries related to ethnic features. Sympathy, help your neighbor, custody of those who is weaker – it has always been with us, and regulated at the level of customary law. In the calendar year, even were the days when we were not allowed to work for oneself, but it was necessary to help the widows, the lonely, the old and infirm. Not to shelter for the night the one who travels, or asks for a piece of bread – always considered a great sin. Little has changed in 1920- 1930 th years, when the communist Soviet regime began to encourage snitching, the neighbor became an enemy – to social hatred and hostility build a new society, “- says Gasidzhak.

Ethnologist believes that the root of the problem must be sought in another – lack of professional journalism.

“We have very few good analytical texts. For us, more typical of the news publication of character. Large Text “people” can not read. “Fried” the facts always have a rating. Alas. And what you say – this is a new level, which we are still only aspire, “- says Lesya Gasidzhak, which itself is the editor of the web portal” museum space “.

However, Roman Kabachy said that the situation in Ukraine is quite similar to other countries of the former Soviet Union, except Baltic countries and Russia.

“Russia is itself a provider of news and news generator of other countries (it’s happening now, such a trend” Che there with Ukrainians, “used to be” Estonians Nazis dismantled monument “,” the Georgians attacked South Ossetia “and so on). Since we are all accustomed to the fact that it was in Moscow “know better” that tell Ukrainians about Estonians and Kazakhs about Ukrainians, too, we are all to blame. The Baltic countries have a short period of statehood in the interwar period, and they increasingly do not care what he thinks about them heiress occupant country “, – says Roman Kabachy.

Journalist offers steps to help Ukrainian media interest what is happening in the CIS countries. “The first is to understand that alone can not cope with the Kremlin ideological machine, and together and” Dad beat more easily. ” Second, throw the approach of “we the center of the world and we are all important” – important, but in the same way, other than important for us. Third: to develop its own network of bureaus in the capitals of CIS and Baltic countries, refusing to gradually from the horn of Moscow. And the fourth: to stimulate the foundation of media bureaus of post-Soviet countries in Kiev “, – lists Kabachy.

However, in addition to correspondents, in Kiev today can say about the influx of the opposition forces of the CIS countries, where it is still too early to talk about democracy. Russians, Belarusians, Kazakhs and even the Georgian opposition have settled in the Ukrainian capital, and from there try to influence the situation in their countries. Today, these idealists like anyone else in need of the support of Ukrainian media. Then, perhaps, and in these countries it will be possible to speak of the victory of human rights over the dictatorship.

Author: Natalia Sadykov

Sourse, 24/06/2015

War and human rights

June 8, 2015

Vitaly Portnikov:  Human rights and the war – it would seem, no concepts more mutually exclusive, although for centuries, even during the war, people are trying to establish some rules of conduct so as not to slip into the absolute savagery. But here’s human rights and hybrid warfare, hybrid world, uncertain legal status, a situation where the people themselves the territories involved in the conflict do not understand in what world they are … What is there can make human rights activists?

We were invited to the Kiev studio of Radio Liberty programs coordinator for the Russian Center for Documentation named Natali Estemirovoy Stanislav Dmitrievsky  and head of the Center for Civil Liberties  Alexander Matveichuk  – Russian human rights activist and Ukrainian human rights activist, who are now engaged in this issue, important for the society of the two countries, of course, if these societies in the future they want to overcome the effects of the nightmare in which we all are.

I know you have just recently conducted one of these projects, trying to understand what is happening to human rights in the occupied territories of Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. To summarize your findings, what is the situation today?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  I would like to recall a very simple thing, which, nevertheless, have to constantly talk – about the two types of rights that people for some reason are very often confused. There are so-called law of the country and the state to protect against aggression – the right associated with the territorial integrity and its protection. In this sense, of course, Ukraine, being in his own right, to protect its territorial integrity and lead a military operation in the East. And there is another side – it is international humanitarian law, which must abide by both sides, regardless of whether they believe this war just or unjust, whether they are victims of aggression or its initiators.

Violation of humanitarian law, as happens in any war, committing both parties to the conflict. Our task as human rights – to do everything possible to avoid a climate of impunity. The difference is really only one thing: if all the gigantic problems that are now experiencing the Ukrainian state, there still exists the right legal framework by which we can while working, to change something (to achieve, for example, the release of illegally detained persons), then on the territory of the unrecognized breakaway republics of this legal framework is not at all, which significantly complicates the execution of such missions.

Alexander Matveichuk: Of course, we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Regardless of what these rights are, we will always stand on the side of the victim have been violated. But it must be said about the difference between the scope of such activities. Studies that have been carried out, including our human rights organization show that the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics from the very beginning of the occupation, that is, for many months in a forced, deliberate policy was implemented terror against the civilian population in the first place on the basis of their political views. That is to get into the basement and to be subjected to ill-treatment, torture and extrajudicial executions could only be for the fact that at one time you were a member of pro-Ukrainian rallies that once you say something, and the neighbors called the hotline and was told. This terror

Vitaly Portnikov:  it is clear to me that the Russian human rights activists, to put it mildly, not the most desirable category of persons, which is ready to deal with power. We see the law on “foreign agents” and their constant defamation in the media controlled by the Russian government. In Ukraine, I also noticed lately some irritation over reports of human rights, whether they are doing international organizations or local human rights activists. It is clear: the country wants to look better than it is, under the conditions in which it is difficult to be crystal clear. How do you overcome these challenges?

Alexander Matveichuk:  It is natural that in times of war increases the level of radicalization, the threshold of tolerance towards violence also becomes very high, the society is polarized: there are enemies, is “our”. We as a civil initiative (including “euromaidan the SOS”, which I also represent) are constantly trying to remind the public that one of the requirements euromaidan was – “Human Rights First” Now the challenge before us It is very difficult in war.. even on a symbolic level, the level of our words and thoughts, but we have to implement in practice. The problem is, it is natural for all the companies that are in a state of armed conflict, it is necessary to work.

Vitaly Portnikov: Stanislav, reflecting on your experience, I think that you are in a difficult situation, even from a legal perspective. Take the example of Chechnya – there is always a human rights activists tried to protect the rights of people who are illegally detained, disappeared, got in some court cases on spurious pretexts, or under the same denunciations. Nevertheless citizenship institute was obvious, transparent – there were Russian citizens. Even in the short period of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was not designed so that it was impossible to classify these people as the Russian citizens. In the case of Donbass and the Crimea Institute for Citizenship is in a mixed state. There are people who themselves qualify as citizens of Ukraine, and they qualify as Russian citizens and citizens of the DNI. A beautiful story with film director Olegom Sentsovym, who believes that he is a citizen of Ukraine, Russia and spur of the moment considers as its citizen, because he could not renounce Russian citizenship, because he was detained at the time when he had a legal possibility. How to get out of such situations?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  There is a way. Of course, they are not as straightforward as, for example, in Chechnya. But there are criteria for effective control. Of course, we do not recognize the annexation of Crimea legitimate, the international community does not recognize the Russian human rights community does not recognize, but regardless of this, Russia exercises effective control over the territory. They’ve got their own police, its own prosecutors, its courts. In this case Russia will be responsible for all human rights obligations, including if we are talking about the complaints in the  European Court of Human Rights .

More difficult situation in the Donbass, because it is not just about proving the fact of aggression, as set forth in the relevant UN documents. There’s a large-scale infiltration of gangs is enough to raise the question of aggression, but there is still the question of effective control. To prove that the authorities of the breakaway republics are effectively controlled by the Russian Federation and, therefore, the Russian Federation as a state is responsible for the fate of these people – I believe that it is a challenge, a task that, including in the European courts, must decide right now the human rights community : both the Russian and Ukrainian.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Incidentally, we are taking the first steps towards this. The UN Committee on Human Rights Two months ago, I considered Russia’s obligations in the light of its compliance with international human rights standards. And we, as a Ukrainian human rights organization, was sent to your application. We have tried to justify the arguments, referring to the sources and the evidence that was collected by our field missions, which Russia exercises effective and total control of the territory, as well as coordinating the military operations against the Ukrainian army. Despite the fact that at the meeting of the UN Committee was surprised my presentation (to me the word has been given on behalf of the Ukrainian human rights community, I was talking about the Crimea and pro Donbass), in the final recommendations of the Committee thought of Donbas in a very diplomatic manner. This is the signal for the Russian Federation that even such unwieldy and very bureaucratic structures such as the UN,

There is another important point – this can never be done by the efforts of civil society only. It is the task of the Ukrainian authorities – to gather evidence of Russian aggression, demonstrate effective control. And here I unfortunately have to say that the work, as always, being ineffective, there is no single center. On all of our recommendations that it should be created, to be debugged system of gathering information, analyzing it, save photos and videos, we do not get proper answers. I very much fear that, when the war is over (as it will ever be over anyway), this issue is a factor of war crimes will be put in this light that we do not have any evidence, nor, consequently, the victims and the perpetrators.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Maybe the parties are generally not very interested in how to document things that can interfere with the negotiation process?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This element is always the case in any conflict. Still, it seems to me that, according to the documents, which are published officially accepted Rada, for the official position, as far as I could see her here, the state officially declares the need. On the other hand, I have the impression that the lion’s share of the work that should make the state, makes civil society. It’s amazing to us in Russia is not even dream! I believe that there is a civil society can not only help the state that is trying to do to become a democratic and goes to Europe. In Russia, it has long been a fig leaf, and here is the desire to eat, and the human rights community has much to teach the state. Here really have a chance.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to give a specific example, that we understand the scale of the disaster. Everyone has heard about Slavyansk, it is quite a long time for people who have been in his basement, it was under occupation. Immediately after his release went to our mobile team “euromaidan SOS”. The basement was open. Members of the mobile teams have seen that all lying on the floor, that the basement wash some utilities. Our lawyer has been in the mobile group, she saw some documents. She realized that, if it just does not gather them on the floor, they disappear. It turned out to be death sentences signed by almost  Strelkov (Igor Girkin)And lists of pro-Ukrainian activists in the Donbas. After we passed these documents, we rang round all these people say, be careful, you’re on the list. This is to ensure that no members of the mobile teams of civil society organizations were to withdraw these documents, and state agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  It is important to understand how, in principle, the people behave in similar areas, because there is no guarantee that the front line (now stable delineation line) will be stable for a long time. People who feel the attention of repressive structures, is also very difficult in this situation. How capable the human rights community to provide assistance to such people?

Alexander Matveichuk:  This is a big challenge for the human rights community, we were not ready for him. But a year has passed, we gradually adapt. We have formed a coalition to document war crimes in the Donbas, we are now talking about the free legal reception, which returned to the place previously occupied, and before that it acted enjoyed authority. And we’re talking about, accompanied by cases in international courts, because right now, seeing the level of the investigation, it is not necessary to talk about its effectiveness.

A striking example – Ivan Reznichenko, killed a policeman from Soledar, whose body was found by his friend, who organized their own investigation in a few months. his body showed the man, who identified himself as involved in the murder of Ivan. Recently, he was released on bail, the case is artificially inhibited, and relatives are constant threats, including from local law enforcement agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Stanislav, with the Ukrainian state is clear, it is in such a state as it is, somewhere it is replaced by a society where, it acts itself … But if he understands that he is dealing with its own citizens, which should be protected? It can do it or not – is another question. And with the Russian state is much more difficult, if we are talking about the citizens of the Russian Federation, then the official services comes just a screeching halt, as happened with those soldiers, which the Russian Federation has not yet been considered by Russian and attempts by them as citizens of the refuse. We can say that the Russian consul met with the two men formed only under the pressure of public opinion. What to do?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Frankly, I do not know. I have not cherish any illusions here. In Russia, it is clear who the “fifth column”, “enemies of the people”. We all joke that “fifth column” came to the meeting with the other four at our conference. But still, despite all the horror, all this reaction, in which we have fallen after losing our unfinished “Snow Revolution” 2011-12 years, some public pressure tools of social influence are preserved. You are quite right to say about these two soldiers – have refused them the native state, which they have served, and the company has managed to pull this topic. No one knows what will happen to us tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Do what you must, and the rest is in God’s hands. You just need to do their job, no matter what.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I have a feeling that the Russian state structures do not act as State organs, even when it is their direct responsibility – that’s the problem. Here the question is not even ideology and functioning.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This and all other areas of the case. I’m in his native Nizhny Novgorod, is involved in activities to protect cultural heritage. I do not see the state, I do not see bodies to perform their functions. I come here, I see a huge level of problems, but I was jealous because I understand that this is a problem of a completely different level. There is political will, the desire, there is a civil society. I do not know how much we still have to go before that. But we still work together, although there is a huge propaganda force, aiming to ensure that we have to separate, to divide. I friends say, “How are you to ride?” I say, “Well now eat me, probably to be crucified.” Certainly I laugh. Nevertheless, we are working together.

Alexander Matveichuk:  In this  situation of detainees gereushnikami  is an important aspect interesting. This Monday I went to see them with our Russian colleague, a human rights activist. We have been working together, there are values that unite us. Human rights have no borders.

Vitaly Portnikov:  You also do talk to them?

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov:  How do these people feel themselves?

Alexander Matveichuk:  They have no complaints about the content, they are totally shallow that they are being tortured, as it says is now the General Staff of the Russian Federation. They have one request, and it is very revealing: they want to get in touch with their families, and their Consul said that a month can not find a wife of Sergeant. He is very worried, why so much time Russian consulate is unable to establish contact with her.

Vitaly Portnikov:  In my opinion, this woman was interviewed, he said he was discharged from the armed forces. She found great employees of the Russian TV channels.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There is another important point. Detainees gereushnikov was me, a Ukrainian human rights activist, and our colleague – Russian human rights activist. And our Ukrainian citizens who are detained for political reasons pronounced in Russia, did the spies,  “right sector” , saboteurs, terrorists, and they even Ukrainian Consul can not get for months. Nikolai Karpyuk – 14 months, Stanislav Klich – 8. It has recently been an alarming statement by a lawyer Savchenko Ili Nadezhda Novikova that he does not know whether Nicholas Karpyuk alive, just such a long time to it no one is allowed.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This, incidentally, was in recent history with two Ukrainian citizens, young people, who were detained at the Russian-Ukrainian border, in one of the border towns, it was almost the students. They are very long kept imprisoned in Russia on a completely trumped-up charges, they barely pulled out.

Alexander Matveichuk:  During the year! The first three months they were held in defiance of a court decision on deportation. And they are not just kept – tortured them. They were taken to the woods, beaten. The incident is now present at our joint conference. Before that we worked on this briefcase, he is well known to me. But I personally have heard of it, why one of them was forced to open his veins, and the second – to cut his stomach. They just realized that they would be killed in a specific time. They wanted to get to the hospital to stop the torture and abuse.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This is a very striking example of what can happen with the Russian penal system, when it is faced with the Ukrainian crisis. You agree that such explicit complaints still in Russia recorded very rarely.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  If you exclude Chechnya, Dagestan. There’s just a stream. The worst thing – is now at the conference there was talk in the Crimea, were human rights activists working there, and I see that the methods that have been developed, tested, and found widespread in Chechnya, begin to be gradually introduced in the Crimea – thank God, not yet on the same scale, but it is a very frightening trend. Crimea on the background of all other regions (they believe that it is the Russian state) is gradually drifting to the Chechen side, I mean, enforced disappearances, killings and torture. You just have to be ready for it. Yet there can not find some of the people responsible for torture brought to justice for the killings. It is still good, because in Chechnya, it is in principle impossible. But everything is there.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I remind you that a huge number of missing in the Crimea (the figure was named  Elloy Pamfilovoy , the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation) Human rights defenders need to tell, at least about 9 of them, who went on a pronounced political motives – eg , members of the “Ukrainian house”. Time of the abduction of one of them was recorded on video, which gives us the opportunity to say that it was made of the Crimean “self-defense”. The whereabouts of these people is unknown. Regarding torture can bring a bright example of the latter case Alexander Kostenko, who was named the most important thing a dictator of the Crimean branch  of “Freedom” , and she  Poklonskaya I read out the horrific for each lawyer and the prosecution lawyer. Just listen to what evidence operates the main Crimean prosecutor – and understandable farce and absurdity of the whole situation.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Poklonskaya – Yanukovych ward system – what wonder that it is all the principles of the system suffered in the Crimea?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  The feeling of a  friend Wyszynski , and even caricature.

Alexander Matveichuk:  It should be noted that during the trial the lawyer Dmitry Sotnikov has repeatedly said that his client had been tortured, but that request was rejected and not considered. We have other examples – black and Afanasyev, who are in the case of so-called “Crimean terrorists” is Oleg Sentsov, which we remembered. So, they admitted their guilt, now have 7 years of the colony. The court session was held behind closed doors. But we know that they complained of torture. Later, they were afraid to take the other lawyers, except those assigned to the State Service of the Russian Federation. One of them contained even in a psychiatric hospital for a while, but now they are serving a 7-year sentence.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This is a common practice. Indeed, with regard to allegations of torture, all without exception, Russian courts have rejected these claims. Organization  “Committee against Torture” , with which I work, which is now also declared a “foreign agent”, managed in 15 years to prosecute about 115 law enforcement personnel. Proving torture – generally a difficult matter, and when the investigation is opposed to it … We had cases when it was possible to bring to justice after 7 years, 6 years. For example, the famous case of Mikheyev – the criminal case was stopped 20 times, and each time the lawyers appealed the decision of the Committee. This is a very long struggle. But now the situation is deteriorating. If earlier we watched as annoying flies, now – both overt enemies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  After the law on “foreign agents” will be the human rights movement in Russia?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Law on “foreign agents” – is not the worst. By the way, I am very pleased that the human rights community to boycott it almost unanimously, no one volunteered himself the star is not sewn. But now we adopted another law on the “undesirable organizations”, which, as I understand it, is intended to announce such …

Vitaly Portnikov:  Anyone who fails to declare a “foreign agents.”

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  … foreign organizations, that is, funds from which we get the funding, our partners, and to criminalize it. Of course, I think that this will complicate the matter. Gradually comes to reformat the human rights movement in a movement of civil resistance. Perhaps there all this will drift.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There are examples in other countries, which also started with a similar law, and ended up in the summer of last year jail all human rights – I mean Azerbaijan. The problem is that the legislation, which is now accepted in Russia, especially in the field of taxation, provides the potential for public authorities for some time to accumulate evidence and then put human rights defenders are not under political articles, and present to the public that they are just fighting for your pocket. Including a huge propaganda machine, and the people who now live in poverty, of course, will not be sympathetic to this concern. The situation is very worrying, we are very worried about our Russian colleagues.

Vitaly Portnikov:  We was not very optimistic program, because it is unclear how to get out of all situations, at least, how to prove that not only the organization, but also ordinary people become targets of repression, pressure objects. If those areas that should be the object of attention of human rights organizations, the authority of law and human rights protection itself is so low, how to get out of this situation before the end of the conflict?

Alexander Matveichuk:  I’ll start with a joke. We were at the conference were to arrive on the same flight several dozen Russian human rights activists, and the flight was canceled. We do not associate it with the conference. A colleague of ours, which in Soviet times was a dissident, said: “You do not know the underground practitioner How did you hit upon the idea of all invited to sit on an airplane.?”

Vitaly Portnikov:  Because they thought it was underground.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes. I mean, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. History repeats itself, and there is what you need to do. We as “euromaidan SOS” addressed to people who, while living in the Crimea, are engaged in public activities, or have their own independent position, with the suggestion that they began to study and implement in their daily life safety practices: information, legal, physical. Have accumulated an arsenal of techniques, they do not save, do not give an absolute guarantee, but significantly reduces the risk and make the price of attacks on individual higher.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  With this activity we are also engaged in a long time, is the protection of human rights defenders. Of course, no one can guarantee. Now you can go to the wonderful Kiev, and on the head of a brick will fall …

Vitaly Portnikov:  You know, drop a brick on his head and some deliberate action structures, which should be a law – it is not the same thing.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Just probability … of course, we will do our best to anticipate these probabilities.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to make an optimistic note in our program. Still, despite all the difficulties that are now fighting Ukraine, – the war that Russia started occupying the Crimea, and then launch a hybrid war through their proxy agents of the DNI, LC in the east, to the fact that reforms in the area of human rights man do not go with us as quickly and effectively as we would like – in spite of all this, we are seeing a huge rise of civil society. Create hundreds of different initiatives at different levels, which, in fact, carry out public functions. It gives us an opportunity to look ahead optimistically. Our society is now much stronger than the state apparatus.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I think it’s something that should inspire hope, and something that will help, anyway, rehabilitation Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the Crimea in the future, when the law will be restored in those areas where human rights would not work, and the ordinary life of every citizen living there. Although this is true of all the Russians, and not only the inhabitants of these regions.

Sourse, 07/06/2015

Let my people go: about Ukrainian prisoners in Russia

May 30, 2015

Guests transmission “Your Freedom” to “Radio Liberty” Ukrainian studio Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Russian human rights activist, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group (by telephone from Moscow); Alexandra Matviychuk, lawyer, chairman of the board of the Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine).

Alexander Lashchenko: June 1 this year in Kiev, “Kinopanorama” cinema premiere of the documentary “euromaidan SOS». As part of the premiere, in particular, the presentation of the world, we can say the campaign «Let my people go». We are talking about the liberation of Ukrainian citizens who are, in the opinion of human rights activists, for political reasons behind bars in Russia. It is not just about Hope Savchenko and Oleg Sentsov. Those citizens of Ukraine, which still holds Russia, about thirty men, for the SBU data.

What is the fate of the Ukrainian people? And can they be exempt? At least some chance there is to it?

– Mrs. Matviychuk, what kind of campaign? It lasts longer than one day, the presentation will be June 1 this year. What has already been done?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We started this campaign at the April session of the Council of Europe. We would like to draw the attention of parliamentarians that in addition to courageous Nadia Savchenko, which contains illegally fabricated criminal case in Russia, such people, at least a few dozen. And only we know about 11 people, contained behind bars. Here is the chart shows who was appointed “punitive”, who was appointed as “terrorists”, who was appointed “spies”. And these people, according to our calculations, we were able to identify 11 people here, as we have seen, different sex, age, occupation, property status, place of origin, but they all have in common is that their deeds clearly political motive.

If we talk about the results of this campaign, which we launched in Strasbourg and now continue, the first of these results – the release Yuriya Yatsenko, a student at the University of Lvov, who was appointed “right sector” is banned in Russia, a “terrorist”.

– From the point of view of Russian law enforcement agencies.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Of course. The thing is absolutely absurd. They engaged with fellow small business activities have come to Russia, and there have been illegally detained for three months. During this detention authorities did not carry out the court’s decision and did not deport them. But they are subject to brutal torture. And to imagine that the guys in the usual Lviv students had to go through, I’ll just say that in order to stop it, one of them cut his wrists, and another cut his stomach.

Well, actually, about the fate of our Ukrainian prisoners – they are not to be envied. In fact, the lawyer Nadia Savchenko Ilya Novikov says that he does not even know whether alive Nikolai Karpyuk as 14 months to it do not allow Ukrainian consul.

And here is indicative of the response of Ukraine. Everyone has heard about the famous case Grushnik detention. They allowed the Russian consul.

– Yes. This refers to the two detained Russian riot police, who are now in the Kiev hospital. Russia asserts that they are citizens of Russia, the Russians, the military, but in the past. Although the detainees in an interview with Russian “Novaya Gazeta” Paul Kanygin admitted that they were Russian servicemen.

Alexandra Matviychuk: I pay attention only to the fact that in this case Ukraine immediately admitted the Russian consul to the arrested Russian citizens. But many of the people arrested in Russia Ukrainian consul simply can not get there. Some of them refer to themselves as Ukrainian citizens, as Oleg Sentsov, and define them as Russian citizens. “Submitted to the ground during the occupation of the Crimea,” as he said at Oleg court.

Indeed, the essence of this campaign – is to draw people’s attention to the fact that there are such people, it is not one, not two, not three, they need our help, and in this authoritarian country like Russia without external strong pressure these people just no one let go.

– By the way, remind, indeed among those people who are still behind bars in Russia, there is a Ukrainian citizen 73 years of age? Mr Soloshenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. Yuri Soloshenko 72 years. His poor health. And it’s all very concerned about the doctors, his family.

– And what he is accused? What is also forbidden “Right Sector” in Russian? What is it?

Alexandra Matviychuk: He is accused of spying, that he illegally received and disclose information constituting a secret. That is, espionage. In that way, it shines 20 years in prison. That’s him in ’72 and another 20 plus can give.

– (by phone). Ms. Alekseeva, what is your opinion about what is happening in Russia, with Ukrainian citizens, who are in prison? What it is: political persecution, says Ms. Matviychuk, or, as Russian law enforcers really a criminal investigation made by lawyers will be a trial, if the court finds them guilty, they go free?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: All true. But, unfortunately, it is not only Ukrainian citizens, Russian citizens also suffer from it. In Russia we do not have just qualified court. And the conditions of detention in prisons and other detention centers are heavy, and very often the mode of construction in violation of Russian laws is much more humane than the actual stay in prison.

– You are engaged in human rights work for decades. It began in the USSR. By the way, it was my colleague, including “Voice of America” ​​in the “Radio Liberty”, leading the program. Now, 25 years later, a quarter century after the collapse of the USSR, does not change to protect the human rights situation in Russia?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Unfortunately, it is much worse than it was in the 1990s.

– Have a chance to release the citizens of Ukraine, which are contained in Russian prisons? Some observers, including Russia, the pro-Kremlin does not claim that all depends in this case and in the case of Hope Savchenko, and in the case Olega Sentsova, and other citizens of Ukraine less famous, from a single person – Putin.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Absolutely.

– Like, if there is more pressure on Putin, the less chance there. He does not give in to pressure. Do you agree?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Anyway, so declare.

– What do you do? Dead end?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Fight. And for Ukrainian citizens, and for our citizens. Prison conditions have to be civilized.

Well, the court? I believe that this is our main problem, despite the fact that we have a whole bunch of other problems. This lack of qualified and independent in their actions the court. Because if any problem could be resolved in a court of law, then we have a much better it would be in the country.

But the fact of the matter is that we go to court involuntarily. Where else? But we know in advance that, most likely, will not be made a fair decision, and is one that our government wants.

– Not too optimistic, as far as I understand you. Ms. Alekseeva, then what to do? Pressure from the West? What are some other levers?

Even Brezhnev managed (you remember it from my own experience) anyway. For example, emigration to Israel and other moments. Yet Brezhnev signed the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. Some success was still on the pressure. Although small. What, then, Putin may be affected now?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: I do not know. I’m not Putin. I believe that, in general, not only in relation to Russia, but also with regard to Ukraine, of any other country, only a strong civil society in the state can influence the behavior of the authorities.

We civil society (thank God!) Is, but to call it a strong and powerful language is not rotated. I know from my practice. Of the 10 cases for which I take, and I take only when I am sure that the law is on my side and the Constitution, work out about three and seven is impossible, because the government does not listen to what the public wants.

Unfortunately, recipes, taking into account the situation in our country, there are, but it will run slowly. It is necessary to cultivate, strengthen civil society. We will have rule of law, we will have a democracy.

– Ms. Alekseeva, the Soviet Union is clear, what was the civil society prior to the restructuring, but in 1968, just a handful of people came to Red Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. There were other examples. Were dissidents. You know many of them personally.

Now the company – 86% of support for Putin. On what to expect? When will the fruits? When will “own perestroika”?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: What it is, I know. And when – I can not say. Kills me, this statistic (86% support Putin – Ed.), Because, frankly, I thought that 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we, my fellow citizens, have already got rid of the imperial syndrome. But what happened in the Crimea, has convinced me otherwise. A lot of people happy and maintain it. So we have not ceased to be an imperial nation. It is very hard to realize. Because as long as we Empire, we can not become a democratic country. Empire democracies do not happen.

– Mrs. Matviychuk, can be any blame Putin, Russia’s law enforcement system that dozens of Ukrainian citizens for political reasons are behind bars in Russia. But they, the listed person I have a responsibility? The Ukrainian government is doing something to rescue them?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Very good question. After all, the duty of every government – to protect its citizens, no matter what difficult situations they find themselves. Actually, we decided to test how the Ukrainian government carries out at least a minimum minimorum, what can be done in this situation.

In particular, according Aleksandru Kostenko. It is a well-known environmental activist, the “case Sentsova” was also detained in the Crimea. He “sew”, that he party “sabotage” of the “Right Sector”, who allegedly tried to organize and organized several attacks. He faces 20 years in prison. And now the courts are going over it. And it is in the “Lefortovo” in custody.

We sent a request to the GPU and asked them whether open proceedings on the fact of illegal abduction Aleksandra Kolchenko from the territory occupied Ukraine, travel to the territory of Russia, which, incidentally, is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. Just as, for example, the GPU is done in the case Olega Sentsova.

We got answers. GPU we were told that our application is considered and included information in the Unified State Register, it is forwarded to pre-trial investigation in the Pechersky District Police Department.

But the response of the Pechersk district police have shocked! I’ll just show it. It says that in the course of working out of the statement, it was found that all the problematic issues that arise in other countries (please!), Outside the competence of the bodies of internal affairs and are considered by the Ministry (and it says here) for Foreign Affairs. Probably had in mind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Actually, so they do not see grounds for the opening of criminal proceedings and to make our statements in a single register of pre-trial investigations.

It is already very sad. We see who has signed: the head of the Pechersk district department, police colonel, acting Head of Pechersk district department. If they do not know that the Crimea – it is Ukraine, albeit temporarily occupied territory, then what kind of protection of our citizens who have been alone with the occupier, can we talk ?! Of course, we will appeal.

– Appeal where?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We will write to the GPU. As they we were told that our statement made in a single register of pre-trial investigations, we say: you’ve made or not made, and to appeal to a higher court – the leaders of the Pechersk district department in the Interior Ministry.

– «Let my people go». What further specific measures will be part of this campaign for the release of Ukrainian citizens who are in prison in Russia?

Alexandra Matviychuk: The first thing we must understand that these people need our information support. When Yuri Yatsenko was released from prison, he said that investigators followed by the FSB for each publication, for each press conference, which was done “euromaidan SOS» in his defense, brought him the printout and discussed with him. For him, it was a confirmation that he had not forgotten about him that Ukraine remembers him struggling. And it actually holds.

Second. We will put pressure on the international human rights institutions, namely the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, the EU.

– The court in Strasbourg is too early to apply, because there is no verdict of the Russian court, so it turns out?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. As demonstrated by the case Nadia Savchenko, the Court – is not the best tool in this system. After all, the Court considers the violation of the rights and is always trying to avoid the politicization of the issue. And since the matter has clearly political motive, but the pressure it can be solved at the political level favorable for our citizens means.

– Perhaps, in the administration of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in that it is changed or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mr Klimkin?

Alexandra Matviychuk: This is our next event. Since Poroshenko, and Klimkin talk about a narrow circle of people.

– About the most famous: Hope Savchenko Oleg Sentsova.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And even now about Aleksandre Kolchenko. A year after the work of his friends. They have the ability to speak and represent the entire list.

Plus, we are talking about the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, and there are still people who are detained, arrested and now sit in the occupied territories in the Crimea. And these people do not forget. This Alexander Kostenko, it Ahtem Chiygoz son Mustafy Dzhemileva.

– Ministry of Justice of Ukraine appealed to her son Cemil extradited to Ukraine. While there is no answer Russian law enforcers.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And there is another point that we do not raise in the campaign, but about which we always say. There are a large number of missing persons in the area ATO. According to the information, which comes to relatives, to the Russian human rights activists, to us, they are transported not only in the occupied territories, some of the hostages were gone.

– That is, it turns out, as Nadezhda Savchenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Like Nadezhda Savchenko. Their whereabouts are unknown.

We are now asked our colleagues to Russian human rights defenders to send requests to the prison to at least understand whether there are there Ukrainian citizens. And if they are military, the more clearly where they …

– We are talking about tens, hundreds? Hard to say?

Alexandra Matviychuk: If we talk about the official statistics of the missing, we have their 1500. Of course, some of them – this is, unfortunately, the people who were killed. And we are talking about 400 people, according to official statistics which are in captivity (separatists – Ed.).

Sourse, 29/05/2015

Maidan has not won yet

July 23, 2014

Aleksandra Matveychuk, chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, euromaidan SOS coordinator in an exclusive interview with ” Republic ” recalls fourth in his life and thinks Maidan, where you want to move Ukraine to become a democratic state.

– Alexander, please tell us what the Center of civil liberties?

– Our organization is engaged in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Our focus freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, combating discrimination, the protection of human rights defenders. We work not only in Ukraine. After all, human rights are known, do not have national boundaries. If the authoritarian regimes in the former Soviet Union are working closely together to stifle civil society, we, human rights organizations should also work to create a joint international platform.

– What is the situation with civil liberties in Ukraine today?

– Ukraine is now faced with a new reality – the military occupation of the Crimea and “neoglashennoy” war waged by Russia in the East of Ukraine. In such conditions it is very difficult to move the selected people to the democratic way of development – to reform the police, to conduct the lustration judges, root out corruption, etc.

The very human rights situation varies depending on the region. There Donbass, which are acts of war, where Russia supported illegal military formations are policies of terror among the civilian population, torture and kidnap civilians. There Crimea, where de facto entered the Russian repressive legislation, which prohibits even the prayer prayer on the anniversary of Crimean Tatars deportation. Other regions are preparing to defend against external aggression, but it should be noted that there is the situation with the observance of human rights is normalized.

In fact, we live in a very interesting period of history. Since the end of World War II, there was no precedent for States to “overcame” the other part of the territory and formally annexed it to her. And then the question is not only in the fact that Ukraine should do in such a situation. Here the question that should be in this situation, do other countries do? Downed passenger airliner by terrorists and the death of 298-mi man once again demonstrated that everything is interconnected in this fragile world.

– In your life there were four Maidan, tell us how you, so young, is it? You were talking about the persecution – you and loved ones, in what it consisted of?

– During the Orange Revolution I was a law student. Symbol of the revolution was orange. I remember that I wore the ribbon at a time when few people wore it. And she thought: now I have to behave so that no one even questioned my integrity. Because I’m here, this ribbon, and I will judge the people who support democracy.

I went to the polls observer. Once at the site vote count ended, I was taken to his woman with the election commission. I remember early in the morning we sit in front of TV, where from the screen to announce the victory of Yanukovich. And both crying. And then on television reported that some people are going to protest on Independence. And I went.

Then there was the tax (against strangulation small businesses), Movny (against Russification) now euromaidan. The main thing I realized: no one is safe, that Ukraine in its way to becoming as a democratic state does not need another one. But we need to create a guarantee that no power would not come to mind to shoot unarmed people in the streets.

During euromaidan we were all under the gun. Power led terror cruel and merciless, it could become the victims of everything, even random people. In my case, there were bandits in the house, and the “invitation” to the Prosecutor General. I remember, I was asked if I was ready to sit down. I honestly said that many people consider themselves to something ready until fate will check their availability. That is very interesting. And thought to myself, I had a wonderful life, which gave me an appointment with a very wonderful people, I did what she believed. The only thing that was not in time, because it is to give birth to children. Here the war is over, and these loans.

– Where have you been and what they did during the tragic events of February? What can you tell us about them?

– In euromaidan SOS office. At that moment I could no longer go home. I remember just before the volunteers went to the Maidan, and again there was a telephone our hotline. But when it all began and we started calling that people are shot, we could not do anything. We do legal aid. Then the volunteers went to morgues, hospitals, and places where to bring the dead. We were afraid that the government will destroy the body, and hastily drew up lists. So we were the first to know what killed not ten or twenty.

And my husband called me here. He said: “You do realize that I am on the Maidan?” I told him that, of course, I understand. Although I would like to say: please, run out. But how could I? Most of the were on the Maidan were family. I just asked him if he had a bulletproof vest. He laughed, and said that they are useless. We said good-bye. Remember, I left the office for fifteen minutes to recover, and then went back to work.

Honestly, I’m now very hard to pass the street Institutska, where people were killed. I now know many by name, and I still somehow embarrassing that we have survived, and they have not.

– How did the idea to establish SOS euromaidan and what are the problems encountered? Who are these people who have been searching for?

– On Saturday, November 30 last year, our organization was to conduct a seminar for activists from the regions. It is clear that when all arrived and learned that a few hours before the police brutally beat students on the Maidan was not up to the workshop.

People were crushed, most breaks to go to the St. Michael’s Square, where the rally going. But we decided to think about what we, as human rights activists, could be useful in this situation. After all, at that time there were many people affected, and it is not clear whether they provided legal assistance.

About ten o’clock in the morning we opened the SOS euromaidan page in the “Facebook” and published two posts. The first numbers of our hotlines. The second – with a request to lawyers who are willing to provide free legal assistance to respond. And it worked.

During euromaidan number of calls per day (and we took out the clock) could reach several thousand. Only in our official list of the contacts were more than 400 lawyers, who agreed to during the day and at night to work pro bono. But euromaidan SOS would not take place if we did not support the hundreds of volunteers and an active fb Community euromaidan SOS.

It is important to note that most of these people had never engaged in any civic activity. Just when the critical moment, they did not remain indifferent. Euromaidan gave people the opportunity to express their most good features. Therefore, it is called Revolution Benefits.

– How does the SOS Maidan involved in tracing people? How many could find? How many are unaccounted for?

– During euromaidan just a list of the missing held up to a thousand people. Most of them were very fast. In the search for other took days, weeks, months. After the wounded brought to the hospital and into the underground, equipped through donations, exported to other cities of the country to protect them from persecution. Someone unconscious, someone without a phone. Relatives called us. Well, not to the police as they were then apply.

Someone is missing from the list passed in the death toll. Now we are looking for more than thirty people who disappeared during euromaidan.

– A lot of talk about that with Maidana kidnapped people and deal with them, what can you say about this? It is known to you about such cases?

– I can tell you about the case of the kidnapping of my good friend Igor Lutsenko. Before euromaidan I knew him as one of their “Save Old Kyiv” leaders of the movement, they fought for the preservation of green spaces and monuments in the city. His kidnapped by unknown people (the so-called “titushky” that cooperated with the police) directly from the hospital, along with scientist seismologist Yuri Verbitsky. Yuri on the Maidan was injured in the eye. It is not superfluous to note that the police then loved to shoot sighting over his eyes, we have more than 50 of the victims.

That night I spent on the phone with his brother George. Both stolen tortured, then separately taken into the forest. Igor was able to escape and survive. Yuri no.

– What happened with that organization after the Maidan won?

– Independence is not yet won. We must reform the country, not just shifting it onto the shoulders of politicians, to drive for the state border of the Russian gangs, to return the occupied Crimea. Therefore, SOS euromaidan continues to work and help people. However, the military action lawyers zone will not send him, so our methods have changed. Now we form a human rights mission and mobile, we go and document, working with the hostages and victims of torture.

– Alexander, what do you think, is it right that maydanovtsy not diverge. What they want, in your opinion?

– euromaidan SOS on this occasion made a statement. We wrote that if before to go to the Maidan was the duty of every honest man, but now there are a lot of real work, and it is necessary for someone to do. The momentum of the Maidan, that is, the democratic transformation should reach all of the small village. I’m not talking about the war in the East.

– Do you think that today the country needed not to lose the momentum that gave her the Maidan and to develop further?

– You know, Independence ended, and civic engagement does not drop. Just in time of war it is not very visible to an outside observer. People work in different initiatives: conducting an investigation of crimes on the Maidan, help the wounded, and bringing to ensure military control of the parliament, that he may carry out the necessary reforms the country.

