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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ukraine: Parliamentary Assembly of European Council prepares the resolution regarding political prisoners and oppression

Parliament Assembly of European Council
Parliamentary Assembly of European Council is reportedly in a process of preparing the resolution regarding the distinction between political and criminal responsibility. The resolution includes also the name of the prominent Ukrainian oppositional leaders Yulia Tymoshenko, currently jailed, and Yury Lutsenko, who has been recently released.

The project of this resolution was prepared by the Netherlands’ MP in the European Council, and the voting process regarding this document is expected to be held on 28 June, 2013.



It is stated in the project of the resolution that the criminal cases against prominent oppositional leaders in Ukraine, including Yulia Tymoshenko and Yury Lutsenko, caused the strong critic in the international community. Parliamentary Assembly of European Council is deeply concerned about the misuse of the system of criminal law against political opponents in the country. The Assembly thinks that in the both cases, of Mrs. Tymoshenko and Mr. Lutsenko, the principles of the distinction between the criminal and political responsibility have been violated.

The authors of the documents recommend that the differences between the political decisions and criminal actions should be based on the constitutional and criminal law respectively which in their turn should correspond with the principles of the conclusions of the Venice commission.

Among those basic principles are the following ones:
  1. Any criminal case should not be used for the punishment and oppression of the political opponents.
  2. Political figures and activists should be responsible for their criminal actions in the same way as all the citizens of the country.
  3. In addition to that the main rules of the criminal responsibility of the ministers should correspond to the Article 7 of the Convention of the Human Rights and also to the other requirements and rules based of the principles of the superiority of the law and justice including the equality of all the citizens before the law.
The members of the Parliamenatary Assembly of the European Council creating the text of the resolution stated that the responsibility for the political decisions and any criminal acts should be divided according to the norms and principles of law, so this issue needs to be reformed in Ukraine. Political figures cannot be judged for their political decisions using the criminal code against them as there are the special procedures which could be applied in these cases such as impeachment etc.

The resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly also urges Ukrainian authorities to take the concrete steps to resolve the current crisis of judicial system in order to create the really independent and clear judicial system with the clear distinctions of the criminal and political responsibility.

It’s also worth mentioning that Parliamentary Assembly of European Council has adopted yesterday the resolution where corruption was considered being the most important problem existing in the European countries. Ukraine was also named a few times in this resolution.