Parliament rewrites public procurement rules

The Verkhovna Rada with 231 votes has passed amendments to legislation on public procurement. The document, among other things, specifies the grounds for applying procurement procedure from one bidder and a new mechanism for using the procedure for such procurement. According to this, there is no need to receive the agreement of the body authorized to deal with public procurement.


Concerns mounting for Yury Lutsenko, on hunger strike over politically motivated imprisonment

Concern is high that the life of Yury Lutsenko, former Minister of Internal Affairs and leader of the People’s Self-Defence Party may be in danger. Yury Lutsenko has been on hunger strike since 22 April after a Kyiv court again extended his remand in custody.


Lviv: Brush up your Russian and brush away stereotypes.

The disturbances in Lviv on 9 May where extreme pro-Russian groups clashed with supporters of the rightwing nationalist Svoboda party have been roundly condemned by many prominent Ukrainians, such as Myroslav Marynovych, Josef Zissels and Yevhen Sverstyuk, as deliberately orchestrated provocation.


Rights issues on the periphery of Ukraine’s television news

The enforcement structures dominate the news which can demonstrate the country’s slipping into authoritarianism.


Ukrainian human rights defender detained in Belarus

Prominent human rights defender, Volodymyr Chemerys, has notified journalists that he has been detained in Belarus after coming to Minsk for a human rights conference.


Mayor of Uzhhorod bans action in support of Public Information Law

The Mayor of Uzhhorod, Viktor Pohoryelov has attempted to ban a street action “Breakthrough to information!” which local civic activists are planning to hold on 10 May 2011 to mark the entry into force of the Law on Access to Public Information.


Implementation of access to public information effectively stalled

The Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech, Andriy Shevchenko does not believe that the amendments put forward by Parliament’s Speaker Lytvyn and condemned by media and human rights groups will be passed before the Law on Access to Public Information comes into force on 9 May.


Journalists must not be called as witnesses

The Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech has supported a draft law which would make it impossible to interrogate journalists as witnesses. The Committee unanimously recommended that parliament adopt draft Law No. 8256 in its first reading as basis.


International Renaissance Foundation refutes “irresponsible” remarks about non-existent threat

The International Renaissance Foundation refutes the suggestion made by the Head of the Party of the Regions faction in parliament, O. Yefremov that a scenario similar to that in Northern Africa is being set in motion in Ukraine on money from IRF’s founder, George Soros.


Editor of Gazeta po-kievski dismissed

The economic grounds cited are highly unconvincing and can in no way allay the concerns already expressed both in Ukraine and abroad over this case


Refined torment of miners

Curious information has been posted on the website of the Luhansk Territorial Division of the State Mining Inspectorate. The text is titled: Miners infringing safety rules in the Luhansk region are given identifying jackets and sent to work clearing the territory”. It states that at the Duvannaya Mine (Krasnodonugol) the administration has officially introduced new disciplinary penalties for workers. An orange jacket with the words on the back “I am an offender” plus compulsory work will now, according to the mine management notion, be a good educational method for negligent workers.


Inaccessible “accessible” housing

A report just released by the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine says that the State Programme for Providing Young People with Housing for 2002-2012, aimed at improving the housing situation for young families, can be considered moribund through the fault of the government. During 2002-2010 only 2.8 percent of young families on the housing list received a new home with the help of the Fund for Promoting Residential Construction for Young People.


Haste (and the Verkhovna Rada) vs. the Right to a Fair Trial

On Friday the Verkhovna Rada passed a draft law allowing for limitation on the time frame for a person accused to read the material of his or her case. The bill received 263 votes. Up till now there was no restriction in law on the time needed for the person and their lawyer to familiarize themselves with the material.


Police see no racism in metro attack on a Nigerian passenger

The Kyiv Police have classified as hooliganism the incident on 2 April when a Nigerian passenger travelling between Khreschatyk and Arsenalna on the Kyiv metro was beaten up. According to the Metro Police Press Officer, N. Kernytska, there are no grounds for seeing a racial motive. “The victim is Nigerian by origin but has long been a Ukrainian citizen. The guys had simply been drinking, got into an argument with him and trod on each other’s feet. The crime has been classified as hooliganism and passed in this form to the investigator”.


Transparency International calls for law on public procurement to be reworked

The draft Law on Public Procurement No. 7532, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in its first reading on 15 March is not capable of countering corruption, Transparency International warns.

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