Freedom is to depend on laws only
Three years ago, illegal Kiev authorities unleashed an undeclared war on the territory of Donbass. One of the reasons for the bloody conflict was the political disagreement of the region’s population with the illegal seizure and usurpation of power in the country by a group of people who came through a coup. Armed aggression and political persecution of dissenters were the consequences of Maidan. Despite the fact that freedom of political opinion is a fundamental human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights (even the Constitution of Ukraine guarantees freedom of political opinion), people who came to power in Kiev disregard all norms of law and morality, as political persecution and the so-called “witch hunt” continues up to this day. Every week, Ukrainian news feeds publish posts about arrest of yet another “separatist-terrorist” with joyful exhilaration. Women, senior people, people with disabilities – anyone can become undesirable because of disagreement or intolerance towards the policy of official Kiev. In Kiev-controlled territories no one is immune from the charges under Article 258 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and many other accusations, evidence-free and “proven” by the power structures of this state.
Peace negotiations is the only reasonable outcome of any conflict. On February 12, 2015, a Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was signed with a view to de-escalation and settlement of the armed conflict in Donbass. Paragraph 5 of this document prescribes the following: ” ensure pardon and amnesty by enacting the law prohibiting the prosecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that took place in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine”.
Amnesty is an act of the highest state authority aimed at the remission of certain categories of legal subjects, which is implemented upon the order of the representative of the head of the State, by which the force of the current law is suspended exclusively for specific categories of crimes. In this case, persecution shall not be initiated, or it must be ceased if it has already been instituted. In this regard, amnesty is of paramount importance for crimes of a political nature, criminality of which often largely depends only on the conditions of the time given. Previously, there were cases when the UN mediators called on the parties to the conflict to agree to a broad amnesty in order to settle the conflict. In this way, state authorities seek to bring the country back to its normal peaceful track for humanity reasons and justice. In world practice, however, political amnesty is not conditioned by any reservations, it is general. After the change of political regime in democratic countries, the amnesty comes into effect, and the internal conflict ends.
Persons who came to power in Kiev are selective in the interpretation of legal documents approved by the UN Security Council resolution. The statement of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to the German edition of Bild is the proof of this: “There is no place for general amnesty … 40 thousand must lay down their arms and file an individual petition for amnesty.” Perhaps, the lack of legal education is the reason why a high-ranking official freely interprets the fifth paragraph of the Minsk Agreements.
Statements of this kind by the Ukrainian authorities have once again demonstrated that they neglect not only the Minsk agreements, but also the norms of international humanitarian law. Article 6, paragraph 5, of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, relating to the Protection of the Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), states: ” At the end of hostilities, the authorities in power shall endeavour to grant the broadest possible amnesty to persons who have participated in the armed conflict, or those deprived of their liberty for reasons related to the armed conflict, whether they are interned or detained”.
The decision of the Ukrainian side to refuse to grant general amnesty to people involved in the armed conflict in Donbass contradicts the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements and violates the rights of residents of the region.
“Lutsenko’s statement contradicts the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, the world practice for the settlement of armed conflicts and violates human right. Ukraine must not only grant amnesty to all participants of the conflict, but also adopt a law that would prohibit persecution and punishment of individuals”, – commented the DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova.
The rights of the DPR citizens are under protection of the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in any suitable way. Now, the majority of applications is still verbal and submitted through personal reception either with the Ombudsman or the heads 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 2017 the Ombudsman received 1654 appeals. In the period of work between 1 and 7 April 2017, 8 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 45 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department 46 calls were made via hotlines. 7 applications were received via e-mail, 5 written appeals were taken into consideration, 5 – have been considered among those received earlier, 30 citizens were provided with legal counseling.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 64 appeals, violations in civil law– 165 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 2 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 1423 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 31.03.2017
Violations in criminal law
Violations in civil law
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
Issues of social and humanitarian affairs
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 – 180 appeals, temporary accommodation – 245 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 32 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 70 appeals, employment – 60 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents – 5 appeals, search of the missing – 57 appeals, loss of IDs – 166 appeals, housing issues – 104 appeals, temporary residence permit – 75 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 429 appeals (diagram 2).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian isses, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 31.03.2017
Pension and social payments
Search of the missing soldiers
Search of the missing civilians
Temporary residence permit
Paperwork in case of property destruction
Paperwork on travelling documents
Loss of IDs
Other social and humanitarian issues
The majority of complains 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 31.03.2017
- Statistics and analysis of destroyed infrastructure objects
For the reported period, the front line of the Donetsk People’s Republic was shelled by the Ukrainian side almost daily. Ukrainian security forces deliberately destroy the facilities that provide the residents of the Republic with water, energy and gas. Other infrastructure facilities are also being targeted.
