Statement of the Human Rights Agenda platform regarding the initiation of a series of criminal proceedings against non-governmental organizations and civil society activists

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Statement of the Human Rights Agenda platform

Regarding the initiation of a series of criminal proceedings against non-governmental organizations and civil society activists

October 11, the investigators of the National Police of Ukraine and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine conducted a raid at the office of the Charitable Fund “Patients of Ukraine” and seized the fund’s documents. The reason for such actions was the accusation of the leadership of the Charitable Fund “Patients of Ukraine”, the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS and the Alliance for Public Health of alleged misappropriation of the assets of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and financing the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” and “Donetsk People’s Republic”. It should be noted that the Global Fund regularly conducts an international audit to check the targeted use of the provided funds and there have been no complaints about the audit results. The Charitable Fund “Patients of Ukraine”, the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS and the Alliance for Public Health (formerly known as the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine) are famous for their years-long work which prevents the emergence and existence of corruption schemes in the healthcare sector.

October 12, the officers of the Security Service of Ukraine conducted raids and detained several activists of the NGO “Autonomous Resistance” on suspicion of plotting “protest actions ordered by the Kremlin propagandists.” In violation of the law, they were not given the chance to use free legal aid. Later, the activists were told that they had the status of witnesses and they were released. Despite the categoricalness of public accusations, the Security Service has not provided any facts to confirm the alleged criminal activity aimed at overthrowing the constitutional order. The activists themselves associate this incident with their struggle against the unlawful real estate development in the city of Lviv.

The Human Rights Agenda platform underscores that the use of the “Kremlin agent” stamp is becoming increasingly popular means of crackdown on people or organizations that disclose the illegal actions of government officials or do not support certain decisions of public authorities or officials. Such a policy patterns after the authoritarian practices of the Russian Federation and inevitably leads to the fact that any criticism of the incumbent authorities will be regarded as an attempt of political destabilization in the country.

The Human Rights Agenda platform considers that such actions manifest the pressure exerted on civil society which began with a targeted campaign to discredit the anti-corruption activists and the registration in the Parliament of presidential bills that unreasonably require that the non-governmental organizations file additional financial reports, apart from already existing ones.

The Human Rights Agenda platform is the informal coalition of human rights organizations working in the field of monitoring, analyzing and elaborating the legislation in accordance with the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The platform participants are the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, the Center for Civil Liberties, the Amnesty International Ukraine, the Human Rights Information Center, the Center for Law Enforcement Studies, the Without Borders Project of the NGO “Social Action Center” and the Euromaidan SOS. The Center for Civil Liberties coordinates the platform activities. Contacts:

Organizations that joined the statement:

  1. Center for Civil Liberties
  2. Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
  3. Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
  4. Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”
  5. Kharkiv Regional Foundation “Public Alternative”
  6. Human Rights Information Center
  7. Crimean Human Rights Group
  8. Without Borders Project
  9. NGO “Social Action Center”
  10. NGO “Crimea SOS”
  11. Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement
  12. NGO “Kharkiv Institutefor Social Researches”
  13. Charitable Foundation “Vostok SOS”
  14. Expert Human Rights Center
  15. Ternopil Human Rights Group
  16. Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv
  17. Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives
  18. Open Dialog Foundation
  19. Autonomous Bar Association
  20. Bureau of Social and Political Developments
  21. NGO “Territory of Success” (Kropyvnytskyi city)
  22. NGO “Center for Civic Education “Almenda””
  23. NGO “South” (Kherson city)
  24. NGO “Women’s Anti-Corruption Movement” (Khmelnytskyi city)
  25. NGO “Association of Democratic Development” (Chernihiv city)
  26. NGO “People’s Defence” (Zaporizhzhia city)
  27. Non-governmental association “Public Platform of Zaporizhzhia Region”
  28. Media Initiative for Human Rights
  29. NGO “KyivPride”
  30. NGO “Peaceful Coast”
  31. Charitable Organisation “Fund of Mercy and Health” (Kherson city)
  32. Donbas-SOS
  33. Network of the Legal Aid to HIV-Positive People