For each month’s imprisonment, former victims of political repression in Ukraine receive a pittance. This may change
The civil suit being heard at present in the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv is at once simple and complicated. The claimant is Yury Shukhevych who has first group disability status as a result of political repression in Soviet times. He is seeking recognition that paragraph one of the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers from 18 April 1996 No. 429 “On procedure for settling with persons rehabilitated” is unlawful or not in compliance with a legal act of higher legal force, that being the Law “On the rehabilitation of victims of political repression in Ukraine”,
Yury Shukhevych first addressed an application to the Lviv City Council for compensation for over 35 years unlawful imprisonment since he had thus far received nothing.
The application was on the basis of the Law “On the rehabilitation of victims of political repression in Ukraine”, in which Article 6 clearly states that those rehabilitated are entitled to pecuniary compensation equivalent to the minimum (monthly) wage for each month of imprisonment.
In his application, Yury Shukhevych asked that compensation be calculated according to the minimum wage then fixed, this being 400 UH (around 90 USD).
However the Lviv City Council responded by saying that compensation payments to victims of political repression were made in accordance with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers from 18 April 1996 No. 429 “On procedure for settling with persons rehabilitated”. The latter stipulates 50% of the minimum wage established by Resolution No. 49 of the Verkhovna Rada from 20 February 1996, this being 7 and a half UH (1.5 USD).
Having resolved to defend his rights to the end, Yury Shukhevych approached the Commission on restoring the rights of those rehabilitated of the Frankivsk district administration of the Lviv City Council. He pointed out that they could not, as public officials, apply the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution since this directly contravened a normative legal act of higher legal force, i.e. the Law “On the rehabilitation of victims of political repression in Ukraine”. However the members of the Commission reiterated that they were obliged to apply Resolution 429 of the Cabinet of Ministers (CMU).
Yury Shukhevych, therefore, decided to appeal against the part of the CMU Resolution which stipulates an amount of compensation which is 50% of the minimum wage established by CMU Resolution No. 49.
If the court allows the appeal lodged by Yury Shukhevych and revokes paragraph one of CMU Resolution No. 429, the pecuniary compensation for one month’s unlawful imprisonment will not be the pitiful 7 UH 50 kopecks, but 400 UH.
The Cabinet of Ministers against whom the claim has been lodged has not yet stated its position. During the court hearing on 7 March 2007, the respondent’s representative asked for an adjournment and informed those present that it was likely that the Cabinet of Ministers would meet the demands of the applicant.
A new hearing was set for 5 April 2006 with presiding judge Volodymyr Kuzmenko.
UHHRU will be closely following this case and will provide new information immediately.
Marina Hovorukhina, UHHRU
Please see http://archive.khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1142581158 for more information about Yury Shukhevych
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