When all other rights are taken away,
the right of rebellion is made perfect.
Accountability for human rights violations is a key element of the right to an effective remedy. Failure to bring to account perpetrators of grave human rights violations such as torture or ill-treatment, summary execution or arbitrary killing, and enforced disappearance could give rise to a separate breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In addition, impunity for these violations largely contributes to their recurrence.
As specified in the text of the Covenant, each State Party undertakes:
(a) To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity;
(b) To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedy;
(c) To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.
The authors of the 19th Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine continue to observe that Ukrainian authorities have yet to effectively investigate human rights violations alleged to have been perpetrated by members of the Ukrainian military or security forces.
“Failure of the Government to hold perpetrators accountable sends the signal that they are immune to responsibility for human rights violations perpetrated against conflict-related detainees,” as stated in the report.
In its monitoring of conflict-related criminal cases, HRMMU noted that fair trial rights and judicial guarantees were often disregarded, “human rights abuses perpetrated by members of armed groups are often neglected in the course of criminal investigations, with the vast majority of perpetrators prosecuted solely on charges of affiliation with armed groups.” In cases involving persons suspected of affiliation with armed groups, courts continued to rubberstamp prosecution motions to extend pre-trial detention based solely on abstract reference to article 176(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
It is stated that “When sanctioning and prolonging pre-trial detention, the courts ignored individual circumstances, including the defendant’s social standing, family circumstances, health condition and the length of time already spent in detention.” The imposition of pre-trial detention must be based on an individualized determination of necessity and reasonableness thereof. Pre-trial detention must not be mandatory for all defendants charged with a particular crime without consideration of individual circumstances.
The post of the Human Rights Ombudsman was 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 2017 the Ombudsman received 4361 appeals. In the period of work between 9 and 15 September 2017, 28 persons have visited the Ombudsman in person, 33 of the claims were accepted by the Appeals department 28 calls were made via hotlines. 29 applications were received via e-mail, 7 written appeals were taken into consideration, 5 – have been reviewed among those received earlier, 6 persons have been given legal assistance.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 245 appeals, violations in civil law– 472 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 2 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 3642 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 15.09.2017
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 – 514 appeals, temporary accommodation – 436 appeals, the order of a complaint submission and paperwork in case of property destruction – 95 appeals, humanitarian assistance – 165 appeals, employment – 149 appeals, paperwork on travelling documents –11 appeals, search of the missing – 166 appeals, loss of IDs – 298 appeals, housing issues – 199 appeals, temporary residence permit – 201 appeals, other social and humanitarian issues – 1401 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 15.09.2017
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 15.09.2017
- Statistics and analysis of destroyed infrastructure objects
Targeted shelling by Ukrainian forces causes destruction of private property and infrastructure – this is the reality of the front-line regions of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
As of September 7, 2017 more than 11406 infrastructure objects were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 6842 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 268 units in Debaltsevo, 528 units in Gorlovka, 91 units in Dokuchayevsk, 309 units in Yenakievo, 91 units in Zhdanovka, 75 units in Kirovskoye, 1113 units in Makeyevka, 55 units in Snyezhnoye, 122 units in Torez, 750 units in Khartsysk, 75 units in Shakhtyorsk, 582 units in Yasinovataya, 278 units in Amvrosyevka region, 3 units in Volnovakha region, 24 units in Maryinka region, 17 units in Novoazovsk region, 57 units in Starobeshevo region, 93 units in Telmanovo region, 33 units in Shakhtyorsk region.
Destroyed objects by branches:
– 6247 houses;
– 770 power lines and points of distribution of electricity;
– 176 heating supply facilities;
– 49 water supply facilities;
– 2669 gas supply facilities;
– 14 wastewater and sewerage facilities;
– 102 healthcare facilities;
– 516 general educational institutions (schools, kindergartens);
– 59 vocational and technical educational institutions;
– 62 higher educational institutions;
– 26 physical and sport education institutions;
– 55 cultural institutions;
– 241 road and transport infrastructure objects;
– 63 industrial objects;
– 89 trade objects;
– 268 objects in other spheres.
According to the official data as of 27 July 2017 there are 2823 objects of governmental and communal ownership damaged, 531 – rebuilt and 2292 – 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 Donbass citizens’ rights by Kiev authorities: right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
On September 8, as a result of armed provocation by Ukrainian forces in Yasinovataya region between Krutaya Balka and Kamenka villages, a civilian man born in 1971 sustained gunshot perforating wound of the abdominal.
On September 11, as a result of shelling in Bezymennoye village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1992 sustained perforating gunshot wound to the left knee joint.
On September 13, as a result of hostilities near Sosnovka village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman of 47 years old sustained multiple gunshot shrapnel wounds.
In Yuzhnokomunarsk, a civilian man of 27 years old sustained mine-blast trauma, traumatic amputation of the left hand as a result of careless handling of an explosive object.