I’m sure the time will come and the world will study our unique experience of self-organization, when ordinary people come together and perform essentially the function of the state. After euromaidan we stayed “Heavenly Hundred”. But heroes are not vyedesh, propping his shoulders public institutions must all. And we understand that.

Sourse, 22/07/2014

Результаты поиска:

It is necessary to win this war, but not to turn to Russia

February 25, 2017

Under the guise of the formula “we are fighting against Russian aggression”, the Ukrainian government is not always justified limits the rights and freedoms of its citizens. “The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan, “- said Ukrainian human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk.

She adds that it is important to remember that you must not only fight for the temporarily occupied territories, but also to build a democratic model of society.

For more information about tasks that are currently facing the Ukrainians, Alexander Matviychuk told FaceNews. Human rights activist also told about why we still do not know who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Heaven.

Alexander, for three years Ukrainians are waiting for answers to questions about who was shooting at people at the time of the dignity of the Revolution, who gave the orders. Why, in your opinion, the answer is still no?

There are objective and subjective reasons. During euromaidan bodies that were supposed to investigate the crimes and to conduct initial investigations, we did not. They were so busy that committed these crimes. Was destroyed by a huge number of documents, the former leadership of the country is on the run in the Russian Federation and other countries. That is, there are a number of objective things that complicate the investigation.

What are the subjective factors? The fact that, unfortunately, the investigation and the accomplishment of justice has fallen on the shoulders of the unreformed system of law enforcement bodies and the judges, many of whom are at the time of the Maidan themselves carried knowingly unjust decisions. It is difficult to expect them to some higher standards of justice, as in the good they realize that sooner or later, if the investigation will be effective, they also held accountable.

Also, I do not see a lot of attention of the government. Thus, during the first year we did not create even a single investigation into the center, things were questioned by different investigators, and even structures.

Once this center is finally appeared, he was for a long time did not receive the necessary support. At the end of 2015 the year it worked eighteen investigators, they investigated more than 2000 episodes literally “on the knee”, without premises and logistics. This is clearly not the way to relate to a case that the president names most resonant in the history of independent Ukraine.

The last thing we are very annoyed when in October last year, Yuriy Lutsenko made a decision to change, and in his opinion, to improve the investigation process of the organization. He had the idea, which he, fortunately, refused to merge into a single production and make a big deal Yanukovych.

The most important thing in this decision – a change in the focus of the investigation. After all, if we start immediately to collect evidence only against the top, we will lose the middle link – people who, relatively speaking, stood between Yanukovych and those who committed crimes with their own hands. Question – why it is done. I venture to suggest that it is the middle link is successfully incorporated into the current system of power and easy feeling.

However, in the investigation there are also positive things. It is clear that not all so clear.

Fair investigation of crimes during euromaidan – is not the only challenge for the authorities. What other challenges do you think, is now acute for Ukraine?

During euromaidan we were fighting for their democratic choice. It turns out, the most important task now – to implement the democratic choice in practice.

We need to carry out radical reforms that will change the course of history. While we like the people who go into the pit in a circle, and once in ten years, when it gets really bad, and the bottom is getting closer, a revolutionary way to correct the motion path and try to get out of it. But as building democratic institutions much harder, for some reason we returned back to this circling. That is our main goal – to make a qualitative leap and get out of this turbulence zone, transitional period in which we are in the last few decades.

After the fall of the authoritarian regime the possibility of these democratic changes became so real, that the Russian Federation, defending his authoritarian regime was forced to intervene. She occupied the Crimea, began the hybrid war in Donbas. And now we are fighting for our right to have a choice per se.

Therefore, in these difficult and dramatic time we are faced with a second very important task – to not forget what we are fighting. We need to win this war, but not to turn himself into the Russian Federation.

What I mean? In response to Russia’s aggression power starts to limit the rights and freedoms and making it is not always justified. It is important to understand that even in times of war, human rights should be limited in proportion to, and not just because the authorities felt like it and it has a beautiful phrase, “we are fighting against Russian aggression.”

The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan. This should not be allowed.

We need very clearly aware that we are fighting not only for the territory and for the choice of a model of society, where the rights of everyone are protected, where there is a fair judicial system, where the government is accountable to the citizens.

Sourse, 24/02/2017

The fate of the “Kremlin prisoners”: what to do with Ukraine, have become hostages of the Russian Federation

January 6, 2017

Torture, which apply to the Ukrainians, who became prisoners or hostages of Russia, starting at the stage of the investigation, when the detainees from trying to beat out the testimony, said a human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk. All this, according to her, accompanied by the exclusion of prisoners from their families, independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul. “All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation,” – emphasizes Matviychuk.

She adds: Ukrainians have become hostages to the Kremlin, can be divided into three groups. Firstly, those who pass on trumped-up processes with political motives in the Russian Federation and on the territory of Crimea. Secondly, located in basements in the uncontrolled territory of Ukraine, Donbass. Third, more than 5 million people who live in the occupied territory. “We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a” gray zone “in Donbass” – human rights activist said.

Read more about the features of the release of members of each of their groups, and where the situation with the “prisoners of the Kremlin’s” most critical, in an interview FaceNews told Alexander Matviychuk.

Which groups you share “the Kremlin’s prisoners?” And why is the issue of their release is important to talk about conditional groups?

Why do we combine these people in a pretty conventional groups? Understanding who these people are and what group they are in, it helps us to determine what can and should do in a particular situation.

When we talk about “hostage of the Kremlin” that belong to the first group of people who go on trumped-up criminal proceedings on political grounds in Russia and in the occupied Crimea. It is clear that there is no independent judiciary. But there is a building, where it says “trial”, there is a man in the mantle, who calls himself a judge. With the right to a fair trial that has nothing in common, but there is at least some kind of simulacra. In such cases, lawyers fulfill all the legal and procedural possibilities, and do everything in their power at the federal level, and then continue to work with international organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights.

The second group of “hostages of the Kremlin” – people who are in the basement of the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Even if illegal armed formations charges against them in violation of the Criminal Code is still the Soviet regime, it is clear that there is nothing at all to talk about the quasi-even procedure.

Together with colleagues we interviewed 165 people and recorded evidence. People were kept in cellars, garages, dog cages, manholes. Every second civilian said he had succumbed to torture. And we must understand that it is not just about beating. This is rape, electric current, cutting off fingers, prostrelivanie body parts. We have fixed many terrible things done by people with guns, because felt complete impunity. It is interesting that 16% of the civilians we interviewed said they were direct witnesses, when, during the so-called confrontation or interrogation of people beaten to death. All that we have documented and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The third category, which I would say as a hostage of the Kremlin, is 5.5 million people living in the occupied territory, no matter how they relate to the occupation. We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a “gray zone” in the Donbas. The latter, for example, have no way to protect against the tyranny of man with a gun his property, health, life and the lives of loved ones.

With regard to the Crimea, then we see that there is no way to protect themselves from political persecution. It’s starting to feel the even pro-Russian part of the population, those who rejoiced at the annexation. However, they are used to that under Ukrainian jurisdiction have the right to peaceful assembly, and now, when they go out to protest against the closure of the Cadet Corps with portraits of Putin, beaten and brought to administrative responsibility. Russia, which they saw from the TV, suddenly found a very different Russia, which reigned in the peninsula.

About a third category also need to talk, because they need our protection. Now Ukraine has very limited opportunities to directly influence what happens with a specific person or group of people, but this is not an excuse for us to do nothing. Our country needs to make use of existing international mechanisms or, if not available, create new ones.

Recent years have shown that Ukraine is difficult to stand up to Russia at the international level. For example, the federation has the right to veto in the UN Security Council. In addition, about a year ago, the Russian Federation made a decision, according to which can selectively implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. What international mechanisms can help to influence Russia?

This is a question that we need to have a strategy that will be provided in the complex legal, diplomatic, economic and other activities. But such a strategy in Ukraine, unfortunately, no. And this is a problem.

You are right: consolidated procedure in Russia in the summer of last year, which is to try to bring the legal form of a breach of international obligations, and now they are free to decide how to execute the decision of the European Court, and what – no. When Russia is beginning to show a similar situation goes from a legal plane in diplomatic. And the Ukrainian diplomats have to say: if the law does not apply, and Russia does not understand the PACE resolution requirements of the UN Committee or the European Court, then let us talk to her language that she understands. If Russia fails to comply with judgments of the European Court, let’s talk about toughening sanctions. This should act as a package.

Until we have a full-fledged strategy on the issue of “the Kremlin’s prisoners’ state of the task falls on the shoulders of social activists. You are one of the initiators of the campaign LetMyPeopleGo, which oversees the Russian theme of liberation of the hostages. Who is on this list?

In LetMyPeopleGo list – citizens of Ukraine, which are held for political reasons in the areas of non-freedom in Russia and in the occupied Crimea.

How many people are now included in the list?

This is a very sensitive issue, because it is sometimes very difficult to determine the presence of a political motive. For example, human rights activists say that the Crimea was illegally moved to 2200 prisoners. How do I know that all they have been lawfully convicted or not? Knowing how the authoritarian system, assuming that many illegally. But if we include in the person list also it depends on whether there is in fact a political motive.

In the summer, we were talking about 28 people, and then added, “Panova group.” We met with a lawyer, and is now waiting for the case file. It is likely that they will be included in our list, but we want to see the material. The second example – the journalist Roman Sushchenko, the materials of his case in general there is no access, because it passes through the article “spying” and classified. How to be in this case? All indications are that it is very similar to the case Yuriya Soloshenko, Valentine Vygovskogo, but there is always a risk, because it is impossible to check (at the time of publication of the article “a group Panova” and journalist Roman Sushchenko were included in the list of campaigns, – FaceNews).

When those who managed to escape from captivity, told that they had to endure, it becomes really scary. Such as torture, which Gennady Afanasiev said. Where is the most critical situation in the aspect of the treatment of our prisoners?

The fact that said Gennady Afanasiev, and after that was a lot of people from the list, did not start while serving their sentence, but much earlier, during the so-called investigation. Then they were isolated from their families, are not allowed independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul, and had been tortured to extract confessions. All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation. One of the Russian lawyers, when she saw in what condition is her client, came to the investigator with a direct question: “What do you with the person did” what he said to her: “What do you want with us since the days of Ivana Groznogo methods of investigation We have not changed. “

Therefore, here it is necessary to monitor what happens to the man on the stage of the investigation, what happens to them during the trial, and what happens after the verdict. These stages have their own characteristics. During the investigation, as I said, there is the problem of artificial isolation, and while serving their conclusion is very hard to produce any information about the person then gradually forgotten. Here the task of the public – do not forget to constantly remind that the person is sitting. This increases the chances that he will be released.

About who is in the worst state, from what we know, we can separately identify Stanislaus Klyha. Torture does not have consequences for the people and, unfortunately, he lost his sanity. It has become apparent to all, when he gave up an independent lawyer who fought for his release and said he wanted to protect his Stas Mikhailov, Pelagia, Shura or beast. He was sentenced to twenty years, with medical and psychological examination, which took place in Chechnya, found him completely sane. Naturally, he is now in a very serious condition.

Alexander, it is unlikely you surprised that the appeal in the case Karpyuk and Klyha who viewed Russian Supreme Court about a month ago, upheld the judgment of conviction of 22.5 years and 20 years.

No hope there is no legal solution. There is hope that the leadership of Russia as a result of international pressure to take a political decision to release them. And then they will exchange, pardon, extradited or find any other legal mechanism to a face-saving, Russia could bring them home.

Sourse, 05/01/2017

Ukrainophobia in Crimea. What puts the Kremlin

June 24, 2016

Reintegration of Crimea – is not only the return of the territory. A key element of the strategy – the people. And Russia is well aware of, so make an effort to us there was no one to return: Ukrainophobia educates through the TV, change the demographic composition of the population, which in itself is a war crime. And everything – methodically destroys the independent civil society, which should be one of the key factors of reintegration. Keep it at least in some form – our task.

For more than two years, we are monitoring the political persecution in the occupied Crimea. Arsenal of repression is quite broad: people are arrested in their homes were searched prohibit peaceful assemblies, fabricated criminal and administrative cases. Occupying power does not shrink from abductions, intimidation, beatings and torture. Russia has been consistently replacing active people of the peninsula, or causes them to shut up.

In situations where the right to influence the situation is rather difficult, as the international community is limited only by the angry resolutions of simple ways to save the remnants of the civil society on the peninsula does not exist. At the same time, there are several areas of work.

Firstly, it is necessary to overcome the informational isolation of Crimea. People on the peninsula should be able to get excellent information from the pro-Kremlin language accessible to them. In parallel, it should be given instructions on how to bypass the blocking of websites, when it comes to broadcasting on the Internet. Crimea various questions should be in the top of the political agenda, they should write about the Ukrainian press. It is necessary to develop relations with the religious, professional, cultural communities on the topics that are the subject of their interest. People who have kept the Ukrainian citizenship, should simplify administrative procedures online methods of management.

Secondly, the Crimean youth should have access on favorable terms to education on the mainland Ukraine. Educational institutions at various levels should implement distance learning programs, focused on the Crimea. It is necessary to increase the number of specialized institutions, such as moving to Kiev Tauride University, which take into account the difference in school programs of Ukraine and Russia. They should be seen as a communicator with the Crimea, because the students are friends and family on the peninsula, as well as a base for the formation of the Crimean elite. Learn to be in these prestigious institutions.

Third, Ukraine needs to learn how to protect the people who were left alone with the occupiers. It is necessary to define the scope of work for the Russian human rights activists in the Crimea, which can connect to the practical protection of persecuted people on the spot. Cases of people persecuted by the Putin regime, should always sound at the level of international organizations. Involved in this persecution should expand the list of personal sanctions. Public authorities should carry out an effective investigation and collect evidence on these facts. You also need to develop a program of support for these people on the territory of continental Ukraine.

In general, the lack of a comprehensive policy towards the occupied Crimea can complicate the reintegration of these areas in the future. Ukraine needs to be translated into the language of practical actions to Oleg Sentsova “my country, I will not leave” and send a clear signal to the people that it is fighting for them.

Author: Alexander Matviychuk, human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the NGO Center for Civil Liberties

Sourse, 23/06/2016

Donbass lawlessness

April 17, 2016

Ukrainian human rights activists talk about the testimonies of victims of illegal detention places in the district of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of illegal armed groups. Human rights activists questioned 162 people emerged from captivity. Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom.

Conclusion human rights: torture faced each second respondent civilian and 86% military in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. Power in illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: I’m in the hands of the research – the evidence of the victims of the places of illegal detention in the territory of the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of “Russian separatist forces,” as they are called United States President Barack Obama. The authors of the study today in our studio: this Alexander Matviychuk , chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, and Boris Zakharov , head of the advocacy center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union .

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed 162 people emerged from captivity. We have information on what are the conditions of detention and of dealing with people who are 79 places of unfreedom. When we say “people in basements”, it is not a metaphor, because most of those 79 seats are not designed even for a short stay. It’s really a basement room, cellars in the office buildings, even a dog cages, aviaries in use of illegal armed groups that hold people.

Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom. Our conclusion: torture faced each second civil, surveyed, and 86% of the soldiers in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. This, relatively speaking, the power of the illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: Boris, there are in this situation, any possible human rights may be, at least from the Russian side?

Boris Zakharov: Those doctors who are allowed to see the hostages are controlled, they do not allow any independent medical examination.

Alexander Matviychuk: We had a block of questions about whether the medical assistance. Prisoners of war were taken sometimes in a serious condition, civilians too, then adjusted to a very serious condition and needed medical care. Male nurses function often performed the same guards. For example, we interviewed Alexander Grishchenko said openly: he was a vet, he improvised means sewing up wounds his fellow inmates.

Vitaly Portnikov: You’re talking about the military, but it is very important to understand what is happening to civilians.

Alexander Matviychuk: The fact that every second civilian man who fell into place bondage tortured – is nothing less than a crime against humanity. We were trying to figure out which categories of persons and for what reasons are subject to such treatment, but our main conclusion: there is no algorithm of actions, which would help to avoid falling victim to such breaking.

Vitaly Portnikov: I saw in this study is evidence of forced press conference for the Russian media.

Boris Zakharov: they were tortured to force to give an interview, which is given once almost immediately after torture.

Alexander Matviychuk: she interrogates me personally was the fourth month of pregnancy. She was beaten with iron rods, although she said she was pregnant. She answered: “You are a Jew, and even pro-Ukrainian views, your child does not have the right to life.” She’s gone from the Ukraine, and I very much hope that it and all is well with her child.

And the second pregnant woman we interviewed, as a result of beatings in the same place had a miscarriage. She said: “We’ll give you a ticket for free, but you must admit that you are a sniper battalion” Tornado “, tell about it to our colleagues, the Russian journalists.” Come, if I’m not mistaken, the TV channel “Russia-1”. We recorded it in the report, found the interview. It shows when she was approached by the so-called journalists, she was asked to sit down so as not to be seen that it is in position.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, the old Russian history: during the Chechen war were “Lithuanian snipers women”, which no one has ever seen.

Do not you think that outside of Ukraine in the world (I’m not talking about Russia) little information about what is happening there?

Boris Zakharov: We are trying to inform her. This UN report officially took for distribution through its own channels.

Vitaly Portnikov: With minors there is something similar?

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, there is. We stayed beyond the study completely separate issue – sexual violence. Men told us about sexual violence against women, who were held with them, and the women – no. Individual cases which we have recorded, again, of stories: Woman gave as a gift to the front, and it’s happened several times, that is, gave it back and returned. It was a minor, her seemingly give 14-15 years.

Vitaly Portnikov: What is the level of transparency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions?

Boris Zakharov: There’s generally no publicity, all this is transmitted exclusively by word of mouth. There is a full atmosphere of fear. In fact, there is a totalitarian regime in wartime.

Vitaly Portnikov: But there are people who are not afraid to go back there – it is also a fact.

Boris Zakharov: Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov: When the shelling subsided when this whole situation stopped at the freezing point, we saw that many displaced people returning to their homes.

Boris Zakharov: In this way, there is a very large wine Ukraine, which can not provide the conditions for internally displaced persons in the territory under its control.

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, I was faced with the fact that do not know about what is happening in Kiev, Donetsk, and not even know the journalists and civil society activists. List captured in basement, updated and replenished at the expense of the people who went to visit his family, absolutely not understanding what is happening there. Apparently, they do not read the papers, do not listen to our broadcasts. Moreover, a journalist recently told me in Kiev, she would like to go and work behind the scenes in Donetsk journalist. She asked me how the situation is with the detentions … What do we want from the people in the occupied territory, if here in Kyiv journalists do not know anything?

Boris Zakharov: Prior to October 2015 121 000 internally displaced persons have returned to the occupied territories. DNR says that half a million returned to them. Of course, these figures can not be trusted.

Vitaly Portnikov: Who protects these cellars?

Alexander Matviychuk: In 40% of cases, people claim that those who directed the beatings, was present during the interrogation and organized place of unfreedom, it is the Russian military. We do not undertake to judge, it was this ordinary professional soldiers or mercenaries, but they claim that they were Russian citizens. They have been so presented, called his military rank, or told where they came from, or say, “You, Ukrainian pig, I came to protect you, but are you doing!”. According to statistics, it appears that the rest – it’s local, the citizens of Ukraine. All this points to a chain of accountability to the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic of the Russian Federation.

Vitaly Portnikov: How Ukrainian prison system, the system of detention of persons, who on the other side of the war, more controllable, more than the State? Can we talk about that in Ukrainian prisons can not happen this?

Boris Zakharov: The prison system is not reformed. We present illegal violence in the police and in the prison system. Kharkiv Human Rights Group conducted a study in conjunction with the Kharkov Institute of Sociology. Despite the war, despite the increase in aggression in society, we have compared to the years 2011-12 to halve the number of torture and ill-treatment, unlawful violence to the police. If before about a million people a year were subjected to unlawful violence, and torture – 120 thousand, and now about half a million are exposed to unlawful violence and in some cases 62 000 – torture and ill-treatment.

Alexander Matviychuk: We as a human rights organization demand that the Ukrainian authorities comply with all standards and the reform of this sector, because the gross violations, abuse, unfortunately, occur. Also, there is a problem with violations by Ukrainian forces in unofficial places of unfreedom. Of course, you can not even compare the scale, but we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Ukrainian state differs from the illegal armed groups that it must investigate each case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Boris Zakharov: The state is struggling with this problem – perhaps not yet sufficiently effective, but because there is a political will to implement these reforms, to investigate the facts of abuse and torture, sooner or later this problem will be if not completely defeated, then reduced to minimum.

As for the captured parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, there effective control of Russia carries out, it is actually occupied by the Russian Federation territory. We have to communicate all at the diplomatic level.

But most importantly, the Ukrainian side is not enough high quality evidence documenting how the presence of Russian troops, and cases of torture, abuse, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against property. Our organization, submitting complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, Feeds them and against Ukraine and against Russia. Against Russia – for all the chaos that’s going on, on specific articles – is the right to life, freedom from torture, ill-treatment and so on. Against Ukraine – for inactivity, for that Ukraine has enough quality documents and is investigating these crimes. The court’s decision may well be against both countries – for example, the payment of fifty thousand euros from Russia for the fact that it all happened, and five thousand euro from Ukraine for inaction. Such precedents have been in the practice of the European Court.

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed people, we collect documents for international justice. But we can not say to a man: but now thanks, goodbye, you helped us a lot. Naturally, we will cooperate with initiatives that provide psychological and medical assistance.

Government policy in this regard is catastrophic. If in respect of servicemen still have some sort of guarantee, the civilian hostages just to themselves. It is necessary to change at least for reasons of humanity, not to mention some rights.

Vitaly Portnikov: When I’m on the program topics it covers me despair. Too many people, our Russian audience is easy to believe you. But many people will never believe in what you are talking about Donbass, because there is a blatant propaganda: “there can not be such, there is defend the Russian people.” Lived Statement usual area is no different from the Bryansk and Kharkov, and suddenly there is such a nightmare …

Alexander Matviychuk: I have a different professional despair: we interview people, but realize how much they still in the field of non-freedom – it’s still going on. About two months ago, we took the famous scientist, religious Igorya Kozlovskogo.

I understand very well what you are saying. When we document when sending alternative reports to the UN Committee, introduced them to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we can not stop it. It really frustrates some … That is why we have launched a campaign at the Munich conference fields: we demand the release of all hostages and prisoners of war and civilians. According to official figures from the Ukrainian side of 130 people. They were released a year ago, according to the sixth paragraph of the Minsk agreements .

Vitaly Portnikov: It is clearly stated on the exchange of all for all. By the way, the Russian side, at least as represented by its Special Representative on the Minsk talks Borisa Gryzlova, insists that there should be exchange of all for all. Where are the results?

Alexander Matviychuk: The same Mr. Gryzlov said that the first Ukrainian party must give a total amnesty to people who committed these crimes. We as the human rights organizations a clear position: it can not be an amnesty for serious crimes. Of course, the world is better than war, but there is no peace without justice.

If we look at the leaders of these illegal groups, who all began … As we were told the Russian colleague in April 2014: “Oh, you come to our death squads”. They were led by people who were previously in Abkhazia, Chechnya, Transnistria, where they performed the same. They were not punished were amnestied and now continue it in the Donbas.

So that there is no amnesty for war crimes can not be. To be honest, I’m very strange that I did not hear this from the members of the Norman format , I do not hear such rhetoric from France, from Germany. In my opinion, it is not just the norms of national legislation – is the basic tenet of international humanitarian law. If you give a clear message on the part of not only Ukraine, but also in France, Germany, perhaps in the occupied territories would someone think about now. They also think that sooner or later they will be amnestied.

Boris Zakharov: Amnesty, from the point of view of the law in this case is inapplicable. Amnesty happens when there is a judgment, it’s commutation. In this case we are talking about the withdrawal of charges of grave and especially grave crimes.

Vitaly Portnikov: It is understood that the Minsk agreement, we should grant amnesty to people who have worked all this, based on the Russian side logic.

Boris Zakharov: They want Ukraine changed the hierarchy and sequence of steps. They say, fulfills all its conditions, and then we say of Russia: “What you do not do your own?”. But the logic of the sequence of steps it consists in the fact that the elections in the Donbass, amnesty and other things can only happen if Ukraine will receive effective control over these territories. This means that we are at an impasse, we need a different format other than Minsk. And Minsk must continue.

Vitaly Portnikov: But the people who are in these basements, should be released in any case, regardless of what kind of formula we will discuss with you now.

Alexander Matviychuk: Minsk format just might fulfill it. If we talk about the value of human life, then obviously, it had to be done in the first place, and can be no terms such as “but first you give amnesty, but you first hold elections.” That is why our campaign appeals to France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia: decide the issue now, it is impossible to discuss all other political issues, as long as people are in such circumstances, they can not survive until the next round of negotiations!

Boris Zakharov: There are people who need medical care, many of them have already become chronicles after injuries. They should be exempt immediately!

Vitaly Portnikov: Was POW hits you about it, too, mention in their study – this is an obvious form of torture. In Ukraine, there has never been any parades of prisoners of war, in spite of what was captured by a huge number of people who are fighting on the side of the illegal armed groups in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This parade was shown on Russian television. In a huge part of the audience is caused, unfortunately, not the horror and delight.

Alexander Matviychuk: According to the Rome Statute , it is a war crime. We also describe what’s left of this parade personnel. Prisoners of war did not want to leave voluntarily, and in order to get them to go to the parade in front of them very cruelly killed several people (to have witnesses).

Vitaly Portnikov: This is actually what the Nazis did to their parades of its kind.

Boris Zakharov: Yes, it’s exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Putin is somehow able to defeat the concept of Popper’s an open and a closed society, showed that in a relatively open society, where there are alternative sources of information, you can use the new information and communication technologies so wash people brains because their zombie that you can create on the territory of Russia subtotalitarnogo mode.

Vitaly Portnikov: On the other hand, what can be such a thing, and thus know about them, but do not pay attention – this is just the result of the hybrid war, of which we speak. That is, it is like a war and not a war, and prisoners of war – like and not prisoners of war, and some people who are up in arms came to fight against their own countrymen, and the parade – like and not hits.

Alexander Matviychuk: I tried to investigate the influence of Russian propaganda on the escalation of violence. And this, of course, the question of hybridity of the war, when nothing at all is not clear, the rule of law does not correspond to the norm. But the fact is that very increased level of hatred, is the dehumanization of the country. That is, with these people, you can do so, because “it is not the people – a” dill “, Ukrainians, Germans, this junta, which all oppressed and drinks the blood of Russian babies.”

If we talk about responsibility … We are talking about the so-called “journalists” – I think that should be personal sanctions and proceedings to establish the degree of guilt and punishment of people who incite hatred and war by creating a parallel reality.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, in the sanctions of the civilized world are mentioned the names of several so-called Russian “journalists” of the most zealous and frenzied propaganda. I think everyone understands that propagandists blame for the fate of these people is obvious. We often say that the propaganda, but so what? Someone something did not understand, someone made a different conclusion. And here it is really the result of a real propaganda – it is death, torture, humiliation, abuse and the transformation of the opposite side in the “non-humans”.

Boris Zakharov: There is still a problem in international law. In fact, these hybrid wars do not fit into a modern security system in the contemporary legal space. These challenges need adequate answers. In June 2014, I proposed a package of laws on hybrid war, because the Ukrainian authorities could not answer the question: what’s going on? Say “war” and declare martial law – scared, because then Russia may begin a large-scale military campaign. “ATO” – chose this formula, but it is absolutely not appropriate from a legal point of view. Because of this formula, we have a lot of negative consequences at the international level and in international law too.

It would be nice at the time and even now already being late, it is still to take a package of laws, first at the national level, to call a spade a spade, to simulate the situation and describe a departure from the conventions, in accordance with these simulated situations. And then – to collect the international conference in Kiev and declare to the world that you need to make changes and adopt new Convention on the hybrid war, which take into account the current state of affairs.

Alexander Matviychuk: I think the problem is not even the fact that the existing international conventions do not take into account all aspects of a hybrid war, and that no one really wants to solve the problem with this challenge. The international community is trying to freeze the conflict. Amnesty? Well, let it be a total amnesty. Elections? It is clear that they will be controlled by the Russian Federation, but the de facto authorities in Ukraine, we have our own voters can say that it’s all over. Just think, people will die – the whole planet in general is very unsafe, people die …

The biggest problem is that the international community does not want to solve these problems, the hopes that they will somehow dissolve themselves. But the problems do not disappear, they just grow. Let me remind you that Ukraine – this is another point on the globe where these “gray areas” have been created. We live in a highly interconnected world. Europe or other countries, can not be shielded by fences. We have already seen, as it were, by the example of the war in Syria. Problems still find us if they are not addressed.

Sourse, 16/04/2016

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them

April 11, 2016

Oleksandra Matviychuk used to avoid police on the street. As a participant in protests for human rights, she knew, as did many Ukrainians, of the police’s reputation for using excessive force.

Today, as a member of Ukraine’s civil society, Matviychuk teaches the country’s new patrol police how to interact peacefully with citizens.

Before Ukraine’s Euromaidan — protests from November 2013 to February 2014 demanding closer ties with Europe — police had one objective: to fulfill the orders of their higher-ups, according to Matviychuk. Now, she says, they make decisions for themselves and focus on serving the publi

“Patrol policing is a job that requires thinking,” Matviychuk said. Officers not only have to know Ukraine’s laws and international standards, but quickly act in ways that affect people’s overall well-being and even their lives.

Standing up for human rights

Matviychuk remains committed to human rights in Ukraine. As head of the board at the nongovernmental organization Center for Civil Liberties in Kyiv, she works with others to push the government toward reforms that would protect freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly as well as the rights of civil activists generally.

Helping survivors

Matviychuk is also involved in Euromaidan SOS, established during the Euromaidan to locate those who had gone missing after the Yanukovych-led government launched violent attacks against peaceful protesters and to provide legal assistance for protesters who were imprisoned.

Euromaidan SOS’s role has expanded. Today, it establishes human rights agencies and mobile teams in and near the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea. “We make visits there and document everything, and work with hostages and torture survivors,” Matviychuk said.

In May 2015, the Center for Civil Liberties joined Euromaidan SOS to launch #LetMyPeopleGo, a campaign to help Ukrainian citizens imprisoned in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea for their political views. The campaign is working on the cases of eight prisoners in Crimea and 13 in Russia, including Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

Oleksandra Matviychuk holding award and standing with Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)
Matviychuk (left) with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of gunned-down Russian activist Boris Nemtsov. (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)

Recently, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer presented Matviychuk with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Democracy Defender Award for her work on reform, accountability, human rights and rule-of-law in Ukraine. Baer said he admires people like Matviychuk, “who are committed to a unified, democratic, prosperous, European Ukraine.”

Matviychuk, for her part, sees the fight for human rights as a global cause, bigger than Ukraine. “We live in a very interconnected world. … We can’t build fences and close our eyes to real problems of human rights in our world,” she said.

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them.

Matviychuk’s speech at Democracy Defender Award 2016

February 24, 2016

Human rights defender Oleksandra Matviychuks statement at the official prizegiving ceremony of Democracy Defender Award-2016

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I represent the civil initiative Euromaidan SOS that was created in response to brutal dispersal of peaceful student demonstration. We have brought together thousands of ordinary people to provide legal protection for protesters. Every day a large number of people passed through our care. People who were arrested, beaten, tortured, accused of trumped-up criminal cases, and later – the dead and the missing people.

For the second time in the last ten years, Ukrainian people rose to defend their choice to build a democratic state based on common values with European countries. We paid a rather high price for it.

After the fall of authoritarian regime, in order to stop democratic transformations in Ukraine Russia occupied Crimea and started a hybrid war in Donbas. Murders, abductions, tortures, sexual violence, human shields, political persecutions on the occupied territories – all this has become our reality.

Today we gather victims’ evidence and document these violations to present them for international justice. At the same time, we struggle to reform our police, courts and prosecutors, so in the future we are not facing a situation in where our government shoots unarmed demonstrators.

In this regard, I would like to share a few lessons that we have learned from these past events:

  1. In many countries human rights activists aren’t just working for protection of human rights. These activists are fighting every day for human rights. Often it seems almost hopeless. However, we should do our work honestly. The results of our efforts can unexpectedly be achieved.
  1. When people achieve the recognition of human rights from authorities, often in practice it means only one thing. No authorities but just civil society needs freedom of associations, the right to a fair trial, civil society oversight of police. This only means that human rights activists simply won new tasks for themselves. This is why the civil society should become an equal partner with the state authorities in the eyes of international organizations.
  2. The so-called “Ukrainian crisis”, in fact, is a direct reflection of a global crisis in the post-war world system. This is a value crisis. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is often and openly questioned. International human rights law has become secondary. Civil activists, journalists, human rights defenders are persecuted and held in prisons in Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan etc. There is an ongoing fundamental change of ideologies, which, for decades, have been the basis for international organizations.

There is a great temptation to avoid solving difficult problems, hoping that they will just vanish. But the truth is that these problems are increasing. There are new gray areas with uncertain statuses appearing on the map. That is not only about the future of the OSCE and the Helsinki Accords. That is about the entire world where everything is interconnected and only the spread of freedom and human rights is making it safe.

Finding the solution to this crisis is our historic task. We must continue fighting for human dignity. Even if there is nothing left but words and our own example.

February 24, 2016, Vienna

Ukrainian media does not care about Kazakhstan?

June 25, 2015

Journalist portal “Respublika” Natalia Sadykov talked to the chairman of the board Ukrainian “Center for Civil Liberties” Aleksandroy Matveychuk disregard for Ukrainian journalists presentation of the report on the events in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan. Later also had to observe the situation when the Ukrainian press persistently ignored the events concerning other countries. But at the same time in Ukraine want to support the whole world.

During familiarization Alexander said that after the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Zhanaozen social activists observed the trial in Aktau. Seen and heard in the case of the thirty-seven oil workers are not left indifferent Ukrainians. All the horrors endured Zhanaozen, they wanted to tell in Kiev. Report planned to present at a public event.

“We understand that we are dealing not just with gross human rights violations, and dangerous practices of authoritarian suppression of dissent, which can be easily transferred to the Ukrainian soil. We have suffered a great disappointment. At a press conference on “The shooting of peaceful demonstrations in Zhanaozen and its results: Ukraine – not Zhanaozen” came not a single journalist. Ukraine was not interested in shooting of peaceful protesters in other countries “, – said Matveichuk.

Two years later, Ukraine on Independence outlive your Zhanaozen, about a hundred of Heaven knows the whole world. Then there will be the annexation of Crimea, the war in the Donbas and downed Boeing. But Ukrainian journalists continue to ignore the press conference spoken about the problems of other countries. Even if the problems that have recently faced the Ukrainian people. Alexander Matveichuk believes that the lack of interest in what is happening in other countries – a bright sign of provincialism of thinking.

“Especially when it comes to human rights in the post-Soviet region, which I call the region the” new independent states “(even with a thousand years of history). There is a clear trend for all the processes that make up the so-called “authoritarian Club”: they quickly take over all repressive ” know-how ” of each other, so you need to know the consequences of certain decisions and be able to see their conditions in their own country “, – he explained Chairman of the Board “Center for civil liberties.”

Aleksandra Matveychuk believes that in Ukraine is only now beginning to realize, as the Russian law on foreign agents, dispersal and destruction of the Marsh press freedom in Ukraine affected. First, following the “first swallow” as maimed in law, and then annexation Crimean, which according to sociological studies endorse Russians 88% (94% of which get their information from TV screens).

“Ukraine is gradually realizes that the civil societies of our countries, too, should unite and support each other, even at the level of ordinary communication. Not by chance, after a flood in Georgia Ukrainian segment of Facebook was filled with words of support and solidarity. But at the same time, none of the Ukrainian political establishment has not publicly urged to boycott European Games in Azerbaijan, which are held on the background of total stripping of civil society and the imprisonment of almost all human rights defenders.

In Ukraine, will remember this when we have, in turn, will talk about the inadmissibility of the football championship in Russia, which is unleashed and bloody war in the Donbass, the victims of which are already at least eight thousand people “, – said Alexander.

This topic, we are actively discussing with the Ukrainian colleagues. Media journalist Roman Kabachy Institute, suggested that the indifference of the sources can be found in the history of the Ukrainian people, who were interested in a purely internal problem. But anthropologist and PhD in History Lesya Gasidzhak refutes this theory.

“I strongly disagree with the idea that Ukrainian journalists indifference to the problems of other countries related to ethnic features. Sympathy, help your neighbor, custody of those who is weaker – it has always been with us, and regulated at the level of customary law. In the calendar year, even were the days when we were not allowed to work for oneself, but it was necessary to help the widows, the lonely, the old and infirm. Not to shelter for the night the one who travels, or asks for a piece of bread – always considered a great sin. Little has changed in 1920- 1930 th years, when the communist Soviet regime began to encourage snitching, the neighbor became an enemy – to social hatred and hostility build a new society, “- says Gasidzhak.

Ethnologist believes that the root of the problem must be sought in another – lack of professional journalism.

“We have very few good analytical texts. For us, more typical of the news publication of character. Large Text “people” can not read. “Fried” the facts always have a rating. Alas. And what you say – this is a new level, which we are still only aspire, “- says Lesya Gasidzhak, which itself is the editor of the web portal” museum space “.

However, Roman Kabachy said that the situation in Ukraine is quite similar to other countries of the former Soviet Union, except Baltic countries and Russia.

“Russia is itself a provider of news and news generator of other countries (it’s happening now, such a trend” Che there with Ukrainians, “used to be” Estonians Nazis dismantled monument “,” the Georgians attacked South Ossetia “and so on). Since we are all accustomed to the fact that it was in Moscow “know better” that tell Ukrainians about Estonians and Kazakhs about Ukrainians, too, we are all to blame. The Baltic countries have a short period of statehood in the interwar period, and they increasingly do not care what he thinks about them heiress occupant country “, – says Roman Kabachy.

Journalist offers steps to help Ukrainian media interest what is happening in the CIS countries. “The first is to understand that alone can not cope with the Kremlin ideological machine, and together and” Dad beat more easily. ” Second, throw the approach of “we the center of the world and we are all important” – important, but in the same way, other than important for us. Third: to develop its own network of bureaus in the capitals of CIS and Baltic countries, refusing to gradually from the horn of Moscow. And the fourth: to stimulate the foundation of media bureaus of post-Soviet countries in Kiev “, – lists Kabachy.

However, in addition to correspondents, in Kiev today can say about the influx of the opposition forces of the CIS countries, where it is still too early to talk about democracy. Russians, Belarusians, Kazakhs and even the Georgian opposition have settled in the Ukrainian capital, and from there try to influence the situation in their countries. Today, these idealists like anyone else in need of the support of Ukrainian media. Then, perhaps, and in these countries it will be possible to speak of the victory of human rights over the dictatorship.

Author: Natalia Sadykov

Sourse, 24/06/2015

War and human rights

June 8, 2015

Vitaly Portnikov:  Human rights and the war – it would seem, no concepts more mutually exclusive, although for centuries, even during the war, people are trying to establish some rules of conduct so as not to slip into the absolute savagery. But here’s human rights and hybrid warfare, hybrid world, uncertain legal status, a situation where the people themselves the territories involved in the conflict do not understand in what world they are … What is there can make human rights activists?

We were invited to the Kiev studio of Radio Liberty programs coordinator for the Russian Center for Documentation named Natali Estemirovoy Stanislav Dmitrievsky  and head of the Center for Civil Liberties  Alexander Matveichuk  – Russian human rights activist and Ukrainian human rights activist, who are now engaged in this issue, important for the society of the two countries, of course, if these societies in the future they want to overcome the effects of the nightmare in which we all are.

