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“Atmosphere of Conscious Enmity”. What is said in the devastating UN report on Ukraine

The UN published a report on the human rights situation in Ukraine on the eve of the elections. The text of the document is at the disposal of the “Countries”.

The situation is disappointing – the number of attacks and acts of intimidation against journalists, activists and lawyers is increasing. A significant part of them is the work of ultra-right groups.

Their excesses – the main nerve of the report. Radicals are mentioned in his small text 12 times. They are associated with almost every violation of human rights, which is described in the UN.

The document is called “Civil space and fundamental freedoms on the eve of presidential, parliamentary and local elections in Ukraine.” It was prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“Country” gives the main theses of the report, which covered the whole of last year and the first weeks of the coming.

Attacks on journalists and activists
One of the most alarming trends is the growing number of attacks on journalists. And the most scandalous – even during the live broadcast. Speech about attacks on Newsone TV reporters.

It is noted that attacks are often not qualified under the criminal article “obstructing the activities of journalists”, which would put the attackers in jail (instead, the attackers are accused of maximum light hooliganism).

“Such an attitude of law enforcement officers leads to an increase in impunity. Investigators, therefore, refuse to protect journalists, which is guaranteed by the law,” the UN states.

Instead of protecting the authorities, criminal cases were instituted against journalists for grave articles – state change and violation of the territorial integrity of the country.

“The authorities interpreted in their own way the provisions of criminal legislation on terrorism, high treason and encroachment on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. This happened during the examination of cases against journalists, bloggers and users of social networks for posting or repost information, which was viewed as anti-Ukrainian,” report.

UN researchers have counted six cases of attacks on lawyers in high-profile cases. All of these attacks were carried out by right-wing radicals, and right in the buildings of the courts.

“There is no progress in the investigation of such attacks. Security is also not ensured in the courts or near them, law enforcement officers do not take measures to prevent or suppress the attacks of nationalists,” the report authors say.

The UN is also surprised that in Ukraine peaceful assemblies are constantly disrupted, and the police are not doing anything. The organization recorded 17 violations. It’s about the activities of minorities and people who represent alternative views.

“In the ten documented incidents, the police did not ensure the safety of participants in such meetings and did not take action against those who attacked these events or disrupted them. At least in seven such cases, the attackers were members of far-right groups,” the report said.

Moreover, in some cases, the police officers standing nearby did not even try to detain the attackers, either at the moment of the attack or after it.

“Instead of confronting the violators, the police detained the participants of the event themselves, or simply dispersed them from the assembly site,” they are amazed at the UN.

Who nightmares before the election
The same right-wing radicals regularly attack politicians and parties. The UN is associated with the upcoming elections.

“Observers recorded nine cases of harassment of activists associated with political parties or organizations. Among them are physical attacks, acts of intimidation, attempts to invade the homes of these people and the destruction of their property,” the document says.

Investigators did not always take into account the status of victims as political activists – and in fact he gives the right to additional protection.

In 2018, the radicals repeatedly attacked the premises of political parties throughout Ukraine. In some cases, attackers beat office workers. The researchers note that the likely goal of such incidents is to limit the activities of parties on the eve of elections.

Separately, the UN addressed the topic of the electoral rights of immigrants. According to experts of the organization, Ukrainian laws do not guarantee them the right to vote in subsequent elections to parliament and local authorities.

Attack on the UOC-MP
The UN states: autocephaly aggravated the contradictions between the Orthodox in Ukraine. Moreover, their victim becomes exclusively UOC-MP.

This is at variance with the statements of Petro Poroshenko and Patriarch Bartholomew that the split has finally been overcome.

“During the reporting period, 10 cases of threats and acts of intimidation against clergy and parishioners of the predominantly Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate were documented,” the document says.

The UN is worried that the political situation in the country contributes to the aggravation even more. This, in turn, violates freedom of religion and belief. And from here, it is within easy reach of violations of other human rights, for example, freedom of thought and expression. This is especially true on the eve of the election.

It is noted that in November 2018, after the refusal of the UOC-MP to join the newly formed PCU, the SBU opened a number of criminal cases on charges of inciting religious hatred.

“In at least one case, this charge was supplemented by an accusation of treason, and no suspicion was reported,” the report says.

SBU conducted a search in the premises of the UOC and the houses of its hierarchs. And also – mass interrogations of priests in different regions of Ukraine.

“Many of those questioned regard these actions as pressure on them. Despite the absence of direct threats or coercion, they consider these actions as attempts to influence their position regarding autocephaly,” the authors of the document write.

They also recalled the forced renaming of the UOC, emphasizing what exactly this church is implied in the discriminatory law.

Human rights violation is considered in the UN and the law on military chaplains, which prohibits the priests of the UOC-MP to nourish the army.

“This is contrary to the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, because security is not a valid basis for restricting freedom of religion or belief,” the document says.

Migrant pensions
But not all questions for Ukraine were included in the text of the report.

The head of the UN monitoring mission on human rights in Ukraine, Fiona Fraser, presented a report on March 12 at a press conference in Kiev. In addition to what was included in the final document, she voiced some more problems.

In particular, she said that in Ukraine they should cancel the linkage of registration to the receipt of pensions by immigrants.

According to the mission, 700 thousand Ukrainian pensioners lost access to pensions as a result of the conflict. “This is a direct result of government policy, which tied access to pensions to registration as temporarily displaced persons and to the verification procedure that arises from this peg,” said Fraser.

The report was commented on by the head of the National Union of Journalists Sergey Tomilenko. He said that an “alarm atmosphere” dominated in Ukraine.

“The atmosphere of anxiety. An atmosphere of conscious hostility towards journalists. Attaching labels. Today, the UN will publish a report on civil liberties in Ukraine on the eve of the elections. And in fact it confirms all the assessments for which the NUJU has been persecuted by the authorities for a year and a half.”

Information taken from: https://strana.ua/news/190356-vlasti-natsionalisty-stali-hlavnymi-herojami-doklada-oon-tezisy-dokumenta.html