On 23 February, the non-governmental organization Amnesty International published its Annual Report 2017 on observing human rights in Ukraine.
It was specified in the document that the investigation of operation of SSU secret prisons, on which evidence was revealed by the organization in 2016, has made no progress. The investigation of complaints on arbitrary arrests by SSU by the General Military Prosecutor was ineffective. In most cases, authorities ignored the evidence provided by international public organizations.
All violations of international humanitarian law that took place earlier were left without punishment. Moreover, the document says that official representatives of law enforcement agencies of Ukraine apply torture and other ill-treatment to detainees again.
Also, the authors of the Annual Report describe in detail the case of the detention of Daria Mastikasheva. They note that there are signs of possible torture and beatings by the SSU in the photos taken by the woman’s lawyer.
The authors of the document note that the Ukrainian authorities put pressure on those who criticize their actions, in particular, on independent public organizations, activists, and journalists. In addition, this year the Ukrainian authorities adopted legislation restricting the rights and freedoms of citizens, namely the right to freedom of speech and freedom of association.
The post of the Human Rights Ombudsman has been established in the Donetsk People’s Republic to ensure the state protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, to prevent any form of discrimination regarding the exercise of their rights and freedoms.
Citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in any suitable way. Now, the majority of applications are 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 2018 the Ombudsman received 908 appeals. In the period of work between 23 February and 2 March 2018, 1 citizen visited the Ombudsman in person, 57 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 27 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 3 persons received legal counselling. 23 calls were received via hotlines, 19 applications were received via e-mail, 9 written appeals were taken into consideration, 5 – have been reviewed among those received earlier.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 60 appeals, violations in civil law– 62 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 0 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 518 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 02.03.2018
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 the 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 – 133 appeals, temporary accommodation – 200 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 32 appeals, migration legislation issues – 63 appeals, labour legislation issues – 37 appeals, healthcare issues – 24 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 11 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 7 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 4 appeals, land use and tenure – 0 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 7 appeals, issues related to hostilities – 141 appeals, issues of destruction in the sphere of culture, housing and road transport infrastructure – 13 appeals, search of the missing – 32 appeals, exchange of detained persons – 88 appeals, issues related to citizens wounded and deceased as a result of hostilities in the DPR – 8 appeals, other issues – 267 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 02.03.2018
pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid
migration legislation issues
guardianship and family law issues
land use and tenure
issues of destruction in the sphere of culture, housing and road transport infrastructure
labour legislation issues
issues of education, culture and sport
the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials
search of the missing
issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services
activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations
issues related to hostilities
exchange of detained persons
issues related to citizens wounded and deceased as a result of hostilities in the DPR
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 02.03.2018
- 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 Donbass citizens’ rights by Kiev authorities: the right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
On 24 February, as a result of hostilities in Bezimennoye village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1991 sustained perforating gunshot wound to the head.
On 24 February, a DPR serviceman born in 1993 sustained gunshot wound to the soft tissue of left thigh, Novoazovsk region.
On 1 March, as a result of shelling in Gorlovka by Ukrainian forces, a civilian woman born in 1949 was wounded.
Within the period between 22 February and 2 March 2018, 3 persons sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side. Among them, there are 2 DPR servicemen and one civilian woman.
Within the period between January 1 and March 1, 2018, 40 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 30 DPR servicemen, 6 civilian men, and 4 civilian women.
Within the period between 22 February and 1 March 2018, 7 DPR servicemen died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and March 1, 2018, 22 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 21 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4589 persons died. Among them, there are 605 women and 3984 men, including 76 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.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiers
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic received two appeals on arrest. The Ombudsman Office was reported on the detention of a man born in 1977. He was detained when crossing the border between Ukraine and the Russian Federation in January 2016. Another man born in 1986 was detained by police officers in Artyomovsk on April 2017.
Based on the updated figures as of 02.03.2018, 297 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 81 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 216 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on missing persons.
As of 2 March 2018, 446 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
At the time of the 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, Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it.
1225 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 224 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5354 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 111 of them – in 2018. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staffs of the Office monitor the TACs on a 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 22 February and 1 March 2018, 33 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. Referrals for temporary accommodation were given to 6 of them: 4 persons accommodated in Donetsk, 2 – in Khartsysk. There are currently 1199 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1199 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 285 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7686 persons, including 1917 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 63 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, including the one in Sedovo that was put into operation this week. 55 of these TACs operate, 8 of them are held in reserve.
Currently, 1507 individuals live in the centres, including 281 underage children, 4954 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1412 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
The Republican Employment Centre is the main institution responsible for providing jobs to the population.
According to their data, 12.4 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 2.03.2018. As of March 2, 2018, there were 14.9 thousand individuals who seek for a job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 9.3 thousand have been employed (3.1 of them – on permanent positions, 6.2 – temporarily).
Donetsk Centre of Vocational Education of The Republic Employment Centre organises 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. 42 persons participated in such seminars.