Petition of Human Rights Agenda for Ukrainian Parliament to stop encroachment on civil rights and liberties in Ukraine
In early July 2017 presidential draft laws #6674 and #6675 were registered with the Parliament, allegedly meant as a replacement for the infamous amendments to anti-corruption legislation that obligated anti-corruption activists to submit annual tax declarations of their assets and property (law #1975-VIII of 23 March 2017). In essence, the draft laws aim to replace electronic tax declarations for anti-corruption activists with an additional tax report to be filed by civil society organizations and individual entrepreneurs, as well as the companies, institutions and organizations that provide services to them.
Draft laws #6674 and #6675 impose on all civil society organizations and individual entrepreneurs, as well as the companies, institutions and organizations that provide services to them, the unjustified obligation to file an extra tax report.
Failure to do so may result in the loss of non-profit status as well as other sanctions and penalties. It seems that existing tax reports are insufficient, for instead of abolishing one, another “anti-corruption” report is being introduced. These measures are obviously of punitive nature and serve to arbitrarily put pressure on organizations disloyal to the government.
Since the draft laws were proposed at the initiative of the Presidential Administration, we consider it an unreasonable intrusion into the activities of civil society organizations and a gross violation of international standards that guarantee the freedom of association and prohibit governments from interfering with civil society organizations.
Introduction of e-declarations for anti-corruption activists (and all affiliated entities that have even indirect ties to them) and attempts to control civil society organizations are part of continued encroachment on civil rights and freedoms.
The Parliament should put an end to the attacks on the freedom of speech, association and peaceful assembly, which are the fundamental principles of democracy.
In light of the above, we address all members of the Parliament:
Do not vote for draft laws #6674 and #6675 of 10 July 2017! Instead, abolish the disgraceful mandatory e-declarations for anti-corruption activists by adopting draft law #6271.
For reference: the Human Rights Agenda platform is an informal coalition of human rights organizations that monitor, analyze and develop legislation based on the main principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The platform includes Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, Center for Civil Liberties, Amnesty International Ukraine, Human Rights Information Center, Center of Law Enforcement Activities Research, No Borders project of CSO “Social Action” Center and Euromaidan SOS. The platform’s work is coordinated by the Center for Civil Liberties. Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for Civil Liberties
Human Rights Information Center
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
No Borders project
Open Dialogue foundation
Vostok-SOS charity foundation
Kharkiv Institute of Social Researches
Donetsk Institute of Information