I know you have just recently conducted one of these projects, trying to understand what is happening to human rights in the occupied territories of Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. To summarize your findings, what is the situation today?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  I would like to recall a very simple thing, which, nevertheless, have to constantly talk – about the two types of rights that people for some reason are very often confused. There are so-called law of the country and the state to protect against aggression – the right associated with the territorial integrity and its protection. In this sense, of course, Ukraine, being in his own right, to protect its territorial integrity and lead a military operation in the East. And there is another side – it is international humanitarian law, which must abide by both sides, regardless of whether they believe this war just or unjust, whether they are victims of aggression or its initiators.

Violation of humanitarian law, as happens in any war, committing both parties to the conflict. Our task as human rights – to do everything possible to avoid a climate of impunity. The difference is really only one thing: if all the gigantic problems that are now experiencing the Ukrainian state, there still exists the right legal framework by which we can while working, to change something (to achieve, for example, the release of illegally detained persons), then on the territory of the unrecognized breakaway republics of this legal framework is not at all, which significantly complicates the execution of such missions.

Alexander Matveichuk: Of course, we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Regardless of what these rights are, we will always stand on the side of the victim have been violated. But it must be said about the difference between the scope of such activities. Studies that have been carried out, including our human rights organization show that the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics from the very beginning of the occupation, that is, for many months in a forced, deliberate policy was implemented terror against the civilian population in the first place on the basis of their political views. That is to get into the basement and to be subjected to ill-treatment, torture and extrajudicial executions could only be for the fact that at one time you were a member of pro-Ukrainian rallies that once you say something, and the neighbors called the hotline and was told. This terror

Vitaly Portnikov:  it is clear to me that the Russian human rights activists, to put it mildly, not the most desirable category of persons, which is ready to deal with power. We see the law on “foreign agents” and their constant defamation in the media controlled by the Russian government. In Ukraine, I also noticed lately some irritation over reports of human rights, whether they are doing international organizations or local human rights activists. It is clear: the country wants to look better than it is, under the conditions in which it is difficult to be crystal clear. How do you overcome these challenges?

Alexander Matveichuk:  It is natural that in times of war increases the level of radicalization, the threshold of tolerance towards violence also becomes very high, the society is polarized: there are enemies, is “our”. We as a civil initiative (including “euromaidan the SOS”, which I also represent) are constantly trying to remind the public that one of the requirements euromaidan was – “Human Rights First” Now the challenge before us It is very difficult in war.. even on a symbolic level, the level of our words and thoughts, but we have to implement in practice. The problem is, it is natural for all the companies that are in a state of armed conflict, it is necessary to work.

Vitaly Portnikov: Stanislav, reflecting on your experience, I think that you are in a difficult situation, even from a legal perspective. Take the example of Chechnya – there is always a human rights activists tried to protect the rights of people who are illegally detained, disappeared, got in some court cases on spurious pretexts, or under the same denunciations. Nevertheless citizenship institute was obvious, transparent – there were Russian citizens. Even in the short period of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was not designed so that it was impossible to classify these people as the Russian citizens. In the case of Donbass and the Crimea Institute for Citizenship is in a mixed state. There are people who themselves qualify as citizens of Ukraine, and they qualify as Russian citizens and citizens of the DNI. A beautiful story with film director Olegom Sentsovym, who believes that he is a citizen of Ukraine, Russia and spur of the moment considers as its citizen, because he could not renounce Russian citizenship, because he was detained at the time when he had a legal possibility. How to get out of such situations?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  There is a way. Of course, they are not as straightforward as, for example, in Chechnya. But there are criteria for effective control. Of course, we do not recognize the annexation of Crimea legitimate, the international community does not recognize the Russian human rights community does not recognize, but regardless of this, Russia exercises effective control over the territory. They’ve got their own police, its own prosecutors, its courts. In this case Russia will be responsible for all human rights obligations, including if we are talking about the complaints in the  European Court of Human Rights .

More difficult situation in the Donbass, because it is not just about proving the fact of aggression, as set forth in the relevant UN documents. There’s a large-scale infiltration of gangs is enough to raise the question of aggression, but there is still the question of effective control. To prove that the authorities of the breakaway republics are effectively controlled by the Russian Federation and, therefore, the Russian Federation as a state is responsible for the fate of these people – I believe that it is a challenge, a task that, including in the European courts, must decide right now the human rights community : both the Russian and Ukrainian.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Incidentally, we are taking the first steps towards this. The UN Committee on Human Rights Two months ago, I considered Russia’s obligations in the light of its compliance with international human rights standards. And we, as a Ukrainian human rights organization, was sent to your application. We have tried to justify the arguments, referring to the sources and the evidence that was collected by our field missions, which Russia exercises effective and total control of the territory, as well as coordinating the military operations against the Ukrainian army. Despite the fact that at the meeting of the UN Committee was surprised my presentation (to me the word has been given on behalf of the Ukrainian human rights community, I was talking about the Crimea and pro Donbass), in the final recommendations of the Committee thought of Donbas in a very diplomatic manner. This is the signal for the Russian Federation that even such unwieldy and very bureaucratic structures such as the UN,

There is another important point – this can never be done by the efforts of civil society only. It is the task of the Ukrainian authorities – to gather evidence of Russian aggression, demonstrate effective control. And here I unfortunately have to say that the work, as always, being ineffective, there is no single center. On all of our recommendations that it should be created, to be debugged system of gathering information, analyzing it, save photos and videos, we do not get proper answers. I very much fear that, when the war is over (as it will ever be over anyway), this issue is a factor of war crimes will be put in this light that we do not have any evidence, nor, consequently, the victims and the perpetrators.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Maybe the parties are generally not very interested in how to document things that can interfere with the negotiation process?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This element is always the case in any conflict. Still, it seems to me that, according to the documents, which are published officially accepted Rada, for the official position, as far as I could see her here, the state officially declares the need. On the other hand, I have the impression that the lion’s share of the work that should make the state, makes civil society. It’s amazing to us in Russia is not even dream! I believe that there is a civil society can not only help the state that is trying to do to become a democratic and goes to Europe. In Russia, it has long been a fig leaf, and here is the desire to eat, and the human rights community has much to teach the state. Here really have a chance.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to give a specific example, that we understand the scale of the disaster. Everyone has heard about Slavyansk, it is quite a long time for people who have been in his basement, it was under occupation. Immediately after his release went to our mobile team “euromaidan SOS”. The basement was open. Members of the mobile teams have seen that all lying on the floor, that the basement wash some utilities. Our lawyer has been in the mobile group, she saw some documents. She realized that, if it just does not gather them on the floor, they disappear. It turned out to be death sentences signed by almost  Strelkov (Igor Girkin)And lists of pro-Ukrainian activists in the Donbas. After we passed these documents, we rang round all these people say, be careful, you’re on the list. This is to ensure that no members of the mobile teams of civil society organizations were to withdraw these documents, and state agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  It is important to understand how, in principle, the people behave in similar areas, because there is no guarantee that the front line (now stable delineation line) will be stable for a long time. People who feel the attention of repressive structures, is also very difficult in this situation. How capable the human rights community to provide assistance to such people?

Alexander Matveichuk:  This is a big challenge for the human rights community, we were not ready for him. But a year has passed, we gradually adapt. We have formed a coalition to document war crimes in the Donbas, we are now talking about the free legal reception, which returned to the place previously occupied, and before that it acted enjoyed authority. And we’re talking about, accompanied by cases in international courts, because right now, seeing the level of the investigation, it is not necessary to talk about its effectiveness.

A striking example – Ivan Reznichenko, killed a policeman from Soledar, whose body was found by his friend, who organized their own investigation in a few months. his body showed the man, who identified himself as involved in the murder of Ivan. Recently, he was released on bail, the case is artificially inhibited, and relatives are constant threats, including from local law enforcement agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Stanislav, with the Ukrainian state is clear, it is in such a state as it is, somewhere it is replaced by a society where, it acts itself … But if he understands that he is dealing with its own citizens, which should be protected? It can do it or not – is another question. And with the Russian state is much more difficult, if we are talking about the citizens of the Russian Federation, then the official services comes just a screeching halt, as happened with those soldiers, which the Russian Federation has not yet been considered by Russian and attempts by them as citizens of the refuse. We can say that the Russian consul met with the two men formed only under the pressure of public opinion. What to do?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Frankly, I do not know. I have not cherish any illusions here. In Russia, it is clear who the “fifth column”, “enemies of the people”. We all joke that “fifth column” came to the meeting with the other four at our conference. But still, despite all the horror, all this reaction, in which we have fallen after losing our unfinished “Snow Revolution” 2011-12 years, some public pressure tools of social influence are preserved. You are quite right to say about these two soldiers – have refused them the native state, which they have served, and the company has managed to pull this topic. No one knows what will happen to us tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Do what you must, and the rest is in God’s hands. You just need to do their job, no matter what.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I have a feeling that the Russian state structures do not act as State organs, even when it is their direct responsibility – that’s the problem. Here the question is not even ideology and functioning.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This and all other areas of the case. I’m in his native Nizhny Novgorod, is involved in activities to protect cultural heritage. I do not see the state, I do not see bodies to perform their functions. I come here, I see a huge level of problems, but I was jealous because I understand that this is a problem of a completely different level. There is political will, the desire, there is a civil society. I do not know how much we still have to go before that. But we still work together, although there is a huge propaganda force, aiming to ensure that we have to separate, to divide. I friends say, “How are you to ride?” I say, “Well now eat me, probably to be crucified.” Certainly I laugh. Nevertheless, we are working together.

Alexander Matveichuk:  In this  situation of detainees gereushnikami  is an important aspect interesting. This Monday I went to see them with our Russian colleague, a human rights activist. We have been working together, there are values that unite us. Human rights have no borders.

Vitaly Portnikov:  You also do talk to them?

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov:  How do these people feel themselves?

Alexander Matveichuk:  They have no complaints about the content, they are totally shallow that they are being tortured, as it says is now the General Staff of the Russian Federation. They have one request, and it is very revealing: they want to get in touch with their families, and their Consul said that a month can not find a wife of Sergeant. He is very worried, why so much time Russian consulate is unable to establish contact with her.

Vitaly Portnikov:  In my opinion, this woman was interviewed, he said he was discharged from the armed forces. She found great employees of the Russian TV channels.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There is another important point. Detainees gereushnikov was me, a Ukrainian human rights activist, and our colleague – Russian human rights activist. And our Ukrainian citizens who are detained for political reasons pronounced in Russia, did the spies,  “right sector” , saboteurs, terrorists, and they even Ukrainian Consul can not get for months. Nikolai Karpyuk – 14 months, Stanislav Klich – 8. It has recently been an alarming statement by a lawyer Savchenko Ili Nadezhda Novikova that he does not know whether Nicholas Karpyuk alive, just such a long time to it no one is allowed.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This, incidentally, was in recent history with two Ukrainian citizens, young people, who were detained at the Russian-Ukrainian border, in one of the border towns, it was almost the students. They are very long kept imprisoned in Russia on a completely trumped-up charges, they barely pulled out.

Alexander Matveichuk:  During the year! The first three months they were held in defiance of a court decision on deportation. And they are not just kept – tortured them. They were taken to the woods, beaten. The incident is now present at our joint conference. Before that we worked on this briefcase, he is well known to me. But I personally have heard of it, why one of them was forced to open his veins, and the second – to cut his stomach. They just realized that they would be killed in a specific time. They wanted to get to the hospital to stop the torture and abuse.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This is a very striking example of what can happen with the Russian penal system, when it is faced with the Ukrainian crisis. You agree that such explicit complaints still in Russia recorded very rarely.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  If you exclude Chechnya, Dagestan. There’s just a stream. The worst thing – is now at the conference there was talk in the Crimea, were human rights activists working there, and I see that the methods that have been developed, tested, and found widespread in Chechnya, begin to be gradually introduced in the Crimea – thank God, not yet on the same scale, but it is a very frightening trend. Crimea on the background of all other regions (they believe that it is the Russian state) is gradually drifting to the Chechen side, I mean, enforced disappearances, killings and torture. You just have to be ready for it. Yet there can not find some of the people responsible for torture brought to justice for the killings. It is still good, because in Chechnya, it is in principle impossible. But everything is there.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I remind you that a huge number of missing in the Crimea (the figure was named  Elloy Pamfilovoy , the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation) Human rights defenders need to tell, at least about 9 of them, who went on a pronounced political motives – eg , members of the “Ukrainian house”. Time of the abduction of one of them was recorded on video, which gives us the opportunity to say that it was made of the Crimean “self-defense”. The whereabouts of these people is unknown. Regarding torture can bring a bright example of the latter case Alexander Kostenko, who was named the most important thing a dictator of the Crimean branch  of “Freedom” , and she  Poklonskaya I read out the horrific for each lawyer and the prosecution lawyer. Just listen to what evidence operates the main Crimean prosecutor – and understandable farce and absurdity of the whole situation.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Poklonskaya – Yanukovych ward system – what wonder that it is all the principles of the system suffered in the Crimea?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  The feeling of a  friend Wyszynski , and even caricature.

Alexander Matveichuk:  It should be noted that during the trial the lawyer Dmitry Sotnikov has repeatedly said that his client had been tortured, but that request was rejected and not considered. We have other examples – black and Afanasyev, who are in the case of so-called “Crimean terrorists” is Oleg Sentsov, which we remembered. So, they admitted their guilt, now have 7 years of the colony. The court session was held behind closed doors. But we know that they complained of torture. Later, they were afraid to take the other lawyers, except those assigned to the State Service of the Russian Federation. One of them contained even in a psychiatric hospital for a while, but now they are serving a 7-year sentence.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This is a common practice. Indeed, with regard to allegations of torture, all without exception, Russian courts have rejected these claims. Organization  “Committee against Torture” , with which I work, which is now also declared a “foreign agent”, managed in 15 years to prosecute about 115 law enforcement personnel. Proving torture – generally a difficult matter, and when the investigation is opposed to it … We had cases when it was possible to bring to justice after 7 years, 6 years. For example, the famous case of Mikheyev – the criminal case was stopped 20 times, and each time the lawyers appealed the decision of the Committee. This is a very long struggle. But now the situation is deteriorating. If earlier we watched as annoying flies, now – both overt enemies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  After the law on “foreign agents” will be the human rights movement in Russia?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Law on “foreign agents” – is not the worst. By the way, I am very pleased that the human rights community to boycott it almost unanimously, no one volunteered himself the star is not sewn. But now we adopted another law on the “undesirable organizations”, which, as I understand it, is intended to announce such …

Vitaly Portnikov:  Anyone who fails to declare a “foreign agents.”

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  … foreign organizations, that is, funds from which we get the funding, our partners, and to criminalize it. Of course, I think that this will complicate the matter. Gradually comes to reformat the human rights movement in a movement of civil resistance. Perhaps there all this will drift.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There are examples in other countries, which also started with a similar law, and ended up in the summer of last year jail all human rights – I mean Azerbaijan. The problem is that the legislation, which is now accepted in Russia, especially in the field of taxation, provides the potential for public authorities for some time to accumulate evidence and then put human rights defenders are not under political articles, and present to the public that they are just fighting for your pocket. Including a huge propaganda machine, and the people who now live in poverty, of course, will not be sympathetic to this concern. The situation is very worrying, we are very worried about our Russian colleagues.

Vitaly Portnikov:  We was not very optimistic program, because it is unclear how to get out of all situations, at least, how to prove that not only the organization, but also ordinary people become targets of repression, pressure objects. If those areas that should be the object of attention of human rights organizations, the authority of law and human rights protection itself is so low, how to get out of this situation before the end of the conflict?

Alexander Matveichuk:  I’ll start with a joke. We were at the conference were to arrive on the same flight several dozen Russian human rights activists, and the flight was canceled. We do not associate it with the conference. A colleague of ours, which in Soviet times was a dissident, said: “You do not know the underground practitioner How did you hit upon the idea of all invited to sit on an airplane.?”

Vitaly Portnikov:  Because they thought it was underground.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes. I mean, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. History repeats itself, and there is what you need to do. We as “euromaidan SOS” addressed to people who, while living in the Crimea, are engaged in public activities, or have their own independent position, with the suggestion that they began to study and implement in their daily life safety practices: information, legal, physical. Have accumulated an arsenal of techniques, they do not save, do not give an absolute guarantee, but significantly reduces the risk and make the price of attacks on individual higher.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  With this activity we are also engaged in a long time, is the protection of human rights defenders. Of course, no one can guarantee. Now you can go to the wonderful Kiev, and on the head of a brick will fall …

Vitaly Portnikov:  You know, drop a brick on his head and some deliberate action structures, which should be a law – it is not the same thing.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Just probability … of course, we will do our best to anticipate these probabilities.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to make an optimistic note in our program. Still, despite all the difficulties that are now fighting Ukraine, – the war that Russia started occupying the Crimea, and then launch a hybrid war through their proxy agents of the DNI, LC in the east, to the fact that reforms in the area of human rights man do not go with us as quickly and effectively as we would like – in spite of all this, we are seeing a huge rise of civil society. Create hundreds of different initiatives at different levels, which, in fact, carry out public functions. It gives us an opportunity to look ahead optimistically. Our society is now much stronger than the state apparatus.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I think it’s something that should inspire hope, and something that will help, anyway, rehabilitation Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the Crimea in the future, when the law will be restored in those areas where human rights would not work, and the ordinary life of every citizen living there. Although this is true of all the Russians, and not only the inhabitants of these regions.

Sourse, 07/06/2015

Let my people go: about Ukrainian prisoners in Russia

May 30, 2015

Guests transmission “Your Freedom” to “Radio Liberty” Ukrainian studio Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Russian human rights activist, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group (by telephone from Moscow); Alexandra Matviychuk, lawyer, chairman of the board of the Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine).

Alexander Lashchenko: June 1 this year in Kiev, “Kinopanorama” cinema premiere of the documentary “euromaidan SOS». As part of the premiere, in particular, the presentation of the world, we can say the campaign «Let my people go». We are talking about the liberation of Ukrainian citizens who are, in the opinion of human rights activists, for political reasons behind bars in Russia. It is not just about Hope Savchenko and Oleg Sentsov. Those citizens of Ukraine, which still holds Russia, about thirty men, for the SBU data.

What is the fate of the Ukrainian people? And can they be exempt? At least some chance there is to it?

– Mrs. Matviychuk, what kind of campaign? It lasts longer than one day, the presentation will be June 1 this year. What has already been done?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We started this campaign at the April session of the Council of Europe. We would like to draw the attention of parliamentarians that in addition to courageous Nadia Savchenko, which contains illegally fabricated criminal case in Russia, such people, at least a few dozen. And only we know about 11 people, contained behind bars. Here is the chart shows who was appointed “punitive”, who was appointed as “terrorists”, who was appointed “spies”. And these people, according to our calculations, we were able to identify 11 people here, as we have seen, different sex, age, occupation, property status, place of origin, but they all have in common is that their deeds clearly political motive.

If we talk about the results of this campaign, which we launched in Strasbourg and now continue, the first of these results – the release Yuriya Yatsenko, a student at the University of Lvov, who was appointed “right sector” is banned in Russia, a “terrorist”.

– From the point of view of Russian law enforcement agencies.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Of course. The thing is absolutely absurd. They engaged with fellow small business activities have come to Russia, and there have been illegally detained for three months. During this detention authorities did not carry out the court’s decision and did not deport them. But they are subject to brutal torture. And to imagine that the guys in the usual Lviv students had to go through, I’ll just say that in order to stop it, one of them cut his wrists, and another cut his stomach.

Well, actually, about the fate of our Ukrainian prisoners – they are not to be envied. In fact, the lawyer Nadia Savchenko Ilya Novikov says that he does not even know whether alive Nikolai Karpyuk as 14 months to it do not allow Ukrainian consul.

And here is indicative of the response of Ukraine. Everyone has heard about the famous case Grushnik detention. They allowed the Russian consul.

– Yes. This refers to the two detained Russian riot police, who are now in the Kiev hospital. Russia asserts that they are citizens of Russia, the Russians, the military, but in the past. Although the detainees in an interview with Russian “Novaya Gazeta” Paul Kanygin admitted that they were Russian servicemen.

Alexandra Matviychuk: I pay attention only to the fact that in this case Ukraine immediately admitted the Russian consul to the arrested Russian citizens. But many of the people arrested in Russia Ukrainian consul simply can not get there. Some of them refer to themselves as Ukrainian citizens, as Oleg Sentsov, and define them as Russian citizens. “Submitted to the ground during the occupation of the Crimea,” as he said at Oleg court.

Indeed, the essence of this campaign – is to draw people’s attention to the fact that there are such people, it is not one, not two, not three, they need our help, and in this authoritarian country like Russia without external strong pressure these people just no one let go.

– By the way, remind, indeed among those people who are still behind bars in Russia, there is a Ukrainian citizen 73 years of age? Mr Soloshenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. Yuri Soloshenko 72 years. His poor health. And it’s all very concerned about the doctors, his family.

– And what he is accused? What is also forbidden “Right Sector” in Russian? What is it?

Alexandra Matviychuk: He is accused of spying, that he illegally received and disclose information constituting a secret. That is, espionage. In that way, it shines 20 years in prison. That’s him in ’72 and another 20 plus can give.

– (by phone). Ms. Alekseeva, what is your opinion about what is happening in Russia, with Ukrainian citizens, who are in prison? What it is: political persecution, says Ms. Matviychuk, or, as Russian law enforcers really a criminal investigation made by lawyers will be a trial, if the court finds them guilty, they go free?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: All true. But, unfortunately, it is not only Ukrainian citizens, Russian citizens also suffer from it. In Russia we do not have just qualified court. And the conditions of detention in prisons and other detention centers are heavy, and very often the mode of construction in violation of Russian laws is much more humane than the actual stay in prison.

– You are engaged in human rights work for decades. It began in the USSR. By the way, it was my colleague, including “Voice of America” ​​in the “Radio Liberty”, leading the program. Now, 25 years later, a quarter century after the collapse of the USSR, does not change to protect the human rights situation in Russia?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Unfortunately, it is much worse than it was in the 1990s.

– Have a chance to release the citizens of Ukraine, which are contained in Russian prisons? Some observers, including Russia, the pro-Kremlin does not claim that all depends in this case and in the case of Hope Savchenko, and in the case Olega Sentsova, and other citizens of Ukraine less famous, from a single person – Putin.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Absolutely.

– Like, if there is more pressure on Putin, the less chance there. He does not give in to pressure. Do you agree?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Anyway, so declare.

– What do you do? Dead end?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Fight. And for Ukrainian citizens, and for our citizens. Prison conditions have to be civilized.

Well, the court? I believe that this is our main problem, despite the fact that we have a whole bunch of other problems. This lack of qualified and independent in their actions the court. Because if any problem could be resolved in a court of law, then we have a much better it would be in the country.

But the fact of the matter is that we go to court involuntarily. Where else? But we know in advance that, most likely, will not be made a fair decision, and is one that our government wants.

– Not too optimistic, as far as I understand you. Ms. Alekseeva, then what to do? Pressure from the West? What are some other levers?

Even Brezhnev managed (you remember it from my own experience) anyway. For example, emigration to Israel and other moments. Yet Brezhnev signed the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. Some success was still on the pressure. Although small. What, then, Putin may be affected now?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: I do not know. I’m not Putin. I believe that, in general, not only in relation to Russia, but also with regard to Ukraine, of any other country, only a strong civil society in the state can influence the behavior of the authorities.

We civil society (thank God!) Is, but to call it a strong and powerful language is not rotated. I know from my practice. Of the 10 cases for which I take, and I take only when I am sure that the law is on my side and the Constitution, work out about three and seven is impossible, because the government does not listen to what the public wants.

Unfortunately, recipes, taking into account the situation in our country, there are, but it will run slowly. It is necessary to cultivate, strengthen civil society. We will have rule of law, we will have a democracy.

– Ms. Alekseeva, the Soviet Union is clear, what was the civil society prior to the restructuring, but in 1968, just a handful of people came to Red Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. There were other examples. Were dissidents. You know many of them personally.

Now the company – 86% of support for Putin. On what to expect? When will the fruits? When will “own perestroika”?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: What it is, I know. And when – I can not say. Kills me, this statistic (86% support Putin – Ed.), Because, frankly, I thought that 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we, my fellow citizens, have already got rid of the imperial syndrome. But what happened in the Crimea, has convinced me otherwise. A lot of people happy and maintain it. So we have not ceased to be an imperial nation. It is very hard to realize. Because as long as we Empire, we can not become a democratic country. Empire democracies do not happen.

– Mrs. Matviychuk, can be any blame Putin, Russia’s law enforcement system that dozens of Ukrainian citizens for political reasons are behind bars in Russia. But they, the listed person I have a responsibility? The Ukrainian government is doing something to rescue them?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Very good question. After all, the duty of every government – to protect its citizens, no matter what difficult situations they find themselves. Actually, we decided to test how the Ukrainian government carries out at least a minimum minimorum, what can be done in this situation.

In particular, according Aleksandru Kostenko. It is a well-known environmental activist, the “case Sentsova” was also detained in the Crimea. He “sew”, that he party “sabotage” of the “Right Sector”, who allegedly tried to organize and organized several attacks. He faces 20 years in prison. And now the courts are going over it. And it is in the “Lefortovo” in custody.

We sent a request to the GPU and asked them whether open proceedings on the fact of illegal abduction Aleksandra Kolchenko from the territory occupied Ukraine, travel to the territory of Russia, which, incidentally, is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. Just as, for example, the GPU is done in the case Olega Sentsova.

We got answers. GPU we were told that our application is considered and included information in the Unified State Register, it is forwarded to pre-trial investigation in the Pechersky District Police Department.

But the response of the Pechersk district police have shocked! I’ll just show it. It says that in the course of working out of the statement, it was found that all the problematic issues that arise in other countries (please!), Outside the competence of the bodies of internal affairs and are considered by the Ministry (and it says here) for Foreign Affairs. Probably had in mind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Actually, so they do not see grounds for the opening of criminal proceedings and to make our statements in a single register of pre-trial investigations.

It is already very sad. We see who has signed: the head of the Pechersk district department, police colonel, acting Head of Pechersk district department. If they do not know that the Crimea – it is Ukraine, albeit temporarily occupied territory, then what kind of protection of our citizens who have been alone with the occupier, can we talk ?! Of course, we will appeal.

– Appeal where?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We will write to the GPU. As they we were told that our statement made in a single register of pre-trial investigations, we say: you’ve made or not made, and to appeal to a higher court – the leaders of the Pechersk district department in the Interior Ministry.

– «Let my people go». What further specific measures will be part of this campaign for the release of Ukrainian citizens who are in prison in Russia?

Alexandra Matviychuk: The first thing we must understand that these people need our information support. When Yuri Yatsenko was released from prison, he said that investigators followed by the FSB for each publication, for each press conference, which was done “euromaidan SOS» in his defense, brought him the printout and discussed with him. For him, it was a confirmation that he had not forgotten about him that Ukraine remembers him struggling. And it actually holds.

Second. We will put pressure on the international human rights institutions, namely the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, the EU.

– The court in Strasbourg is too early to apply, because there is no verdict of the Russian court, so it turns out?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. As demonstrated by the case Nadia Savchenko, the Court – is not the best tool in this system. After all, the Court considers the violation of the rights and is always trying to avoid the politicization of the issue. And since the matter has clearly political motive, but the pressure it can be solved at the political level favorable for our citizens means.

– Perhaps, in the administration of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in that it is changed or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mr Klimkin?

Alexandra Matviychuk: This is our next event. Since Poroshenko, and Klimkin talk about a narrow circle of people.

– About the most famous: Hope Savchenko Oleg Sentsova.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And even now about Aleksandre Kolchenko. A year after the work of his friends. They have the ability to speak and represent the entire list.

Plus, we are talking about the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, and there are still people who are detained, arrested and now sit in the occupied territories in the Crimea. And these people do not forget. This Alexander Kostenko, it Ahtem Chiygoz son Mustafy Dzhemileva.

– Ministry of Justice of Ukraine appealed to her son Cemil extradited to Ukraine. While there is no answer Russian law enforcers.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And there is another point that we do not raise in the campaign, but about which we always say. There are a large number of missing persons in the area ATO. According to the information, which comes to relatives, to the Russian human rights activists, to us, they are transported not only in the occupied territories, some of the hostages were gone.

– That is, it turns out, as Nadezhda Savchenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Like Nadezhda Savchenko. Their whereabouts are unknown.

We are now asked our colleagues to Russian human rights defenders to send requests to the prison to at least understand whether there are there Ukrainian citizens. And if they are military, the more clearly where they …

– We are talking about tens, hundreds? Hard to say?

Alexandra Matviychuk: If we talk about the official statistics of the missing, we have their 1500. Of course, some of them – this is, unfortunately, the people who were killed. And we are talking about 400 people, according to official statistics which are in captivity (separatists – Ed.).

Sourse, 29/05/2015

Maidan has not won yet

July 23, 2014

Aleksandra Matveychuk, chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, euromaidan SOS coordinator in an exclusive interview with ” Republic ” recalls fourth in his life and thinks Maidan, where you want to move Ukraine to become a democratic state.

– Alexander, please tell us what the Center of civil liberties?

– Our organization is engaged in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Our focus freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, combating discrimination, the protection of human rights defenders. We work not only in Ukraine. After all, human rights are known, do not have national boundaries. If the authoritarian regimes in the former Soviet Union are working closely together to stifle civil society, we, human rights organizations should also work to create a joint international platform.

– What is the situation with civil liberties in Ukraine today?

– Ukraine is now faced with a new reality – the military occupation of the Crimea and “neoglashennoy” war waged by Russia in the East of Ukraine. In such conditions it is very difficult to move the selected people to the democratic way of development – to reform the police, to conduct the lustration judges, root out corruption, etc.

The very human rights situation varies depending on the region. There Donbass, which are acts of war, where Russia supported illegal military formations are policies of terror among the civilian population, torture and kidnap civilians. There Crimea, where de facto entered the Russian repressive legislation, which prohibits even the prayer prayer on the anniversary of Crimean Tatars deportation. Other regions are preparing to defend against external aggression, but it should be noted that there is the situation with the observance of human rights is normalized.

In fact, we live in a very interesting period of history. Since the end of World War II, there was no precedent for States to “overcame” the other part of the territory and formally annexed it to her. And then the question is not only in the fact that Ukraine should do in such a situation. Here the question that should be in this situation, do other countries do? Downed passenger airliner by terrorists and the death of 298-mi man once again demonstrated that everything is interconnected in this fragile world.

– In your life there were four Maidan, tell us how you, so young, is it? You were talking about the persecution – you and loved ones, in what it consisted of?

– During the Orange Revolution I was a law student. Symbol of the revolution was orange. I remember that I wore the ribbon at a time when few people wore it. And she thought: now I have to behave so that no one even questioned my integrity. Because I’m here, this ribbon, and I will judge the people who support democracy.

I went to the polls observer. Once at the site vote count ended, I was taken to his woman with the election commission. I remember early in the morning we sit in front of TV, where from the screen to announce the victory of Yanukovich. And both crying. And then on television reported that some people are going to protest on Independence. And I went.

Then there was the tax (against strangulation small businesses), Movny (against Russification) now euromaidan. The main thing I realized: no one is safe, that Ukraine in its way to becoming as a democratic state does not need another one. But we need to create a guarantee that no power would not come to mind to shoot unarmed people in the streets.

During euromaidan we were all under the gun. Power led terror cruel and merciless, it could become the victims of everything, even random people. In my case, there were bandits in the house, and the “invitation” to the Prosecutor General. I remember, I was asked if I was ready to sit down. I honestly said that many people consider themselves to something ready until fate will check their availability. That is very interesting. And thought to myself, I had a wonderful life, which gave me an appointment with a very wonderful people, I did what she believed. The only thing that was not in time, because it is to give birth to children. Here the war is over, and these loans.

– Where have you been and what they did during the tragic events of February? What can you tell us about them?

– In euromaidan SOS office. At that moment I could no longer go home. I remember just before the volunteers went to the Maidan, and again there was a telephone our hotline. But when it all began and we started calling that people are shot, we could not do anything. We do legal aid. Then the volunteers went to morgues, hospitals, and places where to bring the dead. We were afraid that the government will destroy the body, and hastily drew up lists. So we were the first to know what killed not ten or twenty.

And my husband called me here. He said: “You do realize that I am on the Maidan?” I told him that, of course, I understand. Although I would like to say: please, run out. But how could I? Most of the were on the Maidan were family. I just asked him if he had a bulletproof vest. He laughed, and said that they are useless. We said good-bye. Remember, I left the office for fifteen minutes to recover, and then went back to work.

Honestly, I’m now very hard to pass the street Institutska, where people were killed. I now know many by name, and I still somehow embarrassing that we have survived, and they have not.

– How did the idea to establish SOS euromaidan and what are the problems encountered? Who are these people who have been searching for?

– On Saturday, November 30 last year, our organization was to conduct a seminar for activists from the regions. It is clear that when all arrived and learned that a few hours before the police brutally beat students on the Maidan was not up to the workshop.

People were crushed, most breaks to go to the St. Michael’s Square, where the rally going. But we decided to think about what we, as human rights activists, could be useful in this situation. After all, at that time there were many people affected, and it is not clear whether they provided legal assistance.

About ten o’clock in the morning we opened the SOS euromaidan page in the “Facebook” and published two posts. The first numbers of our hotlines. The second – with a request to lawyers who are willing to provide free legal assistance to respond. And it worked.

During euromaidan number of calls per day (and we took out the clock) could reach several thousand. Only in our official list of the contacts were more than 400 lawyers, who agreed to during the day and at night to work pro bono. But euromaidan SOS would not take place if we did not support the hundreds of volunteers and an active fb Community euromaidan SOS.

It is important to note that most of these people had never engaged in any civic activity. Just when the critical moment, they did not remain indifferent. Euromaidan gave people the opportunity to express their most good features. Therefore, it is called Revolution Benefits.

– How does the SOS Maidan involved in tracing people? How many could find? How many are unaccounted for?

– During euromaidan just a list of the missing held up to a thousand people. Most of them were very fast. In the search for other took days, weeks, months. After the wounded brought to the hospital and into the underground, equipped through donations, exported to other cities of the country to protect them from persecution. Someone unconscious, someone without a phone. Relatives called us. Well, not to the police as they were then apply.

Someone is missing from the list passed in the death toll. Now we are looking for more than thirty people who disappeared during euromaidan.

– A lot of talk about that with Maidana kidnapped people and deal with them, what can you say about this? It is known to you about such cases?

– I can tell you about the case of the kidnapping of my good friend Igor Lutsenko. Before euromaidan I knew him as one of their “Save Old Kyiv” leaders of the movement, they fought for the preservation of green spaces and monuments in the city. His kidnapped by unknown people (the so-called “titushky” that cooperated with the police) directly from the hospital, along with scientist seismologist Yuri Verbitsky. Yuri on the Maidan was injured in the eye. It is not superfluous to note that the police then loved to shoot sighting over his eyes, we have more than 50 of the victims.

That night I spent on the phone with his brother George. Both stolen tortured, then separately taken into the forest. Igor was able to escape and survive. Yuri no.

– What happened with that organization after the Maidan won?

– Independence is not yet won. We must reform the country, not just shifting it onto the shoulders of politicians, to drive for the state border of the Russian gangs, to return the occupied Crimea. Therefore, SOS euromaidan continues to work and help people. However, the military action lawyers zone will not send him, so our methods have changed. Now we form a human rights mission and mobile, we go and document, working with the hostages and victims of torture.

– Alexander, what do you think, is it right that maydanovtsy not diverge. What they want, in your opinion?

– euromaidan SOS on this occasion made a statement. We wrote that if before to go to the Maidan was the duty of every honest man, but now there are a lot of real work, and it is necessary for someone to do. The momentum of the Maidan, that is, the democratic transformation should reach all of the small village. I’m not talking about the war in the East.

– Do you think that today the country needed not to lose the momentum that gave her the Maidan and to develop further?

– You know, Independence ended, and civic engagement does not drop. Just in time of war it is not very visible to an outside observer. People work in different initiatives: conducting an investigation of crimes on the Maidan, help the wounded, and bringing to ensure military control of the parliament, that he may carry out the necessary reforms the country.

I’m sure the time will come and the world will study our unique experience of self-organization, when ordinary people come together and perform essentially the function of the state. After euromaidan we stayed “Heavenly Hundred”. But heroes are not vyedesh, propping his shoulders public institutions must all. And we understand that.

Sourse, 22/07/2014

Результаты поиска:

It is necessary to win this war, but not to turn to Russia

February 25, 2017

Under the guise of the formula “we are fighting against Russian aggression”, the Ukrainian government is not always justified limits the rights and freedoms of its citizens. “The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan, “- said Ukrainian human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk.

She adds that it is important to remember that you must not only fight for the temporarily occupied territories, but also to build a democratic model of society.

For more information about tasks that are currently facing the Ukrainians, Alexander Matviychuk told FaceNews. Human rights activist also told about why we still do not know who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Heaven.

Alexander, for three years Ukrainians are waiting for answers to questions about who was shooting at people at the time of the dignity of the Revolution, who gave the orders. Why, in your opinion, the answer is still no?

There are objective and subjective reasons. During euromaidan bodies that were supposed to investigate the crimes and to conduct initial investigations, we did not. They were so busy that committed these crimes. Was destroyed by a huge number of documents, the former leadership of the country is on the run in the Russian Federation and other countries. That is, there are a number of objective things that complicate the investigation.

What are the subjective factors? The fact that, unfortunately, the investigation and the accomplishment of justice has fallen on the shoulders of the unreformed system of law enforcement bodies and the judges, many of whom are at the time of the Maidan themselves carried knowingly unjust decisions. It is difficult to expect them to some higher standards of justice, as in the good they realize that sooner or later, if the investigation will be effective, they also held accountable.

Also, I do not see a lot of attention of the government. Thus, during the first year we did not create even a single investigation into the center, things were questioned by different investigators, and even structures.

Once this center is finally appeared, he was for a long time did not receive the necessary support. At the end of 2015 the year it worked eighteen investigators, they investigated more than 2000 episodes literally “on the knee”, without premises and logistics. This is clearly not the way to relate to a case that the president names most resonant in the history of independent Ukraine.

The last thing we are very annoyed when in October last year, Yuriy Lutsenko made a decision to change, and in his opinion, to improve the investigation process of the organization. He had the idea, which he, fortunately, refused to merge into a single production and make a big deal Yanukovych.

The most important thing in this decision – a change in the focus of the investigation. After all, if we start immediately to collect evidence only against the top, we will lose the middle link – people who, relatively speaking, stood between Yanukovych and those who committed crimes with their own hands. Question – why it is done. I venture to suggest that it is the middle link is successfully incorporated into the current system of power and easy feeling.

However, in the investigation there are also positive things. It is clear that not all so clear.

Fair investigation of crimes during euromaidan – is not the only challenge for the authorities. What other challenges do you think, is now acute for Ukraine?

During euromaidan we were fighting for their democratic choice. It turns out, the most important task now – to implement the democratic choice in practice.

We need to carry out radical reforms that will change the course of history. While we like the people who go into the pit in a circle, and once in ten years, when it gets really bad, and the bottom is getting closer, a revolutionary way to correct the motion path and try to get out of it. But as building democratic institutions much harder, for some reason we returned back to this circling. That is our main goal – to make a qualitative leap and get out of this turbulence zone, transitional period in which we are in the last few decades.

