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Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фундація “Відкритий діалог”/ Open Dialogue Foundation

Центр громадянських свобод/ Center for Civil Liberties

Гуманітарна студія “Хвиля”/ Humanitarian Studio “Khvylia”

Центр протидії корупції/ Anticorruption Action Center

Медійна ініціатива за права людини/ Media Initiative for Human Rights

Центр глобалістики “Стратегія ХХІ”/ Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’

Громадська організація “Корпус справедливості”/ Civic organization “Fairness corps”

Центр інформації про права людини/ Human Rights Information Centre

Центр Ейдос/ Center Eidos

Центр політичних студій/ Center political studios

Благодійний фонд “Восток-SOS”/ Vostok-SOS (East-SOS)

Кримська правозахисна група/ Crimean Human Rights Group

Інститут демократії імені Пилипа Орлика/ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy

ГО “Закарпатська громада”/ NGO “Transcarpathian community”

Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan

CENLIBART – CENTRE SOUTIEN LIBERTE ART  ET EXPRESSION DANS LES DICATATURES

Democracy For Azerbaijan – France

Media Center Amsterdam (Canal Turan)

Journalist Academy Latvia

Democratic Azerbaijan Movement

Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers

Gazeta AIM Europa

Azadlig newspaper – Azerbaijan

Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands

Київський інститут гендерних досліджень/ Kyiv Gender Studies Institute

Український незалежний центр політичних досліджень/ Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research

Всеукраїнське об’єднання “Автомайдан”/ All-Ukrainian Association “Automaidan”

Східноукраїнський центр громадських ініціатив/ Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Громадська організація “Вибір”/ NGO “Choice”

Луганський обласний правозахисний центр “Альтернатива”/ Luhansk oblast Human Rights Centre “Alternative”

Громадська організація “Черкаський правозахисний центр”/Cherkasy human right center

ГО “Культурно-освітня фундація “Лібері Лібераті”. (Донеччина, Краматорськ)

Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany)

ГО “Ініціатива Е+”

Ukraine Action (France)

Euro Asia News Media Group

Journalsit Against Corruption

Благотворительный фонд “Артдача”

ВГО “Антикорупційний форум”, Львівське обласне відділення

IPTG (Austria)

Made in Azerbaijan Page – Mahammad Mirzali, France

NGO “Ukraine needs you”

Благодійний фонд “Мирне Майбутнє України”/Peaceful future of Ukraine

Громадська організація “Волонтер Черкащини”/ NGO Volunteer Cherkashchiny

Центр політико-правових реформ

Громадська Організація Рух “Визволення”

Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

Кримськотатарський Ресурсний Центр/Crimean Tatar Resource Center

Комитет по защите прав крымскотатарского народа/ Committee on the protection of human rights of the Crimean Tatar people

Крымскотатарский Молодежный Центр/Crimean Tatar Youth Center/

ГО “Асоціація Політичних Наук”

Всеукраїнське об’єднання медиків Майдану

Казахстанська правозахисна організація Ar-Rukh-Hak / the Kazakhstani human rights organisation “Ar-Rukh-Hak”

Товариство підтримки України (Латвія)

MaydanSF – San Francisco, CA, USA

Euromaidan-Warszawa Foundation, Warsaw, Poland.

Асоціація українців “Відкрите серце” Португалія.

ВМГО “Європейська молодь України”

NGO “Borysthenes” (Greece)

ГО Всесвітній рух патріотів України (Швейцарія)

Association of Ukrainians in Republic of Ireland

МБУ “Центр національного відродження”

ГО “Українська справа”

ГО Харківський Антикорупційний Центр

    Ukrainas centrs jauniešiem un bērniem Latvijā

     European Coordination Centre Musavat – Bayern, Germany

     SAV TV Media Group – Stockholm, Swedish  

  Всеукраїнська громадська організація “Комітет виборців України”

 Azerbajdzjankst Kultur Center Stockholm, Swedish

TURAN TV-Norway – Oslo

 ВГО “Вільні Люди”
 Global Ukraine Foundation

    Харківська міська громадська організація “Регіональний інститут стратегічних   досліджень”

   Казахстанське міжнародне бюро з прав людини і дотримання законності /

    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law  

  Світовий Конґрес Українців/Ukrainian World Congress

The Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan/Netherlands

  The Monitoring Centre for Political Prisoners, Azerbaijan

Молодіжний націоналістичний конгрес

The Union for the freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

 

Tanzania: 65 civil society groups call on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members

May 11, 2018

The Appeal about lack of proper medical care for Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list

November 29, 2017

To the Vice-Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Foreign

Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Mr. Sigmar Gabriel

As of today, about 60 Ukrainian citizens have been detained on political grounds in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea. Most of them have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to force false confessions about the actions they did not commit.

Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Valentyn Vygovsky, Mykola Karpiuk, Stanislav Klykh, Yevhen Panov, Andrii Zakhtey, Andrii Kolomiyets, Serhii Lytvynov, Oleksandr Kostenko and other illegally detained people publicly stated this. Yurii Yatsenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who were released, shared details about the unlawful practices that were applied to people under the control of the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh’s appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is a clear illustration of illegal treatment by the state authorities of the Russian Federation:

“[…] In order to force me to testify, I was subjected to illegal methods of inquiry and investigation, expressed in causing me beatings and injuries, including using handcuffs and electric current, prolonged kneeling, resulting in numerous scars on my wrists, knees […] I was kept in the prison yard for several days without any water or food. As a result of the application of these methods, I was brought to a state of dystrophy, I could not hold a spoon, a pen in my hands, since the hands were dislocated as a result of being handcuffed to the bars”.

The situation is complicated by the unsatisfactory conditions of detention, which further contribute to a sharp deterioration in the health, development and exacerbation of chronic and other diseases.

 

The lawyer of the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently announced a sharp deterioration in the health of the illegally imprisoned. According to him, due to prolonged overcooling, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis exacerbated and problems with the heart began.

 

We draw attention to the fact that human life and health are the highest values of every civilized state. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is guaranteed by Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 11, 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, as well as Article 11 of the European Social Charter of 1996.

 

This year, the representative of the Russian Federation was elected as a President of the 70th World Health Assembly, the Charter of which was signed by the Russian Federation in 1946. Thus, she acknowledged that “the possession of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is one of the fundamental rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic or social status”.

 

In addition, according to Art. 26 of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 323-FZ “On the basis of public health protection in the Russian Federation” persons, who are in custody, serving a sentence in the form of restriction of liberty, arrest, deprivation of liberty or administrative arrest, are entitled to receive medical assistance, in particular, in necessary cases in medical institutions of the state health system and the municipal health care system in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

In pursuance of this Law the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Resolution dated 28.12.2012 No 1466, which approved the Rules for the provision of medical care in medical institutions of the state and municipal health care system for persons held in custody or serving a sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty. The Rules provide for the possibility of inviting the medical specialists of the said medical institutions for consultation if it is impossible to provide medical assistance in the institutions of the criminal and executive system.

We note that all citizens of Ukraine, who are held for political reasons in the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, need proper medical care. Among them, Dmytro Shtyblikov, who after detention lost 30 kg and was brought to a dystopia, Stanislav Klykh, who lost his mental health after the torture that he suffered, Oleksandr Kostenko, who, due to the lack of an operation, runs the risk of losing the arm broken by the FSB’s staff, Oleksandr Rolchenko< who was in a hospital with a diagnosis of underweight, Volodymyr Dudka, who has been practicing self-medication with a stomach ulcer for ten months, Arsen Dzepparov, who is not provided with medical assistance despite cold kidneys, loss of hearing in his left ear and a sharp deterioration in vision, 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb who due to his disability is constantly taking drugs, so the lack of medicines and proper medical treatment in prison led to the appearance of ulcers on his body.

These are just a few examples of violation of the international obligations by the Russian Federation as for the right of Ukrainian political prisoners to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. From the moment of their illegal detention, independent physicians do not have access to them, and therefore, they cannot assess their health and provide proper medical care.

We address you with a request to raise before the Government of the Russian Federation the issue of the need to organize the access of physicians from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international health organizations to provide qualified medical assistance to Oleh Sentsov and all Ukrainian political prisoners from the LetMyPeopleGo list.

Center for Civil Liberties coordinating the #LetMyPeopleGo campaign

NGO “Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin”

Media Initiative for Human Rights

Crimea Human Rights Group

Open Dialog Foundation

Association UMDPL

NGO “CrimeaSOS”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

NGO “Social Action Center”

NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Human Rights Information Center

Expert Center for Human Rights

Charitable Foundation “East-SOS”

Euromaidan Press

Kharkiv Institute for Social Research

AIHO Foundation of Regional Initiatives

NGO “Human Rights Initiative”

NGO “Regional Center for Human Rights”/Sevastopol Human Rights Protection Group

KRF “Hromadska Alternatyva”

The image of the “impotent Europe” in the hands of Putin

August 3, 2017

The most famous Lithuanian poet and dissident, founder of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova told about what Ukrainians are different from Russian or Lithuanian and what resemble the Italians, on the image of “impotent Europe”, about his friends Milos-pessimists and neimperialiste Brodsky and how is perceived in the West Bandera personality.

Poland defeated and escaped, Lithuania defeated and escaped, is now the turn of Ukraine – to defeat a Soviet Union and the break out of the fraternal embrace of Russia. Tomas Venclova of those who fought against the Soviet Union back in the sixties and seventies, and can help – should listen to his word. Besides that Venclova old friend of Ukraine, it is more representative of both the near and far abroad, his view of what is happening – it’s like to look at the European Ukraine, living in America.

