On January 18, 2018 the Parliament of Ukraine adopted in full Draft Law No. 7163 “On the peculiarities of state policy on the restoration of the state sovereignty of Ukraine over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts”.
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union earlier had experts analyze this document and discovered elements that violate human rights standards and international humanitarian law, specifically:
1) a selective and general approach has been used in regards to the observance and fulfillment of commitments in the field of international humanitarian law;
2) there is no minimum threshold of obligations regarding the protection of civilian population in unsafe conditions in accordance with international commitments;
3) there are no general norms regarding the protection of persons belonging to protected groups in accordance with the Geneva Conventions;
4) there is no procedure for defining the conflict in eastern Ukraine;
5) the draft law provides for a legally unacceptable procedure on accepting documents issued in the so-called DPR and LPR;
6) the draft law contravenes other laws on occupied Crimea that it refers to;
Aside from the above information, the draft law contains a number of questionable provisions, namely:
1) terms not defined by this draft law or any other law of Ukraine, particularly “secure zone”, “boundaries of a secure zone”, “special forces of law enforcement” and “legitimate demands of officials”;
2) existing territories are to be divided into 3 zones with different access regimes and special powers for bodies responsible for security and defense;
3) the draft law grants extra powers to the President of Ukraine, Commander of United Forces, and officials involved in measures aimed at ensuring security and defense, as well as at stopping and containing Russia’s military aggression in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
Considering the above information, after Draft Law No. 7163 is signed by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, UHHRU will call for amendments to be introduced to this document in order to adjust it in accordance with human rights standards and international humanitarian law.