“The authorities went on an offensive against civil society”, human rights defenders

An open statement of the Human Rights Agenda concerning the opening of a number of criminal proceedings against NGOs and activists.

On October 11, investigators of the National Police and the General Prosecutor’s Office conducted searches and seizures of documents at the office of the Charitable Fund “Patients of Ukraine”. The reason for these actions was the accusation of the leadership of the organization, as well as the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH and the Public Health Alliance in the appropriation of the funds of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, as well as financing of the so-called LPR/DPR. It should be noted that the Global Fund regularly conducts an international audit to verify the targeted use of the funds provided, and there have been no complaints about its results. “Patients of Ukraine”, the Network of PLHA and the Public Health Alliance (formerly the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine) are known for their long-term work, which prevents the emergence and existence of corruption schemes in the healthcare sector.

On October 12, employees of the Security Service of Ukraine conducted searches and detentions of several public activists of the “Autonomous Resistance” organization because of the suspicion of preparing “rallies ordered by Kremlin propagandists.” Contrary to the requirements of the law, they were not given the opportunity to use free legal aid. Later, activists were told that they had the status of witnesses; after that, they were released. Despite the dogmatic tone of public accusations, the Security Service did not provide any facts, confirming the above-mentioned criminal activities to overthrow the constitutional order. The detainees themselves associate this incident with their struggle against illegal construction in the city of Lviv.

The Human Rights Agenda draws attention to the fact that the use of the “Kremlin agent” stamp is becoming an increasingly popular means of massacre, applied to people or organizations that disclose the illegal actions of government officials or do not support certain decisions of public authorities or their officials. Such a policy completely copies the authoritarian practices of the Russian Federation and inevitably leads to the fact that any criticism of the current government will be regarded as an attempt of political destabilization in the country.

The Human Rights Agenda platform is the informal coalition of human rights organizations working in the field of monitoring, analyzing and elaborating the legislation in accordance with the basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The participants of the platform are the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, the Center for Civil Liberties, the Amnesty International Ukraine, the Human Rights Information Center, the Center for Law Enforcement Studies, No Borders Project, and Euromaidan SOS. The Center for Civil Liberties coordinates the platform activities. Contacts: [email protected]

The Human Rights Agenda considers these attempts to put pressure on civil society, which began with a targeted campaign of discrediting anti-corruption activists and the registration of presidential bills that set unreasonable demands for additional civil society organizations’ reporting.

The list of organizations that have joined the open statement:

Center for Civil Liberties

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternative”

KRF “Public Alternative”

Center for Human Rights Information

Crimean Human Rights Protection Group

No Borders Project

NGO Center “Social Action”

NGO “Crimea SOS”

Association of UMDPL

NGO “Kharkiv Institute of Social Researches”

Charitable Foundation “Vostok-SOS”

Human Rights Expert Center

Ternopil Human Rights Protection Group

Educational Human Rights House – Chernihiv

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives

Open Dialogue Foundation

Autonomous Advocacy

Bureau of Social and Political Development

NGO “Territory of Success” (Kropyvnytskyi)

Center for Civic Education “Almenda”

NGO “South” (Kherson)

NGO “Women’s Anti-Corruption Movement” (Khmelnytskyi)

NGO “Association for Democratic Development” (Chernihiv)

NGO “People’s Defence” (Zaporizhzhia)

Civic Union “Public platform of Zaporizhzhia Oblast”

Media Initiative for Human Rights


NGO “Peaceful Coast”

Kherson Regional Charity and Health Fund


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