WHO IS HE

Poet, translator and literary critic, dissident and human rights activist. Born in 1937 in Lithuania, Klaipėda. He graduated from the Vilnius University, a philologist. In 1976 he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, at the invitation of Cheslava Milosha I left for the United States to lecture, deprived of Soviet citizenship. Professor of Slavic Languages ​​and Literatures at Yale University. Lives in United States

WHY HE

In 2016 in Kiev publishing house “Spirit i Litera” translated into Ukrainian was a book epistolary dialogue and political scientist Thomas Venclova Leonidas Donskis “Peredchuttya i prorotstva Shіdnoї Єvropi”

Lions returned to Europe

– In the fall of 2016, you were the guest of honor Publishers’ Forum in Lviv. What are your impressions from this trip? Much to change the Ukraine in the ten years since then, in 2006, you were in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa?

– At this time I was only in Lviv. Ukraine know from the Soviet era – have been to many cities, not only you have mentioned, but also in Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Uman. I know the Crimea, the Carpathians and the Carpathian region, which even then proceeded on foot. It was even in Debaltsevo. Changes in the post-Soviet era is everywhere visible. Lions clearly prettier ten years – or rather, it was interesting, although previously was an attractive, unusual for Ukraine in style.

– As far as Ukraine is now a European country and in what ways – culturally, on the way of thinking, the nature of self-expression?

– Now, in my opinion, we can say that the Lions returned to Europe. Street crowd and city life in general, at least in the center, it’s not too different from Krakow or from the Baltic countries. At first glance, Lviv unnoticed that Ukraine is at war and experiencing economic difficulties. As is the case in other parts of Ukraine, I do not know. Kiev in 2006 seemed to me much more according to the type of oriental city, and in all respects – but it gives it originality.

– The Ukrainians are different from Russians, Lithuanians, Americans? I have in mind the mentality.

– I think the talk about national mentality not very fruitful: mentalities as much as men, moreover, they change over time. More reasonable to talk about the Ukrainian national character, but it is difficult to go beyond the stereotypes, the creation of which had a hand and Gogol, and Sienkiewicz, and Ukrainian classics. Well, the Ukrainians – Southerners, in this sense, they are different from Russian or Lithuanian about the Italians from the French or the Germans. As Russian (though, apparently, like all other nations), they are somewhat ambivalent – kindness they get along with, say, some fury.

Do not give up and do not panic

– Czeslaw Milosz, your friend, wrote that Poland and Eastern Europe in the XX century, the victim – as a buffer between the totalitarian USSR and democratic Western Europe, but Western Europe for the sake of their well-being at all times Eastern rents, sacrifice it. Ukraine is waiting for just that?

– Milos was a pessimist – this experience taught him the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century. My experience of the sixties and the eighties, on the other hand, taught me optimism. In this case, I do not close the passive position, “we sit,” “us sacrifice” … And we do not solve anything? The West, of course, their interests, and demand that he sacrificed for the sake of us, it is absurd – we, too, their interests, and we are not inclined to sacrifice them. Fortunately, our Western interests often coincide. The main thing is that we do not give up – this also applies to Ukraine, and Lithuania, and to the whole of Eastern Europe.

– There is a feeling that evronastroeniya in Ukraine strongly podostyvayut: Europe does not want us, afraid of Putin or the flow of emigrants, well, it means that not very much and we need to.

– Europe is not as cowardly and against Putin, and in relation to migrants and other difficult circumstances, as it is often presented. The image of the “impotent Europe”, “Europe, which are easily manipulated” into the hands of Putin, with himself, apparently, believes in this image. I think that he is cheating. We are in this situation should not be panic.

– Do you live in the US, he knows average American about Ukraine, which it currently is?

– Common American and even American intellectuals do not know about Ukraine and all of our countries almost nothing, except the fact that we have going on the Holocaust. And what we know, for example, the southern states of America? That there was slavery and lynchings occurred? But in America – indeed, we have – there are experts and political scientists, who know a lot: I think that’s enough.

– How radically will change US policy toward Ukraine and Russia with the arrival of Trump?

– It is too early to say. I will say this: America is designed so that no president, even poorly prepared for their role (and Trump, in my opinion, it is such), can not change its policy radically. This case is long term, and some trends do not change at all.

– Can we say that Americans voted for Trump in some measure sympathize and Putin as a strong personality, even his magnetizing demonism?

– American supporters Trump guided primarily by domestic political considerations and sympathy for his populist appearance. Putin for the vast majority of them – in tenth place, but very much at all uninteresting.

Byzantinism plus Mongol yoke

– At 60-70 you are a dissident might assume that the Soviet Union would collapse pretty soon?

– No, I did not expect: I think it will fall apart, but it will wait in the best case, my grandchildren. Thank God, I was wrong.

– And what is the future of the current Putin’s Russia? The same?

– I think that in the end is the same, but it’s also last long. I may be wrong again?

– In your with Leonidas Donskis book explores the “Russian phenomenon” – what is its essence and history, the basic problem?

