A code of offence against people

‘Nonsense, absurdity’, – one might say, but from now on it’s a reality. Members of the Ukrainian Parliament in violation of all possible and impossible norms of law, the Constitution, their own rules and regulations, rules of morality and common sense voted for the Law of Ukraine ‘On amendments to the Law of Ukraine ‘On the Judicial System and Status of Judges’ and procedural laws regarding additional protective measures of citizens’ safety’. All the unhealthy ravings of MP Kolesnichenko regarding the dangerous activities of civic organizations, the need for continuous censorship of the Internet, and strengthening the fight against those who have their own opinion became part of this law.

Apparently, the laurels of his Russian colleagues who have contributed to the ‘development’ of Russian civil society are stirring Mr. Kolesnichenko’s mind.

So, he and his team did a good job! They studied a host of Russian laws and, having made a digest of the ‘brotherly’ state legislation (that significantly limits the rights and freedoms of citizens, while expanding the rights and opportunities to launch the machine of repressions against those, who disagree with the decisions of the authorities), came up with an Ukrainian version of what could termed a ‘Code of offense against people’.

Draft Law that had been introduced to the Parliament on January 14, 2014 was submitted for review to the Parliamentary committees on January 15, and voted into law on January 16. What a speed! What efficiency! One can envy.

According to this Law, every NGO, which receives funds from foreign donor organizations directly or indirectly, is assigned a status of a ‘foreign agent’. And it should always be prepared to demonstrate that it has such status. Funds received from donors are regarded as income and NGO should pay an income tax on it. Doesn’t it remind you the way the protection racket operated in the 1990s?

Any type of criticism regarding the officials’ actions or inactions is regarded as extremism and/or slander and is liable to huge fines and may lead to incarceration. Meanwhile, any actions of the punitive machine are proclaimed legal, hence, those who beat students, journalists and activists have been discharged from responsibility.

If anyone thinks that this law does not apply to him or her, they hope in vain. Everyone is a potential target.

Now the authorities will follow us on the Internet and forbid us from using it and that will be done on legal grounds. Those who disobey will have to pay penalty of 6,800 UAH.

From now on, all mobile SIM-cards should be registered.

If someone is unhappy with a court decision and criticizes the actions of judges accordingly, he or she will spend 15 days in jail.

For driving in a group of more than 5 vehicles, driving licenses will be revoked and/or vehicles will be confiscated even if it is a wedding or funeral procession.

For participating in peaceful assemblies wearing any type of uniform or cloths similar to it, or using a lighter (a source of open fire) even during a musical performance, one will spend 10 days in jail.

If one criticizes the ruling regime, it is regarded as slander and is punishable by 2 years in jail. If one does so publicly, it is regarded as an act of extremism and is punishable by 3 years in jail.

In addition, we now have trial in absentia. One may be sentenced to jail for many years without even a notice.

So now think carefully whether this concerns you or not.

Yet authors of these laws believe that the ‘adoption of the draft law will help ensure human and citizen’s rights and freedoms, as well as the protection of individuals and society from criminal offenses in Ukraine.’

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