On September 14, a DPR serviceman born in 1998 sustained mine-blast trauma, penetrating gunshot wound, hemorrhagic shock in Petrovsky region of Donetsk as a result of hostilities.
Within the period between 8 and 14 September, 2017, 5 DPR servicemen sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of constant shelling from Ukraine. Among them, there were 3 DPR servicemen and 2 civilian men.
Within the period between January 1 and September 14, 2017, 494 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 296 DPR servicemen and 198 civilians, including 11 children under 18.
Within the period between 8 and 14 September, 2017, 5 DPR servicemen died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and September 14, 2017, 225 persons, including 199 servicemen and 26 civilians died in the Donetsk People’s Republic, including an underage child.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4514 persons died. Among them, there were 605 women and 3909 men, including 75 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.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiers
OHCHR observed undue delays in trials of conflict-related detainees while the accused remained in custody.
In its 19th Report OHCHR recalls that individuals charged with criminal offences have the right to be tried without undue delay; persons who are not released pending trial must be tried as expeditiously as possible or released from custody. Further, prolonged pre-trial detention may jeopardize the presumption of innocence.
Apart from all, OHCHR documented a number of cases where conflict-related detainees complained of being compelled to admit guilt by means of threats, torture and ill-treatment, and where such allegations were not sufficiently examined by the court.
This week 2 appeals on arrest were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
A woman born in 1963 residing in Melitipol was detained in August 2017; A man was detained in Cherkassy oblast. Both people were detained by Ukrainian military.
This week no appeals on missing persons were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Based on the updated figures as of 08.09.2017, 496 persons are kept by the Ukrainian side including:
– 267 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 218 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side.
Six persons were located in the DPR; four persons were released earlier; one person was included in the list of missing persons for lack of information of his whereabouts.
As of 8 September 2017, 510 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
As a matter of fact, life of a forcibly displaced person means overcoming everyday difficulties and obstacles, which requires incredible stamina and endurance. People who were forced to flee from military operations have to defend their rights in Ukraine almost every day. So, on September 4, the act of protest took place near the office of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Displaced persons rallied to protect their right to housing.
Law No. 1954, which came into force six months ago, was never implemented. The Law on Amendments to Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine On Preventing the Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the Development of Construction Sector and Housing Construction for the Implementation of State Housing Programs provides for the possibility for displaced persons to get 7% per annum housing mortgage or purchase real estate for 50% off the cost, while the rest of the housing cost is to be paid by the state. The problem of implementation of the law was the requirement for IDPs to register in Apartment register in areas not controlled by Ukraine, where it is impossible to issue documents of Ukrainian standards.
As a result of the act of protest, the Government committee approved changes to Resolution No. 140 of February 11, 2009 “On the Procedure for Providing Citizens with Affordable Housing.” The amendments incorporated provide for the right of IDPs to participate in the “Affordable Housing” program, provided that they do not own housing on the territory controlled by Ukrainian authorities.
It should be taken into account that housing is the most acute problem faced by displaced people; it is vital for everyone. Experience has shown that only radical methods such as rallying and declaring hunger strikes can force the Ukrainian government to respect the legitimate rights of citizens.
Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it. 1239 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 249 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5207 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 313 of them – in 2017. 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 9 and 15 September, 2017, 86 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, 5 of them were accommodated in the TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office in Donetsk.
There are currently 1299 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1299 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 427 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7842 persons, including 2026 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 64 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 56 of them operate today, 8 of them are held in reserve.
Currently, 2871 individuals live in the centres, including 561 underage children, 4971 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1465 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
At present, the issue of improving the contractual agreements in labour relations acquires is of increasing relevance in the Donetsk People’s Republic. With a view to improving the labor legislation, a new Decree was approved, which provides for the procedure for promotion and registration of job seekers regardless of their place of residence.
According to the Decree of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of the Donetsk People’s Republic of August 11, 2017, No. 91/5, the procedure for keeping records of job seekers in the bodies of the Republican Employment Center was established. The document determines the procedure for maintaining such records and entered into force on 06.09.2017.
According to the Decree, people can apply to city and district employment centres regardless of place of residence for services in the promotion of employment and registration as job seekers, attached by the following documents:
– passport or the document replacing it;
– birth certificates (for persons under 16);
– registration number of the tax payer’s registration card (persons who refused to accept registration number of the taxpayer’s registration card due to their religious beliefs, must present a certificate issued by tax and fees authorities or a corresponding mark in the passport);
– work record book or its duplicate (employment contract, civil law contract or document that confirms the period of employment) (if available);
– a diploma or other document on education and (or) qualifications, documents or training documents (if any).
According to their data, 29.8 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 15.09.2017. As of September 15, 2017, there were 40.1 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centers. Among them: 33.1 thousand have been employed (17.2 of them – on permanent positions, 15.9 – 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. Since the beginning of 2017, 298 persons participated in those workshops.