– On the whole, our view is reduced to popular belief, that “Russian phenomenon” – the result of poorly developed stories (plus Byzantinism Mongol yoke), but in any case not have any bad innate properties of the Russian people.

– And what is your position with Leonidas Donskis toward Russia differ?

– In general, I’m a little bit softer to Russia than the late – alas – Leonidas. At the same time I see the roots of Russia’s problems are not only in history, but also in geography (the natural conditions that prevent the development of infrastructure, and oil and gas wealth, pushing a raw material economy).

– Along with the Ukrainian and Russian translation came out of your book – “The search for optimism in pessimistic times: foreboding prophecy and Eastern Europe.” How it was perceived?

– Review I have not seen, including the Internet. I got a lot of private reviews, and rather positive. However, in the circle of Russian friends dominate my supporters.

– Now Brodsky, your friend in the Russian right the press want to present almost as imperial poet. What were his political views on this subject?

– Brodsky wrote unpleasant, though scathing poem about Ukraine, I advised him not to publish (which he never published, just once, unfortunately, read publicly). Well, with great poets there is everyone. Inflate these, in general, and occasional poems represent Brodsky as an imperialist stupid. The Russian Empire, he always treated as a prison, then easily choose many quotations – though, of course, quoting poets are not exhausted.

Bandera, General Grigorenko and suchukrlit

– You worked together with General Grigorenko, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group – what it was? And who else from the Ukrainian dissidents were you familiar with?

– I do not know too close Petra Grigorenko, but very respected him – it was an honest, albeit a little naive, a sample of courage and loyalty. On the other Ukrainian dissidents was not acquainted – is a little bit of Leonid Plyushch and Crimean Tatar activist Ayse Seitmuratova.

– Maybe you will be pleased to know that in May 2016 Marshala Zhukova Avenue in Kharkov renamed Petro Grigorenko. And how do you feel about the fact that the streets are named Ukrainian Bandera? Both in the US and Europe perceive the identity of Bandera?

– Yes, it is true the renaming and pleasant. As for the Stepana Bandery – I am not one of his supporters, and I believe that his actions, regardless of the noble objectives were largely flawed and ultimately bring Ukraine more harm than good. In Lithuania, we have the same problem in 1941, the Provisional Government, of which I wrote a lot.

– A Russian media fanned phobia of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian radicals, covering Russia, has affected the West and the United States?

– It affected mainly Poland, and very sorry that it happened. It must be said: the desire by all means to justify all the actions of the Ukrainian patriots during the war and immediately after it, alas, contributes to this phobia. It would be repaid objective attitude Ukrainian public opinion to the problem – it seems that this is happening, but slowly and only partially.

– Are you familiar with the modern Ukrainian literature? With a writer you would be advised to start dating her or his Lithuanian American friends, and why?

– I am familiar with the classic Ukrainian literature (by the way, my maternal grandmother, who was born in the village of about Krivine Slavuta, Ukrainian language and knew loved Shevchenko, and his father was translated). As a child, I have been in homes Mykola Bazhana and Pavla Tychiny. By contrast, modern Ukrainian literature know is bad – only Oksana Zabuzhko, Yuriya Andruhovicha, Sergeya Zhadana. They would I recommend – however, they already have known.

– Is your book of poems prepared in Ukrainian? In 2007, like was something to go in the “publishing house Dmitry Burago,” but did not work?

– It seems that something was being prepared and is now being prepared, but that I did not know.

– Your friends Brodsky and Milosz – Nobel Prize winners, have to nominate her regularly. If it is and you will be awarded the first Lithuanian Nobel laureate in literature, what will be your Nobel speech?

– I do not think about the Nobel Prize, and do not even know if I am nominated, so this question will not answer.

Source,02/08/2017

Ageev incident: whether the new prisoner exchange is possible between Ukraine and Russia?

August 1, 2017

In the discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in recent times often referred to the story of Corporal Ageev. According to some experts, the exchange of the detainee at the Donbass Russian military is only possible if the general public.

Svetlana Ageev – the mother of Russian military Victor Ageev, was captured by the army in the Ukrainian Donbass – turned to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. She asks to release and pardon of his son, who was accusing Kiev of terrorism. July 22, Petro Poroshenko and Security Service organized a meeting with the prisoner’s mother in jail Starobelska Luhansk region. Svetlana Ageev said that still does not understand how her son was on the Ukrainian territory. In the beginning of July, Victor Ageev in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel “1 + 1” has admitted that he – HR Russian military and signed a one-year contract for the four days prior to shipment to Ukraine. He faces a prison sentence of 8 to 15 years.

Head of the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Presidential Council on the rights of military servicemen, the coordinator of the human rights initiative “Citizen and the Army”, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Sergei Krivenko says that Viktor Ageev be able to return home only if Russia, his situation will get quite a lot of publicity.

