Publication

Joint petition of civil society organizations and activists regarding the unlawful actions by far-right groups

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko

Minister of Interior of Ukraine Arsen Avakov

Head of Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak

Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko

 

Joint petition of civil society organizations and activists regarding the unlawful actions by far-right groups

We are extremely concerned by the fact that attacks on feminist, LGBT and other organizations and individual activists by organized right-wing radical groups have become commonplace in Ukraine. Those who plan and carry out these attacks and threats are often well known – they do not hide their faces or their belonging to specific groups. In fact, the country is being engulfed by mass terror that targets public figures supporting modern pro-European views, while the police and security service do nothing. Aggressive self-proclaimed defenders of “traditional values”, without even trying to hide, use threats and physical violence in the presence of the police or even in courtrooms, as was recently demonstrated in Kyiv and Uzhhorod, and before that – in Lviv, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih, Mariupol, Odesa and a number of other Ukrainian cities. This not only violates the constitutional rights of Ukrainian citizens and disturbs public order, but also demonstrates the glaring unprofessionalism and impotence of Ukrainian law enforcement and the state as a whole, which is proven incapable of guaranteeing the security and observance of the legitimate rights of its citizens. These are not isolated cases, but rather deliberate and organized criminal activities carried out throughout the country that have reached such a scale as to threaten national security. In all these cases, Ukrainian law enforcement bodies fail to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Impunity encourages new attacks. The attackers are mainly young men, often even minors, with xenophobic, racist, ultranationalist and openly neo-Nazi groups free to spread their views among the Ukrainian youth in universities. Administrations of educational institutions and law enforcement agencies simply look the other way.

We demand that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies do their duty to ensure effective protection of public order and observance of the constitutional rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens. Ukrainian society must stand united against the common external threat, and these actions by right-wing radical groups are spreading discord and undermining all the achievements of the Revolution of Dignity and ongoing reforms aimed toward modern European standards. We also would like to point out that it is important to continue and expand these reforms, specifically by drafting and introducing amendments to the Criminal Code on the criminalization of hate crimes, which was stipulated in the Human Rights Action Plan but is still being sabotaged by the Ministry of Interior. Without making the necessary changes in the current legislation and state policy in this area, the problem of ideologically motivated violence will continue to deteriorate and increasingly hinder the development of our state.

No more putting up with the right-wing radical terror that is spreading before our eyes!

We expect decisive and efficient action to overcome this problem!

 

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

LGBT Human Rights Center Nash Mir

 

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