EU Special Representative for Human Rights meets with Ukrainian human rights activists

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On October 18, human rights activists met with EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore in Kyiv. Tetiana Pechonchyk, Head of the ZMINA Human Rights Centre, joined the meeting.

Oleksandra Romantsova, Eamon Gilmore, Tetiana Pechonchyk

Eamon Gilmore‘s first visit to Ukraine in his current position lasted four days.

The EU Special Representative for Human Rights and Ukrainian human rights activists discussed the human rights situation in Ukraine, the National Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan, the launch of the Crimea Platform and the promotion of bills related to Crimea, the problems with Ukraine’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention and the Rome Statute. The meeting participants also touched upon the delayed signing of a draft law on war criminals by President Zelensky, bills on the Security Service of Ukraine, oligarchs, and transitional justice.

The parties discussed separately the situation with attacks on civil society activists and the bills registered in the Parliament which pose threat to civil society, in particular, foreign volunteers and lobbying, the observance of LGBT people’s rights, attacks on peaceful assemblies, and the laws necessary to combat discrimination and hate crimes.

Eamon Gilmore also met with the families and lawyers of the Heavenly Hundred [activists killed during the EuroMaidan protests in Kyiv in early 2014], national communities, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, and visited the office of the Crimea Platform.

In addition, in Kyiv, Gilmore will meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Justice of Ukraine Denys Malyuska, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova, as well as members of the Parliament of Ukraine, and other high-ranking officials. Gilmore will also visit eastern Ukraine, where he will meet with representatives of local authorities and local human rights organizations.

The EU Special Representative for Human Rights is expected to discuss bilateral cooperation between the European Union and Ukraine in the field of human rights protection. He will also address the issues related to the humanitarian situation and the human rights situation in the country, in particular in the non-government-controlled territories in the east and the occupied Crimean peninsula.

The visit follows the Ukraine–EU Summit which took place on October 12. During the summit, the European Union reaffirmed its unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.