This week was marked by the celebration of National Unity Day. This holiday was designed to unite the people of Donbass, regardless of the origin, religion and status. On this day, concerts, performances and sports activities were organised throughout the Republic. In all the cities of Donbass, as well as in the Russian Federation, various social movements organized rallies, marches and charity actions aimed at consolidating the society.
This day could also mark the expected withdrawal of troops and weapons on November 4 on a part of the line of contact near the village of Petrovskoe. However, the Armed Forces of Ukraine once again refused to withdraw their troops from the village of Petrovskoe, despite the agreements previously reached by the parties. Apparently, they are not guided by the ideas of unity and peace. The next attempt to withdraw forces in this area is planned for November 9.
The disruption of the withdrawal of troops was due to the information policy of the Ukrainian media aimed at inciting inter-ethnic discord and suppressing dissent. The disinformation in Ukraine helps propaganda of the minority shape the full image for the majority. Silencing and refusing to investigate the facts of pressure, attacks and murders of journalists led to certain consequences.
Thus, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has included Ukraine in the top five countries with the highest level of danger for media employees. The organization launched the campaign to “End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists”. Its goal is to draw attention to the safety of journalists around the world. This year, the organization focused on five countries: the Philippines, Somalia, Peru, Palestine and Ukraine.
Kiev was recognized as the most dangerous city for journalistic activities. Over the past 15 years, 16 journalists have been killed in Ukraine, of which seven were foreign nationals. IFJ experts particularly noted the fact that not a single murder was investigated by the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies properly and fully.
Such attention by international human rights organizations to the unwillingness of the Ukrainian authorities to protect the right of journalists to fulfill their professional duty is a positive signal. This indicates that the international community has begun to pay more attention to the observance of human and civil rights and freedoms in Ukraine.
In her activities, the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic strongly promotes human rights and freedoms, ensures their protection and monitors their observance.
Upon a human rights violation, the need to restore one’s rights, to obtain legal advice or appeal against actions (omission) of state bodies or authorities, citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in a way that is convenient for them.
Now, the majority of applications are still verbal and submitted through personal reception either with the Ombudsman or staff of the Office, addressing the Public Complaints and Appeals Department, via hotlines and via web-reception on the Website of the Ombudsman. There is a possibility to file a written complaint that may be submitted either in person or via e-mail.
Since the beginning of 2019, the Ombudsman received 5690 complaints. In the period of work between 2 and 8 November 2019, 4 people attended personal reception of the Ombudsman, 20 people received counselling by the Appeals department; 2 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, 2 written complaints were accepted; 6 people received legal counselling. 16 written appeals were approved for consideration, 19 – have been reviewed among those received earlier. 37 calls were received via hotlines.
All appeals received can be divided into nine categories: violations in criminal law – 538 appeals, violations in civil law – 596 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 58 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of judiciary – 184 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of law-enforcement authorities and servicemen – 315 appeals, complaints against the acts or omissions of government officials – 236 appeals, social, humanitarian and economic issues – 2224 appeals, issues connected with the political and military situation in DPR – 1008 appeals, other issues – 531 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 08.11.2019
Violations in criminal law
Сomplaints against the acts or omissions of judiciary
Social, humanitarian and economic issues
Violations in civil law
Сomplaints against the acts or omissions of law-enforcement authorities and servicemen
issues connected with hostilities
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
complaints against the acts or omissions of government officials
Among all incoming correspondence to the Ombudsman of DPR, the one which deals with the issues of exercise of social rights of citizens and violations of these rights is the most frequent. These issues are: pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid – 699 appeals; transportation, communication and consumer rights – 62 appeals; issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 413 appeals, migration legislation issues – 635 appeals, labour legislation issues – 218 appeals, healthcare issues – 173 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 24 appeals. (Diagram 2).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian issues, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 08.11.2019
Pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid
Migration legislation issues
Transportation, communication and consumer rights
Labour legislation issues
Issues of education, culture and sport
Issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services
The majority of complaints are traditionally received from Donetsk, by territory (Diagram 3).
