Being guided by its primary goal, the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic actively promoted the realization of human and civil rights and freedoms in the Donetsk People’s Republic, during 2017.
In pursuance of the Law “On the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic”, the Ombudsman reviews complaints of DPR citizens, foreign citizens and stateless persons. Therefore, any person who believes that his/her rights and freedoms have been violated has the right to apply to the Ombudsman, with no restrictions.
Having received such a complaint, the Ombudsman submits another appeal to state institutions in order to find out whether there has been a violation of human rights and freedoms, and, if so, to restore these rights. So, the Ombudsman acts as an intermediary between the state and society. So, in 2017, the Ombudsman sent appeals to the Office of the Prosecutor-General of the Donetsk People’s Republic, to the Ministry of Justice of the Donetsk People’s Republic, to the Supreme Court of the Donetsk People’s Republic, to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic and other institutions.
Basically, these appeals regarded the issues of verifying the legality of the judgments, procedural time limits for reviewing cases by the courts of the Republic, the terms and legal grounds for being held in custody.
Due to close interaction of the Ombudsman with the state bodies of the Republic, citizens received real assistance in matters related to competence of such institutions.
Unfortunately, throughout 2017 the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic has been under fire of Ukrainian forces. In order to protect the rights of civilians, the Ombudsman Office continued to document ceasefire violations and in every possible way attracted the attention of the world community to grave violations of the Minsk accords and the norms of international law.
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 the beginning of 2018 the Ombudsman received 116 appeals. In the period of work between December 30 and January 12, 2017, 8 persons visited the Ombudsman in person, 14 appeals were accepted by the Appeals department 23 calls were made via hotlines. 22 applications were received via e-mail, 8 written appeals were taken into consideration, 8 – have been reviewed among those received earlier, 15 persons have been given legal assistance.
All appeals received can be divided into four categories: violations in criminal law – 11 appeals, violations in civil law– 14 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 0 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 53 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 12.01.2018
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 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 – 30 appeals, temporary accommodation – 6 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 3 appeals, migration legislation issues – 3 appeals, labour legislation issues – 4 appeals, healthcare issues – 1 appeal, guardianship and family law issues – 1 appeal, issues of education, culture and sport – 3 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 1 appeal, land use and tenure – 0 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 1 appeal, issues related to hostilities – 19 appeals, issues of destruction in the sphere of culture, housing and road transport infrastructure – 0 appeals, search of the missing – 1 appeal, exchange of detained persons – 18 appeals, issues related to citizens wounded and deceased as a result of hostilities in the DPR – 0 appeals, other issues – 19 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 12.01.2018
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 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 12.01.2018
- 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: right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
On January 1, as a result of hostilities in Bezymennoye village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1972 sustained mine-blast trauma, multiple shrapnel wounds of the back with damage to thoracolumbar part, penetrating wound to the chest.
On January 3, as a result of hostilities in Bezymennoye village, Novoazovsk region, two DPR servicemen born in 1975 and 1976 sustained mine-blast traumas and shrapnel wounds.
On January 5, as a result of sniping fire in Zaichenko village, Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman of 39 years old sustained gunshot wound to the right shoulder.
On January 6, as a result of hostilities near Debaltsevo a DPR serviceman sustained gunshot wound of the left shoulder.
On January 7, a DPR serviceman of 20 years old sustained perforating gunshot wound in Petrovskiy district of Donetsk.
On January 8, as a result of hostilities near Debaltsevo a DPR serviceman of 25 years old sustained shrapnel wound of the right side of lumbar region, multiple shrapnel wounds to the left knee joint.
On January 9, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman of 30 years old sustained gunshot fracture of the lower third of the left tibia. A civilian man of 41 years old sustained a bruise of the thoracic spine as a result of a blast wave.
On January 10, as a result of hostilities near Debaltsevo two DPR servicemen, of 57 and 33 years old, sustained shrapnel wounds.
A civilian man born in 1986 came under fire of Ukrainian forces near Donetsk. He sustained blunt shrapnel wound of posterior surface of the neck, of left shoulder girdle and right tibia.
On January 11, as a result of hostilities in Novoazovsk region, a DPR serviceman born in 1961 sustained blunt shrapnel wound of the upper third of left forearm.
Within the period between 1 and 11 January, 2018, 13 persons sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side. Among them, there are 11 DPR servicemen and two civilian men.
Within the period between January 1 and December 31, 2017, 595 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 361 DPR servicemen and 234 civilians, including 14 children under 18.
Within the period between 1 and 12 January, 2018, 4 DPR servicemen died in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and December 31, 2017, 278 persons, including 247 servicemen and 31 civilians died in the Donetsk People’s Republic, including two underage children.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4571 persons died. Among them, there are 605 women and 3966 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
Almost all people released from Ukrainian captivity were subjected to beating and torture, they have some serious illnesses. Currently, they are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation in health facilities of Donetsk.
“There are people with various illnesses, who are currently undergoing medical treatment. As for percentage of those who were subjected to torture, there are 100 % of them. People experienced beating and atrocity.
We are not going to tolerate it. We will document those facts and ensure that international organizations do the same, so that the persons responsible would be punished. Of 160 persons released from captivity, 150 are seriously ill. They are in health facilities now,” – said DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova.
Currently, the staff of the Ombudsman’s Office are processing the lists of persons to have accurate data for the next round of negotiations on January 18.
“We are excluding released people from the lists to see how many people we still need to return. We are preparing for the next stage of the exchange. For the time being we are processing the lists. The second stage will be discussed at the forthcoming negotiations in Minsk,” stressed Daria Morozova.
This week no appeals on arrest or missing persons were received by the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Based on the updated figures as of 12.01.2018, 289 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 84 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed. Five persons, whose whereabouts had been officially confirmed on the territory of Ukraine, were included in the list.
– 205 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side. Five persons, whose whereabouts had been officially confirmed on the territory of Ukraine, were excluded from the list. It was also reported about the release of one person.
As of 12 January 2018, 444 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it. 1153 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 223 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5254 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 11 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 December 30, 2017, and January 12, 2018, 25 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons, one of them was accommodated in the TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office in Donetsk.
There are currently 1239 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1239 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 347 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7863 persons, including 2018 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 63 temporary settlements have been established within the territory of DPR, 55 of them operate today, 8 of them are held in reserve.
Currently, 1574 individuals live in the centres, including 301 underage children, 5136 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1494 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, 7.1 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 12.01.2018. As of January 12, 2018, there were 11.4 thousand individuals who seek for job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 5.1 thousand have been employed (197 of them – on permanent positions, 4.9 – 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.