– Speaking about the exchange of Victor Ageev very difficult, because the conflict in Donbas from Russia for a long time there are no clear rules, it is not clear what can be expected. Exchange the example of Alexander Alexandrov Evgeny Erofeev is possible only with broad international public. In Ukraine, the civil society can affect their power and it is very difficult in Russia, especially regarding the events that affect the Russian participation in the war in the Donbas. We still have a few media that can talk about such things. And if the general public does not know does not have to wait about a Russian prisoner, and the exchange. Anyway, the Kremlin used to deny everything and very reluctantly come to some steps.

Sergey Krivenko also notes that get in Donetsk or Lugansk as a Russian human rights activist, to check the conditions of detention of prisoners Ukrainian, and even impossible. In such circumstances, negotiations on the exchange are haphazard and often spontaneously, says human rights activist.

– There is not even understand, who is engaged in an exchange – whether on the Foreign Ministry’s line, whether on the FSB. Logic is also difficult to understand: sometimes let alone, and last for years in other negotiations. Only the loud media campaign can be calculated in a hybrid war conditions that will force release of a prisoner.

Ukrainian human rights activist of the Center for Civil Liberties, coordinator of media campaign Let My People Go Maria Tomak draws attention to the fact that Russia is not fundamentally ready to negotiate the release of prisoners of conscience, the Crimean.

– We have different negotiation processes. Within the framework of the Minsk agreements, human rights defenders working for the captives to temporarily uncontrolled territories in the east of Ukraine. All that is outside the region, Russia does not recognize. About Krymchane speech and does not go – about the citizens of Ukraine, which are held in Russia. If the decisions of the judiciary so-called “DNR” and “LNR” do not recognize in Moscow, the sentences of their vessels in the Crimea Russia considers legitimate. Gennady Afanasiev returned to Ukraine rather an exception than the rule. That is to look for any particular format for the release of political prisoners in the Crimean, but we do not see, so that the Ukrainian authorities were quite interested in this.

Sourse, 31/07/2017

When Russians and Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least your friends

June 10, 2017

In an informal day Ukrainian friends “Observer” talked with the Russian human rights activist, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group Valeriem Borschevym – how in Russia are Ukraine’s intention to introduce a visa regime with Russia, about the feasibility of such a step. The fact is today, in terms of the ongoing war, ordinary Russians treat Ukraine and Ukrainians. And also, under what conditions and in what term the Russians and the Ukrainians will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least friends.

– You’ve heard of offers that sound in Ukraine, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Yesterday the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said: “I believe that even the introduction of the visa regime in the context of control of who comes from Russia, we know very little we have to enter for this biometric passports, but then also to control those who come.”. How, in your opinion, are suitable measures to which the Minister said? Which side will suffer from them to a greater extent?

– I think the people will suffer, society suffers. Because there is a conflict, which was organized by the authorities. As for society, many people in Russia want to be in constant contact, in constant communion with the Ukrainian people. I know that many relatives whom they visit in Ukraine.

Such a visa, so even with stricter passport controls it will be directed against the interests of citizens. I think that this measure will not benefit relations between nations.

– However, there are objective reasons for such a decision. In particular, the way in Ukraine are going to substantially suppress the action of Russian security services in the country.

– I do not think so. I do not think this is an effective measure. First of all, it will hit the public interest.

That part of the society in Russia, with great love and sympathy with the Ukrainian people, which is against the war, which believes that it is necessary as soon as possible to stop – this part is affected by such measures.

– You said about the Russians, who still are well to the Ukrainians, who want to maintain a relationship with them. How many of these Russians in Russia today?

– I think the vast majority. They really believe that what is happening, it is a great tragedy, a great drama, and very worried about what is happening.

– Who do they believe guilty of what is happening?

– They believe that the blame for the authorities, who are fighting this war.

– Authorities on both sides?

– No, condemn the participation of the Russian authorities. The fact that they support this conflict, that they do not take measures to somehow stop it. In Russia, held meetings with such requirements. This section of society is significant enough.

– Today marks the unofficial Day friends. We know that the brothers can not be called due to objective circumstances of Ukrainians and Russians. In a term, the conditions under which our people will again be able to call themselves brothers, if not, then at least to your friends?

– Who’s to be believed. I think Ukrainians brothers – as believed earlier. My ancestors came to the Don of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, they were the Don Cossacks. How can I not count Ukrainians brothers? And so many believe.

The war was organized by the authorities, and it is them and progress. The vast majority of people in Russia believe the Ukrainian people by his brothers, and what’s going on – really tragic events.

But if we talk about the relationship between states, it is true they are, to put it mildly, not friendly, not to say – hostile. Between the states will be a long, long maintained such a voltage. Much depends on what kind of government will replace the existing one.

– Do you think, with the new government in Russia could fundamentally change the relationship between our two countries?

– Of course. Because the potential in the society is very large, the society wants the relations were restored. Of course, today’s events will overshadow relations for a long time, they will be reminded of its own, but the relationship will be restored.

