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Chernihiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection: Statement on occasion of mass violations of constitutional rights of the citizens of Ukraine
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Statement of Chernihiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection on occasion of mass violations of constitutional rights of the citizens of Ukraine – members of “PORA!” citizen campaign in the city of Chernihiv and their political persecution
On October 18, 2004, on the day of Ukrainian presidential candidate’s Viktor Yanukovych visit to Chernihiv Region, the Chernihiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection (ChPCHRP - further) has been addressed by activists of “PORA!” citizen campaign with information that their colleagues were stolen by unknown persons and brought in unknown direction. During the examination of these appeals we cleared up that the persons introducing themselves as police officers (in many cases they did not give any identity documents) forced the members of “PORA!” organization to get in the cars as a rule in public places don’t being ashamed of numerous witnesses. According to given information, in many cases it was a VAZ-2106 car with Kyiv state numbers. Then this car left for unknown direction.
To find missing citizens of Ukraine, there were made attempts to call to all district and city police stations. But there were received answers that above persons were not kept their. But few hours later, the young activists who had mobile telephones managed to call their relatives and inform about their police custody in Desnyansky and Novozavodsky district police departments of the city of Chernihiv.
At the same time, after arrival of relatives, friends and colleagues of missing citizens of Ukraine in these police stations, the employees of law enforcement bodies gave untruthful information on absence of detained “PORA!” activists violating current legislation, in particular police activity standards fixed in the Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine “On Police”. Only after some attempts of different public and political figures, in particular, people’s deputy of Ukraine Vladyslav Atroshenko, there were achieved not only meetings with illegally arrested citizens but also their practical release from custody. As ChPCHRP has got to know, as a whole twenty citizens of Ukraine, “PORA!” citizens campaign activists were detained and released later from custody.
According to detained persons’ words, none accusations were brought against some of them. Though some of these citizens were groundlessly told that they looked like persons wanted for day before mobile phone stealing or persons wanted for rape in the city park.
There was very typical detention of the student of the Chernihiv State Pedagogical University (CSPU - further) Tetyana Pekur. After her detention and taking into Desnyansky district police department of the city of Chernihiv, she was kept during some hours without any explanations that was brutal violation of Tetyana’s constitutional rights. Then Tetyana Pekur has stood up and tried to get out the room, but the policeman has closed entrance and forced her to sit down. This fact shows the features of a crime from the part of policemen, stipulated by the Articles 34 and 265 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Only actions of the people’s deputy of Ukraine V.Atroshenko, who was admitted to police department taking into account his status, gave the possibility to save and release the girl from illegal detention in police station.
Thus, above mentioned detentions say about non-observance of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine as well as Article 5 of the European Convention Human Rights by policemen which are officials and state representatives.
But the more brutal violations of constitutional rights of the citizens of Ukraine has been begun in the city of Chernihiv in the evening of October 18, 2004, already after departure of the Ukrainian presidential candidate V.Yanukovych. Nearly 18.30, the third year student of CSPU Oleksandr Kovalenko was detained by five unknown persons and taken in unknown direction by car AUDI-80 with state number 468-20MM.
All attempts of Oleksandr Kovalenko’s friends to find him in police stations were to no avail as they received answers about absence of such detained person. At the same time there was found a car which had taken this citizen of Ukraine. This vehicle was near Chernihiv city police department. The persons which were near the building of city police department said that the car was owned by policeman from department on economic offences.
The Kovalenko’s friends were informed on police station entrance checkpoint that none detained persons were brought to them with Kovalenko surname. Only after the advocate of ChPCHRP together with the Kovalenko’s hospice neighbor had handed over the petition on Oleksandr’s missing to police reception room, duty officer said that the guy was found and that he was kept in city police department.
At the same time, the policeman, brutally violating Kovalenko’s constitutional rights, refused to admit the advocate to arrested guy. All other attempts to get in touch with the guy were to no avail. After 22.00 the people’s deputy of Ukraine Mr.Atroshenko managed to get in the city police department building. The officials of this state body assured the people’s deputy that brutal violation of the rights of the citizens of Ukraine O.Kovalenko would be stopped and that he would be released in 20 minutes. Mr.Atroshenko was also informed the guy is suspected of money counterfeit and distribution.
But Oleksandr was released neither in 20 minutes nor later. After Mr.Atroshenko’s second conversation with governing policeman he was again promised that the guy will be released in 20 minutes. But later police high officers informed that O.Kovalenko will not be released as he is under suspicion and he will remain in custody.
