The joint statement of group of public supervision "OZON" and the Commissioner for Human Rights on system problems in realization of freedom of peaceful assemblies in Ukraine

28/03/2016 16:58

Group of public supervision "OZON" and the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights already several years carry out monitoring of observance of freedom of peaceful assemblies in Ukraine which is an inalienable right of each person. Moreover, the international standards assign to each state the positive obligation for assistance and protection of peaceful assemblies according to the OSCE Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly.

Beginning still long before, before dispersal of peaceful student's demonstration on the Maidan on November 30, 2013 and finishing with events around the Equality Festival on March 19, 2016 in Lviv, our volunteers fix system violations from law enforcement agencies in implementation of this positive obligation. So, despite all declared victories in the sphere of reforming of work of police, events on August 31, 2015 under parliament demonstrated full insolvency to perform elementary police operations for selective neutralization of aggressive persons and their isolation from other participants of peaceful assemblies. Moreover, cases of excessive use of physical abuse from law enforcement authorities are frequent contrary to criteria of necessity and proportionality.

One more problem is the perception of society of freedom of peaceful assemblies as the privilege belonging only to people with the point of view accepted for the majority. Hybrid war which  began and carried out by Russia against Ukraine can't be a basis for illegal restriction of freedom of speech. All restrictions of human rights have to be lawful and necessary in democratic society. Otherwise, we will turn the exact copy of the state aggressor in which protection of "only the correct point of view" has already led to "default" of values of society.

Actually, power dispersal of participants of radical left meeting in March in Kiev by members of the public corps of the battalion "Azov", a little differs from power dispersal of a protest of miners for payment of a salary in January on the occupied Donbass by forces of illegal armed groups.

Position of city council and the March judgment on a total ban of carrying out mass actions within "Equality festival" in Lviv is very similar to entered into force, a week earlier a ban of occupational administration on carrying out any mass actions in Simferopol.

Organized "safari" for participants of "Equality festival" is caused by the same denial of the rights and freedoms which is demonstrated by the representatives of so-called "Crimean self-defense" attacking participants of peaceful action commemorating Birthday of T. Shevchenko.

The Commissioner for Human Rights and Group of public supervision "OZON" urge society to respect values of non-discrimination, freedom of expression and pluralism of opinions.

We remind that the human dignity which is expressed as well in an active civic stand doesn't depend on "color" of valuable reference points of its bearers.

We demand the National police to increase efficiency of protection of participants of peaceful assemblies with strict observance of principle of non-discrimination, and also to make effective investigations of such human rights violations and to bring guilty persons to legal responsibility.