Statement on the situation in Ukraine

The Civic Solidarity Platform, a coalition of 57 human rights organisation from across the OSCE region, expresses its deep concern about the serious clampdown on human rights and fundamental freedoms in Ukraine that is accompanied by violence. We express our solidarity with the human rights community of Ukraine that has been calling for the protests to remain peaceful from the very first days of Euromaidan and to keep the priority of human rights in mind.

Acute human dimension crisis in Ukraine has led to violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers that has already resulted in human atrocities and injured.

Moreover, on 16 January 2014 Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law “On amending the Law of Ukraine ‘On courts system and judges’ status’ and laws of procedures regarding additional measures of protection of citizens’ security”. The law that had been adopted by the parliament bypassing its own rules of procedures was signed by the President just in one day. The law is seriously restricting fundamental rights and freedoms of Ukraine’s citizens, in particular freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. The new legislation is keeping in step with the authoritarian tendencies vivid throughout the post-Soviet region. Artificial bringing up of anti-Western hysteria, rejecting the principles of the rule of law and human rights as alien and hostile, significant restriction of rights and freedoms on the pretext of strengthening of security, identification of freedom as extremism – these are the trends that stretch from the Central Asia up to the eastern borders of the European Union.

At the same time, the developments of the situation in Ukraine are critical for the whole post-Soviet history and for the issue of human rights in the OSCE countries. This is why stabilisation of the situation in Ukraine – not in an authoritarian, but in a democratic sense – is crucial for the whole OSCE region. This process requires enormous efforts from all parties – Ukrainian opposition, Ukrainian civil society, Ukrainian authorities and international community.

The Civic Solidarity Platform expresses its support to the human rights movement of Ukraine and undertake the following commitments:

  • to provide public evaluation of the developments in Ukraine from the point of view of international human rights standards and international commitments of Ukraine as a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE;
  • to organise human rights missions for monitoring of the situation in Ukraine, on the streets and squares as well as during court hearings on cases of Euromaidan’s participants;
  • to involve special rapporteurs from international experts to analyse the episodes of law enforcement violence, in particular on 30 November and 1 December 2013, 19 and 20 January 2014, as well as for the analysis of the overall human rights situation in Ukraine;
  • to give a special attention to international advocacy in order to inform the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and other international bodies about the human rights situation in Ukraine.

We call upon all the sides of the conflict to restrain from violence.

We call upon the authorities of Ukraine:

  • to keep in mind the utmost value of a human life and stick to Ukraine’s international human rights commitments;
  • to initiate a dialogue with the opposition of the country with participation of the civil society and international bodies as the third side in order to immediately resolve the conflict;
  • to stop using force and weapons, and to conduct a thorough investigation of fact of their usage as well as other violations of rights of Euromaidan’s participants, representatives of civil society and journalists; such investigations and overall evaluation of the human rights situation in Ukraine should be done in cooperation with international experts.

We call upon the member countries of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, and these organisations as such:

  • to become guarantors of agreements reached during negotiations between the authorities of Ukraine and country’s opposition;
  • to initiate creation of special mechanisms of rapid response to similar situations, in particular, in line with an appeal of the International Civic Initiative for the OSCE and the Civic Solidarity Platform.

 

22 January 2014

 

Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation and Consultations (Georgia)

Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement

Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House

Belarusian Helsinki Committee

Bir Duino Human Rights Movement (Kyrgyzstan)

Centre for Civil Liberties (Ukraine)

Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights (Russia)

Citizen Army Law initiative (Russia)

Crude Accountability

Georgian Young Lawyers Association

Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly – Vanadzor (Armenia)

Helsinki Committee of Armenia

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Poland)

Human Rights Centre Viasna (Belarus)

Human Rights Monitoring Institute (Lithuania)

Index on Censorship (United Kingdom)

Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (Azerbaijan)

International Partnership for Human Rights

Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law

Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims

Legal Transformation Centre (LAWTREND) (Belarus)

Moscow Helsinki Group (Russia)

Norwegian Helsinki Committee

Promo-LEX Association (Moldova)

Public Verdict foundation (Russia)

UNITED for Intercultural Action

Voice of Freedom Public Foundation (Kyrgyzstan)