After the fall of the authoritarian regime the possibility of these democratic changes became so real, that the Russian Federation, defending his authoritarian regime was forced to intervene. She occupied the Crimea, began the hybrid war in Donbas. And now we are fighting for our right to have a choice per se.

Therefore, in these difficult and dramatic time we are faced with a second very important task – to not forget what we are fighting. We need to win this war, but not to turn himself into the Russian Federation.

What I mean? In response to Russia’s aggression power starts to limit the rights and freedoms and making it is not always justified. It is important to understand that even in times of war, human rights should be limited in proportion to, and not just because the authorities felt like it and it has a beautiful phrase, “we are fighting against Russian aggression.”

The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan. This should not be allowed.

We need very clearly aware that we are fighting not only for the territory and for the choice of a model of society, where the rights of everyone are protected, where there is a fair judicial system, where the government is accountable to the citizens.

Sourse, 24/02/2017

The fate of the “Kremlin prisoners”: what to do with Ukraine, have become hostages of the Russian Federation

January 6, 2017

Torture, which apply to the Ukrainians, who became prisoners or hostages of Russia, starting at the stage of the investigation, when the detainees from trying to beat out the testimony, said a human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk. All this, according to her, accompanied by the exclusion of prisoners from their families, independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul. “All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation,” – emphasizes Matviychuk.

She adds: Ukrainians have become hostages to the Kremlin, can be divided into three groups. Firstly, those who pass on trumped-up processes with political motives in the Russian Federation and on the territory of Crimea. Secondly, located in basements in the uncontrolled territory of Ukraine, Donbass. Third, more than 5 million people who live in the occupied territory. “We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a” gray zone “in Donbass” – human rights activist said.

Read more about the features of the release of members of each of their groups, and where the situation with the “prisoners of the Kremlin’s” most critical, in an interview FaceNews told Alexander Matviychuk.

Which groups you share “the Kremlin’s prisoners?” And why is the issue of their release is important to talk about conditional groups?

Why do we combine these people in a pretty conventional groups? Understanding who these people are and what group they are in, it helps us to determine what can and should do in a particular situation.

When we talk about “hostage of the Kremlin” that belong to the first group of people who go on trumped-up criminal proceedings on political grounds in Russia and in the occupied Crimea. It is clear that there is no independent judiciary. But there is a building, where it says “trial”, there is a man in the mantle, who calls himself a judge. With the right to a fair trial that has nothing in common, but there is at least some kind of simulacra. In such cases, lawyers fulfill all the legal and procedural possibilities, and do everything in their power at the federal level, and then continue to work with international organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights.

The second group of “hostages of the Kremlin” – people who are in the basement of the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Even if illegal armed formations charges against them in violation of the Criminal Code is still the Soviet regime, it is clear that there is nothing at all to talk about the quasi-even procedure.

Together with colleagues we interviewed 165 people and recorded evidence. People were kept in cellars, garages, dog cages, manholes. Every second civilian said he had succumbed to torture. And we must understand that it is not just about beating. This is rape, electric current, cutting off fingers, prostrelivanie body parts. We have fixed many terrible things done by people with guns, because felt complete impunity. It is interesting that 16% of the civilians we interviewed said they were direct witnesses, when, during the so-called confrontation or interrogation of people beaten to death. All that we have documented and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The third category, which I would say as a hostage of the Kremlin, is 5.5 million people living in the occupied territory, no matter how they relate to the occupation. We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a “gray zone” in the Donbas. The latter, for example, have no way to protect against the tyranny of man with a gun his property, health, life and the lives of loved ones.

With regard to the Crimea, then we see that there is no way to protect themselves from political persecution. It’s starting to feel the even pro-Russian part of the population, those who rejoiced at the annexation. However, they are used to that under Ukrainian jurisdiction have the right to peaceful assembly, and now, when they go out to protest against the closure of the Cadet Corps with portraits of Putin, beaten and brought to administrative responsibility. Russia, which they saw from the TV, suddenly found a very different Russia, which reigned in the peninsula.

About a third category also need to talk, because they need our protection. Now Ukraine has very limited opportunities to directly influence what happens with a specific person or group of people, but this is not an excuse for us to do nothing. Our country needs to make use of existing international mechanisms or, if not available, create new ones.

Recent years have shown that Ukraine is difficult to stand up to Russia at the international level. For example, the federation has the right to veto in the UN Security Council. In addition, about a year ago, the Russian Federation made a decision, according to which can selectively implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. What international mechanisms can help to influence Russia?

This is a question that we need to have a strategy that will be provided in the complex legal, diplomatic, economic and other activities. But such a strategy in Ukraine, unfortunately, no. And this is a problem.

You are right: consolidated procedure in Russia in the summer of last year, which is to try to bring the legal form of a breach of international obligations, and now they are free to decide how to execute the decision of the European Court, and what – no. When Russia is beginning to show a similar situation goes from a legal plane in diplomatic. And the Ukrainian diplomats have to say: if the law does not apply, and Russia does not understand the PACE resolution requirements of the UN Committee or the European Court, then let us talk to her language that she understands. If Russia fails to comply with judgments of the European Court, let’s talk about toughening sanctions. This should act as a package.

Until we have a full-fledged strategy on the issue of “the Kremlin’s prisoners’ state of the task falls on the shoulders of social activists. You are one of the initiators of the campaign LetMyPeopleGo, which oversees the Russian theme of liberation of the hostages. Who is on this list?

In LetMyPeopleGo list – citizens of Ukraine, which are held for political reasons in the areas of non-freedom in Russia and in the occupied Crimea.

How many people are now included in the list?

This is a very sensitive issue, because it is sometimes very difficult to determine the presence of a political motive. For example, human rights activists say that the Crimea was illegally moved to 2200 prisoners. How do I know that all they have been lawfully convicted or not? Knowing how the authoritarian system, assuming that many illegally. But if we include in the person list also it depends on whether there is in fact a political motive.

In the summer, we were talking about 28 people, and then added, “Panova group.” We met with a lawyer, and is now waiting for the case file. It is likely that they will be included in our list, but we want to see the material. The second example – the journalist Roman Sushchenko, the materials of his case in general there is no access, because it passes through the article “spying” and classified. How to be in this case? All indications are that it is very similar to the case Yuriya Soloshenko, Valentine Vygovskogo, but there is always a risk, because it is impossible to check (at the time of publication of the article “a group Panova” and journalist Roman Sushchenko were included in the list of campaigns, – FaceNews).

When those who managed to escape from captivity, told that they had to endure, it becomes really scary. Such as torture, which Gennady Afanasiev said. Where is the most critical situation in the aspect of the treatment of our prisoners?

The fact that said Gennady Afanasiev, and after that was a lot of people from the list, did not start while serving their sentence, but much earlier, during the so-called investigation. Then they were isolated from their families, are not allowed independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul, and had been tortured to extract confessions. All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation. One of the Russian lawyers, when she saw in what condition is her client, came to the investigator with a direct question: “What do you with the person did” what he said to her: “What do you want with us since the days of Ivana Groznogo methods of investigation We have not changed. “

Therefore, here it is necessary to monitor what happens to the man on the stage of the investigation, what happens to them during the trial, and what happens after the verdict. These stages have their own characteristics. During the investigation, as I said, there is the problem of artificial isolation, and while serving their conclusion is very hard to produce any information about the person then gradually forgotten. Here the task of the public – do not forget to constantly remind that the person is sitting. This increases the chances that he will be released.

About who is in the worst state, from what we know, we can separately identify Stanislaus Klyha. Torture does not have consequences for the people and, unfortunately, he lost his sanity. It has become apparent to all, when he gave up an independent lawyer who fought for his release and said he wanted to protect his Stas Mikhailov, Pelagia, Shura or beast. He was sentenced to twenty years, with medical and psychological examination, which took place in Chechnya, found him completely sane. Naturally, he is now in a very serious condition.

Alexander, it is unlikely you surprised that the appeal in the case Karpyuk and Klyha who viewed Russian Supreme Court about a month ago, upheld the judgment of conviction of 22.5 years and 20 years.

No hope there is no legal solution. There is hope that the leadership of Russia as a result of international pressure to take a political decision to release them. And then they will exchange, pardon, extradited or find any other legal mechanism to a face-saving, Russia could bring them home.

Sourse, 05/01/2017

Ukrainophobia in Crimea. What puts the Kremlin

June 24, 2016

Reintegration of Crimea – is not only the return of the territory. A key element of the strategy – the people. And Russia is well aware of, so make an effort to us there was no one to return: Ukrainophobia educates through the TV, change the demographic composition of the population, which in itself is a war crime. And everything – methodically destroys the independent civil society, which should be one of the key factors of reintegration. Keep it at least in some form – our task.

For more than two years, we are monitoring the political persecution in the occupied Crimea. Arsenal of repression is quite broad: people are arrested in their homes were searched prohibit peaceful assemblies, fabricated criminal and administrative cases. Occupying power does not shrink from abductions, intimidation, beatings and torture. Russia has been consistently replacing active people of the peninsula, or causes them to shut up.

In situations where the right to influence the situation is rather difficult, as the international community is limited only by the angry resolutions of simple ways to save the remnants of the civil society on the peninsula does not exist. At the same time, there are several areas of work.

Firstly, it is necessary to overcome the informational isolation of Crimea. People on the peninsula should be able to get excellent information from the pro-Kremlin language accessible to them. In parallel, it should be given instructions on how to bypass the blocking of websites, when it comes to broadcasting on the Internet. Crimea various questions should be in the top of the political agenda, they should write about the Ukrainian press. It is necessary to develop relations with the religious, professional, cultural communities on the topics that are the subject of their interest. People who have kept the Ukrainian citizenship, should simplify administrative procedures online methods of management.

Secondly, the Crimean youth should have access on favorable terms to education on the mainland Ukraine. Educational institutions at various levels should implement distance learning programs, focused on the Crimea. It is necessary to increase the number of specialized institutions, such as moving to Kiev Tauride University, which take into account the difference in school programs of Ukraine and Russia. They should be seen as a communicator with the Crimea, because the students are friends and family on the peninsula, as well as a base for the formation of the Crimean elite. Learn to be in these prestigious institutions.

Third, Ukraine needs to learn how to protect the people who were left alone with the occupiers. It is necessary to define the scope of work for the Russian human rights activists in the Crimea, which can connect to the practical protection of persecuted people on the spot. Cases of people persecuted by the Putin regime, should always sound at the level of international organizations. Involved in this persecution should expand the list of personal sanctions. Public authorities should carry out an effective investigation and collect evidence on these facts. You also need to develop a program of support for these people on the territory of continental Ukraine.

In general, the lack of a comprehensive policy towards the occupied Crimea can complicate the reintegration of these areas in the future. Ukraine needs to be translated into the language of practical actions to Oleg Sentsova “my country, I will not leave” and send a clear signal to the people that it is fighting for them.

Author: Alexander Matviychuk, human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the NGO Center for Civil Liberties

Sourse, 23/06/2016

Donbass lawlessness

April 17, 2016

Ukrainian human rights activists talk about the testimonies of victims of illegal detention places in the district of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of illegal armed groups. Human rights activists questioned 162 people emerged from captivity. Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom.

Conclusion human rights: torture faced each second respondent civilian and 86% military in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. Power in illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: I’m in the hands of the research – the evidence of the victims of the places of illegal detention in the territory of the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of “Russian separatist forces,” as they are called United States President Barack Obama. The authors of the study today in our studio: this Alexander Matviychuk , chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, and Boris Zakharov , head of the advocacy center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union .

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed 162 people emerged from captivity. We have information on what are the conditions of detention and of dealing with people who are 79 places of unfreedom. When we say “people in basements”, it is not a metaphor, because most of those 79 seats are not designed even for a short stay. It’s really a basement room, cellars in the office buildings, even a dog cages, aviaries in use of illegal armed groups that hold people.

Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom. Our conclusion: torture faced each second civil, surveyed, and 86% of the soldiers in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. This, relatively speaking, the power of the illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: Boris, there are in this situation, any possible human rights may be, at least from the Russian side?

Boris Zakharov: Those doctors who are allowed to see the hostages are controlled, they do not allow any independent medical examination.

Alexander Matviychuk: We had a block of questions about whether the medical assistance. Prisoners of war were taken sometimes in a serious condition, civilians too, then adjusted to a very serious condition and needed medical care. Male nurses function often performed the same guards. For example, we interviewed Alexander Grishchenko said openly: he was a vet, he improvised means sewing up wounds his fellow inmates.

Vitaly Portnikov: You’re talking about the military, but it is very important to understand what is happening to civilians.

Alexander Matviychuk: The fact that every second civilian man who fell into place bondage tortured – is nothing less than a crime against humanity. We were trying to figure out which categories of persons and for what reasons are subject to such treatment, but our main conclusion: there is no algorithm of actions, which would help to avoid falling victim to such breaking.

Vitaly Portnikov: I saw in this study is evidence of forced press conference for the Russian media.

Boris Zakharov: they were tortured to force to give an interview, which is given once almost immediately after torture.

Alexander Matviychuk: she interrogates me personally was the fourth month of pregnancy. She was beaten with iron rods, although she said she was pregnant. She answered: “You are a Jew, and even pro-Ukrainian views, your child does not have the right to life.” She’s gone from the Ukraine, and I very much hope that it and all is well with her child.

And the second pregnant woman we interviewed, as a result of beatings in the same place had a miscarriage. She said: “We’ll give you a ticket for free, but you must admit that you are a sniper battalion” Tornado “, tell about it to our colleagues, the Russian journalists.” Come, if I’m not mistaken, the TV channel “Russia-1”. We recorded it in the report, found the interview. It shows when she was approached by the so-called journalists, she was asked to sit down so as not to be seen that it is in position.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, the old Russian history: during the Chechen war were “Lithuanian snipers women”, which no one has ever seen.

Do not you think that outside of Ukraine in the world (I’m not talking about Russia) little information about what is happening there?

Boris Zakharov: We are trying to inform her. This UN report officially took for distribution through its own channels.

Vitaly Portnikov: With minors there is something similar?

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, there is. We stayed beyond the study completely separate issue – sexual violence. Men told us about sexual violence against women, who were held with them, and the women – no. Individual cases which we have recorded, again, of stories: Woman gave as a gift to the front, and it’s happened several times, that is, gave it back and returned. It was a minor, her seemingly give 14-15 years.

Vitaly Portnikov: What is the level of transparency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions?

Boris Zakharov: There’s generally no publicity, all this is transmitted exclusively by word of mouth. There is a full atmosphere of fear. In fact, there is a totalitarian regime in wartime.

Vitaly Portnikov: But there are people who are not afraid to go back there – it is also a fact.

Boris Zakharov: Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov: When the shelling subsided when this whole situation stopped at the freezing point, we saw that many displaced people returning to their homes.

Boris Zakharov: In this way, there is a very large wine Ukraine, which can not provide the conditions for internally displaced persons in the territory under its control.

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, I was faced with the fact that do not know about what is happening in Kiev, Donetsk, and not even know the journalists and civil society activists. List captured in basement, updated and replenished at the expense of the people who went to visit his family, absolutely not understanding what is happening there. Apparently, they do not read the papers, do not listen to our broadcasts. Moreover, a journalist recently told me in Kiev, she would like to go and work behind the scenes in Donetsk journalist. She asked me how the situation is with the detentions … What do we want from the people in the occupied territory, if here in Kyiv journalists do not know anything?

Boris Zakharov: Prior to October 2015 121 000 internally displaced persons have returned to the occupied territories. DNR says that half a million returned to them. Of course, these figures can not be trusted.

Vitaly Portnikov: Who protects these cellars?

Alexander Matviychuk: In 40% of cases, people claim that those who directed the beatings, was present during the interrogation and organized place of unfreedom, it is the Russian military. We do not undertake to judge, it was this ordinary professional soldiers or mercenaries, but they claim that they were Russian citizens. They have been so presented, called his military rank, or told where they came from, or say, “You, Ukrainian pig, I came to protect you, but are you doing!”. According to statistics, it appears that the rest – it’s local, the citizens of Ukraine. All this points to a chain of accountability to the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic of the Russian Federation.

Vitaly Portnikov: How Ukrainian prison system, the system of detention of persons, who on the other side of the war, more controllable, more than the State? Can we talk about that in Ukrainian prisons can not happen this?

Boris Zakharov: The prison system is not reformed. We present illegal violence in the police and in the prison system. Kharkiv Human Rights Group conducted a study in conjunction with the Kharkov Institute of Sociology. Despite the war, despite the increase in aggression in society, we have compared to the years 2011-12 to halve the number of torture and ill-treatment, unlawful violence to the police. If before about a million people a year were subjected to unlawful violence, and torture – 120 thousand, and now about half a million are exposed to unlawful violence and in some cases 62 000 – torture and ill-treatment.

Alexander Matviychuk: We as a human rights organization demand that the Ukrainian authorities comply with all standards and the reform of this sector, because the gross violations, abuse, unfortunately, occur. Also, there is a problem with violations by Ukrainian forces in unofficial places of unfreedom. Of course, you can not even compare the scale, but we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Ukrainian state differs from the illegal armed groups that it must investigate each case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Boris Zakharov: The state is struggling with this problem – perhaps not yet sufficiently effective, but because there is a political will to implement these reforms, to investigate the facts of abuse and torture, sooner or later this problem will be if not completely defeated, then reduced to minimum.

As for the captured parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, there effective control of Russia carries out, it is actually occupied by the Russian Federation territory. We have to communicate all at the diplomatic level.

But most importantly, the Ukrainian side is not enough high quality evidence documenting how the presence of Russian troops, and cases of torture, abuse, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against property. Our organization, submitting complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, Feeds them and against Ukraine and against Russia. Against Russia – for all the chaos that’s going on, on specific articles – is the right to life, freedom from torture, ill-treatment and so on. Against Ukraine – for inactivity, for that Ukraine has enough quality documents and is investigating these crimes. The court’s decision may well be against both countries – for example, the payment of fifty thousand euros from Russia for the fact that it all happened, and five thousand euro from Ukraine for inaction. Such precedents have been in the practice of the European Court.

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed people, we collect documents for international justice. But we can not say to a man: but now thanks, goodbye, you helped us a lot. Naturally, we will cooperate with initiatives that provide psychological and medical assistance.

Government policy in this regard is catastrophic. If in respect of servicemen still have some sort of guarantee, the civilian hostages just to themselves. It is necessary to change at least for reasons of humanity, not to mention some rights.

Vitaly Portnikov: When I’m on the program topics it covers me despair. Too many people, our Russian audience is easy to believe you. But many people will never believe in what you are talking about Donbass, because there is a blatant propaganda: “there can not be such, there is defend the Russian people.” Lived Statement usual area is no different from the Bryansk and Kharkov, and suddenly there is such a nightmare …

Alexander Matviychuk: I have a different professional despair: we interview people, but realize how much they still in the field of non-freedom – it’s still going on. About two months ago, we took the famous scientist, religious Igorya Kozlovskogo.

I understand very well what you are saying. When we document when sending alternative reports to the UN Committee, introduced them to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we can not stop it. It really frustrates some … That is why we have launched a campaign at the Munich conference fields: we demand the release of all hostages and prisoners of war and civilians. According to official figures from the Ukrainian side of 130 people. They were released a year ago, according to the sixth paragraph of the Minsk agreements .

Vitaly Portnikov: It is clearly stated on the exchange of all for all. By the way, the Russian side, at least as represented by its Special Representative on the Minsk talks Borisa Gryzlova, insists that there should be exchange of all for all. Where are the results?

Alexander Matviychuk: The same Mr. Gryzlov said that the first Ukrainian party must give a total amnesty to people who committed these crimes. We as the human rights organizations a clear position: it can not be an amnesty for serious crimes. Of course, the world is better than war, but there is no peace without justice.

If we look at the leaders of these illegal groups, who all began … As we were told the Russian colleague in April 2014: “Oh, you come to our death squads”. They were led by people who were previously in Abkhazia, Chechnya, Transnistria, where they performed the same. They were not punished were amnestied and now continue it in the Donbas.

So that there is no amnesty for war crimes can not be. To be honest, I’m very strange that I did not hear this from the members of the Norman format , I do not hear such rhetoric from France, from Germany. In my opinion, it is not just the norms of national legislation – is the basic tenet of international humanitarian law. If you give a clear message on the part of not only Ukraine, but also in France, Germany, perhaps in the occupied territories would someone think about now. They also think that sooner or later they will be amnestied.

Boris Zakharov: Amnesty, from the point of view of the law in this case is inapplicable. Amnesty happens when there is a judgment, it’s commutation. In this case we are talking about the withdrawal of charges of grave and especially grave crimes.

Vitaly Portnikov: It is understood that the Minsk agreement, we should grant amnesty to people who have worked all this, based on the Russian side logic.

Boris Zakharov: They want Ukraine changed the hierarchy and sequence of steps. They say, fulfills all its conditions, and then we say of Russia: “What you do not do your own?”. But the logic of the sequence of steps it consists in the fact that the elections in the Donbass, amnesty and other things can only happen if Ukraine will receive effective control over these territories. This means that we are at an impasse, we need a different format other than Minsk. And Minsk must continue.

Vitaly Portnikov: But the people who are in these basements, should be released in any case, regardless of what kind of formula we will discuss with you now.

Alexander Matviychuk: Minsk format just might fulfill it. If we talk about the value of human life, then obviously, it had to be done in the first place, and can be no terms such as “but first you give amnesty, but you first hold elections.” That is why our campaign appeals to France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia: decide the issue now, it is impossible to discuss all other political issues, as long as people are in such circumstances, they can not survive until the next round of negotiations!

Boris Zakharov: There are people who need medical care, many of them have already become chronicles after injuries. They should be exempt immediately!

Vitaly Portnikov: Was POW hits you about it, too, mention in their study – this is an obvious form of torture. In Ukraine, there has never been any parades of prisoners of war, in spite of what was captured by a huge number of people who are fighting on the side of the illegal armed groups in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This parade was shown on Russian television. In a huge part of the audience is caused, unfortunately, not the horror and delight.

Alexander Matviychuk: According to the Rome Statute , it is a war crime. We also describe what’s left of this parade personnel. Prisoners of war did not want to leave voluntarily, and in order to get them to go to the parade in front of them very cruelly killed several people (to have witnesses).

Vitaly Portnikov: This is actually what the Nazis did to their parades of its kind.

Boris Zakharov: Yes, it’s exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Putin is somehow able to defeat the concept of Popper’s an open and a closed society, showed that in a relatively open society, where there are alternative sources of information, you can use the new information and communication technologies so wash people brains because their zombie that you can create on the territory of Russia subtotalitarnogo mode.

Vitaly Portnikov: On the other hand, what can be such a thing, and thus know about them, but do not pay attention – this is just the result of the hybrid war, of which we speak. That is, it is like a war and not a war, and prisoners of war – like and not prisoners of war, and some people who are up in arms came to fight against their own countrymen, and the parade – like and not hits.

Alexander Matviychuk: I tried to investigate the influence of Russian propaganda on the escalation of violence. And this, of course, the question of hybridity of the war, when nothing at all is not clear, the rule of law does not correspond to the norm. But the fact is that very increased level of hatred, is the dehumanization of the country. That is, with these people, you can do so, because “it is not the people – a” dill “, Ukrainians, Germans, this junta, which all oppressed and drinks the blood of Russian babies.”

If we talk about responsibility … We are talking about the so-called “journalists” – I think that should be personal sanctions and proceedings to establish the degree of guilt and punishment of people who incite hatred and war by creating a parallel reality.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, in the sanctions of the civilized world are mentioned the names of several so-called Russian “journalists” of the most zealous and frenzied propaganda. I think everyone understands that propagandists blame for the fate of these people is obvious. We often say that the propaganda, but so what? Someone something did not understand, someone made a different conclusion. And here it is really the result of a real propaganda – it is death, torture, humiliation, abuse and the transformation of the opposite side in the “non-humans”.

Boris Zakharov: There is still a problem in international law. In fact, these hybrid wars do not fit into a modern security system in the contemporary legal space. These challenges need adequate answers. In June 2014, I proposed a package of laws on hybrid war, because the Ukrainian authorities could not answer the question: what’s going on? Say “war” and declare martial law – scared, because then Russia may begin a large-scale military campaign. “ATO” – chose this formula, but it is absolutely not appropriate from a legal point of view. Because of this formula, we have a lot of negative consequences at the international level and in international law too.

It would be nice at the time and even now already being late, it is still to take a package of laws, first at the national level, to call a spade a spade, to simulate the situation and describe a departure from the conventions, in accordance with these simulated situations. And then – to collect the international conference in Kiev and declare to the world that you need to make changes and adopt new Convention on the hybrid war, which take into account the current state of affairs.

Alexander Matviychuk: I think the problem is not even the fact that the existing international conventions do not take into account all aspects of a hybrid war, and that no one really wants to solve the problem with this challenge. The international community is trying to freeze the conflict. Amnesty? Well, let it be a total amnesty. Elections? It is clear that they will be controlled by the Russian Federation, but the de facto authorities in Ukraine, we have our own voters can say that it’s all over. Just think, people will die – the whole planet in general is very unsafe, people die …

The biggest problem is that the international community does not want to solve these problems, the hopes that they will somehow dissolve themselves. But the problems do not disappear, they just grow. Let me remind you that Ukraine – this is another point on the globe where these “gray areas” have been created. We live in a highly interconnected world. Europe or other countries, can not be shielded by fences. We have already seen, as it were, by the example of the war in Syria. Problems still find us if they are not addressed.

Sourse, 16/04/2016

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them

April 11, 2016

Oleksandra Matviychuk used to avoid police on the street. As a participant in protests for human rights, she knew, as did many Ukrainians, of the police’s reputation for using excessive force.

Today, as a member of Ukraine’s civil society, Matviychuk teaches the country’s new patrol police how to interact peacefully with citizens.

Before Ukraine’s Euromaidan — protests from November 2013 to February 2014 demanding closer ties with Europe — police had one objective: to fulfill the orders of their higher-ups, according to Matviychuk. Now, she says, they make decisions for themselves and focus on serving the publi

“Patrol policing is a job that requires thinking,” Matviychuk said. Officers not only have to know Ukraine’s laws and international standards, but quickly act in ways that affect people’s overall well-being and even their lives.

Standing up for human rights

Matviychuk remains committed to human rights in Ukraine. As head of the board at the nongovernmental organization Center for Civil Liberties in Kyiv, she works with others to push the government toward reforms that would protect freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly as well as the rights of civil activists generally.

Helping survivors

Matviychuk is also involved in Euromaidan SOS, established during the Euromaidan to locate those who had gone missing after the Yanukovych-led government launched violent attacks against peaceful protesters and to provide legal assistance for protesters who were imprisoned.

Euromaidan SOS’s role has expanded. Today, it establishes human rights agencies and mobile teams in and near the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea. “We make visits there and document everything, and work with hostages and torture survivors,” Matviychuk said.

In May 2015, the Center for Civil Liberties joined Euromaidan SOS to launch #LetMyPeopleGo, a campaign to help Ukrainian citizens imprisoned in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea for their political views. The campaign is working on the cases of eight prisoners in Crimea and 13 in Russia, including Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

Oleksandra Matviychuk holding award and standing with Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)
Matviychuk (left) with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of gunned-down Russian activist Boris Nemtsov. (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)

Recently, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer presented Matviychuk with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Democracy Defender Award for her work on reform, accountability, human rights and rule-of-law in Ukraine. Baer said he admires people like Matviychuk, “who are committed to a unified, democratic, prosperous, European Ukraine.”

Matviychuk, for her part, sees the fight for human rights as a global cause, bigger than Ukraine. “We live in a very interconnected world. … We can’t build fences and close our eyes to real problems of human rights in our world,” she said.

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them.

Matviychuk’s speech at Democracy Defender Award 2016

February 24, 2016

Human rights defender Oleksandra Matviychuks statement at the official prizegiving ceremony of Democracy Defender Award-2016

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I represent the civil initiative Euromaidan SOS that was created in response to brutal dispersal of peaceful student demonstration. We have brought together thousands of ordinary people to provide legal protection for protesters. Every day a large number of people passed through our care. People who were arrested, beaten, tortured, accused of trumped-up criminal cases, and later – the dead and the missing people.

For the second time in the last ten years, Ukrainian people rose to defend their choice to build a democratic state based on common values with European countries. We paid a rather high price for it.

After the fall of authoritarian regime, in order to stop democratic transformations in Ukraine Russia occupied Crimea and started a hybrid war in Donbas. Murders, abductions, tortures, sexual violence, human shields, political persecutions on the occupied territories – all this has become our reality.

Today we gather victims’ evidence and document these violations to present them for international justice. At the same time, we struggle to reform our police, courts and prosecutors, so in the future we are not facing a situation in where our government shoots unarmed demonstrators.

In this regard, I would like to share a few lessons that we have learned from these past events:

  1. In many countries human rights activists aren’t just working for protection of human rights. These activists are fighting every day for human rights. Often it seems almost hopeless. However, we should do our work honestly. The results of our efforts can unexpectedly be achieved.
  1. When people achieve the recognition of human rights from authorities, often in practice it means only one thing. No authorities but just civil society needs freedom of associations, the right to a fair trial, civil society oversight of police. This only means that human rights activists simply won new tasks for themselves. This is why the civil society should become an equal partner with the state authorities in the eyes of international organizations.
  2. The so-called “Ukrainian crisis”, in fact, is a direct reflection of a global crisis in the post-war world system. This is a value crisis. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is often and openly questioned. International human rights law has become secondary. Civil activists, journalists, human rights defenders are persecuted and held in prisons in Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan etc. There is an ongoing fundamental change of ideologies, which, for decades, have been the basis for international organizations.

There is a great temptation to avoid solving difficult problems, hoping that they will just vanish. But the truth is that these problems are increasing. There are new gray areas with uncertain statuses appearing on the map. That is not only about the future of the OSCE and the Helsinki Accords. That is about the entire world where everything is interconnected and only the spread of freedom and human rights is making it safe.

Finding the solution to this crisis is our historic task. We must continue fighting for human dignity. Even if there is nothing left but words and our own example.

February 24, 2016, Vienna

Ukrainian media does not care about Kazakhstan?

June 25, 2015

Journalist portal “Respublika” Natalia Sadykov talked to the chairman of the board Ukrainian “Center for Civil Liberties” Aleksandroy Matveychuk disregard for Ukrainian journalists presentation of the report on the events in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan. Later also had to observe the situation when the Ukrainian press persistently ignored the events concerning other countries. But at the same time in Ukraine want to support the whole world.

During familiarization Alexander said that after the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Zhanaozen social activists observed the trial in Aktau. Seen and heard in the case of the thirty-seven oil workers are not left indifferent Ukrainians. All the horrors endured Zhanaozen, they wanted to tell in Kiev. Report planned to present at a public event.

“We understand that we are dealing not just with gross human rights violations, and dangerous practices of authoritarian suppression of dissent, which can be easily transferred to the Ukrainian soil. We have suffered a great disappointment. At a press conference on “The shooting of peaceful demonstrations in Zhanaozen and its results: Ukraine – not Zhanaozen” came not a single journalist. Ukraine was not interested in shooting of peaceful protesters in other countries “, – said Matveichuk.

Two years later, Ukraine on Independence outlive your Zhanaozen, about a hundred of Heaven knows the whole world. Then there will be the annexation of Crimea, the war in the Donbas and downed Boeing. But Ukrainian journalists continue to ignore the press conference spoken about the problems of other countries. Even if the problems that have recently faced the Ukrainian people. Alexander Matveichuk believes that the lack of interest in what is happening in other countries – a bright sign of provincialism of thinking.

“Especially when it comes to human rights in the post-Soviet region, which I call the region the” new independent states “(even with a thousand years of history). There is a clear trend for all the processes that make up the so-called “authoritarian Club”: they quickly take over all repressive ” know-how ” of each other, so you need to know the consequences of certain decisions and be able to see their conditions in their own country “, – he explained Chairman of the Board “Center for civil liberties.”

Aleksandra Matveychuk believes that in Ukraine is only now beginning to realize, as the Russian law on foreign agents, dispersal and destruction of the Marsh press freedom in Ukraine affected. First, following the “first swallow” as maimed in law, and then annexation Crimean, which according to sociological studies endorse Russians 88% (94% of which get their information from TV screens).

“Ukraine is gradually realizes that the civil societies of our countries, too, should unite and support each other, even at the level of ordinary communication. Not by chance, after a flood in Georgia Ukrainian segment of Facebook was filled with words of support and solidarity. But at the same time, none of the Ukrainian political establishment has not publicly urged to boycott European Games in Azerbaijan, which are held on the background of total stripping of civil society and the imprisonment of almost all human rights defenders.

In Ukraine, will remember this when we have, in turn, will talk about the inadmissibility of the football championship in Russia, which is unleashed and bloody war in the Donbass, the victims of which are already at least eight thousand people “, – said Alexander.

This topic, we are actively discussing with the Ukrainian colleagues. Media journalist Roman Kabachy Institute, suggested that the indifference of the sources can be found in the history of the Ukrainian people, who were interested in a purely internal problem. But anthropologist and PhD in History Lesya Gasidzhak refutes this theory.

“I strongly disagree with the idea that Ukrainian journalists indifference to the problems of other countries related to ethnic features. Sympathy, help your neighbor, custody of those who is weaker – it has always been with us, and regulated at the level of customary law. In the calendar year, even were the days when we were not allowed to work for oneself, but it was necessary to help the widows, the lonely, the old and infirm. Not to shelter for the night the one who travels, or asks for a piece of bread – always considered a great sin. Little has changed in 1920- 1930 th years, when the communist Soviet regime began to encourage snitching, the neighbor became an enemy – to social hatred and hostility build a new society, “- says Gasidzhak.

Ethnologist believes that the root of the problem must be sought in another – lack of professional journalism.

“We have very few good analytical texts. For us, more typical of the news publication of character. Large Text “people” can not read. “Fried” the facts always have a rating. Alas. And what you say – this is a new level, which we are still only aspire, “- says Lesya Gasidzhak, which itself is the editor of the web portal” museum space “.

However, Roman Kabachy said that the situation in Ukraine is quite similar to other countries of the former Soviet Union, except Baltic countries and Russia.

“Russia is itself a provider of news and news generator of other countries (it’s happening now, such a trend” Che there with Ukrainians, “used to be” Estonians Nazis dismantled monument “,” the Georgians attacked South Ossetia “and so on). Since we are all accustomed to the fact that it was in Moscow “know better” that tell Ukrainians about Estonians and Kazakhs about Ukrainians, too, we are all to blame. The Baltic countries have a short period of statehood in the interwar period, and they increasingly do not care what he thinks about them heiress occupant country “, – says Roman Kabachy.

Journalist offers steps to help Ukrainian media interest what is happening in the CIS countries. “The first is to understand that alone can not cope with the Kremlin ideological machine, and together and” Dad beat more easily. ” Second, throw the approach of “we the center of the world and we are all important” – important, but in the same way, other than important for us. Third: to develop its own network of bureaus in the capitals of CIS and Baltic countries, refusing to gradually from the horn of Moscow. And the fourth: to stimulate the foundation of media bureaus of post-Soviet countries in Kiev “, – lists Kabachy.

However, in addition to correspondents, in Kiev today can say about the influx of the opposition forces of the CIS countries, where it is still too early to talk about democracy. Russians, Belarusians, Kazakhs and even the Georgian opposition have settled in the Ukrainian capital, and from there try to influence the situation in their countries. Today, these idealists like anyone else in need of the support of Ukrainian media. Then, perhaps, and in these countries it will be possible to speak of the victory of human rights over the dictatorship.

Author: Natalia Sadykov

Sourse, 24/06/2015

War and human rights

June 8, 2015

Vitaly Portnikov:  Human rights and the war – it would seem, no concepts more mutually exclusive, although for centuries, even during the war, people are trying to establish some rules of conduct so as not to slip into the absolute savagery. But here’s human rights and hybrid warfare, hybrid world, uncertain legal status, a situation where the people themselves the territories involved in the conflict do not understand in what world they are … What is there can make human rights activists?

We were invited to the Kiev studio of Radio Liberty programs coordinator for the Russian Center for Documentation named Natali Estemirovoy Stanislav Dmitrievsky  and head of the Center for Civil Liberties  Alexander Matveichuk  – Russian human rights activist and Ukrainian human rights activist, who are now engaged in this issue, important for the society of the two countries, of course, if these societies in the future they want to overcome the effects of the nightmare in which we all are.

I know you have just recently conducted one of these projects, trying to understand what is happening to human rights in the occupied territories of Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. To summarize your findings, what is the situation today?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  I would like to recall a very simple thing, which, nevertheless, have to constantly talk – about the two types of rights that people for some reason are very often confused. There are so-called law of the country and the state to protect against aggression – the right associated with the territorial integrity and its protection. In this sense, of course, Ukraine, being in his own right, to protect its territorial integrity and lead a military operation in the East. And there is another side – it is international humanitarian law, which must abide by both sides, regardless of whether they believe this war just or unjust, whether they are victims of aggression or its initiators.

Violation of humanitarian law, as happens in any war, committing both parties to the conflict. Our task as human rights – to do everything possible to avoid a climate of impunity. The difference is really only one thing: if all the gigantic problems that are now experiencing the Ukrainian state, there still exists the right legal framework by which we can while working, to change something (to achieve, for example, the release of illegally detained persons), then on the territory of the unrecognized breakaway republics of this legal framework is not at all, which significantly complicates the execution of such missions.

Alexander Matveichuk: Of course, we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Regardless of what these rights are, we will always stand on the side of the victim have been violated. But it must be said about the difference between the scope of such activities. Studies that have been carried out, including our human rights organization show that the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics from the very beginning of the occupation, that is, for many months in a forced, deliberate policy was implemented terror against the civilian population in the first place on the basis of their political views. That is to get into the basement and to be subjected to ill-treatment, torture and extrajudicial executions could only be for the fact that at one time you were a member of pro-Ukrainian rallies that once you say something, and the neighbors called the hotline and was told. This terror

Vitaly Portnikov:  it is clear to me that the Russian human rights activists, to put it mildly, not the most desirable category of persons, which is ready to deal with power. We see the law on “foreign agents” and their constant defamation in the media controlled by the Russian government. In Ukraine, I also noticed lately some irritation over reports of human rights, whether they are doing international organizations or local human rights activists. It is clear: the country wants to look better than it is, under the conditions in which it is difficult to be crystal clear. How do you overcome these challenges?

Alexander Matveichuk:  It is natural that in times of war increases the level of radicalization, the threshold of tolerance towards violence also becomes very high, the society is polarized: there are enemies, is “our”. We as a civil initiative (including “euromaidan the SOS”, which I also represent) are constantly trying to remind the public that one of the requirements euromaidan was – “Human Rights First” Now the challenge before us It is very difficult in war.. even on a symbolic level, the level of our words and thoughts, but we have to implement in practice. The problem is, it is natural for all the companies that are in a state of armed conflict, it is necessary to work.

