NGOs told to “explain themselves” – harassment or idiocy?

Four major NGOs – the International Women’s Human Rights Centre; the Ukrainian Women’s Consortium; the International Helsinki Human Rights Association; and the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union – have received an extraordinary letter from the State Registration Service.


The letter states that the Justice Ministry has passed on a number of complaints, listing the names of the people who sent them and the dates of the letters.  The State Registration Service writes that the letters relate to the activities of the above-listed civic organizations – “the Organizations”.

“The letters speak of protest against the activities of the Organizations which in planned and systematic fashion undermine the institution of the family in Ukraine, propagate anti-Ukrainian anti-moral and anti-constitutional ideas. The letter also stresses that the Organizations are propagandizing perverted lifestyles, gender, homosexuality, set children against their parents and teachers and destroy age-old moral and traditional values.

On the basis of Article 25 of the Law on Citizens’ Associations, the Organizations must provide before 10.06.2012 the State Registration Service with an explanation regarding the issues raised in the complaints.”

The letter is signed by the Deputy Head, I. Kukharenko

The authors of some of the “complaints” are known to people in at least one of the NGOs, however the main issue lies elsewhere in the response from the State Registration Service.  What the “explanation” can be to such accusations is difficult to imagine, but it is still more difficult to understand how and on what grounds this State body is asking for such information.

Not to mention, why.


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