Sourse, 09/06/2017

BREAKING: Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov detained in Crimea

January 26, 2017

Today, 26 January 2017, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliev were illegally detained by the Russian law enforcement bodies in Simferopol and Bakhchisaray, respectively, and transferred to the court for assigning a pretrial restriction. According to the preliminary information, Emil Kurbedinov will be charged under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols). Seyran Saliev most likely will be accused of terrorism.

Together with another lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, Kurbedinov was driving to Seyran Saliev, whose house was brutally searched at the moment by people with guns and dogs. Saliev’s mother is a veteran of the National Crimean Tatar movement. Seyran Saliev is a civic activist who was fined in May 2016 for a public announcement of the illegal searches in Crimean Tatar houses, which he made through a loudspeaker from a mosque’s minaret. The then searches ended up with the arrests of 4 Crimean Tatars who became victims of political persecution within the Hizb ut-Tahrir case. This time Russian law enforcement bodies were searching Saliev’s house for the traces of his affiliation to Hizb ut-Tahrir. It is worth mentioning that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic organization that legally operates on the territory of Ukraine, but is groundlessly recognized terrorist in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, thousands of Crimean Tatars automatically became at risk of persecution.

Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the officers of the Russian Main Department for Combating Extremism on his way to Saliev’s house. Simultaneously, searches started in his office and house. Office equipment was confiscated. During the search in Kurbedinov’s house, his 90-year-old grandmother was called an ambulance.

Emil Kurbedinov is a well-known Crimean Tatar lawyer. He defends the majority of Crimean Tatars persecuted in Crimea on political grounds and relentlessly reports on human rights violations in Crimea on varied international stages. In September 2016, after his return from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, he reported that had been threatened by local officials.

Kurbedinov and Saliev were charged with 10 and 12 days of administrative arrest, respectively, both under Art. 20.3 of Administrative Offences Code of Russia (propaganda or public display of Nazi or extremist symbols).

It is worth noting that the day before, on 25 January, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov was also forcefully brought for interrogation within the case of Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov, in which Polozov officially represents the defendant as an attorney and, thus, cannot be interrogated as it violates the attorney-client privilege. Even though Polozov was released and Kurbedinov got an administrative punishment, all these events bear clear signs of threatening with the purpose to silence independent lawyers working on political cases in Crimea.

Ukrainian human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the illegal persecution of human rights lawyers and calling on Ukrainian government and international community to denounce Russian illegal actions in Crimea.

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea

January 17, 2017

The Review on situation with freedom of speech in Crimea, prepared by the experts of the Human Rights Information Centre for the second half of 2016 year. The Review is on Russian and English languages.

The information was gathered “at first hand” (i.e. monitoring the situation and events in Crimea, interviewing members of key target groups), based on official sources and legal framework, and also obtained from other sources (messages from human rights organizations and media), which were additionally verified.

Statement of Ukrainian Human Rights organizations from Coalition “Justice for Peace at Donbas” appeal on priorities during negotiations settlement of the armed conflict in Donbas

October 11, 2016

 The fall of the authoritarian regime after the shooting in February 2014 on the Euromaidan and Yanukovich escape to Russia has opened the way to build a democratic state upon common with European countries values. Trying to stop the democratic reforms, the Russian Federation with the help of the army occupied Crimea and began hybrid war in Donbas, hiding the direct military aggression of propaganda cliches about the “coup” in Kiev and legitimacy conducted in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions “referendums.” Only in official data in this armed conflict killed more than 9,700 people, about 22 thousand people were injured, about two million people were forced to leave their homes escape to reach the peaceful area. In fact, the Russian Federation launched the war against Ukraine, thereby grossly violating the provisions of the UN Charter and the post-war world order. Therefore, the current situation in the zone of ATO in Ukraine should be considered in the paradigm of war and human rights, in which norms international humanitarian law became particularly relevant.

At present in the territory under the control of so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic” is home to about three million people. They are in an area where legal procedures are virtually not exist or very bad. Freedom, life and property of people living in this area will depend on the illegal armed groups. Any person, regardless of age and sex, faces the risk of being kidnapped, subjected to torture, coercion subjected to virtually slave labor. There is a network of illegal places of captivity, called “basements” due to their unsuitability even for the temporary detention of people. Enough is difficult humanitarian situation, documented cases of starvation elderly. Sharp issue is the implementation of Ukrainian state social benefits to residents outside the control areas according to law.

Concerning this, Ukrainian human rights organizations are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights has not yet become a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas. There is a lack of persistence in promoting the release of prisoners of war and civilian hostages, which generally would have regarded as a conditio sine qua non in the implementation of all agreements reached. Absolute requirement is to establish proper control over the situation of international organizations and institutions, in particular, should be provided free work of international humanitarian organizations and international monitoring missions, their unhindered access to all places of detention, protection of civilians from the tyranny of people with guns, effectively investigation of serious crimes and bring those responsible to justice, pressure on the Russian Federation to stop violations of human rights in the occupied territories.