Vitaly Portnikov: Stanislav, reflecting on your experience, I think that you are in a difficult situation, even from a legal perspective. Take the example of Chechnya – there is always a human rights activists tried to protect the rights of people who are illegally detained, disappeared, got in some court cases on spurious pretexts, or under the same denunciations. Nevertheless citizenship institute was obvious, transparent – there were Russian citizens. Even in the short period of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was not designed so that it was impossible to classify these people as the Russian citizens. In the case of Donbass and the Crimea Institute for Citizenship is in a mixed state. There are people who themselves qualify as citizens of Ukraine, and they qualify as Russian citizens and citizens of the DNI. A beautiful story with film director Olegom Sentsovym, who believes that he is a citizen of Ukraine, Russia and spur of the moment considers as its citizen, because he could not renounce Russian citizenship, because he was detained at the time when he had a legal possibility. How to get out of such situations?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  There is a way. Of course, they are not as straightforward as, for example, in Chechnya. But there are criteria for effective control. Of course, we do not recognize the annexation of Crimea legitimate, the international community does not recognize the Russian human rights community does not recognize, but regardless of this, Russia exercises effective control over the territory. They’ve got their own police, its own prosecutors, its courts. In this case Russia will be responsible for all human rights obligations, including if we are talking about the complaints in the  European Court of Human Rights .

More difficult situation in the Donbass, because it is not just about proving the fact of aggression, as set forth in the relevant UN documents. There’s a large-scale infiltration of gangs is enough to raise the question of aggression, but there is still the question of effective control. To prove that the authorities of the breakaway republics are effectively controlled by the Russian Federation and, therefore, the Russian Federation as a state is responsible for the fate of these people – I believe that it is a challenge, a task that, including in the European courts, must decide right now the human rights community : both the Russian and Ukrainian.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Incidentally, we are taking the first steps towards this. The UN Committee on Human Rights Two months ago, I considered Russia’s obligations in the light of its compliance with international human rights standards. And we, as a Ukrainian human rights organization, was sent to your application. We have tried to justify the arguments, referring to the sources and the evidence that was collected by our field missions, which Russia exercises effective and total control of the territory, as well as coordinating the military operations against the Ukrainian army. Despite the fact that at the meeting of the UN Committee was surprised my presentation (to me the word has been given on behalf of the Ukrainian human rights community, I was talking about the Crimea and pro Donbass), in the final recommendations of the Committee thought of Donbas in a very diplomatic manner. This is the signal for the Russian Federation that even such unwieldy and very bureaucratic structures such as the UN,

There is another important point – this can never be done by the efforts of civil society only. It is the task of the Ukrainian authorities – to gather evidence of Russian aggression, demonstrate effective control. And here I unfortunately have to say that the work, as always, being ineffective, there is no single center. On all of our recommendations that it should be created, to be debugged system of gathering information, analyzing it, save photos and videos, we do not get proper answers. I very much fear that, when the war is over (as it will ever be over anyway), this issue is a factor of war crimes will be put in this light that we do not have any evidence, nor, consequently, the victims and the perpetrators.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Maybe the parties are generally not very interested in how to document things that can interfere with the negotiation process?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This element is always the case in any conflict. Still, it seems to me that, according to the documents, which are published officially accepted Rada, for the official position, as far as I could see her here, the state officially declares the need. On the other hand, I have the impression that the lion’s share of the work that should make the state, makes civil society. It’s amazing to us in Russia is not even dream! I believe that there is a civil society can not only help the state that is trying to do to become a democratic and goes to Europe. In Russia, it has long been a fig leaf, and here is the desire to eat, and the human rights community has much to teach the state. Here really have a chance.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to give a specific example, that we understand the scale of the disaster. Everyone has heard about Slavyansk, it is quite a long time for people who have been in his basement, it was under occupation. Immediately after his release went to our mobile team “euromaidan SOS”. The basement was open. Members of the mobile teams have seen that all lying on the floor, that the basement wash some utilities. Our lawyer has been in the mobile group, she saw some documents. She realized that, if it just does not gather them on the floor, they disappear. It turned out to be death sentences signed by almost  Strelkov (Igor Girkin)And lists of pro-Ukrainian activists in the Donbas. After we passed these documents, we rang round all these people say, be careful, you’re on the list. This is to ensure that no members of the mobile teams of civil society organizations were to withdraw these documents, and state agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  It is important to understand how, in principle, the people behave in similar areas, because there is no guarantee that the front line (now stable delineation line) will be stable for a long time. People who feel the attention of repressive structures, is also very difficult in this situation. How capable the human rights community to provide assistance to such people?

Alexander Matveichuk:  This is a big challenge for the human rights community, we were not ready for him. But a year has passed, we gradually adapt. We have formed a coalition to document war crimes in the Donbas, we are now talking about the free legal reception, which returned to the place previously occupied, and before that it acted enjoyed authority. And we’re talking about, accompanied by cases in international courts, because right now, seeing the level of the investigation, it is not necessary to talk about its effectiveness.

A striking example – Ivan Reznichenko, killed a policeman from Soledar, whose body was found by his friend, who organized their own investigation in a few months. his body showed the man, who identified himself as involved in the murder of Ivan. Recently, he was released on bail, the case is artificially inhibited, and relatives are constant threats, including from local law enforcement agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Stanislav, with the Ukrainian state is clear, it is in such a state as it is, somewhere it is replaced by a society where, it acts itself … But if he understands that he is dealing with its own citizens, which should be protected? It can do it or not – is another question. And with the Russian state is much more difficult, if we are talking about the citizens of the Russian Federation, then the official services comes just a screeching halt, as happened with those soldiers, which the Russian Federation has not yet been considered by Russian and attempts by them as citizens of the refuse. We can say that the Russian consul met with the two men formed only under the pressure of public opinion. What to do?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Frankly, I do not know. I have not cherish any illusions here. In Russia, it is clear who the “fifth column”, “enemies of the people”. We all joke that “fifth column” came to the meeting with the other four at our conference. But still, despite all the horror, all this reaction, in which we have fallen after losing our unfinished “Snow Revolution” 2011-12 years, some public pressure tools of social influence are preserved. You are quite right to say about these two soldiers – have refused them the native state, which they have served, and the company has managed to pull this topic. No one knows what will happen to us tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Do what you must, and the rest is in God’s hands. You just need to do their job, no matter what.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I have a feeling that the Russian state structures do not act as State organs, even when it is their direct responsibility – that’s the problem. Here the question is not even ideology and functioning.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This and all other areas of the case. I’m in his native Nizhny Novgorod, is involved in activities to protect cultural heritage. I do not see the state, I do not see bodies to perform their functions. I come here, I see a huge level of problems, but I was jealous because I understand that this is a problem of a completely different level. There is political will, the desire, there is a civil society. I do not know how much we still have to go before that. But we still work together, although there is a huge propaganda force, aiming to ensure that we have to separate, to divide. I friends say, “How are you to ride?” I say, “Well now eat me, probably to be crucified.” Certainly I laugh. Nevertheless, we are working together.

Alexander Matveichuk:  In this  situation of detainees gereushnikami  is an important aspect interesting. This Monday I went to see them with our Russian colleague, a human rights activist. We have been working together, there are values that unite us. Human rights have no borders.

Vitaly Portnikov:  You also do talk to them?

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov:  How do these people feel themselves?

Alexander Matveichuk:  They have no complaints about the content, they are totally shallow that they are being tortured, as it says is now the General Staff of the Russian Federation. They have one request, and it is very revealing: they want to get in touch with their families, and their Consul said that a month can not find a wife of Sergeant. He is very worried, why so much time Russian consulate is unable to establish contact with her.

Vitaly Portnikov:  In my opinion, this woman was interviewed, he said he was discharged from the armed forces. She found great employees of the Russian TV channels.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There is another important point. Detainees gereushnikov was me, a Ukrainian human rights activist, and our colleague – Russian human rights activist. And our Ukrainian citizens who are detained for political reasons pronounced in Russia, did the spies,  “right sector” , saboteurs, terrorists, and they even Ukrainian Consul can not get for months. Nikolai Karpyuk – 14 months, Stanislav Klich – 8. It has recently been an alarming statement by a lawyer Savchenko Ili Nadezhda Novikova that he does not know whether Nicholas Karpyuk alive, just such a long time to it no one is allowed.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This, incidentally, was in recent history with two Ukrainian citizens, young people, who were detained at the Russian-Ukrainian border, in one of the border towns, it was almost the students. They are very long kept imprisoned in Russia on a completely trumped-up charges, they barely pulled out.

Alexander Matveichuk:  During the year! The first three months they were held in defiance of a court decision on deportation. And they are not just kept – tortured them. They were taken to the woods, beaten. The incident is now present at our joint conference. Before that we worked on this briefcase, he is well known to me. But I personally have heard of it, why one of them was forced to open his veins, and the second – to cut his stomach. They just realized that they would be killed in a specific time. They wanted to get to the hospital to stop the torture and abuse.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This is a very striking example of what can happen with the Russian penal system, when it is faced with the Ukrainian crisis. You agree that such explicit complaints still in Russia recorded very rarely.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  If you exclude Chechnya, Dagestan. There’s just a stream. The worst thing – is now at the conference there was talk in the Crimea, were human rights activists working there, and I see that the methods that have been developed, tested, and found widespread in Chechnya, begin to be gradually introduced in the Crimea – thank God, not yet on the same scale, but it is a very frightening trend. Crimea on the background of all other regions (they believe that it is the Russian state) is gradually drifting to the Chechen side, I mean, enforced disappearances, killings and torture. You just have to be ready for it. Yet there can not find some of the people responsible for torture brought to justice for the killings. It is still good, because in Chechnya, it is in principle impossible. But everything is there.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I remind you that a huge number of missing in the Crimea (the figure was named  Elloy Pamfilovoy , the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation) Human rights defenders need to tell, at least about 9 of them, who went on a pronounced political motives – eg , members of the “Ukrainian house”. Time of the abduction of one of them was recorded on video, which gives us the opportunity to say that it was made of the Crimean “self-defense”. The whereabouts of these people is unknown. Regarding torture can bring a bright example of the latter case Alexander Kostenko, who was named the most important thing a dictator of the Crimean branch  of “Freedom” , and she  Poklonskaya I read out the horrific for each lawyer and the prosecution lawyer. Just listen to what evidence operates the main Crimean prosecutor – and understandable farce and absurdity of the whole situation.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Poklonskaya – Yanukovych ward system – what wonder that it is all the principles of the system suffered in the Crimea?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  The feeling of a  friend Wyszynski , and even caricature.

Alexander Matveichuk:  It should be noted that during the trial the lawyer Dmitry Sotnikov has repeatedly said that his client had been tortured, but that request was rejected and not considered. We have other examples – black and Afanasyev, who are in the case of so-called “Crimean terrorists” is Oleg Sentsov, which we remembered. So, they admitted their guilt, now have 7 years of the colony. The court session was held behind closed doors. But we know that they complained of torture. Later, they were afraid to take the other lawyers, except those assigned to the State Service of the Russian Federation. One of them contained even in a psychiatric hospital for a while, but now they are serving a 7-year sentence.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This is a common practice. Indeed, with regard to allegations of torture, all without exception, Russian courts have rejected these claims. Organization  “Committee against Torture” , with which I work, which is now also declared a “foreign agent”, managed in 15 years to prosecute about 115 law enforcement personnel. Proving torture – generally a difficult matter, and when the investigation is opposed to it … We had cases when it was possible to bring to justice after 7 years, 6 years. For example, the famous case of Mikheyev – the criminal case was stopped 20 times, and each time the lawyers appealed the decision of the Committee. This is a very long struggle. But now the situation is deteriorating. If earlier we watched as annoying flies, now – both overt enemies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  After the law on “foreign agents” will be the human rights movement in Russia?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Law on “foreign agents” – is not the worst. By the way, I am very pleased that the human rights community to boycott it almost unanimously, no one volunteered himself the star is not sewn. But now we adopted another law on the “undesirable organizations”, which, as I understand it, is intended to announce such …

Vitaly Portnikov:  Anyone who fails to declare a “foreign agents.”

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  … foreign organizations, that is, funds from which we get the funding, our partners, and to criminalize it. Of course, I think that this will complicate the matter. Gradually comes to reformat the human rights movement in a movement of civil resistance. Perhaps there all this will drift.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There are examples in other countries, which also started with a similar law, and ended up in the summer of last year jail all human rights – I mean Azerbaijan. The problem is that the legislation, which is now accepted in Russia, especially in the field of taxation, provides the potential for public authorities for some time to accumulate evidence and then put human rights defenders are not under political articles, and present to the public that they are just fighting for your pocket. Including a huge propaganda machine, and the people who now live in poverty, of course, will not be sympathetic to this concern. The situation is very worrying, we are very worried about our Russian colleagues.

Vitaly Portnikov:  We was not very optimistic program, because it is unclear how to get out of all situations, at least, how to prove that not only the organization, but also ordinary people become targets of repression, pressure objects. If those areas that should be the object of attention of human rights organizations, the authority of law and human rights protection itself is so low, how to get out of this situation before the end of the conflict?

Alexander Matveichuk:  I’ll start with a joke. We were at the conference were to arrive on the same flight several dozen Russian human rights activists, and the flight was canceled. We do not associate it with the conference. A colleague of ours, which in Soviet times was a dissident, said: “You do not know the underground practitioner How did you hit upon the idea of all invited to sit on an airplane.?”

Vitaly Portnikov:  Because they thought it was underground.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes. I mean, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. History repeats itself, and there is what you need to do. We as “euromaidan SOS” addressed to people who, while living in the Crimea, are engaged in public activities, or have their own independent position, with the suggestion that they began to study and implement in their daily life safety practices: information, legal, physical. Have accumulated an arsenal of techniques, they do not save, do not give an absolute guarantee, but significantly reduces the risk and make the price of attacks on individual higher.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  With this activity we are also engaged in a long time, is the protection of human rights defenders. Of course, no one can guarantee. Now you can go to the wonderful Kiev, and on the head of a brick will fall …

Vitaly Portnikov:  You know, drop a brick on his head and some deliberate action structures, which should be a law – it is not the same thing.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Just probability … of course, we will do our best to anticipate these probabilities.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to make an optimistic note in our program. Still, despite all the difficulties that are now fighting Ukraine, – the war that Russia started occupying the Crimea, and then launch a hybrid war through their proxy agents of the DNI, LC in the east, to the fact that reforms in the area of human rights man do not go with us as quickly and effectively as we would like – in spite of all this, we are seeing a huge rise of civil society. Create hundreds of different initiatives at different levels, which, in fact, carry out public functions. It gives us an opportunity to look ahead optimistically. Our society is now much stronger than the state apparatus.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I think it’s something that should inspire hope, and something that will help, anyway, rehabilitation Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the Crimea in the future, when the law will be restored in those areas where human rights would not work, and the ordinary life of every citizen living there. Although this is true of all the Russians, and not only the inhabitants of these regions.

Sourse, 07/06/2015

Let my people go: about Ukrainian prisoners in Russia

May 30, 2015

Guests transmission “Your Freedom” to “Radio Liberty” Ukrainian studio Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Russian human rights activist, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group (by telephone from Moscow); Alexandra Matviychuk, lawyer, chairman of the board of the Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine).

Alexander Lashchenko: June 1 this year in Kiev, “Kinopanorama” cinema premiere of the documentary “euromaidan SOS». As part of the premiere, in particular, the presentation of the world, we can say the campaign «Let my people go». We are talking about the liberation of Ukrainian citizens who are, in the opinion of human rights activists, for political reasons behind bars in Russia. It is not just about Hope Savchenko and Oleg Sentsov. Those citizens of Ukraine, which still holds Russia, about thirty men, for the SBU data.

What is the fate of the Ukrainian people? And can they be exempt? At least some chance there is to it?

– Mrs. Matviychuk, what kind of campaign? It lasts longer than one day, the presentation will be June 1 this year. What has already been done?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We started this campaign at the April session of the Council of Europe. We would like to draw the attention of parliamentarians that in addition to courageous Nadia Savchenko, which contains illegally fabricated criminal case in Russia, such people, at least a few dozen. And only we know about 11 people, contained behind bars. Here is the chart shows who was appointed “punitive”, who was appointed as “terrorists”, who was appointed “spies”. And these people, according to our calculations, we were able to identify 11 people here, as we have seen, different sex, age, occupation, property status, place of origin, but they all have in common is that their deeds clearly political motive.

If we talk about the results of this campaign, which we launched in Strasbourg and now continue, the first of these results – the release Yuriya Yatsenko, a student at the University of Lvov, who was appointed “right sector” is banned in Russia, a “terrorist”.

– From the point of view of Russian law enforcement agencies.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Of course. The thing is absolutely absurd. They engaged with fellow small business activities have come to Russia, and there have been illegally detained for three months. During this detention authorities did not carry out the court’s decision and did not deport them. But they are subject to brutal torture. And to imagine that the guys in the usual Lviv students had to go through, I’ll just say that in order to stop it, one of them cut his wrists, and another cut his stomach.

Well, actually, about the fate of our Ukrainian prisoners – they are not to be envied. In fact, the lawyer Nadia Savchenko Ilya Novikov says that he does not even know whether alive Nikolai Karpyuk as 14 months to it do not allow Ukrainian consul.

And here is indicative of the response of Ukraine. Everyone has heard about the famous case Grushnik detention. They allowed the Russian consul.

– Yes. This refers to the two detained Russian riot police, who are now in the Kiev hospital. Russia asserts that they are citizens of Russia, the Russians, the military, but in the past. Although the detainees in an interview with Russian “Novaya Gazeta” Paul Kanygin admitted that they were Russian servicemen.

Alexandra Matviychuk: I pay attention only to the fact that in this case Ukraine immediately admitted the Russian consul to the arrested Russian citizens. But many of the people arrested in Russia Ukrainian consul simply can not get there. Some of them refer to themselves as Ukrainian citizens, as Oleg Sentsov, and define them as Russian citizens. “Submitted to the ground during the occupation of the Crimea,” as he said at Oleg court.

Indeed, the essence of this campaign – is to draw people’s attention to the fact that there are such people, it is not one, not two, not three, they need our help, and in this authoritarian country like Russia without external strong pressure these people just no one let go.

– By the way, remind, indeed among those people who are still behind bars in Russia, there is a Ukrainian citizen 73 years of age? Mr Soloshenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. Yuri Soloshenko 72 years. His poor health. And it’s all very concerned about the doctors, his family.

– And what he is accused? What is also forbidden “Right Sector” in Russian? What is it?

Alexandra Matviychuk: He is accused of spying, that he illegally received and disclose information constituting a secret. That is, espionage. In that way, it shines 20 years in prison. That’s him in ’72 and another 20 plus can give.

– (by phone). Ms. Alekseeva, what is your opinion about what is happening in Russia, with Ukrainian citizens, who are in prison? What it is: political persecution, says Ms. Matviychuk, or, as Russian law enforcers really a criminal investigation made by lawyers will be a trial, if the court finds them guilty, they go free?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: All true. But, unfortunately, it is not only Ukrainian citizens, Russian citizens also suffer from it. In Russia we do not have just qualified court. And the conditions of detention in prisons and other detention centers are heavy, and very often the mode of construction in violation of Russian laws is much more humane than the actual stay in prison.

– You are engaged in human rights work for decades. It began in the USSR. By the way, it was my colleague, including “Voice of America” ​​in the “Radio Liberty”, leading the program. Now, 25 years later, a quarter century after the collapse of the USSR, does not change to protect the human rights situation in Russia?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Unfortunately, it is much worse than it was in the 1990s.

– Have a chance to release the citizens of Ukraine, which are contained in Russian prisons? Some observers, including Russia, the pro-Kremlin does not claim that all depends in this case and in the case of Hope Savchenko, and in the case Olega Sentsova, and other citizens of Ukraine less famous, from a single person – Putin.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Absolutely.

– Like, if there is more pressure on Putin, the less chance there. He does not give in to pressure. Do you agree?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Anyway, so declare.

– What do you do? Dead end?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Fight. And for Ukrainian citizens, and for our citizens. Prison conditions have to be civilized.

Well, the court? I believe that this is our main problem, despite the fact that we have a whole bunch of other problems. This lack of qualified and independent in their actions the court. Because if any problem could be resolved in a court of law, then we have a much better it would be in the country.

But the fact of the matter is that we go to court involuntarily. Where else? But we know in advance that, most likely, will not be made a fair decision, and is one that our government wants.

– Not too optimistic, as far as I understand you. Ms. Alekseeva, then what to do? Pressure from the West? What are some other levers?

Even Brezhnev managed (you remember it from my own experience) anyway. For example, emigration to Israel and other moments. Yet Brezhnev signed the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. Some success was still on the pressure. Although small. What, then, Putin may be affected now?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: I do not know. I’m not Putin. I believe that, in general, not only in relation to Russia, but also with regard to Ukraine, of any other country, only a strong civil society in the state can influence the behavior of the authorities.

We civil society (thank God!) Is, but to call it a strong and powerful language is not rotated. I know from my practice. Of the 10 cases for which I take, and I take only when I am sure that the law is on my side and the Constitution, work out about three and seven is impossible, because the government does not listen to what the public wants.

Unfortunately, recipes, taking into account the situation in our country, there are, but it will run slowly. It is necessary to cultivate, strengthen civil society. We will have rule of law, we will have a democracy.

– Ms. Alekseeva, the Soviet Union is clear, what was the civil society prior to the restructuring, but in 1968, just a handful of people came to Red Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. There were other examples. Were dissidents. You know many of them personally.

Now the company – 86% of support for Putin. On what to expect? When will the fruits? When will “own perestroika”?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: What it is, I know. And when – I can not say. Kills me, this statistic (86% support Putin – Ed.), Because, frankly, I thought that 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we, my fellow citizens, have already got rid of the imperial syndrome. But what happened in the Crimea, has convinced me otherwise. A lot of people happy and maintain it. So we have not ceased to be an imperial nation. It is very hard to realize. Because as long as we Empire, we can not become a democratic country. Empire democracies do not happen.

– Mrs. Matviychuk, can be any blame Putin, Russia’s law enforcement system that dozens of Ukrainian citizens for political reasons are behind bars in Russia. But they, the listed person I have a responsibility? The Ukrainian government is doing something to rescue them?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Very good question. After all, the duty of every government – to protect its citizens, no matter what difficult situations they find themselves. Actually, we decided to test how the Ukrainian government carries out at least a minimum minimorum, what can be done in this situation.

In particular, according Aleksandru Kostenko. It is a well-known environmental activist, the “case Sentsova” was also detained in the Crimea. He “sew”, that he party “sabotage” of the “Right Sector”, who allegedly tried to organize and organized several attacks. He faces 20 years in prison. And now the courts are going over it. And it is in the “Lefortovo” in custody.

We sent a request to the GPU and asked them whether open proceedings on the fact of illegal abduction Aleksandra Kolchenko from the territory occupied Ukraine, travel to the territory of Russia, which, incidentally, is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. Just as, for example, the GPU is done in the case Olega Sentsova.

We got answers. GPU we were told that our application is considered and included information in the Unified State Register, it is forwarded to pre-trial investigation in the Pechersky District Police Department.

But the response of the Pechersk district police have shocked! I’ll just show it. It says that in the course of working out of the statement, it was found that all the problematic issues that arise in other countries (please!), Outside the competence of the bodies of internal affairs and are considered by the Ministry (and it says here) for Foreign Affairs. Probably had in mind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Actually, so they do not see grounds for the opening of criminal proceedings and to make our statements in a single register of pre-trial investigations.

It is already very sad. We see who has signed: the head of the Pechersk district department, police colonel, acting Head of Pechersk district department. If they do not know that the Crimea – it is Ukraine, albeit temporarily occupied territory, then what kind of protection of our citizens who have been alone with the occupier, can we talk ?! Of course, we will appeal.

– Appeal where?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We will write to the GPU. As they we were told that our statement made in a single register of pre-trial investigations, we say: you’ve made or not made, and to appeal to a higher court – the leaders of the Pechersk district department in the Interior Ministry.

– «Let my people go». What further specific measures will be part of this campaign for the release of Ukrainian citizens who are in prison in Russia?

Alexandra Matviychuk: The first thing we must understand that these people need our information support. When Yuri Yatsenko was released from prison, he said that investigators followed by the FSB for each publication, for each press conference, which was done “euromaidan SOS» in his defense, brought him the printout and discussed with him. For him, it was a confirmation that he had not forgotten about him that Ukraine remembers him struggling. And it actually holds.

Second. We will put pressure on the international human rights institutions, namely the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, the EU.

– The court in Strasbourg is too early to apply, because there is no verdict of the Russian court, so it turns out?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. As demonstrated by the case Nadia Savchenko, the Court – is not the best tool in this system. After all, the Court considers the violation of the rights and is always trying to avoid the politicization of the issue. And since the matter has clearly political motive, but the pressure it can be solved at the political level favorable for our citizens means.

– Perhaps, in the administration of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in that it is changed or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mr Klimkin?

Alexandra Matviychuk: This is our next event. Since Poroshenko, and Klimkin talk about a narrow circle of people.

– About the most famous: Hope Savchenko Oleg Sentsova.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And even now about Aleksandre Kolchenko. A year after the work of his friends. They have the ability to speak and represent the entire list.

Plus, we are talking about the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, and there are still people who are detained, arrested and now sit in the occupied territories in the Crimea. And these people do not forget. This Alexander Kostenko, it Ahtem Chiygoz son Mustafy Dzhemileva.

– Ministry of Justice of Ukraine appealed to her son Cemil extradited to Ukraine. While there is no answer Russian law enforcers.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And there is another point that we do not raise in the campaign, but about which we always say. There are a large number of missing persons in the area ATO. According to the information, which comes to relatives, to the Russian human rights activists, to us, they are transported not only in the occupied territories, some of the hostages were gone.

– That is, it turns out, as Nadezhda Savchenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Like Nadezhda Savchenko. Their whereabouts are unknown.

We are now asked our colleagues to Russian human rights defenders to send requests to the prison to at least understand whether there are there Ukrainian citizens. And if they are military, the more clearly where they …

– We are talking about tens, hundreds? Hard to say?

Alexandra Matviychuk: If we talk about the official statistics of the missing, we have their 1500. Of course, some of them – this is, unfortunately, the people who were killed. And we are talking about 400 people, according to official statistics which are in captivity (separatists – Ed.).

Sourse, 29/05/2015

Maidan has not won yet

July 23, 2014

Aleksandra Matveychuk, chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, euromaidan SOS coordinator in an exclusive interview with ” Republic ” recalls fourth in his life and thinks Maidan, where you want to move Ukraine to become a democratic state.

– Alexander, please tell us what the Center of civil liberties?

– Our organization is engaged in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Our focus freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, combating discrimination, the protection of human rights defenders. We work not only in Ukraine. After all, human rights are known, do not have national boundaries. If the authoritarian regimes in the former Soviet Union are working closely together to stifle civil society, we, human rights organizations should also work to create a joint international platform.

– What is the situation with civil liberties in Ukraine today?

– Ukraine is now faced with a new reality – the military occupation of the Crimea and “neoglashennoy” war waged by Russia in the East of Ukraine. In such conditions it is very difficult to move the selected people to the democratic way of development – to reform the police, to conduct the lustration judges, root out corruption, etc.

The very human rights situation varies depending on the region. There Donbass, which are acts of war, where Russia supported illegal military formations are policies of terror among the civilian population, torture and kidnap civilians. There Crimea, where de facto entered the Russian repressive legislation, which prohibits even the prayer prayer on the anniversary of Crimean Tatars deportation. Other regions are preparing to defend against external aggression, but it should be noted that there is the situation with the observance of human rights is normalized.

In fact, we live in a very interesting period of history. Since the end of World War II, there was no precedent for States to “overcame” the other part of the territory and formally annexed it to her. And then the question is not only in the fact that Ukraine should do in such a situation. Here the question that should be in this situation, do other countries do? Downed passenger airliner by terrorists and the death of 298-mi man once again demonstrated that everything is interconnected in this fragile world.

– In your life there were four Maidan, tell us how you, so young, is it? You were talking about the persecution – you and loved ones, in what it consisted of?

– During the Orange Revolution I was a law student. Symbol of the revolution was orange. I remember that I wore the ribbon at a time when few people wore it. And she thought: now I have to behave so that no one even questioned my integrity. Because I’m here, this ribbon, and I will judge the people who support democracy.

I went to the polls observer. Once at the site vote count ended, I was taken to his woman with the election commission. I remember early in the morning we sit in front of TV, where from the screen to announce the victory of Yanukovich. And both crying. And then on television reported that some people are going to protest on Independence. And I went.

Then there was the tax (against strangulation small businesses), Movny (against Russification) now euromaidan. The main thing I realized: no one is safe, that Ukraine in its way to becoming as a democratic state does not need another one. But we need to create a guarantee that no power would not come to mind to shoot unarmed people in the streets.

During euromaidan we were all under the gun. Power led terror cruel and merciless, it could become the victims of everything, even random people. In my case, there were bandits in the house, and the “invitation” to the Prosecutor General. I remember, I was asked if I was ready to sit down. I honestly said that many people consider themselves to something ready until fate will check their availability. That is very interesting. And thought to myself, I had a wonderful life, which gave me an appointment with a very wonderful people, I did what she believed. The only thing that was not in time, because it is to give birth to children. Here the war is over, and these loans.

– Where have you been and what they did during the tragic events of February? What can you tell us about them?

– In euromaidan SOS office. At that moment I could no longer go home. I remember just before the volunteers went to the Maidan, and again there was a telephone our hotline. But when it all began and we started calling that people are shot, we could not do anything. We do legal aid. Then the volunteers went to morgues, hospitals, and places where to bring the dead. We were afraid that the government will destroy the body, and hastily drew up lists. So we were the first to know what killed not ten or twenty.

And my husband called me here. He said: “You do realize that I am on the Maidan?” I told him that, of course, I understand. Although I would like to say: please, run out. But how could I? Most of the were on the Maidan were family. I just asked him if he had a bulletproof vest. He laughed, and said that they are useless. We said good-bye. Remember, I left the office for fifteen minutes to recover, and then went back to work.

Honestly, I’m now very hard to pass the street Institutska, where people were killed. I now know many by name, and I still somehow embarrassing that we have survived, and they have not.

– How did the idea to establish SOS euromaidan and what are the problems encountered? Who are these people who have been searching for?

– On Saturday, November 30 last year, our organization was to conduct a seminar for activists from the regions. It is clear that when all arrived and learned that a few hours before the police brutally beat students on the Maidan was not up to the workshop.

People were crushed, most breaks to go to the St. Michael’s Square, where the rally going. But we decided to think about what we, as human rights activists, could be useful in this situation. After all, at that time there were many people affected, and it is not clear whether they provided legal assistance.

About ten o’clock in the morning we opened the SOS euromaidan page in the “Facebook” and published two posts. The first numbers of our hotlines. The second – with a request to lawyers who are willing to provide free legal assistance to respond. And it worked.

During euromaidan number of calls per day (and we took out the clock) could reach several thousand. Only in our official list of the contacts were more than 400 lawyers, who agreed to during the day and at night to work pro bono. But euromaidan SOS would not take place if we did not support the hundreds of volunteers and an active fb Community euromaidan SOS.

It is important to note that most of these people had never engaged in any civic activity. Just when the critical moment, they did not remain indifferent. Euromaidan gave people the opportunity to express their most good features. Therefore, it is called Revolution Benefits.

– How does the SOS Maidan involved in tracing people? How many could find? How many are unaccounted for?

– During euromaidan just a list of the missing held up to a thousand people. Most of them were very fast. In the search for other took days, weeks, months. After the wounded brought to the hospital and into the underground, equipped through donations, exported to other cities of the country to protect them from persecution. Someone unconscious, someone without a phone. Relatives called us. Well, not to the police as they were then apply.

Someone is missing from the list passed in the death toll. Now we are looking for more than thirty people who disappeared during euromaidan.

– A lot of talk about that with Maidana kidnapped people and deal with them, what can you say about this? It is known to you about such cases?

– I can tell you about the case of the kidnapping of my good friend Igor Lutsenko. Before euromaidan I knew him as one of their “Save Old Kyiv” leaders of the movement, they fought for the preservation of green spaces and monuments in the city. His kidnapped by unknown people (the so-called “titushky” that cooperated with the police) directly from the hospital, along with scientist seismologist Yuri Verbitsky. Yuri on the Maidan was injured in the eye. It is not superfluous to note that the police then loved to shoot sighting over his eyes, we have more than 50 of the victims.

That night I spent on the phone with his brother George. Both stolen tortured, then separately taken into the forest. Igor was able to escape and survive. Yuri no.

– What happened with that organization after the Maidan won?

– Independence is not yet won. We must reform the country, not just shifting it onto the shoulders of politicians, to drive for the state border of the Russian gangs, to return the occupied Crimea. Therefore, SOS euromaidan continues to work and help people. However, the military action lawyers zone will not send him, so our methods have changed. Now we form a human rights mission and mobile, we go and document, working with the hostages and victims of torture.

– Alexander, what do you think, is it right that maydanovtsy not diverge. What they want, in your opinion?

– euromaidan SOS on this occasion made a statement. We wrote that if before to go to the Maidan was the duty of every honest man, but now there are a lot of real work, and it is necessary for someone to do. The momentum of the Maidan, that is, the democratic transformation should reach all of the small village. I’m not talking about the war in the East.

– Do you think that today the country needed not to lose the momentum that gave her the Maidan and to develop further?

– You know, Independence ended, and civic engagement does not drop. Just in time of war it is not very visible to an outside observer. People work in different initiatives: conducting an investigation of crimes on the Maidan, help the wounded, and bringing to ensure military control of the parliament, that he may carry out the necessary reforms the country.

I’m sure the time will come and the world will study our unique experience of self-organization, when ordinary people come together and perform essentially the function of the state. After euromaidan we stayed “Heavenly Hundred”. But heroes are not vyedesh, propping his shoulders public institutions must all. And we understand that.

Sourse, 22/07/2014

Результаты поиска:

It is necessary to win this war, but not to turn to Russia

February 25, 2017

Under the guise of the formula “we are fighting against Russian aggression”, the Ukrainian government is not always justified limits the rights and freedoms of its citizens. “The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan, “- said Ukrainian human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk.

She adds that it is important to remember that you must not only fight for the temporarily occupied territories, but also to build a democratic model of society.

For more information about tasks that are currently facing the Ukrainians, Alexander Matviychuk told FaceNews. Human rights activist also told about why we still do not know who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Heaven.

Alexander, for three years Ukrainians are waiting for answers to questions about who was shooting at people at the time of the dignity of the Revolution, who gave the orders. Why, in your opinion, the answer is still no?

There are objective and subjective reasons. During euromaidan bodies that were supposed to investigate the crimes and to conduct initial investigations, we did not. They were so busy that committed these crimes. Was destroyed by a huge number of documents, the former leadership of the country is on the run in the Russian Federation and other countries. That is, there are a number of objective things that complicate the investigation.

What are the subjective factors? The fact that, unfortunately, the investigation and the accomplishment of justice has fallen on the shoulders of the unreformed system of law enforcement bodies and the judges, many of whom are at the time of the Maidan themselves carried knowingly unjust decisions. It is difficult to expect them to some higher standards of justice, as in the good they realize that sooner or later, if the investigation will be effective, they also held accountable.

Also, I do not see a lot of attention of the government. Thus, during the first year we did not create even a single investigation into the center, things were questioned by different investigators, and even structures.

Once this center is finally appeared, he was for a long time did not receive the necessary support. At the end of 2015 the year it worked eighteen investigators, they investigated more than 2000 episodes literally “on the knee”, without premises and logistics. This is clearly not the way to relate to a case that the president names most resonant in the history of independent Ukraine.

The last thing we are very annoyed when in October last year, Yuriy Lutsenko made a decision to change, and in his opinion, to improve the investigation process of the organization. He had the idea, which he, fortunately, refused to merge into a single production and make a big deal Yanukovych.

The most important thing in this decision – a change in the focus of the investigation. After all, if we start immediately to collect evidence only against the top, we will lose the middle link – people who, relatively speaking, stood between Yanukovych and those who committed crimes with their own hands. Question – why it is done. I venture to suggest that it is the middle link is successfully incorporated into the current system of power and easy feeling.

However, in the investigation there are also positive things. It is clear that not all so clear.

Fair investigation of crimes during euromaidan – is not the only challenge for the authorities. What other challenges do you think, is now acute for Ukraine?

During euromaidan we were fighting for their democratic choice. It turns out, the most important task now – to implement the democratic choice in practice.

We need to carry out radical reforms that will change the course of history. While we like the people who go into the pit in a circle, and once in ten years, when it gets really bad, and the bottom is getting closer, a revolutionary way to correct the motion path and try to get out of it. But as building democratic institutions much harder, for some reason we returned back to this circling. That is our main goal – to make a qualitative leap and get out of this turbulence zone, transitional period in which we are in the last few decades.

After the fall of the authoritarian regime the possibility of these democratic changes became so real, that the Russian Federation, defending his authoritarian regime was forced to intervene. She occupied the Crimea, began the hybrid war in Donbas. And now we are fighting for our right to have a choice per se.

Therefore, in these difficult and dramatic time we are faced with a second very important task – to not forget what we are fighting. We need to win this war, but not to turn himself into the Russian Federation.

What I mean? In response to Russia’s aggression power starts to limit the rights and freedoms and making it is not always justified. It is important to understand that even in times of war, human rights should be limited in proportion to, and not just because the authorities felt like it and it has a beautiful phrase, “we are fighting against Russian aggression.”

The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan. This should not be allowed.

We need very clearly aware that we are fighting not only for the territory and for the choice of a model of society, where the rights of everyone are protected, where there is a fair judicial system, where the government is accountable to the citizens.

Sourse, 24/02/2017

The fate of the “Kremlin prisoners”: what to do with Ukraine, have become hostages of the Russian Federation

January 6, 2017

Torture, which apply to the Ukrainians, who became prisoners or hostages of Russia, starting at the stage of the investigation, when the detainees from trying to beat out the testimony, said a human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk. All this, according to her, accompanied by the exclusion of prisoners from their families, independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul. “All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation,” – emphasizes Matviychuk.

She adds: Ukrainians have become hostages to the Kremlin, can be divided into three groups. Firstly, those who pass on trumped-up processes with political motives in the Russian Federation and on the territory of Crimea. Secondly, located in basements in the uncontrolled territory of Ukraine, Donbass. Third, more than 5 million people who live in the occupied territory. “We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a” gray zone “in Donbass” – human rights activist said.

Read more about the features of the release of members of each of their groups, and where the situation with the “prisoners of the Kremlin’s” most critical, in an interview FaceNews told Alexander Matviychuk.

Which groups you share “the Kremlin’s prisoners?” And why is the issue of their release is important to talk about conditional groups?

Why do we combine these people in a pretty conventional groups? Understanding who these people are and what group they are in, it helps us to determine what can and should do in a particular situation.

When we talk about “hostage of the Kremlin” that belong to the first group of people who go on trumped-up criminal proceedings on political grounds in Russia and in the occupied Crimea. It is clear that there is no independent judiciary. But there is a building, where it says “trial”, there is a man in the mantle, who calls himself a judge. With the right to a fair trial that has nothing in common, but there is at least some kind of simulacra. In such cases, lawyers fulfill all the legal and procedural possibilities, and do everything in their power at the federal level, and then continue to work with international organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights.

The second group of “hostages of the Kremlin” – people who are in the basement of the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Even if illegal armed formations charges against them in violation of the Criminal Code is still the Soviet regime, it is clear that there is nothing at all to talk about the quasi-even procedure.

Together with colleagues we interviewed 165 people and recorded evidence. People were kept in cellars, garages, dog cages, manholes. Every second civilian said he had succumbed to torture. And we must understand that it is not just about beating. This is rape, electric current, cutting off fingers, prostrelivanie body parts. We have fixed many terrible things done by people with guns, because felt complete impunity. It is interesting that 16% of the civilians we interviewed said they were direct witnesses, when, during the so-called confrontation or interrogation of people beaten to death. All that we have documented and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The third category, which I would say as a hostage of the Kremlin, is 5.5 million people living in the occupied territory, no matter how they relate to the occupation. We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a “gray zone” in the Donbas. The latter, for example, have no way to protect against the tyranny of man with a gun his property, health, life and the lives of loved ones.

