The status of the Ombudsman for Human Rights
- The office of the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic has been established with the aim of providing the guarantees of the protection by the state of rights and freedoms of citizens, foreigners and stateless persons residing in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, preventing any form of discrimination regarding the realization of their rights and freedoms.
- Pursuant to the Law of the Donetsk People’s Republic “On the Human Rights Ombudsman”, the Ombudsman is tasked with promoting restoration of violated rights, improvement of the DPR legislation in human and civil rights and bringing it in line with generally recognized principles and norms of international human rights law, legal education on human rights and freedoms, forms and methods of their protection.
- The Ombudsman performs his/her functions independently and unaccountable of any State bodies and officials. The work of the Ombudsman supplements existing remedies for the protection of human rights and freedoms, it neither abrogates these remedies, nor does it reviews the competence of other State bodies to protect rights and freedoms or redress wrongs.
- In his/her activity the Ombudsman is guided by the Constitution of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Law of the Donetsk People’s Republic “On the Human Rights Ombudsman”, other laws and regulations of the Donetsk People’s Republic, as well as universally recognized principles and norms of international law and international treaties of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The main tasks of the Ombudsman
The main task of the Ombudsman is to promote:
- observance of human and civil rights and freedoms;
- restoration of violated human and civil rights and freedoms;
- improvement of the legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic;
- providing of legal education in the field of human and civil rights and freedoms, forms and methods of their protection;
- interaction of State bodies of the Donetsk People’s Republic in the protection of human and civil rights and freedoms;
- development and coordination of international cooperation in the field of human and civil rights and freedoms.
The rights of the Ombudsman
The Ombudsman has the right to:
1) immediate reception by heads and other officials, state authorities located in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, local government bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations, regardless of the organizational and legal forms and forms of ownership, heads of public associations, senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic, other troops and military formations, administrative authorities of confinement institutions;
2) address the subjects of the right of legislative initiative with proposals for amending and supplementing the legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic or for filling gaps in legislation;
3) freely visit state authorities, local authorities, enterprises, institutions, organizations, regardless of the form of ownership, attend their meetings;
4) access to documents, including those containing information with limited access, and to receive copies of them from public authorities, local authorities, citizens’ associations, enterprises, institutions, organizations, regardless of ownership, prosecuting authorities, including cases under adjudication, if this does not contradict the legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic;
5) perform auditing of the activities of state bodies, local government bodies and officials independently within the limits of his/her powers or jointly with competent state bodies, officials and civil servants;
6) invite officials and officers, citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic, foreigners and stateless persons to receive oral or written explanations from them regarding the circumstances that are inspected in the case;
7) apply to the court for the protection of human and civil rights and freedoms of a person, who cannot do this themselves for health reasons or for other valid reasons, and take part in court proceedings in the circumstances and under the procedure established by law;
8) attend hearings of the courts of all instances, including closed hearings, subject to the consent of the right-holder for the benefit of which the trial was declared closed;
9) perform auditing of the compliance with the established rights and freedoms of a person and citizen by the relevant state bodies, including those carrying out operational and investigative activities, to make proposals in accordance with the established procedure for improving the activities of such bodies in this area;
10) circulate comments and suggestions of a general nature related to ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens, improving administrative procedures to state bodies, local government bodies and officials;
- In the event of a gross or mass violation of the rights and freedoms of a person and citizen guaranteed by the Constitution of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Ombudsman has the right to:
1) make a report at the regular session of the People’s Council;
2) address the People’s Council with a proposal to establish a parliamentary commission to investigate the facts and circumstances that served as the basis for conducting a parliamentary investigation, to participate in the work of this commission.
- The Ombudsman has the right to address the People’s Council with a proposal to hold parliamentary hearings on violations of the rights and freedoms of citizens, as well as participate in ongoing parliamentary hearings.
Ombudsman’s competence in conditions of martial law
- In case martial law is imposed on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Human Rights Ombudsman shall have the right to monitor the observance of human rights and international law that protect civilians and prisoners of war.
- With a view to enhancing guarantees of State protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms in martial law, the Ombudsman, within the limits of his\her powers, shall take the following measures:
1) expose human rights violations in the course of hostilities;
2) provide legal assistance for persons affected by hostilities;
3) gather information and register data on the missing persons;
4) provide assistance in gaining access to information on identification and proper burial of the remains of the deceased;
5) registration of internally displaced persons, prisoners and missing servicemen and civilians.
- In conditions of hostilities, introduction of martial law or state of emergency, the Ombudsman:
1) responds to citizens’ appeals, on the basis of the data available, or sends a request to public authorities, local government bodies, institutions, organizations and enterprises of any form of ownership to receive more information;
2) creates preliminary lists of prisoners of war and participates in negotiations for the exchange;
3) coordinates its activities with humanitarian organizations.