Human Rights

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic Press Conference in Kiev, Ukraine, 14 March 2014

Mar 14th, 2014 | By

As Assistant-Secretary-General for Human Rights of the United Nations, I came to Ukraine on Thursday last week at the urgent request of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights. They asked me to travel from New York immediately to assess the human rights situation in Ukraine, to highlight the importance of respect for human rights in working towards the de-escalation of tensions in the country, and to make recommendations for the way forward.

Monitoring constitutional rights and freedoms in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea

Mar 10th, 2014 | By

The goal of the monitoring of the constitutional rights and freedoms in the autonomous Republic of Crimea is to evaluate the local realities and to propose tools that can lower the threat to human rights and freedoms in the current situation. We will use observations, interviews with participants in the local events, polls, and information requests. The monitoring group will stay in Crimea for 7 days.

Infowars: Spotlight on Larry Diamond

Feb 22nd, 2014 | By

The viral video is of an Ukrainian girl speaking about her hopes for freedom in her country. She appeals for us to tell our governments to support Maidan protesters: The Infowars website shares an interesting background story to this video, claiming it to be the influence of Larry Diamond, a member of the US Council…

Statement by President Barroso on Ukraine

Feb 19th, 2014 | By

It was with shock and utter dismay that we have been watching developments over the last 24 hours in Ukraine. There are no circumstances that can legitimise or justify such scenes. We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and their families. We condemn in the strongest terms the use of violence as a way to solve a political and institutional crisis.

Viktor Smaliy remains in detention on farcical charges

Feb 18th, 2014 | By

18.02.14 Halya Coynash Road Control lawyer, Viktor Smaliy has been held in SIZO or remand prison since Dec 9 despite charges which seem clearly trumped up, and even if true would not warrant the measures against him. The case is dragging on with the Kyiv Court of Appeal on Friday having rejected an application to…

Euromaidan Forum Worried by Proposal to End the Occupation of Government Buildings

Feb 16th, 2014 | By

The following statement was passed by a majority of delegates at the second All-Ukraine Euromaidan Forum, which was held in Odesa, Ukraine, this weekend: Odesa. Ukraine. 16 February 2014. Delegates to the second All-Ukraine Euromaidan Forum are deeply concerned by the political opposition’s proposal to end the occupation of government buildings held by the Euromaidan protest movement. We…

Do We Really Want Ukrainians Repeating ‘F*** the EU?’

Feb 12th, 2014 | By

Crucially, it seems that we are not prepared to defend ourselves against the geopolitical challenge Russia has put forward. The Ukrainians on the contrary are not only defending their rights and their dignity. They are defending Europe and our European values.

Firm action against police impunity needed in Ukraine, concludes Commissioner Muižnieks

Feb 11th, 2014 | By

The Ukrainian authorities have a responsibility to condemn unequivocally the police misconduct which occurred on a wide scale and ensure effective investigations into the violations which occurred, as well as to impose dissuasive sanctions”, underlined the Commissioner. “Of course, unless structural problems of the administration of justice are addressed, the long-standing problem of police impunity will continue to undermine public trust in institutions. Combating impunity presupposes a judiciary which is truly independent and shielded from outside pressure, as well as full respect of the principle of equality of arms. The functioning in practice of the new Criminal Procedure Code, as well as the absence of effective safeguards against ill-treatment (e.g. notification of custody and access to a lawyer), also need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Open letter from NGO «Maidan Monitoring» Information Center and Ukrainian associations in Europe

Feb 4th, 2014 | By

The severe situation of Ukraine is a direct consequence of the systematic crime of the Yanukovych regime. The nation suffers from the serious violations of human rights, abuse of power by authorities and heavy corruption. On 16 January 2014, the government demonstrated clearly obedience to the regime and even legalized abuse, torture and murder.

How a free Ukraine could inspire a similar uprising in Russia – Vladimir Putin’s ‘nightmare.’

Feb 1st, 2014 | By

Obviously there are economic and security arguments behind all this. But at the bottom of it is an argument of freedom. What the European Union represents in its offer of closer engagement is a future of freedom for the people of Ukraine with the full panoply of rights that Europeans enjoy day-to-day. What Russia and Putin represent if Ukraine is pulled in their direction with the combination of threats and bribes that Putin has offered is a future of bleak authoritarianism, of a political regime that increasingly looks back to the Soviet era as its inspiration, rather than a future of democratic freedom. So there is a very stark choice before the Ukrainian people, and my hope is that at least this choice can be discussed openly with respect to the rights of all, without the use of violence.