Prosecutor’s Office confirms criminal case against Kuchma

The Deputy Prosecutor General, Renat Kuzmin has confirmed that a criminal case has been initiated against former President Leonid Kuchma. “He is suspected of being implicated in unlawful actions and the murder of Gongadze and unlawful actions with regard to the journalist, Podolsky”, he stated at a press conference on Tuesday.


Tax Code Protester released from custody

Oleksandr Zaplatkin, one of the people charged with causing deliberate damage to the granite stones on Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square] during the protests against the new Tax Code last year has been released from custody.


Parliamentarians refuse to defend Tax Code protesters

The Verkhovna Rada has rejected a resolution regarding the violation of the constitutional rights of citizens arrested or detained after the protest on Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square] over the Tax Code [the Tax Code Maidan]. Only 119 votes were received for the resolution.


Ministry of Justice: No change to rules on birth registration

The Ministry of Justice has issued a statement refuting suggestions that changes have been made to the procedure for registering a child. It had been reported that only children born in a maternity home would receive registration.


Constitutional Court only slightly trims High Council of Justice’s new powers

On 15 March the Constitutional Court issued its judgment on a submission from 53 National Deputies from BYuT (Tymoshenko’s bloc). It found only one of the three provisions of the new Law on the High Council of Justice in question unconstitutional.


Strasbourg concerned over unwarranted use of remand in custody

The European Court of Human Rights is concerned at how Ukrainian courts determine whether a person needs to be remanded in custody. This was the message from the government’s Representative on European Court Matters, Valeria Lutkovska at a press conference on Friday.


File on those accusing of damaging Stalin monument passed to the court

The Prosecutor’s office reports that it has passed the case against members of nationalist organizations suspected of damaging the bust of Stalin erected in Zaporizhya to the court. 9 members of “Tryzub” and VO Svoboda are accused of “deliberately causing damage to property of the Zaporizhya obkom [regional committee] of the Ukrainian Communist Party”.


Urgent action: Ukraine blocks Somali from resettling in USA

In Ukraine, Macow Dadir Ali, a 36-year-old Somali refugee is currently serving 6 months detention in the Volyn Migrant Accommodation Centre and is prevented from taking up the offer of resettlement in the United States.


Court upholds Lutsenko’s continued remand in custody

On Friday the Kyiv Court of Appeal upheld the 16 February ruling handed down by the Pechersky District Court extending the remand in custody until 26 April of former Minister of the Interior, Yury Lutsenko. The court rejected the appeal from Lutsenko and his lawyer, Ihor Fomin against the first instance court’s decision.


Hundreds Mistreated in Aftermath of December Election in Belarus

Belarusian authorities arbitrarily detained, mistreated, and summarily sentenced hundreds of people arrested in the aftermath of the December 19, 2010 demonstration protesting the election outcome, Human Rights Watch said today. Based on its research in Minsk and new survey findings by an independent group, Human Rights Watch called on the Belarusian authorities to investigate immediately the treatment of all arrested, from the legality of and treatment in detention to violations of procedural rights during their summary trials, and to provide a remedy for the victims.


Committee on Rights of the Child concludes on Ukraine

The Committee on the Rights of the Child today concluded its three-week-long fifty-sixth session and issued its concluding observations and recommendations on the twelve reports from eight countries that it considered over the course of the session.


Parliament: first move to revoking public morality law

On 11 January 2011, the Verkhovna Rada adopted as a base a draft law (â„–6532) on amendments to some laws regarding the protection of public morality.


France disturbed by events in Ukraine

Bernard Valero, spokesperson for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stressed that France’s relations with Ukraine are linked with adherence to legal standards by Ukrainian courts.


Historian appeals against his dismissal as Archive Director

The first instance court has rejected historian Hennady Ivanushchenko’s suit seeking to be reinstated in his post as Director of the Sumy Regional State Archive. As reported here, the well-known historian of Holodomor 1932-1933 and the liberation movement, was dismissed on rather far-fetched grounds. This was less than a month after he publicly stated that the Sumy regional authorities were putting pressure on him to resign.


No Hunting in Nature Reserves!

The Kyiv Environmental and Cultural Centre is calling on the Verkhovna Rada to reject the draft law on hunting in nature reserves. Its Director, Volodymyr Boreiko has addressed a second open letter to the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Volodymyr Lytvyn with the request “not to shame the Verkhovna Rada and to not pass the scandalous draft law”.

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