As of 5 April 2017 more than 11295 infrastructure objects were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6784 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 268 units in Debaltsevo, 523 units in Gorlovka, 81 units in Dokuchayevsk, 295 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 72 units in Kirovskoye, 1109 units in Makeyevka, 54 units in Snyezhnoye, 118 units in Torez, 749 units in Khartsysk, 74 units in Shakhtyorsk, 577 units in Yasynovataya, 278 units in Amvrosyevka region, 3 units in Volnovakha region, 24 units in Maryinka region, 17 units in Novoazovsk region, 52 units in Starobeshevo region, 93 units in Telmanovo region, 33 units in Shakhtyorsk region.
Destroyed objects by branches:
– 6185 houses;
– 760 power lines and points of distribution of electricity;
– 175 heating supply facilities;
– 46 water supply facilities;
– 2669 gas supply facilities;
– 11 wastewater disposal and sewerage facilities;
– 101 healthcare facilities;
– 502 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 55 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 62 higher educational institutions;
– 26 physical and sport education institutions;
– 54 cultural institutions;
– 240 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 59 industrial objects;
-89 trade objects;
– 259 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of 7 April 2017 there are 2788 objects of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 513 – rebuilt and 2275 – are to be rebuilt.
- Estimates of mortality, wounds to civilians and soldiers as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People`s Republic.
Almost every day the DPR Ombudsman’s Office records cases of violations of rights of Donbass citizens by Kiev authorities: right to life, to security of the person, to the inviolability of the home.
On 31 March as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region 8 DPR servicemen were injured. A serviceman born in 1971 sustained a gunshot wound of the knee joint. A DPR serviceman born in 1976 sustained shrapnel wound of the paraorbital region; a man born in 1981 sustained shrapnel wound of the shoulder with damage to brachial artery, and shrapnel wound of the thigh; a serviceman born in 1994 sustained mine-blast trauma and shrapnel wound of the left lung; a man born in 1988 sustained closed craniocerebral trauma; a DPR serviceman born in 1997 sustained shrapnel fracture of elbow bone, penetrating wound of the left chest; servicemen born in 1991 and 1981 sustained mine-blast traumas.
On 1 April as a result of hostilities in Octyabr village of Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman of 26 years old sustained multiple shrapnel wounds of the face, left shin and left thigh.
On 2 April in Leninskiy refion of Donetsk as a result of careless handling of an explosive device, a civilian man of 34 years old sustained non-penetrating wound, which led to traumatic amputation of the finger.
On 3 April as a result of hostilities in Kominternovo village, a DPR serviceman of 43 years old sustained mine-blast trauma and shrapnel wound of the thigh. Later, he died in the hospital.
On 4 April as a result of hostilities near Yasinovataya a DPR serviceman born in 1978 sustained shrapnel wound of the left thigh.
On 5 April, an explosive device detonated near Novoazovsk. It was laid by Ukrainian serviceman in 2014. As a result of detonation of explosives a civilian woman born in 1972 died, 10 civilians were injured. Civilian women born in 1996, 1948, 1983 and two women born in 1989 sustained shrapnel wounds of the legs. Women born in 1995 and 1987 and a man born in 1965 sustained shrapnel wounds of forearms and hands. A man born in 1949 sustained abrasions of the temporal region. A civilian born in 1981 sustained shrapnel wounds of the feet.
It was also reported on gunshot wounds received by servicemen born in 1981 and 1990 as a result of hostilities of 11 February and 2 March, 2017, near Avdeyevka industrial zone.
Within the period between 31 March and 6 April 2017, 21 persons, including 7 civilian women, 4 civilian men and 10 DPR servicemen sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant shelling from Ukraine.
Within the period between 1 January and 6 April 2017 197 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 107 DPR servicemen and 90 civilians, including 4 children under 18.
Within the period between 31 March and 6 April 2017, 5 persons died in the territory of DPR. 4 of them were DPR servicemen and 1 – civilian woman, who died as a result of detonation of an explosive device.
Within the period between 1 January and 6 April 2017, 100 persons, including 90 servicemen and 10 civilians died in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4389 persons died. Among them, there were 597 women and 3792 men, including 74 children under eighteen.
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. The information is being processed at the moment and it will be included into general statistics of the injured individuals.
4. Register of the prisoners of war and missing soldiers and civilians
As it is known, Minsk Agreements, signed in far 2014 contain a clause relevant to amnesty of the parties to the conflict. It does not only concern the servicemen who stood up to defend their homeland, but also the ordinary residents of Donbass, who did not want to go along with the policies of the new Kiev authorities, and who support Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. The Ukrainian side believes, each and every resident of the DPR and LPR is involved into a crime simply by living within these borders. Such a charge is groundless and absurd. Nevertheless, this accusation is quite enough to carry out political persecution by the power structures of Ukraine. In its official reports, the Ukrainian Security Service constantly informs on the detention of persons allegedly involved in terrorism and separatism. Although, often, these are just active users of social networks, who expressed their own opinion and thus came to the attention of fervent defenders of post-Maiden statehood.
