Civil Freedoms: the Ukrainian Way. Or Soviet?

Aug 13th, 2012 | By | Category: Access to information, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of expression, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Monitoring, Ukraine

Freedom of Assembly

Courts rule in favor of the local government on requests to ban peaceful assembly 88% of the time.

13 regional governments still officially use invalid Soviet legislation to ban public assembly.

Courts pass rulings at midnight, without the defendants, ban assemblies for weeks, do not treat local government and citizens equally.

Freedom of Expression

Police prosecute activists for distributing leaflets; they remove street exhibitions of human rights activists; they try to put single protesters into mental institutions; they consider one person with a placard to be an “assembly” that violates public order, they interrogate 86-year old man for highly critical public speech and much more…

Freedom of Information

The law “On access to public information” formally works in only 75% of cases. 50% of government bodies do not respond to e-mail requests even when sent to addresses listed on their sites. The law “On citizens’ petitions” works in 63% of cases on average. Citizens’ appeals to Prosecutors’ are answered only in 30% of cases.

Freedom of Speech

Second biggest city of Ukraine Kharkiv has only one newspaper left which is not controlled by the government. Last year opposition TV channels were shut up and never went live again despite massive protests and intervention of foreign ambassadors.

This is typical situation in Ukraine. There are cities with no opposition media at all…

This is short summary of our monitoring of civil freedoms in Ukraine in 2012.

Our monitoring map with all details is available at


“Maidan-monitoring: creation, approbation and promotion of mechanism of communication between the society and the government authorities on implementation of constitutional rights and freedoms”  project is implemented by Civic Information and Methodology Center “Vsesvit”. It is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation.


Placard says “Society without the journalists is blind and deaf”. In Kharkiv.

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