Ukrainian human rights activists insist on inadmissibility of adopting bill №4453a "On Sanctions" in proposed edition

2014 2014-08-15T14:32:10+0300 2014-08-15T16:58:28+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Supreme Council of Ukraine

Supreme Council of Ukraine

August 12, 2014 the Supreme Council of Ukraine unanimously adopted in the first reading the government bill №4453a "On Sanctions".


The need for the adoption of this draft law is justified, in particular, by the need to protect the national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as other factors, including the prevention of "abuse, or restoration of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens of Ukraine."


We understand the importance of this law in the "undeclared war" waged by Russia in the east of Ukraine, and the need for a prompt response of the authorities to everyday challenges. However, its adoption in the proposed wording could endanger the rights and freedoms of citizens of Ukraine not less than the infamous "dictatorial laws of January 16". After all, the bill provides unduly wide powers to the National Security and Defense Council under the President of Ukraine for an indefinite period of time.


Specifically, the bill establishes extra-judicial restriction or termination of the media "and other business information activities, including on the Internet", i.e. general public up to the level of individual users of social networks. It provides for extrajudicial restriction or ban on the production and distribution of "printed materials and other information material" that allows for uncontrolled censorship. A special concern is the introduction of extra-judicial prohibition "of parties, movements and other public associations and funds" without impartial consideration of the validity of the reasons for the ban and giving them an opportunity to defend themselves in a legitimate way.


The grounds for sanctions are rather vague, and sometimes - just absurd (such as "violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights"). Such formulation expands the range of potential sanctions to infinity and provide wast opportunities for abuse. We should also point out to the inexhaustibleness of the list of sanctions, because law allows implementing "other sanctions consistent with the principles of their use, provided by this Law".

As it follows from the aforementioned, bill №4453a "On Sanctions" is contrary to the Constitution, current legislation and international obligations of Ukraine.


Given the real threat "to grow a new dragon," against which we fought at Maidan, we encourage people's deputies not to approve the proposed draft law №4453a "On Sanctions" and send it back for revision.


The statement was signed by:


Maksym Butkevych, project "Without Borders" of Center for Social Action

Yevhen Zakharov, Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Alexander Matviychuk Center for Civil liberties

Tetiana Pechonchyk, Information Center on Human Rights

Arkady Bushchenko, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Oleg Martynenko, Center for the Study of Law Enforcement

Tetiana Mazur, Amnesty International in Ukraine

Volodymyr Chemerys, Institute Republic