Open Address in connection with the violation of human rights during the crackdown on the tent camp near the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

  • 05.03.2018
  • Author: Editorial Office

On March 3, 2018, the National Police of Ukraine and the National Guard of Ukraine demolished the tent camp that had been located on Hrushevsky Street near the Ukrainian Parliament.

The formal reason for this notorious event was the ruling of the investigating judge of the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv, delivered on March 2, 2018, allowing an inspection to be conducted at the tent camp in order to find persons involved in criminal activity, and to search for belongings and documents relevant to the investigation of criminal proceedings.

Information obtained from the monitoring of the Commissioner for Human Rights and open sources provide evidence that there are reasonable grounds to state that the actions of law-enforcers allowed a number of gross violations of human rights, guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine, in particular.

  • the right to peaceful assembly, since the court ruling did not provide for the termination of the assembly which had for a long time continued peacefully; in accordance with the standards of action of law-enforcers, such actions should in general be directed at locations where offenses against public order are being committed, rather than at a peaceful assembly;
  • the right to freedom of speech, since at least three journalists have stated that their activities were impeded and they suffered bodily harm from law enforcement officers;
  • the right not to be subjected to inhuman treatment (at least 19 people were seriously injured in the head, or hospitalised with traumatic brain injuries), or to treatment humiliating human dignity;
  • the right to personal freedom, since a large number of people was illegally detained for a long time.

We would like to draw special attention to the gross violation of the Law of Ukraine “On National Police”, which prohibits police officers from striking the head, neck, clavicular, genital organs, lumbar (tailbone) and abdomen.

The problem of identifying a specific law enforcement officer who violates human rights has remained unresolved since 2013, although the relevant provisions were included in the Law of Ukraine “On National Police”.

Additionally, we call your attention to the inadmissibility of cynical statements by some officials who publicly mock human rights violations. Thus, there are grounds to doubt that an objective investigation of these events would be conducted.

In view of the abovementioned, we urge:

  1. The Prosecutor General of Ukraine to ensure a prompt and effective investigation of the events that took place on March 3, 2018, near the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and to provide periodic public reporting on the results of such investigation.
  2. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to consider as soon as possible the draft laws concerning the improvement of legislation on the identification of police officers and servicemen of the National Guard of Ukraine.
  3. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to adopt regulatory acts on the actions of law enforcement officers and other services to ensure the protection of public order during mass events.

Human rights organisations willing to accede to this Address, please contact kryklyvenko1@gmail.com

Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights
Center for Civil Liberties (Euromaidan SOS)
Human Rights Information Centre
Association UMDPL (Association of Ukrainian human rights monitors on Law Enforcement)
Human Rights Initiative
NGO “Centre of Law Enforcement Activities Research”
Human Rights House in Chernihiv
“Open Dialog” Foundation in Ukraine
NGO “REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICE”
NGO “Human Rights Observation Union”

This open Address is available at http://www.ombudsman.gov.ua