With regard to the Crimea, then we see that there is no way to protect themselves from political persecution. It’s starting to feel the even pro-Russian part of the population, those who rejoiced at the annexation. However, they are used to that under Ukrainian jurisdiction have the right to peaceful assembly, and now, when they go out to protest against the closure of the Cadet Corps with portraits of Putin, beaten and brought to administrative responsibility. Russia, which they saw from the TV, suddenly found a very different Russia, which reigned in the peninsula.

About a third category also need to talk, because they need our protection. Now Ukraine has very limited opportunities to directly influence what happens with a specific person or group of people, but this is not an excuse for us to do nothing. Our country needs to make use of existing international mechanisms or, if not available, create new ones.

Recent years have shown that Ukraine is difficult to stand up to Russia at the international level. For example, the federation has the right to veto in the UN Security Council. In addition, about a year ago, the Russian Federation made a decision, according to which can selectively implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. What international mechanisms can help to influence Russia?

This is a question that we need to have a strategy that will be provided in the complex legal, diplomatic, economic and other activities. But such a strategy in Ukraine, unfortunately, no. And this is a problem.

You are right: consolidated procedure in Russia in the summer of last year, which is to try to bring the legal form of a breach of international obligations, and now they are free to decide how to execute the decision of the European Court, and what – no. When Russia is beginning to show a similar situation goes from a legal plane in diplomatic. And the Ukrainian diplomats have to say: if the law does not apply, and Russia does not understand the PACE resolution requirements of the UN Committee or the European Court, then let us talk to her language that she understands. If Russia fails to comply with judgments of the European Court, let’s talk about toughening sanctions. This should act as a package.

Until we have a full-fledged strategy on the issue of “the Kremlin’s prisoners’ state of the task falls on the shoulders of social activists. You are one of the initiators of the campaign LetMyPeopleGo, which oversees the Russian theme of liberation of the hostages. Who is on this list?

In LetMyPeopleGo list – citizens of Ukraine, which are held for political reasons in the areas of non-freedom in Russia and in the occupied Crimea.

How many people are now included in the list?

This is a very sensitive issue, because it is sometimes very difficult to determine the presence of a political motive. For example, human rights activists say that the Crimea was illegally moved to 2200 prisoners. How do I know that all they have been lawfully convicted or not? Knowing how the authoritarian system, assuming that many illegally. But if we include in the person list also it depends on whether there is in fact a political motive.

In the summer, we were talking about 28 people, and then added, “Panova group.” We met with a lawyer, and is now waiting for the case file. It is likely that they will be included in our list, but we want to see the material. The second example – the journalist Roman Sushchenko, the materials of his case in general there is no access, because it passes through the article “spying” and classified. How to be in this case? All indications are that it is very similar to the case Yuriya Soloshenko, Valentine Vygovskogo, but there is always a risk, because it is impossible to check (at the time of publication of the article “a group Panova” and journalist Roman Sushchenko were included in the list of campaigns, – FaceNews).

When those who managed to escape from captivity, told that they had to endure, it becomes really scary. Such as torture, which Gennady Afanasiev said. Where is the most critical situation in the aspect of the treatment of our prisoners?

The fact that said Gennady Afanasiev, and after that was a lot of people from the list, did not start while serving their sentence, but much earlier, during the so-called investigation. Then they were isolated from their families, are not allowed independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul, and had been tortured to extract confessions. All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation. One of the Russian lawyers, when she saw in what condition is her client, came to the investigator with a direct question: “What do you with the person did” what he said to her: “What do you want with us since the days of Ivana Groznogo methods of investigation We have not changed. “

Therefore, here it is necessary to monitor what happens to the man on the stage of the investigation, what happens to them during the trial, and what happens after the verdict. These stages have their own characteristics. During the investigation, as I said, there is the problem of artificial isolation, and while serving their conclusion is very hard to produce any information about the person then gradually forgotten. Here the task of the public – do not forget to constantly remind that the person is sitting. This increases the chances that he will be released.

About who is in the worst state, from what we know, we can separately identify Stanislaus Klyha. Torture does not have consequences for the people and, unfortunately, he lost his sanity. It has become apparent to all, when he gave up an independent lawyer who fought for his release and said he wanted to protect his Stas Mikhailov, Pelagia, Shura or beast. He was sentenced to twenty years, with medical and psychological examination, which took place in Chechnya, found him completely sane. Naturally, he is now in a very serious condition.

Alexander, it is unlikely you surprised that the appeal in the case Karpyuk and Klyha who viewed Russian Supreme Court about a month ago, upheld the judgment of conviction of 22.5 years and 20 years.

No hope there is no legal solution. There is hope that the leadership of Russia as a result of international pressure to take a political decision to release them. And then they will exchange, pardon, extradited or find any other legal mechanism to a face-saving, Russia could bring them home.

Sourse, 05/01/2017

Ukrainophobia in Crimea. What puts the Kremlin

June 24, 2016

Reintegration of Crimea – is not only the return of the territory. A key element of the strategy – the people. And Russia is well aware of, so make an effort to us there was no one to return: Ukrainophobia educates through the TV, change the demographic composition of the population, which in itself is a war crime. And everything – methodically destroys the independent civil society, which should be one of the key factors of reintegration. Keep it at least in some form – our task.

For more than two years, we are monitoring the political persecution in the occupied Crimea. Arsenal of repression is quite broad: people are arrested in their homes were searched prohibit peaceful assemblies, fabricated criminal and administrative cases. Occupying power does not shrink from abductions, intimidation, beatings and torture. Russia has been consistently replacing active people of the peninsula, or causes them to shut up.

In situations where the right to influence the situation is rather difficult, as the international community is limited only by the angry resolutions of simple ways to save the remnants of the civil society on the peninsula does not exist. At the same time, there are several areas of work.

Firstly, it is necessary to overcome the informational isolation of Crimea. People on the peninsula should be able to get excellent information from the pro-Kremlin language accessible to them. In parallel, it should be given instructions on how to bypass the blocking of websites, when it comes to broadcasting on the Internet. Crimea various questions should be in the top of the political agenda, they should write about the Ukrainian press. It is necessary to develop relations with the religious, professional, cultural communities on the topics that are the subject of their interest. People who have kept the Ukrainian citizenship, should simplify administrative procedures online methods of management.

Secondly, the Crimean youth should have access on favorable terms to education on the mainland Ukraine. Educational institutions at various levels should implement distance learning programs, focused on the Crimea. It is necessary to increase the number of specialized institutions, such as moving to Kiev Tauride University, which take into account the difference in school programs of Ukraine and Russia. They should be seen as a communicator with the Crimea, because the students are friends and family on the peninsula, as well as a base for the formation of the Crimean elite. Learn to be in these prestigious institutions.

Third, Ukraine needs to learn how to protect the people who were left alone with the occupiers. It is necessary to define the scope of work for the Russian human rights activists in the Crimea, which can connect to the practical protection of persecuted people on the spot. Cases of people persecuted by the Putin regime, should always sound at the level of international organizations. Involved in this persecution should expand the list of personal sanctions. Public authorities should carry out an effective investigation and collect evidence on these facts. You also need to develop a program of support for these people on the territory of continental Ukraine.

In general, the lack of a comprehensive policy towards the occupied Crimea can complicate the reintegration of these areas in the future. Ukraine needs to be translated into the language of practical actions to Oleg Sentsova “my country, I will not leave” and send a clear signal to the people that it is fighting for them.

Author: Alexander Matviychuk, human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the NGO Center for Civil Liberties

Sourse, 23/06/2016

Donbass lawlessness

April 17, 2016

Ukrainian human rights activists talk about the testimonies of victims of illegal detention places in the district of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of illegal armed groups. Human rights activists questioned 162 people emerged from captivity. Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom.

Conclusion human rights: torture faced each second respondent civilian and 86% military in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. Power in illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: I’m in the hands of the research – the evidence of the victims of the places of illegal detention in the territory of the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of “Russian separatist forces,” as they are called United States President Barack Obama. The authors of the study today in our studio: this Alexander Matviychuk , chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, and Boris Zakharov , head of the advocacy center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union .

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed 162 people emerged from captivity. We have information on what are the conditions of detention and of dealing with people who are 79 places of unfreedom. When we say “people in basements”, it is not a metaphor, because most of those 79 seats are not designed even for a short stay. It’s really a basement room, cellars in the office buildings, even a dog cages, aviaries in use of illegal armed groups that hold people.

Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom. Our conclusion: torture faced each second civil, surveyed, and 86% of the soldiers in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. This, relatively speaking, the power of the illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: Boris, there are in this situation, any possible human rights may be, at least from the Russian side?

Boris Zakharov: Those doctors who are allowed to see the hostages are controlled, they do not allow any independent medical examination.

Alexander Matviychuk: We had a block of questions about whether the medical assistance. Prisoners of war were taken sometimes in a serious condition, civilians too, then adjusted to a very serious condition and needed medical care. Male nurses function often performed the same guards. For example, we interviewed Alexander Grishchenko said openly: he was a vet, he improvised means sewing up wounds his fellow inmates.

Vitaly Portnikov: You’re talking about the military, but it is very important to understand what is happening to civilians.

Alexander Matviychuk: The fact that every second civilian man who fell into place bondage tortured – is nothing less than a crime against humanity. We were trying to figure out which categories of persons and for what reasons are subject to such treatment, but our main conclusion: there is no algorithm of actions, which would help to avoid falling victim to such breaking.

Vitaly Portnikov: I saw in this study is evidence of forced press conference for the Russian media.

Boris Zakharov: they were tortured to force to give an interview, which is given once almost immediately after torture.

Alexander Matviychuk: she interrogates me personally was the fourth month of pregnancy. She was beaten with iron rods, although she said she was pregnant. She answered: “You are a Jew, and even pro-Ukrainian views, your child does not have the right to life.” She’s gone from the Ukraine, and I very much hope that it and all is well with her child.

And the second pregnant woman we interviewed, as a result of beatings in the same place had a miscarriage. She said: “We’ll give you a ticket for free, but you must admit that you are a sniper battalion” Tornado “, tell about it to our colleagues, the Russian journalists.” Come, if I’m not mistaken, the TV channel “Russia-1”. We recorded it in the report, found the interview. It shows when she was approached by the so-called journalists, she was asked to sit down so as not to be seen that it is in position.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, the old Russian history: during the Chechen war were “Lithuanian snipers women”, which no one has ever seen.

Do not you think that outside of Ukraine in the world (I’m not talking about Russia) little information about what is happening there?

Boris Zakharov: We are trying to inform her. This UN report officially took for distribution through its own channels.

Vitaly Portnikov: With minors there is something similar?

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, there is. We stayed beyond the study completely separate issue – sexual violence. Men told us about sexual violence against women, who were held with them, and the women – no. Individual cases which we have recorded, again, of stories: Woman gave as a gift to the front, and it’s happened several times, that is, gave it back and returned. It was a minor, her seemingly give 14-15 years.

Vitaly Portnikov: What is the level of transparency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions?

Boris Zakharov: There’s generally no publicity, all this is transmitted exclusively by word of mouth. There is a full atmosphere of fear. In fact, there is a totalitarian regime in wartime.

Vitaly Portnikov: But there are people who are not afraid to go back there – it is also a fact.

Boris Zakharov: Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov: When the shelling subsided when this whole situation stopped at the freezing point, we saw that many displaced people returning to their homes.

Boris Zakharov: In this way, there is a very large wine Ukraine, which can not provide the conditions for internally displaced persons in the territory under its control.

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, I was faced with the fact that do not know about what is happening in Kiev, Donetsk, and not even know the journalists and civil society activists. List captured in basement, updated and replenished at the expense of the people who went to visit his family, absolutely not understanding what is happening there. Apparently, they do not read the papers, do not listen to our broadcasts. Moreover, a journalist recently told me in Kiev, she would like to go and work behind the scenes in Donetsk journalist. She asked me how the situation is with the detentions … What do we want from the people in the occupied territory, if here in Kyiv journalists do not know anything?

Boris Zakharov: Prior to October 2015 121 000 internally displaced persons have returned to the occupied territories. DNR says that half a million returned to them. Of course, these figures can not be trusted.

Vitaly Portnikov: Who protects these cellars?

Alexander Matviychuk: In 40% of cases, people claim that those who directed the beatings, was present during the interrogation and organized place of unfreedom, it is the Russian military. We do not undertake to judge, it was this ordinary professional soldiers or mercenaries, but they claim that they were Russian citizens. They have been so presented, called his military rank, or told where they came from, or say, “You, Ukrainian pig, I came to protect you, but are you doing!”. According to statistics, it appears that the rest – it’s local, the citizens of Ukraine. All this points to a chain of accountability to the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic of the Russian Federation.

Vitaly Portnikov: How Ukrainian prison system, the system of detention of persons, who on the other side of the war, more controllable, more than the State? Can we talk about that in Ukrainian prisons can not happen this?

Boris Zakharov: The prison system is not reformed. We present illegal violence in the police and in the prison system. Kharkiv Human Rights Group conducted a study in conjunction with the Kharkov Institute of Sociology. Despite the war, despite the increase in aggression in society, we have compared to the years 2011-12 to halve the number of torture and ill-treatment, unlawful violence to the police. If before about a million people a year were subjected to unlawful violence, and torture – 120 thousand, and now about half a million are exposed to unlawful violence and in some cases 62 000 – torture and ill-treatment.

Alexander Matviychuk: We as a human rights organization demand that the Ukrainian authorities comply with all standards and the reform of this sector, because the gross violations, abuse, unfortunately, occur. Also, there is a problem with violations by Ukrainian forces in unofficial places of unfreedom. Of course, you can not even compare the scale, but we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Ukrainian state differs from the illegal armed groups that it must investigate each case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Boris Zakharov: The state is struggling with this problem – perhaps not yet sufficiently effective, but because there is a political will to implement these reforms, to investigate the facts of abuse and torture, sooner or later this problem will be if not completely defeated, then reduced to minimum.

As for the captured parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, there effective control of Russia carries out, it is actually occupied by the Russian Federation territory. We have to communicate all at the diplomatic level.

But most importantly, the Ukrainian side is not enough high quality evidence documenting how the presence of Russian troops, and cases of torture, abuse, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against property. Our organization, submitting complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, Feeds them and against Ukraine and against Russia. Against Russia – for all the chaos that’s going on, on specific articles – is the right to life, freedom from torture, ill-treatment and so on. Against Ukraine – for inactivity, for that Ukraine has enough quality documents and is investigating these crimes. The court’s decision may well be against both countries – for example, the payment of fifty thousand euros from Russia for the fact that it all happened, and five thousand euro from Ukraine for inaction. Such precedents have been in the practice of the European Court.

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed people, we collect documents for international justice. But we can not say to a man: but now thanks, goodbye, you helped us a lot. Naturally, we will cooperate with initiatives that provide psychological and medical assistance.

Government policy in this regard is catastrophic. If in respect of servicemen still have some sort of guarantee, the civilian hostages just to themselves. It is necessary to change at least for reasons of humanity, not to mention some rights.

Vitaly Portnikov: When I’m on the program topics it covers me despair. Too many people, our Russian audience is easy to believe you. But many people will never believe in what you are talking about Donbass, because there is a blatant propaganda: “there can not be such, there is defend the Russian people.” Lived Statement usual area is no different from the Bryansk and Kharkov, and suddenly there is such a nightmare …

Alexander Matviychuk: I have a different professional despair: we interview people, but realize how much they still in the field of non-freedom – it’s still going on. About two months ago, we took the famous scientist, religious Igorya Kozlovskogo.

I understand very well what you are saying. When we document when sending alternative reports to the UN Committee, introduced them to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we can not stop it. It really frustrates some … That is why we have launched a campaign at the Munich conference fields: we demand the release of all hostages and prisoners of war and civilians. According to official figures from the Ukrainian side of 130 people. They were released a year ago, according to the sixth paragraph of the Minsk agreements .

Vitaly Portnikov: It is clearly stated on the exchange of all for all. By the way, the Russian side, at least as represented by its Special Representative on the Minsk talks Borisa Gryzlova, insists that there should be exchange of all for all. Where are the results?

Alexander Matviychuk: The same Mr. Gryzlov said that the first Ukrainian party must give a total amnesty to people who committed these crimes. We as the human rights organizations a clear position: it can not be an amnesty for serious crimes. Of course, the world is better than war, but there is no peace without justice.

If we look at the leaders of these illegal groups, who all began … As we were told the Russian colleague in April 2014: “Oh, you come to our death squads”. They were led by people who were previously in Abkhazia, Chechnya, Transnistria, where they performed the same. They were not punished were amnestied and now continue it in the Donbas.

So that there is no amnesty for war crimes can not be. To be honest, I’m very strange that I did not hear this from the members of the Norman format , I do not hear such rhetoric from France, from Germany. In my opinion, it is not just the norms of national legislation – is the basic tenet of international humanitarian law. If you give a clear message on the part of not only Ukraine, but also in France, Germany, perhaps in the occupied territories would someone think about now. They also think that sooner or later they will be amnestied.

Boris Zakharov: Amnesty, from the point of view of the law in this case is inapplicable. Amnesty happens when there is a judgment, it’s commutation. In this case we are talking about the withdrawal of charges of grave and especially grave crimes.

Vitaly Portnikov: It is understood that the Minsk agreement, we should grant amnesty to people who have worked all this, based on the Russian side logic.

Boris Zakharov: They want Ukraine changed the hierarchy and sequence of steps. They say, fulfills all its conditions, and then we say of Russia: “What you do not do your own?”. But the logic of the sequence of steps it consists in the fact that the elections in the Donbass, amnesty and other things can only happen if Ukraine will receive effective control over these territories. This means that we are at an impasse, we need a different format other than Minsk. And Minsk must continue.

Vitaly Portnikov: But the people who are in these basements, should be released in any case, regardless of what kind of formula we will discuss with you now.

Alexander Matviychuk: Minsk format just might fulfill it. If we talk about the value of human life, then obviously, it had to be done in the first place, and can be no terms such as “but first you give amnesty, but you first hold elections.” That is why our campaign appeals to France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia: decide the issue now, it is impossible to discuss all other political issues, as long as people are in such circumstances, they can not survive until the next round of negotiations!

Boris Zakharov: There are people who need medical care, many of them have already become chronicles after injuries. They should be exempt immediately!

Vitaly Portnikov: Was POW hits you about it, too, mention in their study – this is an obvious form of torture. In Ukraine, there has never been any parades of prisoners of war, in spite of what was captured by a huge number of people who are fighting on the side of the illegal armed groups in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This parade was shown on Russian television. In a huge part of the audience is caused, unfortunately, not the horror and delight.

Alexander Matviychuk: According to the Rome Statute , it is a war crime. We also describe what’s left of this parade personnel. Prisoners of war did not want to leave voluntarily, and in order to get them to go to the parade in front of them very cruelly killed several people (to have witnesses).

Vitaly Portnikov: This is actually what the Nazis did to their parades of its kind.

Boris Zakharov: Yes, it’s exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Putin is somehow able to defeat the concept of Popper’s an open and a closed society, showed that in a relatively open society, where there are alternative sources of information, you can use the new information and communication technologies so wash people brains because their zombie that you can create on the territory of Russia subtotalitarnogo mode.

Vitaly Portnikov: On the other hand, what can be such a thing, and thus know about them, but do not pay attention – this is just the result of the hybrid war, of which we speak. That is, it is like a war and not a war, and prisoners of war – like and not prisoners of war, and some people who are up in arms came to fight against their own countrymen, and the parade – like and not hits.

Alexander Matviychuk: I tried to investigate the influence of Russian propaganda on the escalation of violence. And this, of course, the question of hybridity of the war, when nothing at all is not clear, the rule of law does not correspond to the norm. But the fact is that very increased level of hatred, is the dehumanization of the country. That is, with these people, you can do so, because “it is not the people – a” dill “, Ukrainians, Germans, this junta, which all oppressed and drinks the blood of Russian babies.”

If we talk about responsibility … We are talking about the so-called “journalists” – I think that should be personal sanctions and proceedings to establish the degree of guilt and punishment of people who incite hatred and war by creating a parallel reality.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, in the sanctions of the civilized world are mentioned the names of several so-called Russian “journalists” of the most zealous and frenzied propaganda. I think everyone understands that propagandists blame for the fate of these people is obvious. We often say that the propaganda, but so what? Someone something did not understand, someone made a different conclusion. And here it is really the result of a real propaganda – it is death, torture, humiliation, abuse and the transformation of the opposite side in the “non-humans”.

Boris Zakharov: There is still a problem in international law. In fact, these hybrid wars do not fit into a modern security system in the contemporary legal space. These challenges need adequate answers. In June 2014, I proposed a package of laws on hybrid war, because the Ukrainian authorities could not answer the question: what’s going on? Say “war” and declare martial law – scared, because then Russia may begin a large-scale military campaign. “ATO” – chose this formula, but it is absolutely not appropriate from a legal point of view. Because of this formula, we have a lot of negative consequences at the international level and in international law too.

It would be nice at the time and even now already being late, it is still to take a package of laws, first at the national level, to call a spade a spade, to simulate the situation and describe a departure from the conventions, in accordance with these simulated situations. And then – to collect the international conference in Kiev and declare to the world that you need to make changes and adopt new Convention on the hybrid war, which take into account the current state of affairs.

Alexander Matviychuk: I think the problem is not even the fact that the existing international conventions do not take into account all aspects of a hybrid war, and that no one really wants to solve the problem with this challenge. The international community is trying to freeze the conflict. Amnesty? Well, let it be a total amnesty. Elections? It is clear that they will be controlled by the Russian Federation, but the de facto authorities in Ukraine, we have our own voters can say that it’s all over. Just think, people will die – the whole planet in general is very unsafe, people die …

The biggest problem is that the international community does not want to solve these problems, the hopes that they will somehow dissolve themselves. But the problems do not disappear, they just grow. Let me remind you that Ukraine – this is another point on the globe where these “gray areas” have been created. We live in a highly interconnected world. Europe or other countries, can not be shielded by fences. We have already seen, as it were, by the example of the war in Syria. Problems still find us if they are not addressed.

Sourse, 16/04/2016

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them

April 11, 2016

Oleksandra Matviychuk used to avoid police on the street. As a participant in protests for human rights, she knew, as did many Ukrainians, of the police’s reputation for using excessive force.

Today, as a member of Ukraine’s civil society, Matviychuk teaches the country’s new patrol police how to interact peacefully with citizens.

Before Ukraine’s Euromaidan — protests from November 2013 to February 2014 demanding closer ties with Europe — police had one objective: to fulfill the orders of their higher-ups, according to Matviychuk. Now, she says, they make decisions for themselves and focus on serving the publi

“Patrol policing is a job that requires thinking,” Matviychuk said. Officers not only have to know Ukraine’s laws and international standards, but quickly act in ways that affect people’s overall well-being and even their lives.

Standing up for human rights

Matviychuk remains committed to human rights in Ukraine. As head of the board at the nongovernmental organization Center for Civil Liberties in Kyiv, she works with others to push the government toward reforms that would protect freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly as well as the rights of civil activists generally.

Helping survivors

Matviychuk is also involved in Euromaidan SOS, established during the Euromaidan to locate those who had gone missing after the Yanukovych-led government launched violent attacks against peaceful protesters and to provide legal assistance for protesters who were imprisoned.

Euromaidan SOS’s role has expanded. Today, it establishes human rights agencies and mobile teams in and near the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea. “We make visits there and document everything, and work with hostages and torture survivors,” Matviychuk said.

In May 2015, the Center for Civil Liberties joined Euromaidan SOS to launch #LetMyPeopleGo, a campaign to help Ukrainian citizens imprisoned in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea for their political views. The campaign is working on the cases of eight prisoners in Crimea and 13 in Russia, including Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

Oleksandra Matviychuk holding award and standing with Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)
Matviychuk (left) with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of gunned-down Russian activist Boris Nemtsov. (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)

Recently, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer presented Matviychuk with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Democracy Defender Award for her work on reform, accountability, human rights and rule-of-law in Ukraine. Baer said he admires people like Matviychuk, “who are committed to a unified, democratic, prosperous, European Ukraine.”

Matviychuk, for her part, sees the fight for human rights as a global cause, bigger than Ukraine. “We live in a very interconnected world. … We can’t build fences and close our eyes to real problems of human rights in our world,” she said.

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them.

Matviychuk’s speech at Democracy Defender Award 2016

February 24, 2016

Human rights defender Oleksandra Matviychuks statement at the official prizegiving ceremony of Democracy Defender Award-2016

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I represent the civil initiative Euromaidan SOS that was created in response to brutal dispersal of peaceful student demonstration. We have brought together thousands of ordinary people to provide legal protection for protesters. Every day a large number of people passed through our care. People who were arrested, beaten, tortured, accused of trumped-up criminal cases, and later – the dead and the missing people.

For the second time in the last ten years, Ukrainian people rose to defend their choice to build a democratic state based on common values with European countries. We paid a rather high price for it.

After the fall of authoritarian regime, in order to stop democratic transformations in Ukraine Russia occupied Crimea and started a hybrid war in Donbas. Murders, abductions, tortures, sexual violence, human shields, political persecutions on the occupied territories – all this has become our reality.

Today we gather victims’ evidence and document these violations to present them for international justice. At the same time, we struggle to reform our police, courts and prosecutors, so in the future we are not facing a situation in where our government shoots unarmed demonstrators.

In this regard, I would like to share a few lessons that we have learned from these past events:

  1. In many countries human rights activists aren’t just working for protection of human rights. These activists are fighting every day for human rights. Often it seems almost hopeless. However, we should do our work honestly. The results of our efforts can unexpectedly be achieved.
  1. When people achieve the recognition of human rights from authorities, often in practice it means only one thing. No authorities but just civil society needs freedom of associations, the right to a fair trial, civil society oversight of police. This only means that human rights activists simply won new tasks for themselves. This is why the civil society should become an equal partner with the state authorities in the eyes of international organizations.
  2. The so-called “Ukrainian crisis”, in fact, is a direct reflection of a global crisis in the post-war world system. This is a value crisis. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is often and openly questioned. International human rights law has become secondary. Civil activists, journalists, human rights defenders are persecuted and held in prisons in Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan etc. There is an ongoing fundamental change of ideologies, which, for decades, have been the basis for international organizations.

There is a great temptation to avoid solving difficult problems, hoping that they will just vanish. But the truth is that these problems are increasing. There are new gray areas with uncertain statuses appearing on the map. That is not only about the future of the OSCE and the Helsinki Accords. That is about the entire world where everything is interconnected and only the spread of freedom and human rights is making it safe.

Finding the solution to this crisis is our historic task. We must continue fighting for human dignity. Even if there is nothing left but words and our own example.

February 24, 2016, Vienna

Ukrainian media does not care about Kazakhstan?

June 25, 2015

Journalist portal “Respublika” Natalia Sadykov talked to the chairman of the board Ukrainian “Center for Civil Liberties” Aleksandroy Matveychuk disregard for Ukrainian journalists presentation of the report on the events in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan. Later also had to observe the situation when the Ukrainian press persistently ignored the events concerning other countries. But at the same time in Ukraine want to support the whole world.

During familiarization Alexander said that after the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Zhanaozen social activists observed the trial in Aktau. Seen and heard in the case of the thirty-seven oil workers are not left indifferent Ukrainians. All the horrors endured Zhanaozen, they wanted to tell in Kiev. Report planned to present at a public event.

“We understand that we are dealing not just with gross human rights violations, and dangerous practices of authoritarian suppression of dissent, which can be easily transferred to the Ukrainian soil. We have suffered a great disappointment. At a press conference on “The shooting of peaceful demonstrations in Zhanaozen and its results: Ukraine – not Zhanaozen” came not a single journalist. Ukraine was not interested in shooting of peaceful protesters in other countries “, – said Matveichuk.

Two years later, Ukraine on Independence outlive your Zhanaozen, about a hundred of Heaven knows the whole world. Then there will be the annexation of Crimea, the war in the Donbas and downed Boeing. But Ukrainian journalists continue to ignore the press conference spoken about the problems of other countries. Even if the problems that have recently faced the Ukrainian people. Alexander Matveichuk believes that the lack of interest in what is happening in other countries – a bright sign of provincialism of thinking.

“Especially when it comes to human rights in the post-Soviet region, which I call the region the” new independent states “(even with a thousand years of history). There is a clear trend for all the processes that make up the so-called “authoritarian Club”: they quickly take over all repressive ” know-how ” of each other, so you need to know the consequences of certain decisions and be able to see their conditions in their own country “, – he explained Chairman of the Board “Center for civil liberties.”

Aleksandra Matveychuk believes that in Ukraine is only now beginning to realize, as the Russian law on foreign agents, dispersal and destruction of the Marsh press freedom in Ukraine affected. First, following the “first swallow” as maimed in law, and then annexation Crimean, which according to sociological studies endorse Russians 88% (94% of which get their information from TV screens).

“Ukraine is gradually realizes that the civil societies of our countries, too, should unite and support each other, even at the level of ordinary communication. Not by chance, after a flood in Georgia Ukrainian segment of Facebook was filled with words of support and solidarity. But at the same time, none of the Ukrainian political establishment has not publicly urged to boycott European Games in Azerbaijan, which are held on the background of total stripping of civil society and the imprisonment of almost all human rights defenders.

In Ukraine, will remember this when we have, in turn, will talk about the inadmissibility of the football championship in Russia, which is unleashed and bloody war in the Donbass, the victims of which are already at least eight thousand people “, – said Alexander.

This topic, we are actively discussing with the Ukrainian colleagues. Media journalist Roman Kabachy Institute, suggested that the indifference of the sources can be found in the history of the Ukrainian people, who were interested in a purely internal problem. But anthropologist and PhD in History Lesya Gasidzhak refutes this theory.

“I strongly disagree with the idea that Ukrainian journalists indifference to the problems of other countries related to ethnic features. Sympathy, help your neighbor, custody of those who is weaker – it has always been with us, and regulated at the level of customary law. In the calendar year, even were the days when we were not allowed to work for oneself, but it was necessary to help the widows, the lonely, the old and infirm. Not to shelter for the night the one who travels, or asks for a piece of bread – always considered a great sin. Little has changed in 1920- 1930 th years, when the communist Soviet regime began to encourage snitching, the neighbor became an enemy – to social hatred and hostility build a new society, “- says Gasidzhak.

Ethnologist believes that the root of the problem must be sought in another – lack of professional journalism.

“We have very few good analytical texts. For us, more typical of the news publication of character. Large Text “people” can not read. “Fried” the facts always have a rating. Alas. And what you say – this is a new level, which we are still only aspire, “- says Lesya Gasidzhak, which itself is the editor of the web portal” museum space “.

However, Roman Kabachy said that the situation in Ukraine is quite similar to other countries of the former Soviet Union, except Baltic countries and Russia.

“Russia is itself a provider of news and news generator of other countries (it’s happening now, such a trend” Che there with Ukrainians, “used to be” Estonians Nazis dismantled monument “,” the Georgians attacked South Ossetia “and so on). Since we are all accustomed to the fact that it was in Moscow “know better” that tell Ukrainians about Estonians and Kazakhs about Ukrainians, too, we are all to blame. The Baltic countries have a short period of statehood in the interwar period, and they increasingly do not care what he thinks about them heiress occupant country “, – says Roman Kabachy.

Journalist offers steps to help Ukrainian media interest what is happening in the CIS countries. “The first is to understand that alone can not cope with the Kremlin ideological machine, and together and” Dad beat more easily. ” Second, throw the approach of “we the center of the world and we are all important” – important, but in the same way, other than important for us. Third: to develop its own network of bureaus in the capitals of CIS and Baltic countries, refusing to gradually from the horn of Moscow. And the fourth: to stimulate the foundation of media bureaus of post-Soviet countries in Kiev “, – lists Kabachy.

However, in addition to correspondents, in Kiev today can say about the influx of the opposition forces of the CIS countries, where it is still too early to talk about democracy. Russians, Belarusians, Kazakhs and even the Georgian opposition have settled in the Ukrainian capital, and from there try to influence the situation in their countries. Today, these idealists like anyone else in need of the support of Ukrainian media. Then, perhaps, and in these countries it will be possible to speak of the victory of human rights over the dictatorship.

Author: Natalia Sadykov

Sourse, 24/06/2015

War and human rights

June 8, 2015

Vitaly Portnikov:  Human rights and the war – it would seem, no concepts more mutually exclusive, although for centuries, even during the war, people are trying to establish some rules of conduct so as not to slip into the absolute savagery. But here’s human rights and hybrid warfare, hybrid world, uncertain legal status, a situation where the people themselves the territories involved in the conflict do not understand in what world they are … What is there can make human rights activists?

We were invited to the Kiev studio of Radio Liberty programs coordinator for the Russian Center for Documentation named Natali Estemirovoy Stanislav Dmitrievsky  and head of the Center for Civil Liberties  Alexander Matveichuk  – Russian human rights activist and Ukrainian human rights activist, who are now engaged in this issue, important for the society of the two countries, of course, if these societies in the future they want to overcome the effects of the nightmare in which we all are.

I know you have just recently conducted one of these projects, trying to understand what is happening to human rights in the occupied territories of Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. To summarize your findings, what is the situation today?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  I would like to recall a very simple thing, which, nevertheless, have to constantly talk – about the two types of rights that people for some reason are very often confused. There are so-called law of the country and the state to protect against aggression – the right associated with the territorial integrity and its protection. In this sense, of course, Ukraine, being in his own right, to protect its territorial integrity and lead a military operation in the East. And there is another side – it is international humanitarian law, which must abide by both sides, regardless of whether they believe this war just or unjust, whether they are victims of aggression or its initiators.

Violation of humanitarian law, as happens in any war, committing both parties to the conflict. Our task as human rights – to do everything possible to avoid a climate of impunity. The difference is really only one thing: if all the gigantic problems that are now experiencing the Ukrainian state, there still exists the right legal framework by which we can while working, to change something (to achieve, for example, the release of illegally detained persons), then on the territory of the unrecognized breakaway republics of this legal framework is not at all, which significantly complicates the execution of such missions.

Alexander Matveichuk: Of course, we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Regardless of what these rights are, we will always stand on the side of the victim have been violated. But it must be said about the difference between the scope of such activities. Studies that have been carried out, including our human rights organization show that the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics from the very beginning of the occupation, that is, for many months in a forced, deliberate policy was implemented terror against the civilian population in the first place on the basis of their political views. That is to get into the basement and to be subjected to ill-treatment, torture and extrajudicial executions could only be for the fact that at one time you were a member of pro-Ukrainian rallies that once you say something, and the neighbors called the hotline and was told. This terror

Vitaly Portnikov:  it is clear to me that the Russian human rights activists, to put it mildly, not the most desirable category of persons, which is ready to deal with power. We see the law on “foreign agents” and their constant defamation in the media controlled by the Russian government. In Ukraine, I also noticed lately some irritation over reports of human rights, whether they are doing international organizations or local human rights activists. It is clear: the country wants to look better than it is, under the conditions in which it is difficult to be crystal clear. How do you overcome these challenges?

Alexander Matveichuk:  It is natural that in times of war increases the level of radicalization, the threshold of tolerance towards violence also becomes very high, the society is polarized: there are enemies, is “our”. We as a civil initiative (including “euromaidan the SOS”, which I also represent) are constantly trying to remind the public that one of the requirements euromaidan was – “Human Rights First” Now the challenge before us It is very difficult in war.. even on a symbolic level, the level of our words and thoughts, but we have to implement in practice. The problem is, it is natural for all the companies that are in a state of armed conflict, it is necessary to work.

Vitaly Portnikov: Stanislav, reflecting on your experience, I think that you are in a difficult situation, even from a legal perspective. Take the example of Chechnya – there is always a human rights activists tried to protect the rights of people who are illegally detained, disappeared, got in some court cases on spurious pretexts, or under the same denunciations. Nevertheless citizenship institute was obvious, transparent – there were Russian citizens. Even in the short period of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was not designed so that it was impossible to classify these people as the Russian citizens. In the case of Donbass and the Crimea Institute for Citizenship is in a mixed state. There are people who themselves qualify as citizens of Ukraine, and they qualify as Russian citizens and citizens of the DNI. A beautiful story with film director Olegom Sentsovym, who believes that he is a citizen of Ukraine, Russia and spur of the moment considers as its citizen, because he could not renounce Russian citizenship, because he was detained at the time when he had a legal possibility. How to get out of such situations?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  There is a way. Of course, they are not as straightforward as, for example, in Chechnya. But there are criteria for effective control. Of course, we do not recognize the annexation of Crimea legitimate, the international community does not recognize the Russian human rights community does not recognize, but regardless of this, Russia exercises effective control over the territory. They’ve got their own police, its own prosecutors, its courts. In this case Russia will be responsible for all human rights obligations, including if we are talking about the complaints in the  European Court of Human Rights .

More difficult situation in the Donbass, because it is not just about proving the fact of aggression, as set forth in the relevant UN documents. There’s a large-scale infiltration of gangs is enough to raise the question of aggression, but there is still the question of effective control. To prove that the authorities of the breakaway republics are effectively controlled by the Russian Federation and, therefore, the Russian Federation as a state is responsible for the fate of these people – I believe that it is a challenge, a task that, including in the European courts, must decide right now the human rights community : both the Russian and Ukrainian.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Incidentally, we are taking the first steps towards this. The UN Committee on Human Rights Two months ago, I considered Russia’s obligations in the light of its compliance with international human rights standards. And we, as a Ukrainian human rights organization, was sent to your application. We have tried to justify the arguments, referring to the sources and the evidence that was collected by our field missions, which Russia exercises effective and total control of the territory, as well as coordinating the military operations against the Ukrainian army. Despite the fact that at the meeting of the UN Committee was surprised my presentation (to me the word has been given on behalf of the Ukrainian human rights community, I was talking about the Crimea and pro Donbass), in the final recommendations of the Committee thought of Donbas in a very diplomatic manner. This is the signal for the Russian Federation that even such unwieldy and very bureaucratic structures such as the UN,

There is another important point – this can never be done by the efforts of civil society only. It is the task of the Ukrainian authorities – to gather evidence of Russian aggression, demonstrate effective control. And here I unfortunately have to say that the work, as always, being ineffective, there is no single center. On all of our recommendations that it should be created, to be debugged system of gathering information, analyzing it, save photos and videos, we do not get proper answers. I very much fear that, when the war is over (as it will ever be over anyway), this issue is a factor of war crimes will be put in this light that we do not have any evidence, nor, consequently, the victims and the perpetrators.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Maybe the parties are generally not very interested in how to document things that can interfere with the negotiation process?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This element is always the case in any conflict. Still, it seems to me that, according to the documents, which are published officially accepted Rada, for the official position, as far as I could see her here, the state officially declares the need. On the other hand, I have the impression that the lion’s share of the work that should make the state, makes civil society. It’s amazing to us in Russia is not even dream! I believe that there is a civil society can not only help the state that is trying to do to become a democratic and goes to Europe. In Russia, it has long been a fig leaf, and here is the desire to eat, and the human rights community has much to teach the state. Here really have a chance.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to give a specific example, that we understand the scale of the disaster. Everyone has heard about Slavyansk, it is quite a long time for people who have been in his basement, it was under occupation. Immediately after his release went to our mobile team “euromaidan SOS”. The basement was open. Members of the mobile teams have seen that all lying on the floor, that the basement wash some utilities. Our lawyer has been in the mobile group, she saw some documents. She realized that, if it just does not gather them on the floor, they disappear. It turned out to be death sentences signed by almost  Strelkov (Igor Girkin)And lists of pro-Ukrainian activists in the Donbas. After we passed these documents, we rang round all these people say, be careful, you’re on the list. This is to ensure that no members of the mobile teams of civil society organizations were to withdraw these documents, and state agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  It is important to understand how, in principle, the people behave in similar areas, because there is no guarantee that the front line (now stable delineation line) will be stable for a long time. People who feel the attention of repressive structures, is also very difficult in this situation. How capable the human rights community to provide assistance to such people?

