September 28, 2018

Today's issue:
- #Silence_kills: 'Justice in Ukraine is not treated by anyone,' says acid victim Kateryna Handziuk
- U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch visited NABU to mark the third anniversary of NABU’s establishment;
- AntAC and Transparency International - Ukraine: Delays with appointment of the Public Council of International Experts entail risks for credibility of the competition;
-  Chatham House: Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Battle. Case Study of Kharkiv;
- recommended reading

#Silence_kills: 'Justice in Ukraine is not treated by anyone,' says acid victim Kateryna Handziuk
On Saturday, September 22 in Odesa one more vocal local activist, Oleg Mykhailyk was wounded by a shot. Odesa civil society issued a joint declaration

Over the last year physical attacks on activists all over Ukraine significantly intensified, amounting to more than 50 cases. Activists in regions are more often targeted by local old guards and thugs whom they are fighting against. No investigations and justice follow, no instigators and organizers were punished. 

On September 26, 50 NGOs addressed President Poroshenko to admit repressions against activists in Ukraine and convene the National Security and Defense Council. The signers emphasized that the President of Ukraine has not yet reacted to the problem of systemic attacks on activists, and law enforcement agencies “only simulate hectic activity that helps to avoid punishment to perpetrators and increases violence every day”.

The signers demanded: to hold an extraordinary meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and create temporary investigative commission in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine regarding attacks on public activists in 2017-2018 with participation of civil society. The Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov is required to report urgently in the Verkhovna Rada, and the heads of law enforcement agencies – “promptly and effectively investigate criminal proceedings on attacks against activists with reporting about each stage to the public”. Full text of the statement. 

Kherson acid victim Kateryna Handziuk recorded an address to Ukrainians. She is asking: “Who ordered all these people?... Why do we need to suffer while the most active of us are murdered and tortured?” 

"Yes, I know that I look bad now. But I'm treated well by Ukrainian doctors. I'm sure that I look much better now than fairness and justice in Ukraine. They are not treated by anyone" Watch video

On September 27 victims' friends and defenders, and all those who stand for the rights and safety of activists, gathered for a peaceful rally "The Night On Bankova". Around a thousand people joined. Similar actions were held in 11 more towns all over the country. The attacked told their stories, Handziuk's video was screened. Human rights defenders talked about the assassinated activists and lack of justice.
A guy who poured green antiseptic at Vitaliy Shabunin few months ago also showed up at the rally and was filming Shabunin's word. Rostyslav Fedorko is an activist of Dmytro Korchynskyi's Brotherhood. According to the media, Fedorko was in agitator’s team during the election campaign of Avakov's ally Ilya Kiva when the latter ran for the Parliament. 

Though immediately after the incident with green antiseptic Shabunin caught Fedorko, the police released him without even bringing to administrative liability. Shabunin had corrosive burn of both eyes. 

Right before the action President's office issued a statement that Poroshenko shares activists' concerns. In the meantime, according to the Prosecutor General Lutsenko the activists themselves are to blame for the attacks and lack of investigations as they "fomented total hatred to the authorities." 
Odesa activist Ustymenko holds a poster “I am a part of the civic activists who foment total hatred to the authorities” (photo credit: EuromaidanPress). On June 5 in the daytime in the center of Odesa two unknown people jumped at him, started to beat on the head, then they knocked him down and stabbed.
Ustymenko 'fomented hatred' by fighting against illegal constructions in Odesa public areas.  

EuromaidanPress' story from the action. 
U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch visited NABU to mark the 3rd anniversary of NABU’s establishment

Ambassador Yovanovitch: “The U.S. stands with you … with all of the Ukrainian people in this fight against corruption. We believe that the success of your mission is critical to building the new Ukraine.”

AntAC and TI - Ukraine: Delays with appointment of the Public Council of International Experts entail risks for credibility of the competition

AntAC and TI-Ukraine express gratitude to Ukraine’s international partners for preparation of a consolidated list for the PCIE. NGOs call on the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine to appoint the six international experts who will participate in selection of anti-corruption judges as soon as possible. Delays with establishment of the PCIE reduce the quality of their work and do not leave them enough time to analyze the candidates to the anti-corruption court. 

NGOs urge the HQCJ to:

  • select the members of the PCIE immediately by open rating voting
  • ensure conditions for unobstructed work of the PCIE and full access to information about candidates for the positions of High Anti-Corruption Court judges
  • publish provisions of the Rules of Procedure which will determine the work of the PCIE within the scope of the Law of Ukraine “On the High Anti-Corruption Court.”
Chatham House: Anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine do not yet force municipal companies to publish their internal finances. The Kharkiv Anti-corruption Centre is fighting against the system, working to make the city’s municipal companies more transparent, and to expose cases of corruption to Kharkiv citizens.
Recommended Reading
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