Instead, against the backdrop of continuing attacks on the line of delimitation and the continued delivery of military equipment from uncontrolled by Ukraine area of Ukraine-Russia border as a priority were taken the questions of elections in the occupied territories. This completely ignores the fact in the ambiance of uman rights, the elections become from a tool of free expression to a tool of legitimizing military dictatorship.

Concerning this we urge the states – members of the Council of Europe to identify issues of human rights as a priority in the negotiations to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbas and implement their progress in regular consultations with international and Ukrainian human rights organizations working on documenting human rights violations and international crimes in the area of armed conflict and the protection of victims of conflict.

The Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” is an informal union of 17 human rights organizations and initiatives. Members of the Coalition have combined efforts to conduct coordinated documenting of human rights violations, committed during the armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine.

The Coalition focuses on gathering information about the most serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law.

An important task of the Coalition (which is reflected in its name) is to struggle with impunity of those guilty of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Donbas during the armed confrontation. According to members of the Coalition, bringing such individuals to justice is a prerequisite for the restoration of peace and reconciliation in eastern Ukraine.

Coalition Members:

Alchevsk Human Rights Analytical Center

Public Committee for Protection of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms of Citizens

Public organization “Mirny bereg”

Public Movement “Ochyshchennya”

Donbas SOS

Donetsk “Memorial”

Ecological and Cultural Center “Bakhmat”

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

Human Rights Center “Postup” / Vostok SOS

Starobilsk public organization “Volya”

Starobilsk district public human rights women’s organization “Victoria”

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Center for Civil Liberties / Euromaidan SOS

“Social Action” Centre NGO

Результаты поиска:

Ukraine: Suspect arrested in the killing of Katerina Gandzyuk: Fighting impunity must be a priority

November 23, 2018
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2018 – Ukraine’s authorities have arrested an individual for alleged involvement in the attack against Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk. The brutal acid attack she suffered that ultimately led to her death constitutes yet another of the litany of attacks against human rights defenders, including women, in the country. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) calls upon Ukrainian authorities to effectively investigate this crime as well as all the other attacks on activists and human rights defenders, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of all civil society representatives in Ukraine.

The attacks on human rights defenders and activists in Ukraine have become more frequent in recent months. On November 4, 2018, Ms. Katerina Gandzyuk succumbed to the injuries she had suffered from an earlier attack. Ms. Gandzyuk was a member of the Kherson city council (Southern Ukraine) and a prominent campaigner against police corruption and Russia-backed separatism. On July 31, assailants poured almost a litre of sulfuric acid on her, which resulted in chemical burns to over 35% of her skin. On November 12, an assistant of a ruling-party deputy of the Ukranian Parliament, Igor Pavlovsky, was arrested as a suspect in this case. The authorities believe him to be an intermediary between the perpetrators and those who had ordered the murder.

The tragic death of Katya Gandzyuk should become the final call for the authorities to take notice of the problem of persecution of activists in regions where the security services have merged with the corrupt local elites. We demand the effective investigation of all cases of attacks and a real fight against impunity” stated Oleksandra Matveychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, FIDH member organisation.

Since the beginning of 2017, human rights organisations have documented as many as 55 unsolved attacks against activists. According to the United Nations, from May 16 to August 15, 2018, 30 attacks on journalists, defenders and activists, including physical violence, humiliation and intimidation, have been committed in Ukraine. Against this background, the statement of Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko, made during a September-27 press conference after a session of the Parliament’s Committee on national security, that some of the activists “show an atmosphere of utmost hatred for the authorities” and therefore bear the blame for the attacks, is extremely irresponsible.

Among the most notorious examples of recent attacks against human rights defenders, on January 1, 2018, the body of human rights defender Ms. Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was investigating the death of her sister, was found in the woods near Kyiv. On June 5, environmental activist Mr. Mykola Bychko was found dead in a village in Kharkiv region. Mr. Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby plant.

Those attacks against human rights defenders take place in a context of broader violence against activists, such as Mr. Vitaly Oleshko, Donbas veteran and a political activist, who opposed the local authorities, and was shot in Berdyansk on July 31. A few days after, on August 2, a truck rammed a car with the two Odessa anti-corruption activists, investigative journalist Grigory Kozma and head of the Odesa branch of the People’s Movement of Ukraine party Mykhailo Kuzakon. On September 22, also in Odessa, an unknown person shot activist Mr. Oleg Mikhailik, who had campaigned with the People’s Power movement (“Syla Lyudei”), a political party, against illegal construction in Odessa. This list continues to grow every day. Those who ordered the crimes have not been identified in any of these cases. In some, even the names of the perpetrators remain unknown.