In accordance with current legislation, Oleksandr Kovalenko was given an advocate from the part of ChPCHRP who right away started to be of Kovalenko’s interest. But we’d like to emphasize that the advocate was factually admitted only 6 hours later after detention. It was a brutal violation of O.Kovalenko’s constitutional rights, in particular requirements of the Article 29 of the Constitution of Ukraine. Now the ChPCHRP and its lawyers continue its attempts to achieve the restoration of Oleksandr Kovalenko’s violated constitutional rights as well as his release from custody.
On October 19 the brutal violations of human rights in the city of Chernihiv culminated in mass detentions of the citizens of Ukraine – “PORA!” citizens campaign representatives. Another four young activists were arrested because of unknown reasons. It was factually the violation of constitutional rights of the citizens of Ukraine.
The culmination of political persecutions has again fallen on the evening of October 19, 2004. Around 22.00, the “PORA!” citizen campaign representatives addressed by phone to Chernihiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection with information that the illegal search of the flat of the one of activists, to their opinion, was conducted by police to the address: 5/125 Prospect Peremohi, Chernihiv.
Our Committee’s representatives arrived to the place where they saw the group of policemen as in civilian clothes as in uniform near building. The house was totally surrounded. After the attempt to get in the house, several policemen stepped up to the ChPCHRP’s members. For some reason they introduced themselves as “activists of Ukrainian presidential candidate V.Yushchenko”. After conversation with “PORA!” activists we got to know that “PORA!” Oleksandr Lomako’s flat was searching under criminal case. Also Lomako’s colleagues informed us that there had been “found” counterfeit Ukrainian hrivnas before their very eyes.
They also said that police men, regardless of O.Lomako’s demand and brutally violating the requirements of the Criminal Processual Code of Ukraine and Constitution of Ukraine, did not allow him to call to advocate.
But the advocate of ChPCHRP Oleksandr Trofimov, in spite of policemen’s attempts to stop him, managed to get in touch with O.Lomako and draw up a contract on his interest representing. After that the search on the O.Lomako’s flat was conducted in the presence of advocate during which under gas-stove there was also “found” a saucepan where the explosion experts found the explosive, capsule and fuse.
At three o'clock in the morning of October 20, 2004 Oleksandr Lomako was moved to Chernihiv city police department where the investigative actions now are conducting against him.
Chernihiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection thoroughly collected and studied the information on the course of this case and considers that during the conduct of search the representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine committed several actions which may be considered as violation of the current legislation, in particular:
According to Tetyana Pekur’s words, who was present in the O.Lomako’s flat during the appearance of police, there were features of policemen’s violations of the Articles 365 and 126 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine as there was groundlessly used brutal force against her (according to T.Pekur’s assertion, indefinite police officer delivered a blow in her face);
Notwithstanding O.Lomako’s demand, he was refused to call an advocate that was violation of the Article 45 of the Criminal Processual Code of Ukraine, Article 29 of the Constitution of Ukraine as well as Articles 5 and 13 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
The court gave sanction to search the flat of non-existent at above address person - Oleksiy Lomako but the search was conducted by police at the flat of Oleksandr Lomako that practically is an exceeding their commission and has the features of the violation of the Article 177 of the Criminal Procession Code of Ukraine and Article 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The above mentioned facts give the grounds to Chernihiv Public Committee’s of Human Rights Protection concern for respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Chernihiv Region, in particular, Constitution of Ukraine, European Convention of Human Rights as well as other international documents ratified by Ukraine. There was very disappointed fact the persecution is conducted because of membership in some association. In other words there are features of non-observance of the Article 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
We accentuate that Ukraine as a participant of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Final Act of Helsinki Agreement of 1975 and Copenhagen Agreement of 1990 undertakes obligations to execute international human rights agreements. But recent events in our country, especially in Chernihiv Region, give us the right to have doubt about their respect.
Taking into account above information:
We demand to restore the rights of “PORA!” citizen campaign representatives detained on October 18 and 19, 2004 in the city of Chernihiv, release innocents, find officials guilty of mass groundless arrests for political reasons as well as apply reprimands and punishment against these officials according to the law!
We appeal to representatives of law enforcement bodies to stand up for principals of the rule of law avoiding political games in the country, don’t be governed in their actions by other's political goals, observe legislation of Ukraine, respect constitutional and human rights and freedoms!
We’d like to believe that events taken place on October 18-19, 2004 in the city of Chernihiv will be a bad example of mistaken actions of law enforcement bodies which will not be repeated in future!
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