HRHN members call upon President Yanukovych to veto law violating rights

In their joint letter to President Viktor Yanukovych, members of the Human Rights House Network (HRHN) call upon him to veto a law adopted by the parliament on 16 January 2014 violating most fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly, as well as basic rights to associate and work for a non-governmental organisation, including the right to be a human rights defender.

The NGOs in their letter of 17 January 2014 condemn in the strongest terms the adoption by the Ukrainian parliament on 16 January 2014 of the law Nr 3879 introducing multiple restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, as well as basic rights to associate and to the space of civil society in general, including by introducing “foreign agent” regulations inspired from legislation from the Russian Federation.

They call upon President Viktor Yanukovych to veto the law Nr 3879, introducing multiple restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, as well as basic rights to associate and to the space of civil society in general, including by introducing “foreign agent” regulations.

The NGOs further call upon President Viktor Yanukovych to:

  • Take concrete measures aiming at stopping the use of force by police to disperse protestors, even if they occupy governmental buildings, and to publicly acknowledge the right of anybody to peacefully protest and the duty of the State security forces to protect peaceful protestors;
  • Immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against peaceful protestors and journalists, release and compensate all of them;
  • Ensure that human rights NGOs and journalists are able to monitor assemblies and report on police violence without fearing retaliation, and that human rights defenders and activists are not charged for participating in peaceful protests.

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