Alexander Matveichuk:  This is a big challenge for the human rights community, we were not ready for him. But a year has passed, we gradually adapt. We have formed a coalition to document war crimes in the Donbas, we are now talking about the free legal reception, which returned to the place previously occupied, and before that it acted enjoyed authority. And we’re talking about, accompanied by cases in international courts, because right now, seeing the level of the investigation, it is not necessary to talk about its effectiveness.

A striking example – Ivan Reznichenko, killed a policeman from Soledar, whose body was found by his friend, who organized their own investigation in a few months. his body showed the man, who identified himself as involved in the murder of Ivan. Recently, he was released on bail, the case is artificially inhibited, and relatives are constant threats, including from local law enforcement agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Stanislav, with the Ukrainian state is clear, it is in such a state as it is, somewhere it is replaced by a society where, it acts itself … But if he understands that he is dealing with its own citizens, which should be protected? It can do it or not – is another question. And with the Russian state is much more difficult, if we are talking about the citizens of the Russian Federation, then the official services comes just a screeching halt, as happened with those soldiers, which the Russian Federation has not yet been considered by Russian and attempts by them as citizens of the refuse. We can say that the Russian consul met with the two men formed only under the pressure of public opinion. What to do?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Frankly, I do not know. I have not cherish any illusions here. In Russia, it is clear who the “fifth column”, “enemies of the people”. We all joke that “fifth column” came to the meeting with the other four at our conference. But still, despite all the horror, all this reaction, in which we have fallen after losing our unfinished “Snow Revolution” 2011-12 years, some public pressure tools of social influence are preserved. You are quite right to say about these two soldiers – have refused them the native state, which they have served, and the company has managed to pull this topic. No one knows what will happen to us tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Do what you must, and the rest is in God’s hands. You just need to do their job, no matter what.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I have a feeling that the Russian state structures do not act as State organs, even when it is their direct responsibility – that’s the problem. Here the question is not even ideology and functioning.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This and all other areas of the case. I’m in his native Nizhny Novgorod, is involved in activities to protect cultural heritage. I do not see the state, I do not see bodies to perform their functions. I come here, I see a huge level of problems, but I was jealous because I understand that this is a problem of a completely different level. There is political will, the desire, there is a civil society. I do not know how much we still have to go before that. But we still work together, although there is a huge propaganda force, aiming to ensure that we have to separate, to divide. I friends say, “How are you to ride?” I say, “Well now eat me, probably to be crucified.” Certainly I laugh. Nevertheless, we are working together.

Alexander Matveichuk:  In this  situation of detainees gereushnikami  is an important aspect interesting. This Monday I went to see them with our Russian colleague, a human rights activist. We have been working together, there are values that unite us. Human rights have no borders.

Vitaly Portnikov:  You also do talk to them?

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov:  How do these people feel themselves?

Alexander Matveichuk:  They have no complaints about the content, they are totally shallow that they are being tortured, as it says is now the General Staff of the Russian Federation. They have one request, and it is very revealing: they want to get in touch with their families, and their Consul said that a month can not find a wife of Sergeant. He is very worried, why so much time Russian consulate is unable to establish contact with her.

Vitaly Portnikov:  In my opinion, this woman was interviewed, he said he was discharged from the armed forces. She found great employees of the Russian TV channels.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There is another important point. Detainees gereushnikov was me, a Ukrainian human rights activist, and our colleague – Russian human rights activist. And our Ukrainian citizens who are detained for political reasons pronounced in Russia, did the spies,  “right sector” , saboteurs, terrorists, and they even Ukrainian Consul can not get for months. Nikolai Karpyuk – 14 months, Stanislav Klich – 8. It has recently been an alarming statement by a lawyer Savchenko Ili Nadezhda Novikova that he does not know whether Nicholas Karpyuk alive, just such a long time to it no one is allowed.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This, incidentally, was in recent history with two Ukrainian citizens, young people, who were detained at the Russian-Ukrainian border, in one of the border towns, it was almost the students. They are very long kept imprisoned in Russia on a completely trumped-up charges, they barely pulled out.

Alexander Matveichuk:  During the year! The first three months they were held in defiance of a court decision on deportation. And they are not just kept – tortured them. They were taken to the woods, beaten. The incident is now present at our joint conference. Before that we worked on this briefcase, he is well known to me. But I personally have heard of it, why one of them was forced to open his veins, and the second – to cut his stomach. They just realized that they would be killed in a specific time. They wanted to get to the hospital to stop the torture and abuse.

Vitaly Portnikov:  This is a very striking example of what can happen with the Russian penal system, when it is faced with the Ukrainian crisis. You agree that such explicit complaints still in Russia recorded very rarely.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  If you exclude Chechnya, Dagestan. There’s just a stream. The worst thing – is now at the conference there was talk in the Crimea, were human rights activists working there, and I see that the methods that have been developed, tested, and found widespread in Chechnya, begin to be gradually introduced in the Crimea – thank God, not yet on the same scale, but it is a very frightening trend. Crimea on the background of all other regions (they believe that it is the Russian state) is gradually drifting to the Chechen side, I mean, enforced disappearances, killings and torture. You just have to be ready for it. Yet there can not find some of the people responsible for torture brought to justice for the killings. It is still good, because in Chechnya, it is in principle impossible. But everything is there.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I remind you that a huge number of missing in the Crimea (the figure was named  Elloy Pamfilovoy , the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation) Human rights defenders need to tell, at least about 9 of them, who went on a pronounced political motives – eg , members of the “Ukrainian house”. Time of the abduction of one of them was recorded on video, which gives us the opportunity to say that it was made of the Crimean “self-defense”. The whereabouts of these people is unknown. Regarding torture can bring a bright example of the latter case Alexander Kostenko, who was named the most important thing a dictator of the Crimean branch  of “Freedom” , and she  Poklonskaya I read out the horrific for each lawyer and the prosecution lawyer. Just listen to what evidence operates the main Crimean prosecutor – and understandable farce and absurdity of the whole situation.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Poklonskaya – Yanukovych ward system – what wonder that it is all the principles of the system suffered in the Crimea?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  The feeling of a  friend Wyszynski , and even caricature.

Alexander Matveichuk:  It should be noted that during the trial the lawyer Dmitry Sotnikov has repeatedly said that his client had been tortured, but that request was rejected and not considered. We have other examples – black and Afanasyev, who are in the case of so-called “Crimean terrorists” is Oleg Sentsov, which we remembered. So, they admitted their guilt, now have 7 years of the colony. The court session was held behind closed doors. But we know that they complained of torture. Later, they were afraid to take the other lawyers, except those assigned to the State Service of the Russian Federation. One of them contained even in a psychiatric hospital for a while, but now they are serving a 7-year sentence.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This is a common practice. Indeed, with regard to allegations of torture, all without exception, Russian courts have rejected these claims. Organization  “Committee against Torture” , with which I work, which is now also declared a “foreign agent”, managed in 15 years to prosecute about 115 law enforcement personnel. Proving torture – generally a difficult matter, and when the investigation is opposed to it … We had cases when it was possible to bring to justice after 7 years, 6 years. For example, the famous case of Mikheyev – the criminal case was stopped 20 times, and each time the lawyers appealed the decision of the Committee. This is a very long struggle. But now the situation is deteriorating. If earlier we watched as annoying flies, now – both overt enemies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  After the law on “foreign agents” will be the human rights movement in Russia?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Law on “foreign agents” – is not the worst. By the way, I am very pleased that the human rights community to boycott it almost unanimously, no one volunteered himself the star is not sewn. But now we adopted another law on the “undesirable organizations”, which, as I understand it, is intended to announce such …

Vitaly Portnikov:  Anyone who fails to declare a “foreign agents.”

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  … foreign organizations, that is, funds from which we get the funding, our partners, and to criminalize it. Of course, I think that this will complicate the matter. Gradually comes to reformat the human rights movement in a movement of civil resistance. Perhaps there all this will drift.

Alexander Matveichuk:  There are examples in other countries, which also started with a similar law, and ended up in the summer of last year jail all human rights – I mean Azerbaijan. The problem is that the legislation, which is now accepted in Russia, especially in the field of taxation, provides the potential for public authorities for some time to accumulate evidence and then put human rights defenders are not under political articles, and present to the public that they are just fighting for your pocket. Including a huge propaganda machine, and the people who now live in poverty, of course, will not be sympathetic to this concern. The situation is very worrying, we are very worried about our Russian colleagues.

Vitaly Portnikov:  We was not very optimistic program, because it is unclear how to get out of all situations, at least, how to prove that not only the organization, but also ordinary people become targets of repression, pressure objects. If those areas that should be the object of attention of human rights organizations, the authority of law and human rights protection itself is so low, how to get out of this situation before the end of the conflict?

Alexander Matveichuk:  I’ll start with a joke. We were at the conference were to arrive on the same flight several dozen Russian human rights activists, and the flight was canceled. We do not associate it with the conference. A colleague of ours, which in Soviet times was a dissident, said: “You do not know the underground practitioner How did you hit upon the idea of all invited to sit on an airplane.?”

Vitaly Portnikov:  Because they thought it was underground.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Yes. I mean, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. History repeats itself, and there is what you need to do. We as “euromaidan SOS” addressed to people who, while living in the Crimea, are engaged in public activities, or have their own independent position, with the suggestion that they began to study and implement in their daily life safety practices: information, legal, physical. Have accumulated an arsenal of techniques, they do not save, do not give an absolute guarantee, but significantly reduces the risk and make the price of attacks on individual higher.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  With this activity we are also engaged in a long time, is the protection of human rights defenders. Of course, no one can guarantee. Now you can go to the wonderful Kiev, and on the head of a brick will fall …

Vitaly Portnikov:  You know, drop a brick on his head and some deliberate action structures, which should be a law – it is not the same thing.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  Just probability … of course, we will do our best to anticipate these probabilities.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to make an optimistic note in our program. Still, despite all the difficulties that are now fighting Ukraine, – the war that Russia started occupying the Crimea, and then launch a hybrid war through their proxy agents of the DNI, LC in the east, to the fact that reforms in the area of human rights man do not go with us as quickly and effectively as we would like – in spite of all this, we are seeing a huge rise of civil society. Create hundreds of different initiatives at different levels, which, in fact, carry out public functions. It gives us an opportunity to look ahead optimistically. Our society is now much stronger than the state apparatus.

Vitaly Portnikov:  I think it’s something that should inspire hope, and something that will help, anyway, rehabilitation Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the Crimea in the future, when the law will be restored in those areas where human rights would not work, and the ordinary life of every citizen living there. Although this is true of all the Russians, and not only the inhabitants of these regions.

Sourse, 07/06/2015

Let my people go: about Ukrainian prisoners in Russia

May 30, 2015

Guests transmission “Your Freedom” to “Radio Liberty” Ukrainian studio Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Russian human rights activist, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group (by telephone from Moscow); Alexandra Matviychuk, lawyer, chairman of the board of the Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine).

Alexander Lashchenko: June 1 this year in Kiev, “Kinopanorama” cinema premiere of the documentary “euromaidan SOS». As part of the premiere, in particular, the presentation of the world, we can say the campaign «Let my people go». We are talking about the liberation of Ukrainian citizens who are, in the opinion of human rights activists, for political reasons behind bars in Russia. It is not just about Hope Savchenko and Oleg Sentsov. Those citizens of Ukraine, which still holds Russia, about thirty men, for the SBU data.

What is the fate of the Ukrainian people? And can they be exempt? At least some chance there is to it?

– Mrs. Matviychuk, what kind of campaign? It lasts longer than one day, the presentation will be June 1 this year. What has already been done?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We started this campaign at the April session of the Council of Europe. We would like to draw the attention of parliamentarians that in addition to courageous Nadia Savchenko, which contains illegally fabricated criminal case in Russia, such people, at least a few dozen. And only we know about 11 people, contained behind bars. Here is the chart shows who was appointed “punitive”, who was appointed as “terrorists”, who was appointed “spies”. And these people, according to our calculations, we were able to identify 11 people here, as we have seen, different sex, age, occupation, property status, place of origin, but they all have in common is that their deeds clearly political motive.

If we talk about the results of this campaign, which we launched in Strasbourg and now continue, the first of these results – the release Yuriya Yatsenko, a student at the University of Lvov, who was appointed “right sector” is banned in Russia, a “terrorist”.

– From the point of view of Russian law enforcement agencies.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Of course. The thing is absolutely absurd. They engaged with fellow small business activities have come to Russia, and there have been illegally detained for three months. During this detention authorities did not carry out the court’s decision and did not deport them. But they are subject to brutal torture. And to imagine that the guys in the usual Lviv students had to go through, I’ll just say that in order to stop it, one of them cut his wrists, and another cut his stomach.

Well, actually, about the fate of our Ukrainian prisoners – they are not to be envied. In fact, the lawyer Nadia Savchenko Ilya Novikov says that he does not even know whether alive Nikolai Karpyuk as 14 months to it do not allow Ukrainian consul.

And here is indicative of the response of Ukraine. Everyone has heard about the famous case Grushnik detention. They allowed the Russian consul.

– Yes. This refers to the two detained Russian riot police, who are now in the Kiev hospital. Russia asserts that they are citizens of Russia, the Russians, the military, but in the past. Although the detainees in an interview with Russian “Novaya Gazeta” Paul Kanygin admitted that they were Russian servicemen.

Alexandra Matviychuk: I pay attention only to the fact that in this case Ukraine immediately admitted the Russian consul to the arrested Russian citizens. But many of the people arrested in Russia Ukrainian consul simply can not get there. Some of them refer to themselves as Ukrainian citizens, as Oleg Sentsov, and define them as Russian citizens. “Submitted to the ground during the occupation of the Crimea,” as he said at Oleg court.

Indeed, the essence of this campaign – is to draw people’s attention to the fact that there are such people, it is not one, not two, not three, they need our help, and in this authoritarian country like Russia without external strong pressure these people just no one let go.

– By the way, remind, indeed among those people who are still behind bars in Russia, there is a Ukrainian citizen 73 years of age? Mr Soloshenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. Yuri Soloshenko 72 years. His poor health. And it’s all very concerned about the doctors, his family.

– And what he is accused? What is also forbidden “Right Sector” in Russian? What is it?

Alexandra Matviychuk: He is accused of spying, that he illegally received and disclose information constituting a secret. That is, espionage. In that way, it shines 20 years in prison. That’s him in ’72 and another 20 plus can give.

– (by phone). Ms. Alekseeva, what is your opinion about what is happening in Russia, with Ukrainian citizens, who are in prison? What it is: political persecution, says Ms. Matviychuk, or, as Russian law enforcers really a criminal investigation made by lawyers will be a trial, if the court finds them guilty, they go free?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: All true. But, unfortunately, it is not only Ukrainian citizens, Russian citizens also suffer from it. In Russia we do not have just qualified court. And the conditions of detention in prisons and other detention centers are heavy, and very often the mode of construction in violation of Russian laws is much more humane than the actual stay in prison.

– You are engaged in human rights work for decades. It began in the USSR. By the way, it was my colleague, including “Voice of America” ​​in the “Radio Liberty”, leading the program. Now, 25 years later, a quarter century after the collapse of the USSR, does not change to protect the human rights situation in Russia?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Unfortunately, it is much worse than it was in the 1990s.

– Have a chance to release the citizens of Ukraine, which are contained in Russian prisons? Some observers, including Russia, the pro-Kremlin does not claim that all depends in this case and in the case of Hope Savchenko, and in the case Olega Sentsova, and other citizens of Ukraine less famous, from a single person – Putin.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Absolutely.

– Like, if there is more pressure on Putin, the less chance there. He does not give in to pressure. Do you agree?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Anyway, so declare.

– What do you do? Dead end?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: Fight. And for Ukrainian citizens, and for our citizens. Prison conditions have to be civilized.

Well, the court? I believe that this is our main problem, despite the fact that we have a whole bunch of other problems. This lack of qualified and independent in their actions the court. Because if any problem could be resolved in a court of law, then we have a much better it would be in the country.

But the fact of the matter is that we go to court involuntarily. Where else? But we know in advance that, most likely, will not be made a fair decision, and is one that our government wants.

– Not too optimistic, as far as I understand you. Ms. Alekseeva, then what to do? Pressure from the West? What are some other levers?

Even Brezhnev managed (you remember it from my own experience) anyway. For example, emigration to Israel and other moments. Yet Brezhnev signed the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. Some success was still on the pressure. Although small. What, then, Putin may be affected now?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: I do not know. I’m not Putin. I believe that, in general, not only in relation to Russia, but also with regard to Ukraine, of any other country, only a strong civil society in the state can influence the behavior of the authorities.

We civil society (thank God!) Is, but to call it a strong and powerful language is not rotated. I know from my practice. Of the 10 cases for which I take, and I take only when I am sure that the law is on my side and the Constitution, work out about three and seven is impossible, because the government does not listen to what the public wants.

Unfortunately, recipes, taking into account the situation in our country, there are, but it will run slowly. It is necessary to cultivate, strengthen civil society. We will have rule of law, we will have a democracy.

– Ms. Alekseeva, the Soviet Union is clear, what was the civil society prior to the restructuring, but in 1968, just a handful of people came to Red Square to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. There were other examples. Were dissidents. You know many of them personally.

Now the company – 86% of support for Putin. On what to expect? When will the fruits? When will “own perestroika”?

Lyudmila Alexeyeva: What it is, I know. And when – I can not say. Kills me, this statistic (86% support Putin – Ed.), Because, frankly, I thought that 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, we, my fellow citizens, have already got rid of the imperial syndrome. But what happened in the Crimea, has convinced me otherwise. A lot of people happy and maintain it. So we have not ceased to be an imperial nation. It is very hard to realize. Because as long as we Empire, we can not become a democratic country. Empire democracies do not happen.

– Mrs. Matviychuk, can be any blame Putin, Russia’s law enforcement system that dozens of Ukrainian citizens for political reasons are behind bars in Russia. But they, the listed person I have a responsibility? The Ukrainian government is doing something to rescue them?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Very good question. After all, the duty of every government – to protect its citizens, no matter what difficult situations they find themselves. Actually, we decided to test how the Ukrainian government carries out at least a minimum minimorum, what can be done in this situation.

In particular, according Aleksandru Kostenko. It is a well-known environmental activist, the “case Sentsova” was also detained in the Crimea. He “sew”, that he party “sabotage” of the “Right Sector”, who allegedly tried to organize and organized several attacks. He faces 20 years in prison. And now the courts are going over it. And it is in the “Lefortovo” in custody.

We sent a request to the GPU and asked them whether open proceedings on the fact of illegal abduction Aleksandra Kolchenko from the territory occupied Ukraine, travel to the territory of Russia, which, incidentally, is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. Just as, for example, the GPU is done in the case Olega Sentsova.

We got answers. GPU we were told that our application is considered and included information in the Unified State Register, it is forwarded to pre-trial investigation in the Pechersky District Police Department.

But the response of the Pechersk district police have shocked! I’ll just show it. It says that in the course of working out of the statement, it was found that all the problematic issues that arise in other countries (please!), Outside the competence of the bodies of internal affairs and are considered by the Ministry (and it says here) for Foreign Affairs. Probably had in mind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Actually, so they do not see grounds for the opening of criminal proceedings and to make our statements in a single register of pre-trial investigations.

It is already very sad. We see who has signed: the head of the Pechersk district department, police colonel, acting Head of Pechersk district department. If they do not know that the Crimea – it is Ukraine, albeit temporarily occupied territory, then what kind of protection of our citizens who have been alone with the occupier, can we talk ?! Of course, we will appeal.

– Appeal where?

Alexandra Matviychuk: We will write to the GPU. As they we were told that our statement made in a single register of pre-trial investigations, we say: you’ve made or not made, and to appeal to a higher court – the leaders of the Pechersk district department in the Interior Ministry.

– «Let my people go». What further specific measures will be part of this campaign for the release of Ukrainian citizens who are in prison in Russia?

Alexandra Matviychuk: The first thing we must understand that these people need our information support. When Yuri Yatsenko was released from prison, he said that investigators followed by the FSB for each publication, for each press conference, which was done “euromaidan SOS» in his defense, brought him the printout and discussed with him. For him, it was a confirmation that he had not forgotten about him that Ukraine remembers him struggling. And it actually holds.

Second. We will put pressure on the international human rights institutions, namely the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, the EU.

– The court in Strasbourg is too early to apply, because there is no verdict of the Russian court, so it turns out?

Alexandra Matviychuk: Yes. As demonstrated by the case Nadia Savchenko, the Court – is not the best tool in this system. After all, the Court considers the violation of the rights and is always trying to avoid the politicization of the issue. And since the matter has clearly political motive, but the pressure it can be solved at the political level favorable for our citizens means.

– Perhaps, in the administration of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in that it is changed or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Mr Klimkin?

Alexandra Matviychuk: This is our next event. Since Poroshenko, and Klimkin talk about a narrow circle of people.

– About the most famous: Hope Savchenko Oleg Sentsova.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And even now about Aleksandre Kolchenko. A year after the work of his friends. They have the ability to speak and represent the entire list.

Plus, we are talking about the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, and there are still people who are detained, arrested and now sit in the occupied territories in the Crimea. And these people do not forget. This Alexander Kostenko, it Ahtem Chiygoz son Mustafy Dzhemileva.

– Ministry of Justice of Ukraine appealed to her son Cemil extradited to Ukraine. While there is no answer Russian law enforcers.

Alexandra Matviychuk: And there is another point that we do not raise in the campaign, but about which we always say. There are a large number of missing persons in the area ATO. According to the information, which comes to relatives, to the Russian human rights activists, to us, they are transported not only in the occupied territories, some of the hostages were gone.

– That is, it turns out, as Nadezhda Savchenko.

Alexandra Matviychuk: Like Nadezhda Savchenko. Their whereabouts are unknown.

We are now asked our colleagues to Russian human rights defenders to send requests to the prison to at least understand whether there are there Ukrainian citizens. And if they are military, the more clearly where they …

– We are talking about tens, hundreds? Hard to say?

Alexandra Matviychuk: If we talk about the official statistics of the missing, we have their 1500. Of course, some of them – this is, unfortunately, the people who were killed. And we are talking about 400 people, according to official statistics which are in captivity (separatists – Ed.).

Sourse, 29/05/2015

Maidan has not won yet

July 23, 2014

Aleksandra Matveychuk, chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, euromaidan SOS coordinator in an exclusive interview with ” Republic ” recalls fourth in his life and thinks Maidan, where you want to move Ukraine to become a democratic state.

– Alexander, please tell us what the Center of civil liberties?

– Our organization is engaged in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Our focus freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, combating discrimination, the protection of human rights defenders. We work not only in Ukraine. After all, human rights are known, do not have national boundaries. If the authoritarian regimes in the former Soviet Union are working closely together to stifle civil society, we, human rights organizations should also work to create a joint international platform.

– What is the situation with civil liberties in Ukraine today?

– Ukraine is now faced with a new reality – the military occupation of the Crimea and “neoglashennoy” war waged by Russia in the East of Ukraine. In such conditions it is very difficult to move the selected people to the democratic way of development – to reform the police, to conduct the lustration judges, root out corruption, etc.

The very human rights situation varies depending on the region. There Donbass, which are acts of war, where Russia supported illegal military formations are policies of terror among the civilian population, torture and kidnap civilians. There Crimea, where de facto entered the Russian repressive legislation, which prohibits even the prayer prayer on the anniversary of Crimean Tatars deportation. Other regions are preparing to defend against external aggression, but it should be noted that there is the situation with the observance of human rights is normalized.

In fact, we live in a very interesting period of history. Since the end of World War II, there was no precedent for States to “overcame” the other part of the territory and formally annexed it to her. And then the question is not only in the fact that Ukraine should do in such a situation. Here the question that should be in this situation, do other countries do? Downed passenger airliner by terrorists and the death of 298-mi man once again demonstrated that everything is interconnected in this fragile world.

– In your life there were four Maidan, tell us how you, so young, is it? You were talking about the persecution – you and loved ones, in what it consisted of?

– During the Orange Revolution I was a law student. Symbol of the revolution was orange. I remember that I wore the ribbon at a time when few people wore it. And she thought: now I have to behave so that no one even questioned my integrity. Because I’m here, this ribbon, and I will judge the people who support democracy.

I went to the polls observer. Once at the site vote count ended, I was taken to his woman with the election commission. I remember early in the morning we sit in front of TV, where from the screen to announce the victory of Yanukovich. And both crying. And then on television reported that some people are going to protest on Independence. And I went.

Then there was the tax (against strangulation small businesses), Movny (against Russification) now euromaidan. The main thing I realized: no one is safe, that Ukraine in its way to becoming as a democratic state does not need another one. But we need to create a guarantee that no power would not come to mind to shoot unarmed people in the streets.

During euromaidan we were all under the gun. Power led terror cruel and merciless, it could become the victims of everything, even random people. In my case, there were bandits in the house, and the “invitation” to the Prosecutor General. I remember, I was asked if I was ready to sit down. I honestly said that many people consider themselves to something ready until fate will check their availability. That is very interesting. And thought to myself, I had a wonderful life, which gave me an appointment with a very wonderful people, I did what she believed. The only thing that was not in time, because it is to give birth to children. Here the war is over, and these loans.

– Where have you been and what they did during the tragic events of February? What can you tell us about them?

– In euromaidan SOS office. At that moment I could no longer go home. I remember just before the volunteers went to the Maidan, and again there was a telephone our hotline. But when it all began and we started calling that people are shot, we could not do anything. We do legal aid. Then the volunteers went to morgues, hospitals, and places where to bring the dead. We were afraid that the government will destroy the body, and hastily drew up lists. So we were the first to know what killed not ten or twenty.

And my husband called me here. He said: “You do realize that I am on the Maidan?” I told him that, of course, I understand. Although I would like to say: please, run out. But how could I? Most of the were on the Maidan were family. I just asked him if he had a bulletproof vest. He laughed, and said that they are useless. We said good-bye. Remember, I left the office for fifteen minutes to recover, and then went back to work.

Honestly, I’m now very hard to pass the street Institutska, where people were killed. I now know many by name, and I still somehow embarrassing that we have survived, and they have not.

– How did the idea to establish SOS euromaidan and what are the problems encountered? Who are these people who have been searching for?

– On Saturday, November 30 last year, our organization was to conduct a seminar for activists from the regions. It is clear that when all arrived and learned that a few hours before the police brutally beat students on the Maidan was not up to the workshop.

People were crushed, most breaks to go to the St. Michael’s Square, where the rally going. But we decided to think about what we, as human rights activists, could be useful in this situation. After all, at that time there were many people affected, and it is not clear whether they provided legal assistance.

About ten o’clock in the morning we opened the SOS euromaidan page in the “Facebook” and published two posts. The first numbers of our hotlines. The second – with a request to lawyers who are willing to provide free legal assistance to respond. And it worked.

During euromaidan number of calls per day (and we took out the clock) could reach several thousand. Only in our official list of the contacts were more than 400 lawyers, who agreed to during the day and at night to work pro bono. But euromaidan SOS would not take place if we did not support the hundreds of volunteers and an active fb Community euromaidan SOS.

It is important to note that most of these people had never engaged in any civic activity. Just when the critical moment, they did not remain indifferent. Euromaidan gave people the opportunity to express their most good features. Therefore, it is called Revolution Benefits.

– How does the SOS Maidan involved in tracing people? How many could find? How many are unaccounted for?

– During euromaidan just a list of the missing held up to a thousand people. Most of them were very fast. In the search for other took days, weeks, months. After the wounded brought to the hospital and into the underground, equipped through donations, exported to other cities of the country to protect them from persecution. Someone unconscious, someone without a phone. Relatives called us. Well, not to the police as they were then apply.

Someone is missing from the list passed in the death toll. Now we are looking for more than thirty people who disappeared during euromaidan.

– A lot of talk about that with Maidana kidnapped people and deal with them, what can you say about this? It is known to you about such cases?

– I can tell you about the case of the kidnapping of my good friend Igor Lutsenko. Before euromaidan I knew him as one of their “Save Old Kyiv” leaders of the movement, they fought for the preservation of green spaces and monuments in the city. His kidnapped by unknown people (the so-called “titushky” that cooperated with the police) directly from the hospital, along with scientist seismologist Yuri Verbitsky. Yuri on the Maidan was injured in the eye. It is not superfluous to note that the police then loved to shoot sighting over his eyes, we have more than 50 of the victims.

That night I spent on the phone with his brother George. Both stolen tortured, then separately taken into the forest. Igor was able to escape and survive. Yuri no.

– What happened with that organization after the Maidan won?

– Independence is not yet won. We must reform the country, not just shifting it onto the shoulders of politicians, to drive for the state border of the Russian gangs, to return the occupied Crimea. Therefore, SOS euromaidan continues to work and help people. However, the military action lawyers zone will not send him, so our methods have changed. Now we form a human rights mission and mobile, we go and document, working with the hostages and victims of torture.

– Alexander, what do you think, is it right that maydanovtsy not diverge. What they want, in your opinion?

– euromaidan SOS on this occasion made a statement. We wrote that if before to go to the Maidan was the duty of every honest man, but now there are a lot of real work, and it is necessary for someone to do. The momentum of the Maidan, that is, the democratic transformation should reach all of the small village. I’m not talking about the war in the East.

– Do you think that today the country needed not to lose the momentum that gave her the Maidan and to develop further?

– You know, Independence ended, and civic engagement does not drop. Just in time of war it is not very visible to an outside observer. People work in different initiatives: conducting an investigation of crimes on the Maidan, help the wounded, and bringing to ensure military control of the parliament, that he may carry out the necessary reforms the country.

I’m sure the time will come and the world will study our unique experience of self-organization, when ordinary people come together and perform essentially the function of the state. After euromaidan we stayed “Heavenly Hundred”. But heroes are not vyedesh, propping his shoulders public institutions must all. And we understand that.

Sourse, 22/07/2014

Результаты поиска:

It is necessary to win this war, but not to turn to Russia

February 25, 2017

Under the guise of the formula “we are fighting against Russian aggression”, the Ukrainian government is not always justified limits the rights and freedoms of its citizens. “The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan, “- said Ukrainian human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk.

She adds that it is important to remember that you must not only fight for the temporarily occupied territories, but also to build a democratic model of society.

For more information about tasks that are currently facing the Ukrainians, Alexander Matviychuk told FaceNews. Human rights activist also told about why we still do not know who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Heaven.

Alexander, for three years Ukrainians are waiting for answers to questions about who was shooting at people at the time of the dignity of the Revolution, who gave the orders. Why, in your opinion, the answer is still no?

There are objective and subjective reasons. During euromaidan bodies that were supposed to investigate the crimes and to conduct initial investigations, we did not. They were so busy that committed these crimes. Was destroyed by a huge number of documents, the former leadership of the country is on the run in the Russian Federation and other countries. That is, there are a number of objective things that complicate the investigation.

What are the subjective factors? The fact that, unfortunately, the investigation and the accomplishment of justice has fallen on the shoulders of the unreformed system of law enforcement bodies and the judges, many of whom are at the time of the Maidan themselves carried knowingly unjust decisions. It is difficult to expect them to some higher standards of justice, as in the good they realize that sooner or later, if the investigation will be effective, they also held accountable.

Also, I do not see a lot of attention of the government. Thus, during the first year we did not create even a single investigation into the center, things were questioned by different investigators, and even structures.

Once this center is finally appeared, he was for a long time did not receive the necessary support. At the end of 2015 the year it worked eighteen investigators, they investigated more than 2000 episodes literally “on the knee”, without premises and logistics. This is clearly not the way to relate to a case that the president names most resonant in the history of independent Ukraine.

The last thing we are very annoyed when in October last year, Yuriy Lutsenko made a decision to change, and in his opinion, to improve the investigation process of the organization. He had the idea, which he, fortunately, refused to merge into a single production and make a big deal Yanukovych.

The most important thing in this decision – a change in the focus of the investigation. After all, if we start immediately to collect evidence only against the top, we will lose the middle link – people who, relatively speaking, stood between Yanukovych and those who committed crimes with their own hands. Question – why it is done. I venture to suggest that it is the middle link is successfully incorporated into the current system of power and easy feeling.

However, in the investigation there are also positive things. It is clear that not all so clear.

Fair investigation of crimes during euromaidan – is not the only challenge for the authorities. What other challenges do you think, is now acute for Ukraine?

During euromaidan we were fighting for their democratic choice. It turns out, the most important task now – to implement the democratic choice in practice.

We need to carry out radical reforms that will change the course of history. While we like the people who go into the pit in a circle, and once in ten years, when it gets really bad, and the bottom is getting closer, a revolutionary way to correct the motion path and try to get out of it. But as building democratic institutions much harder, for some reason we returned back to this circling. That is our main goal – to make a qualitative leap and get out of this turbulence zone, transitional period in which we are in the last few decades.

After the fall of the authoritarian regime the possibility of these democratic changes became so real, that the Russian Federation, defending his authoritarian regime was forced to intervene. She occupied the Crimea, began the hybrid war in Donbas. And now we are fighting for our right to have a choice per se.

Therefore, in these difficult and dramatic time we are faced with a second very important task – to not forget what we are fighting. We need to win this war, but not to turn himself into the Russian Federation.

What I mean? In response to Russia’s aggression power starts to limit the rights and freedoms and making it is not always justified. It is important to understand that even in times of war, human rights should be limited in proportion to, and not just because the authorities felt like it and it has a beautiful phrase, “we are fighting against Russian aggression.”

The problem is that this formula leads to the fact that people turned off critical thinking, emotions are beginning to prevail. Paradoxically, they are ready to give the authorities the rights and liberties that shed their blood on the Maidan. This should not be allowed.

We need very clearly aware that we are fighting not only for the territory and for the choice of a model of society, where the rights of everyone are protected, where there is a fair judicial system, where the government is accountable to the citizens.

Sourse, 24/02/2017

The fate of the “Kremlin prisoners”: what to do with Ukraine, have become hostages of the Russian Federation

January 6, 2017

Torture, which apply to the Ukrainians, who became prisoners or hostages of Russia, starting at the stage of the investigation, when the detainees from trying to beat out the testimony, said a human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties Alexander Matviychuk. All this, according to her, accompanied by the exclusion of prisoners from their families, independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul. “All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation,” – emphasizes Matviychuk.

She adds: Ukrainians have become hostages to the Kremlin, can be divided into three groups. Firstly, those who pass on trumped-up processes with political motives in the Russian Federation and on the territory of Crimea. Secondly, located in basements in the uncontrolled territory of Ukraine, Donbass. Third, more than 5 million people who live in the occupied territory. “We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a” gray zone “in Donbass” – human rights activist said.

Read more about the features of the release of members of each of their groups, and where the situation with the “prisoners of the Kremlin’s” most critical, in an interview FaceNews told Alexander Matviychuk.

Which groups you share “the Kremlin’s prisoners?” And why is the issue of their release is important to talk about conditional groups?

Why do we combine these people in a pretty conventional groups? Understanding who these people are and what group they are in, it helps us to determine what can and should do in a particular situation.

When we talk about “hostage of the Kremlin” that belong to the first group of people who go on trumped-up criminal proceedings on political grounds in Russia and in the occupied Crimea. It is clear that there is no independent judiciary. But there is a building, where it says “trial”, there is a man in the mantle, who calls himself a judge. With the right to a fair trial that has nothing in common, but there is at least some kind of simulacra. In such cases, lawyers fulfill all the legal and procedural possibilities, and do everything in their power at the federal level, and then continue to work with international organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights.

The second group of “hostages of the Kremlin” – people who are in the basement of the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Even if illegal armed formations charges against them in violation of the Criminal Code is still the Soviet regime, it is clear that there is nothing at all to talk about the quasi-even procedure.

Together with colleagues we interviewed 165 people and recorded evidence. People were kept in cellars, garages, dog cages, manholes. Every second civilian said he had succumbed to torture. And we must understand that it is not just about beating. This is rape, electric current, cutting off fingers, prostrelivanie body parts. We have fixed many terrible things done by people with guns, because felt complete impunity. It is interesting that 16% of the civilians we interviewed said they were direct witnesses, when, during the so-called confrontation or interrogation of people beaten to death. All that we have documented and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The third category, which I would say as a hostage of the Kremlin, is 5.5 million people living in the occupied territory, no matter how they relate to the occupation. We are talking about 2.5 million people in the Crimea and 3 million in a “gray zone” in the Donbas. The latter, for example, have no way to protect against the tyranny of man with a gun his property, health, life and the lives of loved ones.

With regard to the Crimea, then we see that there is no way to protect themselves from political persecution. It’s starting to feel the even pro-Russian part of the population, those who rejoiced at the annexation. However, they are used to that under Ukrainian jurisdiction have the right to peaceful assembly, and now, when they go out to protest against the closure of the Cadet Corps with portraits of Putin, beaten and brought to administrative responsibility. Russia, which they saw from the TV, suddenly found a very different Russia, which reigned in the peninsula.

About a third category also need to talk, because they need our protection. Now Ukraine has very limited opportunities to directly influence what happens with a specific person or group of people, but this is not an excuse for us to do nothing. Our country needs to make use of existing international mechanisms or, if not available, create new ones.

Recent years have shown that Ukraine is difficult to stand up to Russia at the international level. For example, the federation has the right to veto in the UN Security Council. In addition, about a year ago, the Russian Federation made a decision, according to which can selectively implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. What international mechanisms can help to influence Russia?

This is a question that we need to have a strategy that will be provided in the complex legal, diplomatic, economic and other activities. But such a strategy in Ukraine, unfortunately, no. And this is a problem.

You are right: consolidated procedure in Russia in the summer of last year, which is to try to bring the legal form of a breach of international obligations, and now they are free to decide how to execute the decision of the European Court, and what – no. When Russia is beginning to show a similar situation goes from a legal plane in diplomatic. And the Ukrainian diplomats have to say: if the law does not apply, and Russia does not understand the PACE resolution requirements of the UN Committee or the European Court, then let us talk to her language that she understands. If Russia fails to comply with judgments of the European Court, let’s talk about toughening sanctions. This should act as a package.

Until we have a full-fledged strategy on the issue of “the Kremlin’s prisoners’ state of the task falls on the shoulders of social activists. You are one of the initiators of the campaign LetMyPeopleGo, which oversees the Russian theme of liberation of the hostages. Who is on this list?

In LetMyPeopleGo list – citizens of Ukraine, which are held for political reasons in the areas of non-freedom in Russia and in the occupied Crimea.

How many people are now included in the list?

This is a very sensitive issue, because it is sometimes very difficult to determine the presence of a political motive. For example, human rights activists say that the Crimea was illegally moved to 2200 prisoners. How do I know that all they have been lawfully convicted or not? Knowing how the authoritarian system, assuming that many illegally. But if we include in the person list also it depends on whether there is in fact a political motive.

