Threat to human rights in the Ukraine
The Ukrainian Parliament is working on drafts of two controversial legislative acts. HFHR experts alarm that the new legislation may significantly limit the rights and liberties of individuals under the pretext of protecting the public morals. In particular, it will affect the freedom of expression and the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
In March the European Union has initialled the Association Agreement with Ukraine. The Agreement aims to enhance the political and economic integration and strengthen the European aspiration of the Ukraine. Prior to its entry into force, it must be signed and ratified by the Ukrainian and European Parliaments and the parliaments of all EU Member States. Also, the approval of the EU Council is required for the Agreement to become effective.
Already before the instrument was initialled, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, announced that a decision to sign and ratify the Agreement “will depend on political circumstances”. The EU expects that the Ukraine will abide by the European values and the principles of a state ruled by law, ensure the independence of courts and free elections and that no politically motivated judgments are delivered.
In the recent months a number of representatives of the EU Member States appealed to Ukrainian authorities to release former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison. Due to the deteriorating health condition Ms Tymoshenko was moved from a prison camp to hospital. The discussed legislative proposals raise the concern over the human rights condition in the Ukraine.
“We call on the policy-makers to persuade Ukrainian authorities, during negotiations on the association agreement, to consider in the legislative process the human rights standards and proposals of non-governmental bodies”, says Lenur Kerymov, HFHR expert and the author of the policy paper “Human Rights in the Ukraine”.