Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Donetsk People's Republic

The DPR MFA commentary on the 14th Report of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

10 June 2016
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3 June 2016, the 14th Report was presented of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation in Ukraine that revealed the grave human rights and freedoms` violations on the part of the Ukrainian authorities. We repeatedly addressed the world community and international organizations to turn attention to all violations of human rights that occur in Ukraine. We are inspired by the fact that our legal and civil position was understood by the representatives of international organization. The recommendations given to the Republic authorities will be thoroughly elaborated by us but it should be stressed that the implementation of some points is practically blocked by the activities of the Ukrainian part.

In the course of a press conference the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović stressed: «This crisis started from the demands concerning the human rights and basic freedoms and these demands remain today for both sides of the contact line. The leaders should defer to their people on both sides. I heard them loudly and clearly: they want peace, respect for human rights and rule of law». This position meets our original demands – Donbass citizens wanted to be heard, wanted to live in the country with acting rules of democracy and observable rights and freedoms established by the Constitution and international legal acts. Now we stand for this position during the negotiations on Minsk agreements, the hope for realization of which is mentioned also in the UN Report. We express gratitude to the representatives of the International Organization of United Nations for paying the attention to our position and underlining the inefficiency of Ukraine in this aspect on the international level.

As far back as in May 2016, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on his mission to Ukraine (September 8-18, 2015) in his report mentioned clearly that the responsibility for defending rights to life lies with the Ukrainian Government. This norm is mentioned not only in the international and legal documents but in the Constitution of Ukraine. Unfortunately, Kiev put no value on the remarks in the UN Report on extrajudicial executions from 4 May 2016.

Apart from the factual violation of basic right to life, other rights of ours are violated in Ukraine legislatively: social, economic ones, freedom of movement. In particular, the mass of obligatory and discriminating procedures is introduced, for example, long-term and expensive «recognition» of our civil registration documents in the courts of Ukraine (though the recognition should be exercised through an administrative procedure).

In order to enlarge the powers to the «ATO soldiers», Ukraine openly derogated from its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The human rights, stated in the number of international and legal acts stopped ensuring in the certain territories of the country. In the UN Report from 4 May 2016 of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions such state’s obligations concerning certain rights were interpreted as « non-derogable ». The actions of the Ukrainian authorities in this regard raised big concern in the UN, but Ukraine has done nothing on the cancellation of derogations, and human rights have de-facto stopped being observed not only in certain cities, but in the whole territory of Ukraine. The UN representatives couldn’t but pay attention to this fact in the 14th Report. For example, it includes details on cases of prosecution and beating those whose opinion differs from authorities` including the police that didn’t take any measures. Though the Report on extrajudicial executions from 4 May 2016 strictly stresses that: «the principal role of the police within the context of assemblies is to protect citizens», and the whole chapter is devoted to the Ukrainian «volunteer battalions» stressing their tendency to violence, uncontrollability and full impunity thanks to « a high level of official toleration». Specified by the Special Rapporteur double standards of the representatives of state bodies of Ukraine factually deny the opportunity for the ordinary citizens to exercise their rights. Alongside this, despite the UN representatives didn’t get the unfettered access to certain institutions of the Security Service of Ukraine, Ukraine failed to conceal multiple facts of enforced disappearances, illegal and arbitrary detentions, tortures and ill-treatment and also the fact of existence «secret detention facilities of SBU».

We welcome the fact that the Report covers these cases of breaching the law by the Ukrainian authorities. From our point of view all these facts apart from serious violations of norms of international law directly impede the decision of many political and humanitarian issues in the framework of the Contact Group on the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

As the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights underlined, the key condition for the implementation of the Minsk agreements and holding the local elections on the territory of Republics is the restoration of political and civil rights of citizens. We support such position of OHCHR and call on the world community to raise pressure on Ukraine in order to start the immediate implementation of the Minsk agreements for cessation of the mass human rights violation.