We are extremely concerned about the brutality of Katerina Gandzyuk’s murder. The murder of the defender is a marker of an unhealthy, aggressive climate in which human rights defenders of Ukraine are forced to work and resist”, highlighted Ilya Nuzov, FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk Director. “We join the requests of the international community and the civil society in Ukraine to conduct an impartial, effective, prompt and transparent investigation. Attacks on human rights defenders should not go unpunished and all those responsible shall be brought to justice” concluded Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Audrey Couprie: +33 1 43 55 25 18 / acouprie@fidh.org
OMCT: Miguel Martín / Delphine Reculeau: Tel: +41 22 809 49 39 / Email: dr@omct.org

Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol

November 20, 2018

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

 

In accordance with the INTERPOL Constitution, the President of the organisation must:

  1. a) chair the meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee and manage the discussions;

(b) ensure that the activities of the Organisation are carried out in line with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;

(c) maintain, to the greatest possible extent, direct and permanent contacts with the General Secretary of the Organisation.

 

Thus, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL and other bodies will only be required to implement strategic decisions taken under the leadership of the President of the Organisation. The strategy of the organisation’s work will be formed and determined by the representative of the aggressor country, whose authorities:

– violate international agreements, brutally violate international law, have occupied the Crimea and conducted open military actions on the territory of other INTERPOL member countries, namely: Ukraine and Syria;

– through propaganda and with the use of intelligence services, interfere with the internal policies of democratic states;

– is disclosed in the use of chemical weapons in the territory of the United Kingdom, according to British officials, as well as the promotion of the use of chemical weapons in Syria;

– is guilty of crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people and is currently carrying out systematic crimes against the Crimean Tatar people;

– violate the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, persecute people for their convictions, fabricate numerous criminal cases against political opponents, opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary businessmen for the purpose of expropriating their property for the benefit of the oligarchic clans close to the authorities of Russia;

– actively provide financial and other support to the dictatorial authoritarian regimes of North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Iran;

– in violation of all international treaties and conventions, purposefully and methodically declare the possibility of a nuclear war and are actively preparing for it.

 

Currently, Russia and its allies, namely: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, as well as Venezuela and Iran, are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organisation includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians and businessmen.

 

In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them. Frequently, these individuals remain on the INTERPOL list even after a refusal to extradite them has been issued. Due to this fact, they cannot cross the border or get a job. For over five years, human rights organisations, representatives of PACE, the European Parliament, the European Commission have been working on this problem. Due to the efforts of the international community, in November 2016, INTERPOL began the reform process. In particular, the Organisation has begun to apply (for the time being, inconsistently) the policy of protecting persons with refugee status. The procedures applied by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files have become more transparent.

 

Over the past two years, INTERPOL has taken important steps to combat misuse of its mechanisms, and it is important to continue these reforms, improving the legislation of the Organisation. However, the Organisation is now facing the curtailing of previous positive initiatives. Instead of imposing restrictions on violating states (provided for by the INTERPOL legislation), now INTERPOL can be headed by a representative of Russia – one of the most principled violators of the Organisation’s rules.

 

If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organisation.

 

Even today, it can be argued that INTERPOL actually supports of the crimes against humanity in relation to the Chechen people exercised by the Russian authorities; it is due to the fact that the number of representatives of a small Chechen ethnic group in the organisation’s database is significantly greater than representatives of any other nations. Moreover, for this ethnic group, the organisation’s website provides special labels that indicate the ethnic origin of the prosecuted person.

 

The possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to violation of the organisation’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.

 

In addition to the fact that INTERPOL can turn into an organisation that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, there is a direct threat that the organisation would be criminalised and its mechanisms could be used by international criminal structures. Thus, today, it is a well known fact that the leaders of the majority of Russian organised criminal groups (the so-called “Orekhovsky”, “Podolsky”, “Solntsevsky”, etc.) have become state figures, have been awarded state awards and granted the status of advisers or consultants in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Authorities of a number of countries, including the United States and Spain, accuse Russian politicians and businessmen, close to the authorities, including members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, of involvement in the international organised crime. It cannot be ruled out that, under the leadership of the representative of the Russian Federation, INTERPOL could shift accents and close their eyes to Russian criminal groups due to their affiliation with the authorities. Also, it cannot be ruled out that, with the consent and approval of the organisation’s leadership, representatives of the criminal world could be able to become part of the very organisation and begin to exercise control over its activities.

 

It is yet to be known by who, how and for what purpose, the database of the organisation would be used. However, it is already a well-known fact that the security system of the database is provided by the infamous Kaspersky Lab – a Russian IT company controlled by the Russian FSB. If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organisation, it can be argued that the database of the organisation could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites.

 

We must not forget that three SS generals: Reinhard Heydrich (1940-1942), Arthur Nebe (1942-1943), and Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1943-1945) were appointed consecutively to the post of the President of INTERPOL. We remember very well how the story ended.

 

We hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organisation, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases. It is important that the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes be ceased immediately. If the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.

Харківська правозахисна група/ Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини/ Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Фун