The number of appeals (complains, applications) from citizens, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 08.11.2019
- Death toll, injuries to civilians and soldiers as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People`s Republic.
The DPR Ombudsman’s Office documents cases of violations of Donbass citizens’ rights by the Ukrainian side, including the right to life, personal integrity and freedom of movement.
On 1 November, as a result of shelling in Donetsk-Severny village, Yasinovataia region, a civilian man born in 1979 sustained shrapnel wound to his left leg and right shoulder.
As a result of hostilities in the industrial zone of Avdeevka, a DPR serviceman born in 1984 sustained a mine-blast trauma and non-penetrating wounds to left thigh.
As a result of hostilities in Telmanovo region, a DPR serviceman born in 1992 sustained gunshot wound to temporal region and left side of zygomatic region.
On 2 November, as a result of shelling in the vicinity of Donetsk airport a DPR serviceman born in 1983 sustained shrapnel penetrating thoracicoabdominal wound.
Within the period between 1 and 7 November 2019, 4 people sustained injuries in the Donetsk People’s Republic as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine, including 3 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian man.
Within the period between 1 January and 7 November 2019, 203 people, including 133 DPR servicemen, 24 civilian women, 41 civilian men and 5 children sustained injuries and traumas of varying severities as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
Within the period between 1 and 7 November 2019, 3 DPR servicemen died in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Within the period between 1 January and 7 November 2019, 155 people, including 146 DPR servicemen, 6 civilian women and 3 civilian men died as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4884 people died, including 81 children.
Officially confirmed information on individuals, who have been wounded since the beginning of the conflict continues to be reported to the Ombudsman’s Office in DPR.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiers
In the reporting period, the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received one appeal on arrest of a man born in 1963, who was detained in October 2018.
Based on the updated figures as of 11 November 2019, 245 people are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 85 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been established and confirmed;
– 160 people whose whereabouts are unknown or are pending clarification by the Ukrainian side.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received one appeal on a missing person. A man, born in 1965, lost contact with his family in December 2014.
As of 8 November 2019, 465 people are considered missing. They could have been taken prisoner in Ukraine.
- Register of displaced persons and affected citizens.
At the time of armed conflict, the civilian population living in the zone of fighting and near the contact line is often affected. With the view to protect the human right to life and security of the person, and to provide assistance to victims as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine, social housing objects (dormitories, preventative clinics, health care centres).
With the coming into force of the Order of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic No. 137 of 24.04.2018, Territorial commissions in cities and districts are now responsible for accommodating affected civilians. They work under supervision of the Republican Commission on Resettlement of Affected Persons chaired by the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman.
On 7 November, as part of cooperation between the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic and the International Committee of the Red Cross, a multifunction nursing care bed was delivered to a family affected as a result of hostilities living in Kuibyshevsky District of Donetsk. This will be a great help for a family member of category 1 disability. The parts of the bed are movable, which allows for better care for the bedridden patient. The mattress is covered with breathable sheets.
Also, on 8 November, a meeting of the working group was held as part of activities of the Republican Committee on Resettlement of Affected Persons. Representatives of the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman Office, the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Communal Services of the DPR, the Administration of the city of Shakhtyorsk and the affected citizens took part in the discussion of issues of concern.
During the period of work between 2 and 8 November 2019, 6 people have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to being affected by the armed conflict. There are currently 1056 accommodation places in the Donetsk People’s Republic available for citizens affected by hostilities. Since the beginning of the conflict, 6747 people, including 1612 children have been registered as persons affected as a result of the conflict. 64 social housing objects have been opened in the territory of DPR. 53 of them operate, 11 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2234 people live in social housing objects of the Donetsk Administration, including 412 underage children, 4513 people live in the housing fund, including 1200 children.