This week, no appeals on the cases of detention of citizens have been received by the DPR Ombudsman’s Office.
During the week, no appeals on the missing have been received.
Based on the updated figures as of 06.04.2017, 769 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 474 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed. In the course of work the whereabouts of 5 persons have been clarified, so they were excluded from this list.
– 287 persons, whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
– 8 persons, for whom the request to the Ukrainian side was submitted for the first time on the basis of information received by the Ombudsman’s Office within two weeks.
As of 7 April 2017, 450 persons are considered missing. In the course of work, 31 persons were excluded from the list. As it was found out, 14 persons are dead, 1 was released through the exchange, whereabouts of 12 persons have been established, information on 4 has been specified: it was established that there is no need to search those people due to the duplication of data.
The Ombudsman`s Office continues to clarify information about the individuals, who were detained by the Ukrainian side, the statistics may change.
The DPR Ombudsman`s Office will no longer publicly categorize the detainees by “serviceman”, “arrested for political reasons”, “civilian irrelevant to the conflict” due to safety considerations.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
The primary objective of any law-based democratic state is to take care of its citizens. The policy of true civil servant must be aimed at realizing social justice, providing opportunities and creating conditions for a decent life of their citizens, as well as ensuring social guarantees, observance of basic human rights and freedoms. Instead of fulfilling its direct duty of taking care for its citizens and striving to restore peace as soon as possible, Ukraine is increasingly inciting hatred within the country, thereby creating impossible conditions for peaceful life. The official policy and the only possible ideology in Ukraine forces civilians to leave their homes, and seek political asylum in neighboring countries and in free Republics. Even the representatives of international organizations recognize the actual state of things and show the number of refugees in their reports. However, political reasons for forced migration, according to eminent human rights activists, sound less distinct than flee from hostilities.
Constant political persecution, suspicion and the threat of imprisonment force people to seek political asylum in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Many Donbass residents apply to the Office of the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman in order to get temporary accommodation. In the Republic people receive much more care than they do in Ukraine.
1351 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 274 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5079 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 185 of them – in 2017. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staffs of the Office monitor the TACs on the weekly basis, with the view to respond promptly to the citizens’ needs. The Ombudsman makes every effort to improve social and living conditions for people who live in the TACs.
During the period of work between 1 and 7 April 2017, 22 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, 6 of them were accommodated in the TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office: 5 – in Donetsk, 1 – in Shakhtyorsk.
There are currently 1254 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1183 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 323 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office; 65 – in housing fund of the DPR.
It is necessary to remind that there are 8092 persons, including 2134 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 68 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 57 of them operate today, 11 of them are held in reserve. Currently, 2955 individuals live in the units, including 595 underage children, 5137 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1539 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
Apart from abundance of resources, Donbass has always been famous for its great scientific potential. Natives of Donbass have made an invaluable contribution to the science of the whole world. Beletsky Vladimir Stefanovich, Bobrov Anatoly Ivanovich, Bobrov Ivan Vladimirovich, Geguzin Yakov Evseevich, Rayderman Maxim Isaakovich and many other scientists presented their discoveries to the world in the field of metallurgy and coal industry. And this is only one of many areas in which our fellows reached unprecedented heights.
Donbass authorities place significant emphasis on training highly qualified specialists in the field of medicine, mining, chemical industry, humanitarian and economic spheres. The Young Republic is only at the beginning of its way, but is already engaged in preparing a team of young professionals.
What’s important, free higher education is available for all residents of the former Donetsk oblast. The government of the Donetsk People’s Republic provides equal opportunities for every resident of the mining region, regardless of residence. This is implemented through the Humanitarian Program for the Reunification of Donbass people.
In the field of education, the program is implemented in the following areas: organization of free education in institutions of higher professional and secondary vocational education, schooling for physically challenged persons, career transition for graduates.
Citizens who have professional experience and who are currently in search of work can apply to the Republic Employment Centre. This body shoulders the duty to organize employment in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The Centre provides an up-to-date list of available vacancies and, if necessary, send them to retraining courses.
According to their data, 10,5 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 7.04.2017. As of 7 April 2017, there were 20,8 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 15,9 thousand have been employed (5,3 of them – on permanent positions, 10,6 – temporarily).
Donetsk Centre of Vocational Education of The Republic Employment Centre organizes regular free public workshops to train practical skills, such as work with personal computers; technique and mechanization of trade accounts (work with cash register machines); the program “1C: Accounting 8.2.”; fundamentals of entrepreneurship; processing and decoration of textile and clothing products etc. Since the beginning of 2017, 105 persons participated in those workshops.