Veto demanded on law which enables court rulings to be concealed from the public

The Association of Ukrainian Banks [AUB] has addressed an open letter to President Yanukovych asking him to veto Law No. 9151 on Amendments to Some Legislative Acts on Examination of Cases by the Supreme Court. This Law, as reported, was passed by the Verkhovna Rada on 20 October. AUB is convinced that the Law runs counter to Ukraine’s Constitution, international standards, fundamental principles of court proceedings, and will have extremely negative consequences for Ukraine’s economy and society.


Broadcasting Council also against draft Morality Act

The National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting [the Broadcasting Council] considers that draft Law â„– 7132 On Amendments to the Law on Protection of Public Morality would be a step backwards.


Police name the main versions for the attack on journalist Oleksandr Vlashchenko

The Ministry of Internal Affairs [MIA] has stated that it is monitoring the investigation into the attack on the 25-year-old Mykolaiv journalist. Oleksandr Vlashchenko is still in hospital with a bullet lodged in his head. The police, as reported, have initiated a criminal investigation into the attack and attempted murder of the young journalist. They inform that control over it is being carried out by the management of the MIA department for the Mykolaiv region.


Parliament upholds law which could signal crippling defamation suits against the media

On 18 October the Verkhovna Rada refused to support Mykola Tomenko’s draft Law No. 9079 on amendments to Article 4 of the Law on Court Fees with regard to fee rates on moral compensation claims. The bill received only 19 votes from the 334 National Deputies registered.


Memorial: On the Sentencing of Yulia Tymoshenko

Two days ago the sentence passed down on former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenkor by the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv on 11 October appeared on the Internet. Without having the opportunity to give a thorough legal assessment of the verdict, we feel it necessary, nonetheless, to state the following.


Healthcare for Remand Prisoners should be under the Health Ministry

A roundtable on 6 October discussed changes needed to the system for medical care in SIZO [pre-trial detention centres] in Ukraine, including passing responsibility for medical treatment to the jurisdiction of the Health Ministry, instead of the State Penitentiary Service.. The roundtable and a street action were organized by the Strategic Litigations Centre and Kharkiv Human Rights Group.


The European Union wishes to underline the high importance it attaches to electoral reform in Ukraine

“As we enter the final phase of our Association Agreement negotiations, the European Union wishes to underline the high importance it attaches to electoral reform in Ukraine. Any new election law in Ukraine should be based on a solid consultation process, including experts, civil society and opposition, to ensure that it stands the test of time.


Kyiv Administration proposes new restrictions on peaceful assembly

Draft Regulations posted on the official website of the Kyiv City State Administration would restrict the right to hold public events near State institutions.


Berkut Riot Police remove T-shirts critical of the government

During a protest action on Maidan Nezalezhnosti [[Independence Square], officers from the Special Force Berkut police unit removed T-shirts with the caption “Thank you residents of Donbas” [the present regime is closely associated with the eastern Donbas region, especially Donetsk – translator]. Journalists were informed of this by the head of ProstoPrint which printed the captions, Denis Oleinykov.


On the Termination of A/TVC’s Broadcasting

The following statement has been issued by Yelena Baranina, General Director of A/TVC following the cessation of the television channel’s broadcasting.


What Public Information Act?

A survey carried out by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation has found that over half the population (52%) know nothing about the Law on Access to Information voting for the Party of the Regions feel little need to make formal information requests, unlike supporters of Tymoshenko;s BYUT or VO Svoboda;


Ivashchenko’s son asks foreign diplomats to intercede on his father’s behalf

The son of the former Acting Minister of Defence in Yulia Tymoshenko’s government, Valery Ivashchenko has turned to diplomatic missions and international organizations over the deterioration in his father’s health.


Joint statement on threats to media freedom in Ukraine

Mats Johansson, the Standing Rapporteur for Media Freedom of PACE's Committee on Culture, Science and Education, and Arne König, President of the European Federation of Journalists, who are both attending a PACE hearing in Stockholm on the state of media freedom in Europe, have released the following joint statement


How to know who owns your media

In response to growing concerns about lack of transparency of media ownership, ARTICLE 19 today launched a policy paper, titled Transparency of Media Ownership of Off-Shore Companies in Ukraine: Problems and Solutions. The policy paper describes the impediments for transparency of media ownership in Ukraine and outlines a set of principles to regulate media ownership by off-shore companies. The paper also warns that if the state does not call for greater transparency, there is a risk of excessive media concentration, lack of media pluralism and a lack of clarity about who influences the media, which in turn prevents media consumers from shaping judgement as to the value of information, ideas and opinion disseminated by the media.


Yellow Card for Ukraine’s Police: Second Warning

On 8 September in Kyiv and 10 Ukrainian cities an awareness-raising action with the above title has been organized by the social network Human rights activists in action and the educational programme “We Understand Human Rights”. The action is aimed at ensuring that young people know their rights when in contact with the police and drawing the attention of both the public and the Ministry of Internal Affairs management to the issue of human rights observance by police officers. It is a part of a nationwide student information and educational programme for establishing monitoring over MIA activities.

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