In the summer, we were talking about 28 people, and then added, “Panova group.” We met with a lawyer, and is now waiting for the case file. It is likely that they will be included in our list, but we want to see the material. The second example – the journalist Roman Sushchenko, the materials of his case in general there is no access, because it passes through the article “spying” and classified. How to be in this case? All indications are that it is very similar to the case Yuriya Soloshenko, Valentine Vygovskogo, but there is always a risk, because it is impossible to check (at the time of publication of the article “a group Panova” and journalist Roman Sushchenko were included in the list of campaigns, – FaceNews).

When those who managed to escape from captivity, told that they had to endure, it becomes really scary. Such as torture, which Gennady Afanasiev said. Where is the most critical situation in the aspect of the treatment of our prisoners?

The fact that said Gennady Afanasiev, and after that was a lot of people from the list, did not start while serving their sentence, but much earlier, during the so-called investigation. Then they were isolated from their families, are not allowed independent lawyers, Ukrainian consul, and had been tortured to extract confessions. All the horrors of which says Gennady Afanasiev – current strangulation mask – took place on the stage of the investigation. One of the Russian lawyers, when she saw in what condition is her client, came to the investigator with a direct question: “What do you with the person did” what he said to her: “What do you want with us since the days of Ivana Groznogo methods of investigation We have not changed. “

Therefore, here it is necessary to monitor what happens to the man on the stage of the investigation, what happens to them during the trial, and what happens after the verdict. These stages have their own characteristics. During the investigation, as I said, there is the problem of artificial isolation, and while serving their conclusion is very hard to produce any information about the person then gradually forgotten. Here the task of the public – do not forget to constantly remind that the person is sitting. This increases the chances that he will be released.

About who is in the worst state, from what we know, we can separately identify Stanislaus Klyha. Torture does not have consequences for the people and, unfortunately, he lost his sanity. It has become apparent to all, when he gave up an independent lawyer who fought for his release and said he wanted to protect his Stas Mikhailov, Pelagia, Shura or beast. He was sentenced to twenty years, with medical and psychological examination, which took place in Chechnya, found him completely sane. Naturally, he is now in a very serious condition.

Alexander, it is unlikely you surprised that the appeal in the case Karpyuk and Klyha who viewed Russian Supreme Court about a month ago, upheld the judgment of conviction of 22.5 years and 20 years.

No hope there is no legal solution. There is hope that the leadership of Russia as a result of international pressure to take a political decision to release them. And then they will exchange, pardon, extradited or find any other legal mechanism to a face-saving, Russia could bring them home.

Sourse, 05/01/2017

Ukrainophobia in Crimea. What puts the Kremlin

June 24, 2016

Reintegration of Crimea – is not only the return of the territory. A key element of the strategy – the people. And Russia is well aware of, so make an effort to us there was no one to return: Ukrainophobia educates through the TV, change the demographic composition of the population, which in itself is a war crime. And everything – methodically destroys the independent civil society, which should be one of the key factors of reintegration. Keep it at least in some form – our task.

For more than two years, we are monitoring the political persecution in the occupied Crimea. Arsenal of repression is quite broad: people are arrested in their homes were searched prohibit peaceful assemblies, fabricated criminal and administrative cases. Occupying power does not shrink from abductions, intimidation, beatings and torture. Russia has been consistently replacing active people of the peninsula, or causes them to shut up.

In situations where the right to influence the situation is rather difficult, as the international community is limited only by the angry resolutions of simple ways to save the remnants of the civil society on the peninsula does not exist. At the same time, there are several areas of work.

Firstly, it is necessary to overcome the informational isolation of Crimea. People on the peninsula should be able to get excellent information from the pro-Kremlin language accessible to them. In parallel, it should be given instructions on how to bypass the blocking of websites, when it comes to broadcasting on the Internet. Crimea various questions should be in the top of the political agenda, they should write about the Ukrainian press. It is necessary to develop relations with the religious, professional, cultural communities on the topics that are the subject of their interest. People who have kept the Ukrainian citizenship, should simplify administrative procedures online methods of management.

Secondly, the Crimean youth should have access on favorable terms to education on the mainland Ukraine. Educational institutions at various levels should implement distance learning programs, focused on the Crimea. It is necessary to increase the number of specialized institutions, such as moving to Kiev Tauride University, which take into account the difference in school programs of Ukraine and Russia. They should be seen as a communicator with the Crimea, because the students are friends and family on the peninsula, as well as a base for the formation of the Crimean elite. Learn to be in these prestigious institutions.

Third, Ukraine needs to learn how to protect the people who were left alone with the occupiers. It is necessary to define the scope of work for the Russian human rights activists in the Crimea, which can connect to the practical protection of persecuted people on the spot. Cases of people persecuted by the Putin regime, should always sound at the level of international organizations. Involved in this persecution should expand the list of personal sanctions. Public authorities should carry out an effective investigation and collect evidence on these facts. You also need to develop a program of support for these people on the territory of continental Ukraine.

In general, the lack of a comprehensive policy towards the occupied Crimea can complicate the reintegration of these areas in the future. Ukraine needs to be translated into the language of practical actions to Oleg Sentsova “my country, I will not leave” and send a clear signal to the people that it is fighting for them.

Author: Alexander Matviychuk, human rights activist, coordinator euromaidan-SOS social initiative and chairman of the NGO Center for Civil Liberties

Sourse, 23/06/2016

Donbass lawlessness

April 17, 2016

Ukrainian human rights activists talk about the testimonies of victims of illegal detention places in the district of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of illegal armed groups. Human rights activists questioned 162 people emerged from captivity. Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom.

Conclusion human rights: torture faced each second respondent civilian and 86% military in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. Power in illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: I’m in the hands of the research – the evidence of the victims of the places of illegal detention in the territory of the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are under the control of “Russian separatist forces,” as they are called United States President Barack Obama. The authors of the study today in our studio: this Alexander Matviychuk , chairman of the Center for Civil Liberties, and Boris Zakharov , head of the advocacy center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union .

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed 162 people emerged from captivity. We have information on what are the conditions of detention and of dealing with people who are 79 places of unfreedom. When we say “people in basements”, it is not a metaphor, because most of those 79 seats are not designed even for a short stay. It’s really a basement room, cellars in the office buildings, even a dog cages, aviaries in use of illegal armed groups that hold people.

Among the respondents were both military and civilian. Typically, the local people, who for various reasons fall into place unfreedom. Our conclusion: torture faced each second civil, surveyed, and 86% of the soldiers in all these 79 places unfreedom. 16% (and more than 33% of the soldiers) said they had seen how their eyes of people were beaten to death. All this points to the fact that this is not some kind of incidents, excesses, strumming on the ground, and a deliberate policy, it is really a system of clandestine, unofficial places of unfreedom. This, relatively speaking, the power of the illegal armed formations using the method of terror against the civilian population in order to maintain control over the territory.

Vitaly Portnikov: Boris, there are in this situation, any possible human rights may be, at least from the Russian side?

Boris Zakharov: Those doctors who are allowed to see the hostages are controlled, they do not allow any independent medical examination.

Alexander Matviychuk: We had a block of questions about whether the medical assistance. Prisoners of war were taken sometimes in a serious condition, civilians too, then adjusted to a very serious condition and needed medical care. Male nurses function often performed the same guards. For example, we interviewed Alexander Grishchenko said openly: he was a vet, he improvised means sewing up wounds his fellow inmates.

Vitaly Portnikov: You’re talking about the military, but it is very important to understand what is happening to civilians.

Alexander Matviychuk: The fact that every second civilian man who fell into place bondage tortured – is nothing less than a crime against humanity. We were trying to figure out which categories of persons and for what reasons are subject to such treatment, but our main conclusion: there is no algorithm of actions, which would help to avoid falling victim to such breaking.

Vitaly Portnikov: I saw in this study is evidence of forced press conference for the Russian media.

Boris Zakharov: they were tortured to force to give an interview, which is given once almost immediately after torture.

Alexander Matviychuk: she interrogates me personally was the fourth month of pregnancy. She was beaten with iron rods, although she said she was pregnant. She answered: “You are a Jew, and even pro-Ukrainian views, your child does not have the right to life.” She’s gone from the Ukraine, and I very much hope that it and all is well with her child.

And the second pregnant woman we interviewed, as a result of beatings in the same place had a miscarriage. She said: “We’ll give you a ticket for free, but you must admit that you are a sniper battalion” Tornado “, tell about it to our colleagues, the Russian journalists.” Come, if I’m not mistaken, the TV channel “Russia-1”. We recorded it in the report, found the interview. It shows when she was approached by the so-called journalists, she was asked to sit down so as not to be seen that it is in position.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, the old Russian history: during the Chechen war were “Lithuanian snipers women”, which no one has ever seen.

Do not you think that outside of Ukraine in the world (I’m not talking about Russia) little information about what is happening there?

Boris Zakharov: We are trying to inform her. This UN report officially took for distribution through its own channels.

Vitaly Portnikov: With minors there is something similar?

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, there is. We stayed beyond the study completely separate issue – sexual violence. Men told us about sexual violence against women, who were held with them, and the women – no. Individual cases which we have recorded, again, of stories: Woman gave as a gift to the front, and it’s happened several times, that is, gave it back and returned. It was a minor, her seemingly give 14-15 years.

Vitaly Portnikov: What is the level of transparency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions?

Boris Zakharov: There’s generally no publicity, all this is transmitted exclusively by word of mouth. There is a full atmosphere of fear. In fact, there is a totalitarian regime in wartime.

Vitaly Portnikov: But there are people who are not afraid to go back there – it is also a fact.

Boris Zakharov: Yes.

Vitaly Portnikov: When the shelling subsided when this whole situation stopped at the freezing point, we saw that many displaced people returning to their homes.

Boris Zakharov: In this way, there is a very large wine Ukraine, which can not provide the conditions for internally displaced persons in the territory under its control.

Alexander Matviychuk: Unfortunately, I was faced with the fact that do not know about what is happening in Kiev, Donetsk, and not even know the journalists and civil society activists. List captured in basement, updated and replenished at the expense of the people who went to visit his family, absolutely not understanding what is happening there. Apparently, they do not read the papers, do not listen to our broadcasts. Moreover, a journalist recently told me in Kiev, she would like to go and work behind the scenes in Donetsk journalist. She asked me how the situation is with the detentions … What do we want from the people in the occupied territory, if here in Kyiv journalists do not know anything?

Boris Zakharov: Prior to October 2015 121 000 internally displaced persons have returned to the occupied territories. DNR says that half a million returned to them. Of course, these figures can not be trusted.

Vitaly Portnikov: Who protects these cellars?

Alexander Matviychuk: In 40% of cases, people claim that those who directed the beatings, was present during the interrogation and organized place of unfreedom, it is the Russian military. We do not undertake to judge, it was this ordinary professional soldiers or mercenaries, but they claim that they were Russian citizens. They have been so presented, called his military rank, or told where they came from, or say, “You, Ukrainian pig, I came to protect you, but are you doing!”. According to statistics, it appears that the rest – it’s local, the citizens of Ukraine. All this points to a chain of accountability to the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic of the Russian Federation.

Vitaly Portnikov: How Ukrainian prison system, the system of detention of persons, who on the other side of the war, more controllable, more than the State? Can we talk about that in Ukrainian prisons can not happen this?

Boris Zakharov: The prison system is not reformed. We present illegal violence in the police and in the prison system. Kharkiv Human Rights Group conducted a study in conjunction with the Kharkov Institute of Sociology. Despite the war, despite the increase in aggression in society, we have compared to the years 2011-12 to halve the number of torture and ill-treatment, unlawful violence to the police. If before about a million people a year were subjected to unlawful violence, and torture – 120 thousand, and now about half a million are exposed to unlawful violence and in some cases 62 000 – torture and ill-treatment.

Alexander Matviychuk: We as a human rights organization demand that the Ukrainian authorities comply with all standards and the reform of this sector, because the gross violations, abuse, unfortunately, occur. Also, there is a problem with violations by Ukrainian forces in unofficial places of unfreedom. Of course, you can not even compare the scale, but we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Ukrainian state differs from the illegal armed groups that it must investigate each case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Boris Zakharov: The state is struggling with this problem – perhaps not yet sufficiently effective, but because there is a political will to implement these reforms, to investigate the facts of abuse and torture, sooner or later this problem will be if not completely defeated, then reduced to minimum.

As for the captured parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, there effective control of Russia carries out, it is actually occupied by the Russian Federation territory. We have to communicate all at the diplomatic level.

But most importantly, the Ukrainian side is not enough high quality evidence documenting how the presence of Russian troops, and cases of torture, abuse, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against property. Our organization, submitting complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, Feeds them and against Ukraine and against Russia. Against Russia – for all the chaos that’s going on, on specific articles – is the right to life, freedom from torture, ill-treatment and so on. Against Ukraine – for inactivity, for that Ukraine has enough quality documents and is investigating these crimes. The court’s decision may well be against both countries – for example, the payment of fifty thousand euros from Russia for the fact that it all happened, and five thousand euro from Ukraine for inaction. Such precedents have been in the practice of the European Court.

Alexander Matviychuk: We interviewed people, we collect documents for international justice. But we can not say to a man: but now thanks, goodbye, you helped us a lot. Naturally, we will cooperate with initiatives that provide psychological and medical assistance.

Government policy in this regard is catastrophic. If in respect of servicemen still have some sort of guarantee, the civilian hostages just to themselves. It is necessary to change at least for reasons of humanity, not to mention some rights.

Vitaly Portnikov: When I’m on the program topics it covers me despair. Too many people, our Russian audience is easy to believe you. But many people will never believe in what you are talking about Donbass, because there is a blatant propaganda: “there can not be such, there is defend the Russian people.” Lived Statement usual area is no different from the Bryansk and Kharkov, and suddenly there is such a nightmare …

Alexander Matviychuk: I have a different professional despair: we interview people, but realize how much they still in the field of non-freedom – it’s still going on. About two months ago, we took the famous scientist, religious Igorya Kozlovskogo.

I understand very well what you are saying. When we document when sending alternative reports to the UN Committee, introduced them to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we can not stop it. It really frustrates some … That is why we have launched a campaign at the Munich conference fields: we demand the release of all hostages and prisoners of war and civilians. According to official figures from the Ukrainian side of 130 people. They were released a year ago, according to the sixth paragraph of the Minsk agreements .

Vitaly Portnikov: It is clearly stated on the exchange of all for all. By the way, the Russian side, at least as represented by its Special Representative on the Minsk talks Borisa Gryzlova, insists that there should be exchange of all for all. Where are the results?

Alexander Matviychuk: The same Mr. Gryzlov said that the first Ukrainian party must give a total amnesty to people who committed these crimes. We as the human rights organizations a clear position: it can not be an amnesty for serious crimes. Of course, the world is better than war, but there is no peace without justice.

If we look at the leaders of these illegal groups, who all began … As we were told the Russian colleague in April 2014: “Oh, you come to our death squads”. They were led by people who were previously in Abkhazia, Chechnya, Transnistria, where they performed the same. They were not punished were amnestied and now continue it in the Donbas.

So that there is no amnesty for war crimes can not be. To be honest, I’m very strange that I did not hear this from the members of the Norman format , I do not hear such rhetoric from France, from Germany. In my opinion, it is not just the norms of national legislation – is the basic tenet of international humanitarian law. If you give a clear message on the part of not only Ukraine, but also in France, Germany, perhaps in the occupied territories would someone think about now. They also think that sooner or later they will be amnestied.

Boris Zakharov: Amnesty, from the point of view of the law in this case is inapplicable. Amnesty happens when there is a judgment, it’s commutation. In this case we are talking about the withdrawal of charges of grave and especially grave crimes.

Vitaly Portnikov: It is understood that the Minsk agreement, we should grant amnesty to people who have worked all this, based on the Russian side logic.

Boris Zakharov: They want Ukraine changed the hierarchy and sequence of steps. They say, fulfills all its conditions, and then we say of Russia: “What you do not do your own?”. But the logic of the sequence of steps it consists in the fact that the elections in the Donbass, amnesty and other things can only happen if Ukraine will receive effective control over these territories. This means that we are at an impasse, we need a different format other than Minsk. And Minsk must continue.

Vitaly Portnikov: But the people who are in these basements, should be released in any case, regardless of what kind of formula we will discuss with you now.

Alexander Matviychuk: Minsk format just might fulfill it. If we talk about the value of human life, then obviously, it had to be done in the first place, and can be no terms such as “but first you give amnesty, but you first hold elections.” That is why our campaign appeals to France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia: decide the issue now, it is impossible to discuss all other political issues, as long as people are in such circumstances, they can not survive until the next round of negotiations!

Boris Zakharov: There are people who need medical care, many of them have already become chronicles after injuries. They should be exempt immediately!

Vitaly Portnikov: Was POW hits you about it, too, mention in their study – this is an obvious form of torture. In Ukraine, there has never been any parades of prisoners of war, in spite of what was captured by a huge number of people who are fighting on the side of the illegal armed groups in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This parade was shown on Russian television. In a huge part of the audience is caused, unfortunately, not the horror and delight.

Alexander Matviychuk: According to the Rome Statute , it is a war crime. We also describe what’s left of this parade personnel. Prisoners of war did not want to leave voluntarily, and in order to get them to go to the parade in front of them very cruelly killed several people (to have witnesses).

Vitaly Portnikov: This is actually what the Nazis did to their parades of its kind.

Boris Zakharov: Yes, it’s exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Putin is somehow able to defeat the concept of Popper’s an open and a closed society, showed that in a relatively open society, where there are alternative sources of information, you can use the new information and communication technologies so wash people brains because their zombie that you can create on the territory of Russia subtotalitarnogo mode.

Vitaly Portnikov: On the other hand, what can be such a thing, and thus know about them, but do not pay attention – this is just the result of the hybrid war, of which we speak. That is, it is like a war and not a war, and prisoners of war – like and not prisoners of war, and some people who are up in arms came to fight against their own countrymen, and the parade – like and not hits.

Alexander Matviychuk: I tried to investigate the influence of Russian propaganda on the escalation of violence. And this, of course, the question of hybridity of the war, when nothing at all is not clear, the rule of law does not correspond to the norm. But the fact is that very increased level of hatred, is the dehumanization of the country. That is, with these people, you can do so, because “it is not the people – a” dill “, Ukrainians, Germans, this junta, which all oppressed and drinks the blood of Russian babies.”

If we talk about responsibility … We are talking about the so-called “journalists” – I think that should be personal sanctions and proceedings to establish the degree of guilt and punishment of people who incite hatred and war by creating a parallel reality.

Vitaly Portnikov: By the way, in the sanctions of the civilized world are mentioned the names of several so-called Russian “journalists” of the most zealous and frenzied propaganda. I think everyone understands that propagandists blame for the fate of these people is obvious. We often say that the propaganda, but so what? Someone something did not understand, someone made a different conclusion. And here it is really the result of a real propaganda – it is death, torture, humiliation, abuse and the transformation of the opposite side in the “non-humans”.

Boris Zakharov: There is still a problem in international law. In fact, these hybrid wars do not fit into a modern security system in the contemporary legal space. These challenges need adequate answers. In June 2014, I proposed a package of laws on hybrid war, because the Ukrainian authorities could not answer the question: what’s going on? Say “war” and declare martial law – scared, because then Russia may begin a large-scale military campaign. “ATO” – chose this formula, but it is absolutely not appropriate from a legal point of view. Because of this formula, we have a lot of negative consequences at the international level and in international law too.

It would be nice at the time and even now already being late, it is still to take a package of laws, first at the national level, to call a spade a spade, to simulate the situation and describe a departure from the conventions, in accordance with these simulated situations. And then – to collect the international conference in Kiev and declare to the world that you need to make changes and adopt new Convention on the hybrid war, which take into account the current state of affairs.

Alexander Matviychuk: I think the problem is not even the fact that the existing international conventions do not take into account all aspects of a hybrid war, and that no one really wants to solve the problem with this challenge. The international community is trying to freeze the conflict. Amnesty? Well, let it be a total amnesty. Elections? It is clear that they will be controlled by the Russian Federation, but the de facto authorities in Ukraine, we have our own voters can say that it’s all over. Just think, people will die – the whole planet in general is very unsafe, people die …

The biggest problem is that the international community does not want to solve these problems, the hopes that they will somehow dissolve themselves. But the problems do not disappear, they just grow. Let me remind you that Ukraine – this is another point on the globe where these “gray areas” have been created. We live in a highly interconnected world. Europe or other countries, can not be shielded by fences. We have already seen, as it were, by the example of the war in Syria. Problems still find us if they are not addressed.

Sourse, 16/04/2016

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them

April 11, 2016

Oleksandra Matviychuk used to avoid police on the street. As a participant in protests for human rights, she knew, as did many Ukrainians, of the police’s reputation for using excessive force.

Today, as a member of Ukraine’s civil society, Matviychuk teaches the country’s new patrol police how to interact peacefully with citizens.

Before Ukraine’s Euromaidan — protests from November 2013 to February 2014 demanding closer ties with Europe — police had one objective: to fulfill the orders of their higher-ups, according to Matviychuk. Now, she says, they make decisions for themselves and focus on serving the publi

“Patrol policing is a job that requires thinking,” Matviychuk said. Officers not only have to know Ukraine’s laws and international standards, but quickly act in ways that affect people’s overall well-being and even their lives.

Standing up for human rights

Matviychuk remains committed to human rights in Ukraine. As head of the board at the nongovernmental organization Center for Civil Liberties in Kyiv, she works with others to push the government toward reforms that would protect freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly as well as the rights of civil activists generally.

Helping survivors

Matviychuk is also involved in Euromaidan SOS, established during the Euromaidan to locate those who had gone missing after the Yanukovych-led government launched violent attacks against peaceful protesters and to provide legal assistance for protesters who were imprisoned.

Euromaidan SOS’s role has expanded. Today, it establishes human rights agencies and mobile teams in and near the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea. “We make visits there and document everything, and work with hostages and torture survivors,” Matviychuk said.

In May 2015, the Center for Civil Liberties joined Euromaidan SOS to launch #LetMyPeopleGo, a campaign to help Ukrainian citizens imprisoned in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea for their political views. The campaign is working on the cases of eight prisoners in Crimea and 13 in Russia, including Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

Oleksandra Matviychuk holding award and standing with Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)
Matviychuk (left) with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer and Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of gunned-down Russian activist Boris Nemtsov. (U.S. Mission to the OSCE)

Recently, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer presented Matviychuk with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Democracy Defender Award for her work on reform, accountability, human rights and rule-of-law in Ukraine. Baer said he admires people like Matviychuk, “who are committed to a unified, democratic, prosperous, European Ukraine.”

Matviychuk, for her part, sees the fight for human rights as a global cause, bigger than Ukraine. “We live in a very interconnected world. … We can’t build fences and close our eyes to real problems of human rights in our world,” she said.

She used to avoid police. Today, she teaches them.

Matviychuk’s speech at Democracy Defender Award 2016

February 24, 2016

Human rights defender Oleksandra Matviychuks statement at the official prizegiving ceremony of Democracy Defender Award-2016

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I represent the civil initiative Euromaidan SOS that was created in response to brutal dispersal of peaceful student demonstration. We have brought together thousands of ordinary people to provide legal protection for protesters. Every day a large number of people passed through our care. People who were arrested, beaten, tortured, accused of trumped-up criminal cases, and later – the dead and the missing people.

For the second time in the last ten years, Ukrainian people rose to defend their choice to build a democratic state based on common values with European countries. We paid a rather high price for it.

After the fall of authoritarian regime, in order to stop democratic transformations in Ukraine Russia occupied Crimea and started a hybrid war in Donbas. Murders, abductions, tortures, sexual violence, human shields, political persecutions on the occupied territories – all this has become our reality.

Today we gather victims’ evidence and document these violations to present them for international justice. At the same time, we struggle to reform our police, courts and prosecutors, so in the future we are not facing a situation in where our government shoots unarmed demonstrators.

In this regard, I would like to share a few lessons that we have learned from these past events:

  1. In many countries human rights activists aren’t just working for protection of human rights. These activists are fighting every day for human rights. Often it seems almost hopeless. However, we should do our work honestly. The results of our efforts can unexpectedly be achieved.
  1. When people achieve the recognition of human rights from authorities, often in practice it means only one thing. No authorities but just civil society needs freedom of associations, the right to a fair trial, civil society oversight of police. This only means that human rights activists simply won new tasks for themselves. This is why the civil society should become an equal partner with the state authorities in the eyes of international organizations.
  2. The so-called “Ukrainian crisis”, in fact, is a direct reflection of a global crisis in the post-war world system. This is a value crisis. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is often and openly questioned. International human rights law has become secondary. Civil activists, journalists, human rights defenders are persecuted and held in prisons in Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan etc. There is an ongoing fundamental change of ideologies, which, for decades, have been the basis for international organizations.

There is a great temptation to avoid solving difficult problems, hoping that they will just vanish. But the truth is that these problems are increasing. There are new gray areas with uncertain statuses appearing on the map. That is not only about the future of the OSCE and the Helsinki Accords. That is about the entire world where everything is interconnected and only the spread of freedom and human rights is making it safe.

Finding the solution to this crisis is our historic task. We must continue fighting for human dignity. Even if there is nothing left but words and our own example.

February 24, 2016, Vienna

Ukrainian media does not care about Kazakhstan?

June 25, 2015

Journalist portal “Respublika” Natalia Sadykov talked to the chairman of the board Ukrainian “Center for Civil Liberties” Aleksandroy Matveychuk disregard for Ukrainian journalists presentation of the report on the events in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan. Later also had to observe the situation when the Ukrainian press persistently ignored the events concerning other countries. But at the same time in Ukraine want to support the whole world.

During familiarization Alexander said that after the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Zhanaozen social activists observed the trial in Aktau. Seen and heard in the case of the thirty-seven oil workers are not left indifferent Ukrainians. All the horrors endured Zhanaozen, they wanted to tell in Kiev. Report planned to present at a public event.

“We understand that we are dealing not just with gross human rights violations, and dangerous practices of authoritarian suppression of dissent, which can be easily transferred to the Ukrainian soil. We have suffered a great disappointment. At a press conference on “The shooting of peaceful demonstrations in Zhanaozen and its results: Ukraine – not Zhanaozen” came not a single journalist. Ukraine was not interested in shooting of peaceful protesters in other countries “, – said Matveichuk.

Two years later, Ukraine on Independence outlive your Zhanaozen, about a hundred of Heaven knows the whole world. Then there will be the annexation of Crimea, the war in the Donbas and downed Boeing. But Ukrainian journalists continue to ignore the press conference spoken about the problems of other countries. Even if the problems that have recently faced the Ukrainian people. Alexander Matveichuk believes that the lack of interest in what is happening in other countries – a bright sign of provincialism of thinking.

“Especially when it comes to human rights in the post-Soviet region, which I call the region the” new independent states “(even with a thousand years of history). There is a clear trend for all the processes that make up the so-called “authoritarian Club”: they quickly take over all repressive ” know-how ” of each other, so you need to know the consequences of certain decisions and be able to see their conditions in their own country “, – he explained Chairman of the Board “Center for civil liberties.”

Aleksandra Matveychuk believes that in Ukraine is only now beginning to realize, as the Russian law on foreign agents, dispersal and destruction of the Marsh press freedom in Ukraine affected. First, following the “first swallow” as maimed in law, and then annexation Crimean, which according to sociological studies endorse Russians 88% (94% of which get their information from TV screens).

“Ukraine is gradually realizes that the civil societies of our countries, too, should unite and support each other, even at the level of ordinary communication. Not by chance, after a flood in Georgia Ukrainian segment of Facebook was filled with words of support and solidarity. But at the same time, none of the Ukrainian political establishment has not publicly urged to boycott European Games in Azerbaijan, which are held on the background of total stripping of civil society and the imprisonment of almost all human rights defenders.

In Ukraine, will remember this when we have, in turn, will talk about the inadmissibility of the football championship in Russia, which is unleashed and bloody war in the Donbass, the victims of which are already at least eight thousand people “, – said Alexander.

This topic, we are actively discussing with the Ukrainian colleagues. Media journalist Roman Kabachy Institute, suggested that the indifference of the sources can be found in the history of the Ukrainian people, who were interested in a purely internal problem. But anthropologist and PhD in History Lesya Gasidzhak refutes this theory.

“I strongly disagree with the idea that Ukrainian journalists indifference to the problems of other countries related to ethnic features. Sympathy, help your neighbor, custody of those who is weaker – it has always been with us, and regulated at the level of customary law. In the calendar year, even were the days when we were not allowed to work for oneself, but it was necessary to help the widows, the lonely, the old and infirm. Not to shelter for the night the one who travels, or asks for a piece of bread – always considered a great sin. Little has changed in 1920- 1930 th years, when the communist Soviet regime began to encourage snitching, the neighbor became an enemy – to social hatred and hostility build a new society, “- says Gasidzhak.

Ethnologist believes that the root of the problem must be sought in another – lack of professional journalism.

“We have very few good analytical texts. For us, more typical of the news publication of character. Large Text “people” can not read. “Fried” the facts always have a rating. Alas. And what you say – this is a new level, which we are still only aspire, “- says Lesya Gasidzhak, which itself is the editor of the web portal” museum space “.

However, Roman Kabachy said that the situation in Ukraine is quite similar to other countries of the former Soviet Union, except Baltic countries and Russia.

“Russia is itself a provider of news and news generator of other countries (it’s happening now, such a trend” Che there with Ukrainians, “used to be” Estonians Nazis dismantled monument “,” the Georgians attacked South Ossetia “and so on). Since we are all accustomed to the fact that it was in Moscow “know better” that tell Ukrainians about Estonians and Kazakhs about Ukrainians, too, we are all to blame. The Baltic countries have a short period of statehood in the interwar period, and they increasingly do not care what he thinks about them heiress occupant country “, – says Roman Kabachy.

Journalist offers steps to help Ukrainian media interest what is happening in the CIS countries. “The first is to understand that alone can not cope with the Kremlin ideological machine, and together and” Dad beat more easily. ” Second, throw the approach of “we the center of the world and we are all important” – important, but in the same way, other than important for us. Third: to develop its own network of bureaus in the capitals of CIS and Baltic countries, refusing to gradually from the horn of Moscow. And the fourth: to stimulate the foundation of media bureaus of post-Soviet countries in Kiev “, – lists Kabachy.

However, in addition to correspondents, in Kiev today can say about the influx of the opposition forces of the CIS countries, where it is still too early to talk about democracy. Russians, Belarusians, Kazakhs and even the Georgian opposition have settled in the Ukrainian capital, and from there try to influence the situation in their countries. Today, these idealists like anyone else in need of the support of Ukrainian media. Then, perhaps, and in these countries it will be possible to speak of the victory of human rights over the dictatorship.

Author: Natalia Sadykov

Sourse, 24/06/2015

War and human rights

June 8, 2015

Vitaly Portnikov:  Human rights and the war – it would seem, no concepts more mutually exclusive, although for centuries, even during the war, people are trying to establish some rules of conduct so as not to slip into the absolute savagery. But here’s human rights and hybrid warfare, hybrid world, uncertain legal status, a situation where the people themselves the territories involved in the conflict do not understand in what world they are … What is there can make human rights activists?

We were invited to the Kiev studio of Radio Liberty programs coordinator for the Russian Center for Documentation named Natali Estemirovoy Stanislav Dmitrievsky  and head of the Center for Civil Liberties  Alexander Matveichuk  – Russian human rights activist and Ukrainian human rights activist, who are now engaged in this issue, important for the society of the two countries, of course, if these societies in the future they want to overcome the effects of the nightmare in which we all are.

I know you have just recently conducted one of these projects, trying to understand what is happening to human rights in the occupied territories of Russian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. To summarize your findings, what is the situation today?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  I would like to recall a very simple thing, which, nevertheless, have to constantly talk – about the two types of rights that people for some reason are very often confused. There are so-called law of the country and the state to protect against aggression – the right associated with the territorial integrity and its protection. In this sense, of course, Ukraine, being in his own right, to protect its territorial integrity and lead a military operation in the East. And there is another side – it is international humanitarian law, which must abide by both sides, regardless of whether they believe this war just or unjust, whether they are victims of aggression or its initiators.

Violation of humanitarian law, as happens in any war, committing both parties to the conflict. Our task as human rights – to do everything possible to avoid a climate of impunity. The difference is really only one thing: if all the gigantic problems that are now experiencing the Ukrainian state, there still exists the right legal framework by which we can while working, to change something (to achieve, for example, the release of illegally detained persons), then on the territory of the unrecognized breakaway republics of this legal framework is not at all, which significantly complicates the execution of such missions.

Alexander Matveichuk: Of course, we do not measure the human rights as a percentage. Regardless of what these rights are, we will always stand on the side of the victim have been violated. But it must be said about the difference between the scope of such activities. Studies that have been carried out, including our human rights organization show that the occupied part of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics from the very beginning of the occupation, that is, for many months in a forced, deliberate policy was implemented terror against the civilian population in the first place on the basis of their political views. That is to get into the basement and to be subjected to ill-treatment, torture and extrajudicial executions could only be for the fact that at one time you were a member of pro-Ukrainian rallies that once you say something, and the neighbors called the hotline and was told. This terror

Vitaly Portnikov:  it is clear to me that the Russian human rights activists, to put it mildly, not the most desirable category of persons, which is ready to deal with power. We see the law on “foreign agents” and their constant defamation in the media controlled by the Russian government. In Ukraine, I also noticed lately some irritation over reports of human rights, whether they are doing international organizations or local human rights activists. It is clear: the country wants to look better than it is, under the conditions in which it is difficult to be crystal clear. How do you overcome these challenges?

Alexander Matveichuk:  It is natural that in times of war increases the level of radicalization, the threshold of tolerance towards violence also becomes very high, the society is polarized: there are enemies, is “our”. We as a civil initiative (including “euromaidan the SOS”, which I also represent) are constantly trying to remind the public that one of the requirements euromaidan was – “Human Rights First” Now the challenge before us It is very difficult in war.. even on a symbolic level, the level of our words and thoughts, but we have to implement in practice. The problem is, it is natural for all the companies that are in a state of armed conflict, it is necessary to work.

Vitaly Portnikov: Stanislav, reflecting on your experience, I think that you are in a difficult situation, even from a legal perspective. Take the example of Chechnya – there is always a human rights activists tried to protect the rights of people who are illegally detained, disappeared, got in some court cases on spurious pretexts, or under the same denunciations. Nevertheless citizenship institute was obvious, transparent – there were Russian citizens. Even in the short period of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was not designed so that it was impossible to classify these people as the Russian citizens. In the case of Donbass and the Crimea Institute for Citizenship is in a mixed state. There are people who themselves qualify as citizens of Ukraine, and they qualify as Russian citizens and citizens of the DNI. A beautiful story with film director Olegom Sentsovym, who believes that he is a citizen of Ukraine, Russia and spur of the moment considers as its citizen, because he could not renounce Russian citizenship, because he was detained at the time when he had a legal possibility. How to get out of such situations?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  There is a way. Of course, they are not as straightforward as, for example, in Chechnya. But there are criteria for effective control. Of course, we do not recognize the annexation of Crimea legitimate, the international community does not recognize the Russian human rights community does not recognize, but regardless of this, Russia exercises effective control over the territory. They’ve got their own police, its own prosecutors, its courts. In this case Russia will be responsible for all human rights obligations, including if we are talking about the complaints in the  European Court of Human Rights .

More difficult situation in the Donbass, because it is not just about proving the fact of aggression, as set forth in the relevant UN documents. There’s a large-scale infiltration of gangs is enough to raise the question of aggression, but there is still the question of effective control. To prove that the authorities of the breakaway republics are effectively controlled by the Russian Federation and, therefore, the Russian Federation as a state is responsible for the fate of these people – I believe that it is a challenge, a task that, including in the European courts, must decide right now the human rights community : both the Russian and Ukrainian.

Alexander Matveichuk:  Incidentally, we are taking the first steps towards this. The UN Committee on Human Rights Two months ago, I considered Russia’s obligations in the light of its compliance with international human rights standards. And we, as a Ukrainian human rights organization, was sent to your application. We have tried to justify the arguments, referring to the sources and the evidence that was collected by our field missions, which Russia exercises effective and total control of the territory, as well as coordinating the military operations against the Ukrainian army. Despite the fact that at the meeting of the UN Committee was surprised my presentation (to me the word has been given on behalf of the Ukrainian human rights community, I was talking about the Crimea and pro Donbass), in the final recommendations of the Committee thought of Donbas in a very diplomatic manner. This is the signal for the Russian Federation that even such unwieldy and very bureaucratic structures such as the UN,

There is another important point – this can never be done by the efforts of civil society only. It is the task of the Ukrainian authorities – to gather evidence of Russian aggression, demonstrate effective control. And here I unfortunately have to say that the work, as always, being ineffective, there is no single center. On all of our recommendations that it should be created, to be debugged system of gathering information, analyzing it, save photos and videos, we do not get proper answers. I very much fear that, when the war is over (as it will ever be over anyway), this issue is a factor of war crimes will be put in this light that we do not have any evidence, nor, consequently, the victims and the perpetrators.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Maybe the parties are generally not very interested in how to document things that can interfere with the negotiation process?

Stanislav Dmitrievsky:  This element is always the case in any conflict. Still, it seems to me that, according to the documents, which are published officially accepted Rada, for the official position, as far as I could see her here, the state officially declares the need. On the other hand, I have the impression that the lion’s share of the work that should make the state, makes civil society. It’s amazing to us in Russia is not even dream! I believe that there is a civil society can not only help the state that is trying to do to become a democratic and goes to Europe. In Russia, it has long been a fig leaf, and here is the desire to eat, and the human rights community has much to teach the state. Here really have a chance.

Alexander Matveichuk:  I want to give a specific example, that we understand the scale of the disaster. Everyone has heard about Slavyansk, it is quite a long time for people who have been in his basement, it was under occupation. Immediately after his release went to our mobile team “euromaidan SOS”. The basement was open. Members of the mobile teams have seen that all lying on the floor, that the basement wash some utilities. Our lawyer has been in the mobile group, she saw some documents. She realized that, if it just does not gather them on the floor, they disappear. It turned out to be death sentences signed by almost  Strelkov (Igor Girkin)And lists of pro-Ukrainian activists in the Donbas. After we passed these documents, we rang round all these people say, be careful, you’re on the list. This is to ensure that no members of the mobile teams of civil society organizations were to withdraw these documents, and state agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  It is important to understand how, in principle, the people behave in similar areas, because there is no guarantee that the front line (now stable delineation line) will be stable for a long time. People who feel the attention of repressive structures, is also very difficult in this situation. How capable the human rights community to provide assistance to such people?

Alexander Matveichuk:  This is a big challenge for the human rights community, we were not ready for him. But a year has passed, we gradually adapt. We have formed a coalition to document war crimes in the Donbas, we are now talking about the free legal reception, which returned to the place previously occupied, and before that it acted enjoyed authority. And we’re talking about, accompanied by cases in international courts, because right now, seeing the level of the investigation, it is not necessary to talk about its effectiveness.

A striking example – Ivan Reznichenko, killed a policeman from Soledar, whose body was found by his friend, who organized their own investigation in a few months. his body showed the man, who identified himself as involved in the murder of Ivan. Recently, he was released on bail, the case is artificially inhibited, and relatives are constant threats, including from local law enforcement agencies.

Vitaly Portnikov:  Stanislav, with the Ukrainian state is clear, it is in such a state as it is, somewhere it is replaced by a society where, it acts itself … But if he understands that he is dealing with its own citizens, which should be protected? It can do it or not – is another question. And with the Russian state is much more difficult, if we are talking about