Publication

Is there an intention to remove a norm that promotes transparency and openness from the Penal Code?

Open letter of appeal to the Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko.

Dear Mr. Minister,

Having analyzed the Draft Law of Ukraine "On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine concerning the enforcement of criminal penalties and the implementation of prisoners’ rights", which had been published by the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine on its website for public discussion, we have reached the conclusion that, despite the presence in its content of regulations required for the functioning of probation and ensuring individual rights of prisoners, at the same time the Draft Law contains a large amount of regressive norms from the perspective of human rights standards.

In particular, there are grave concerns about the proposed wording of paragraph 3 of Article 24 of the Penal Code of Ukraine. The norm’s potential, which has been the civil society’s attainment and has already begun to promote maximum openness and transparency of penitentiary institutions, according to the Draft Law should be substantially neutralized.

There would no longer be a norm permitting the members of public and public authorities, who are entitled to visit the penal institutions without a special permit, to: attend institutions "without time limit", "inspect the personal files of prisoners, other documents, etc." "inspect reporting documents, including statistics, to conduct audits", "check compliance with legislation, to challenge illegal actions (inaction) of officials and officers of penal institutions". Besides, there is a suggestion to delete the provision that, in case there is a claim to hold accountable the perpetrators of violations that had been identified by visitors, the latter ones are notified about the enforced (not enforced) accountability measures within 10 days of receipt of the claim.

Considering the declared priorities of Ukrainian State Penitentiary Service’s cooperation with the public in the sphere of human rights protection in its subordinate institutions, we require to preserve the norm enshrined in paragraph 3 of Article 24 in the current version.

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

The letter of appeal is open for signature

Signatures

Andrii Didenko, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Vasyl Kostiv, Public Organization “Dim Prava”

Serhii Ivanov, Charitable Foundation “Mist Myru ta Yednosti”

Hennadii Zherdiev, “International Society for Human Rights”

Andrii Len, Public organization “Ternopil Human Rights Group”

Alla Mukshymenko, Ukrainian Centre for legal aid “Public Defender”

Aleksandr Povoroznyy, Public Organisation “Sun circle”, Odessa

Oleksandr Amstislavskyi, Kharkiv Public Organization “People’s Initiative”

Kudrin Oleh, Public Organization “Institute of Health and Quality of Life ’DobroLik’”

Nazarenko Olena, Sumy Public Organization “SAMOPOMICH Union”

Alla Tiutiunnyk, “Kherson Regional Charity and Health Foundation”

Iryna Maksymova, Public Organisation “Centre for Law and Combating Corruption”

Olena Pimenova, “Kherson Regional Charity and Health Foundation”

Eduard Momotok, Public Organization “South”

Anna Martyniuk, Public Organization “Information Resource Centre ‘Legal Space’”

Olena Orlova, Public Organization “Information Resource Centre ‘Legal Space’”

Olha Zhukova, Public Organization “Information Resource Centre ‘Legal Space’”

Viacheslav Husakov, Newspaper “Vhoru”

Denys Kostiunin, Public Organization “South”

Dmytro Zhukov, Public Organization “Information Resource Centre ‘Legal Space’”

Natalia Kozarenko, Head of Public Reception of “Kherson Regional Charity and Health Foundation”

Iryna Ukhvarina, Centre for Youth Initiatives “Totem”, Deputy Editor of Newspaper “Vhoru”

Olena Stariuk, Lawyer, Public Reception of “Kherson Regional Charity and Health Foundation”

Vladyslav Palamarchuk, Head of the Board of Directors of Public Organization “Myloserdia”

Orlovskyi Volodymyr, Public Organization “Information Resource Centre ‘Legal Space’”

Volodymyr Hlushchenko, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Yurii Vatsyk, Public Reception of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union in Ivano-Frankivsk Region

Natalia Lordkipanidze, Public Organization “Rukh za Narodovladdia”

Tatiana Kulyk, Editorial Board of Newspaper “Vhoru”

Panasenko Tetiana, Lawyer, Member of Public Organization “Rozvytok Hromady”

Krisman Natalia, Human Rights Defender, Lviv

Yevhen Zakharov, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Volodymyr Kozak, Charitable Organization “Podolannia”

Melnychuk Vasyl, Correspondent of the Information Paper “Human Rights” of Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Mariia Tsypiashchuk, Coordinator and Lawyer of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union in Rivne

Vladimir Azhippo, Member of Presidential Committee on matters of pardon

Olena Ashcchenko, Lawyer Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Serhii BOLTIVETS, Head of Ukrainian Coordination Bureau of International Adults Education Program with UNESCO

Anapriiuk Andrii, Member of Public Organization “On Human Rights Protection”

Kutsenko Volodymyr, Lawyer Kherson Regional Charitable Foundation “Manhust”

Tokarev Hennadii, Lawyer Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Kyshenia Rostyslav

Anna Kovalenko, “Kherson Regional Charity and Health Foundation”

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