To the High Representative of the European Union
for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
To the Embassies in Ukraine of:
The People’s Republic of China
The Russian Federation
The United States of America
President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko
Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yu. Lutsenko
Minister of Internal Affairs A. Avakov
Head of the Security Service of Ukraine V. Hrytsak
of the Central Committee of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine
Help Stop the Defamation of a Ukrainian Opposition Party and its leader Natalia Vitrenko!
The CC PSPU appeals to you to act for the cessation of the political defamation of an opposition party, the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, and its leader, Doctor of Economics, Peoples Deputy of Ukraine in the 2nd and 3rd Convocations, and first female Presidential candidate in the history of Ukraine Natalia Vitrenko.
Despite the fact that Ukraine has signed and ratified an Association Agreement with the European Union and has assumed the obligation to ensure implementation of the norms and principles of European democracy (freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of political activity, political pluralism, the right to a fair trial, the supremacy of law, the right to respect for one’s private life, the right to peacefully possess property, and the presumption of innocence), a policy of defamation, intimidation, persecution and discreditation is being carried out against our Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, an opposition party. Its result is to hinder the political activity of our party.
We offer several examples by way of demonstration:
1. The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine has twice refused to register the decisions of the XXIX (8 Sept. 2015) and XXX (25 June 2016) Congresses of the PSPU on amending the Program and Charter of the PSPU in accordance with the requirements of the Law of Ukraine "On the condemnation of communist and national-socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and the prohibition of propaganda of their symbols." The Ministry confronts the PSPU with unfounded claims, demonstratively refusing to work constructively on preparing the Congress documents.
2. The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, ignoring the PSPU’s appeal, refuses to enter amendments to the composition of the party’s governing bodies as listed in the Register of Public Associations, which directly affects the legitimacy of the activity of the Central Committee of the PSPU, essentially blocking the activity of the party under its Charter.
3. Law enforcement agencies of Ukraine have conducted no investigation and have charged nobody in
- The beating, by Nazis from the Azov Battalion, of participants in a peaceful demonstration organized by the PSPU on 17 March 2016 in Kyiv;
- The forcible interference by neo-Nazis in the conduct of a legal peaceful demonstration by the PSPU on 9 May 2016 in Kyiv and the destruction of the PSPU’s party symbols.
4. The Security Service, Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs and courts of Ukraine, by their decisions, actions, and illegal non-action, allowed citizen A.E. Shatilin and neo-Nazis from the Azov Battalion to seize the premises of the PSPU’s central office on 28 October 2016, which had been rented since 2005 from the legal owner of the premises, the Siver Ukraina company. Tenants, besides the PSPU, also included other legal entities: the editorial offices of the PSPU newspaper Dosvitni ogni, the all-Ukraine women’s public organization Dar zhizni (Gift of Life), the all-Ukraine public organization (AUPO) Eurasian People’s Union, and the public organization (PO) Assembly of Orthodox Women of Ukraine. In addition to seizure of the premises, also seized were the PSPU’s charter documents, letterhead, party cards and the seal of the PSPU, party literature, party symbols, the party’s archive of its 20 years of activity, computer and duplicating equipment, personal data of the governing bodies and membership of the party, and personal belongings of PSPU Chairman N. Vitrenko and PSPU Deputy Chairman V. Marchenko.
The day after seizure of the premises, on 29 October 2016 an SBU investigator, in coordination with the prosecutor’s office, without a warrant, without a court ruling in its favor, and without informing the PSPU or the all-Ukraine women’s organization (AUWO) Dar Zhizni, conducted a research, resulting in the confiscation of property of the party and the Editorial Board of the PSPU party newspaper: hard disks with political journalistic information of the newspaper’s Editorial Board, literature, party documents, and personal belongings of Natalia Vitrenko and Vladimir Marchenko. The search and seizure of this property was conducted in the absence of any criminal or administrative claims against the PSPU, but under the framework of a falsely fabricated criminal case, opened back in April 2014 against the AUWO Dar Zhizni, headed by Natalia Vitrenko. This politically motivated, completely unfounded and unproven criminal case had in effect been frozen for two and a half years.
A criminal case was opened on 29 October 2016 in the matter of the seizure of the premises and property of the PSPU and the editorial offices of the party newspaper; on 12 December 2016 the PSPU and the Editorial Board of Dosvitni ogni, the AUWO Dar Zhizni, the AUPO Eurasian People’s Union, and the PO Assembly of Orthodox Women of Ukraine, as well as N. Vitrenko and V. Marchenko personally, were recognized as aggrieved parties.
Nonetheless, neither the investigator in that case, the prosecutor’s office, nor the SBU has taken any action since that time (three and a half months!) in defense of the interests of the PSPU, the Editorial Board of the party newspaper, the public organizations, and the party leadership.
The appeals of PSPU Chairman N. Vitrenko to President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yu. Lutsenko, head of the Security Service of Ukraine V. Hrytsak did not prompt them to defend the rights of the political party, the public organizations, or the journalists.
In effect the PSPU has been deprived of the possibility of defending its rights in court. Even the legal owner of the premises, the Siver Ukraina company, is unable to lodge a complaint against the search and property-seizure actions of the SBU and the prosecutor’s office, because the case has not been transferred from the primary court (the Pechersky District Court of the city of Kyiv) to the Appeals Court of the city of Kyiv for two months, so far.
5. Furthermore, the Security Service of Ukraine and the prosecutor’s office, with the assistance of the investigating judge of the Pechersky District of the city of Kyiv, carried out searches on 18 November 2016 and 20 January 2016, and on 23 January 2017 property was seized by order of the court-property of persons unknown and having nothing whatsoever to do with the PSPU, Natalia Vitrenko, or the women’s organization she heads. This search and seizure was done, it bears repeating, under the falsely fabricated criminal case against the all-Ukraine women’s public organization Dar Zhizni, which the Ukrainian government continues to use for purposes of defaming N. Vitrenko, accusing her of infringing the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
6. The Ukrainian media, carrying out political instructions to defame N. Vitrenko and make her a target for terrorists, publish false information on the basis of information from the SBU and the prosecutor’s office, and ascribe non-existent crimes to Natalia Vitrenko.
The Central Committee of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine is convinced that these actions by the Ukrainian authorities are political motivated, for the purpose of impeding the activity of this opposition political party and its leader, Doctor of Economics, People’s Deputy of Ukraine in the 2nd and 3rd convocations, and first female Presidential candidate in the history of Ukraine Natalia Mikhailovna Vitrenko.
The CC PSPU asks you to consider our Appeal to help the PSPU, the Editorial Board of Dosvitni ogni newspaper, and the other public organizations named above, to carry out their lawful activity in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights and the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, which the nation of Ukraine has undertaken the obligation to honor.
On behalf of the CC PSPU,
Chairman of the PSPU Natalia Vitrenko
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