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The Customs Service ignores the decision of the court regarding the unlawfulness of the first paragraph of the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1035

On 22nd of June the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center hosted the UHHRU press conference entitled “The Government of Occupied Possession. Consequences of Cancellation of Resolution no. 1035 for Crimeans and the State»

On June 14, 2017, the Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeals found illegal and ineffective the first paragraph of Decree No. 1035 of the Cabinet of Ministers. Despite the happiness of this decision, the issue of the notorious ruling restricting the rights of Crimeans to transport a significant number of personal belongings is not completely closed. What is the problem?

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Let’s start from the beginning. The Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers, which has been in force since the beginning of 2016, was intended to restrict trade with the occupied peninsula. But, unfortunately, it also contained limitations that caused a violation of the rights of ordinary people to evacuate their property from Crimea and the property rights of internally displaced persons, preventing them from adapting to the mainland.

However, the problem was not only for those who were forced to become displaced but also for those who were forced to remain in occupation.

“In fact, thousands of Crimeans were forced to remain in the occupied territory solely because they could not evacuate their property from the occupied territories,” said Daria Svyrydova, a lawyer at the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

UHHRU lawyer Daria Svyrydova
UHHRU lawyer Daria Svyrydova

She also emphasized that the illegality of this provision was not only noted by the human rights community in numerous reports but was also emphasized in recommendations to parliamentary hearings. Amendments to the Decree, developed with the participation of civil organizations, were proposed by the Ministry for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine. But only the court was able to put the point in this matter a year later.

Yuliia Lisova from Crimea is a plaintiff in the case concerning the appeal of Decree No. 1035 of CMU. She was forced to file an appeal because of the personal problem, when her close relative could not carry the simple tools for repair in the trunk of his own car. The case was supported by the Strategic Litigations Center of UHHRU.

Yuliia Lisova
Yuliia Lisova

Yulia Lisova drew attention to the fact that Decree No. 1035 violated not only the right to own and dispose of property, but also affected the rights enshrined in the Constitution, to move freely and choose a place of residence, and not to be discriminated. The lawyer noted that the court in its decision also referred to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, to which the Decree the Cabinet of Ministers contradicted.

“The right to dispose and peacefully own the property is not absolute. Yes, the state has the right to limit it, but to restrict it only with a legitimate and reasonable aim. In the interests of national security – yes, as it is indicated in the powers of the Cabinet of Ministers. But what kind of national threat do I carry when transporting a microwave oven or a vacuum cleaner? No threat. And, unfortunately, the government in the court also could not justify national security and the legitimate aim of such restrictions”, said Yuliia Lisova.

The First Deputy Minister for Temporary Occupations Yusuf Kurkchy
The First Deputy Minister for Temporary Occupations Yusuf Kurkchy

The First Deputy Minister for Temporary Occupations Yusuf Kurkchy said that he apologized to citizens planning to move from the occupied Crimea to Ukraine because the state did not have time to provide them with conditions that would make it free. He also expressed the hope that this decision will be an impetus, which will enable the changes to this malicious decree, which the Ministry has been engaged since the beginning of its adoption.

Yusuf Kurkchy introduced the correspondence regarding the Decree to reporters.

“I hope that the time will come and, probably, a book will be published, which will be called “The History of One Decree. ” I think that the names and surnames of people who used most absurd arguments to refuse to accept or sent to amend this resolution, the names of these people in this book will probably be written,” he commented, demonstrating a large number of correspondence.

Turning to the fact that the case is not over yet, Daria Svyrydova mentions the behaviour of the customs officers. According to her, they still impose obstacles to the realization of the rights of citizens crossing the administrative border with personal belongings. The customs officers simply ignore the court’s decision, indicating that they have not heard about the corresponding decision, or that their instructions do not say anything about such changes. For these actions, officials may be held liable. The lawyer suggests that the reason for ignoring the court’s decision may be hiding in corruption schemes that are beneficial to customs officials. Daria Svyrydova advises citizens in the event of refusal to transport personal belongings through the checkpoints with the Crimea to request it in written form and apply to the specialized reception of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union in Kherson, which provides free legal assistance to Crimeans.

 

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