Ukrainian human rights activists warn about dangers of laws of 12 August

2014 2014-08-15T15:41:13+0300 2014-08-15T15:41:13+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The activists claim that a number of laws and draft laws, which were adopted on 12 August, are potentially dangerous for the citizens of Ukraine and violate national and international law norms.


Specifically, bill №4310a provides №4310a police officers with the right to use physical force, police gear and weapons without warning in the area of counter-terrorism operations. This provision may result in injury to life or health of persons not involved in terrorist activities.


It should be noted that the acting legislation has already endowed participants of the anti-terrorist operation to participate in the detention of persons and neutralize them if their actions actually threaten the life and health of the hostages, members of the anti-terrorist operation or other individuals.


The law of August 14, "On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine" On Prosecutor's Office" for the establishment of the military prosecutor's office" - restored the institution military prosecutor's office. However, it was restored not only for the area of the anti-terrorist operation, but also throughout the Ukraine, which of course will require additional funding for creation of workplaces, purchase of equipment, etc.


Maryna Tsapok, an expert of the Ukrainian Association of monitors of observance of human rights by law enforcement agencies, revolts: "Why create military prosecutors throughout the Ukraine, if such department can be created at the General Prosecutor's Office? If necessary, the prosecutors belonging to this department, may visit the area of the ATO or reside there. Moreover, the ATO may be already over by the time of the establishment of the military prosecutor's offices. Probably, then there will appear the need to liquidate them again in order to save the budget means.”

Bill №4312a provides for "preventive" detention of persons involved in terrorist activities, without any judgment, for 30 days. That law enforcement agencies can hold a person in custody for a month without opening criminal proceedings or a court order. Under such circumstances, a person has no guarantees against arbitrariness. In particular, detainees may be deprived of the right to defense, the right against self-incrimination and the presumption of innocence.


According to the lawyer Serhiy Zayats, a representative of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, sometimes European Convention on Human Rights may involve derogation from the right to liberty and security of person. But for this there is a special procedure. The state is obliged to report such exceptional measures to the Secretary General. However, the lawyer doubts that the Ukrainian authorities will resort to such actions.