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Ukraine temporarily deviates from human rights convention amid war with Russia

Meanwhile, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić condemned Russian war crimes, denouncing deliberate attacks on Ukrainian facilities and civilians.
The European Council illuminated with the Ukrainian flag on Europe Day in Brussels in 2022. Source: The European Union.
Ukraine temporarily deviates from human rights convention amid war with Russia

Ukraine temporarily deviates from the Convention on Human Rights following its Permanent Representation to the Council of Europe, submitting an updated report to the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, citing the state of war as the reason for this decision.

These reports, compiled by the Ministry of Justice, outline the specific articles of the Convention that Ukraine has found necessary to contravene due to the aggressive actions of Russia in the ongoing war.

The latest report highlights several articles of the Convention, justifying these deviations under the article allowing “Derogation from obligations in exceptional circumstances, in times of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation.”

The restrictions specified by Ukraine regarding articles on “limitations on the political activities of foreigners,” “freedom of thought, conscience, and religion,” and “the right to an effective legal remedy.”

According to UkrInform, EU Spokesperson Peter Stano, during a press briefing in Brussels, said that the bloc is aware of Ukraine’s challenges in upholding human rights and freedoms amid Russia’s war.

Responding to journalists’ questions about the potential impact of Ukraine’s temporary limitations of rights and freedoms related to the martial law on Ukraine’s path to the EU and the provision of macro-financial assistance conditional on adherence to democratic norms and principles, Stano emphasized dialogue with Ukrainian partners.

“If we have a problem or potential problem with our Ukrainian partners, we discuss it.

We do not assume that Ukrainian partners will act in bad faith. We fully understand the challenging circumstances they are facing. We have no reason to believe that they will take steps to violate their international obligations, values, and principles that are very important to the EU and the relations between Ukraine and the EU,” noted Stano.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has clarified that it consistently and regularly forwards information prepared by the Ministry of Justice to international organizations regarding deviations from obligations under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Since 2015, in response to the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, the state has diligently provided information in compliance with the provisions of both the Convention and the Covenant. This ongoing practice has persisted since February 2022, following the commencement of an all-out war and the imposition of martial law within Ukraine, stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“In April 2024, Ukraine again clarified and reduced the list of existing restrictions. It marks the twentieth instance of such information shared since 2015,” added the ministry.

In 2024, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić condemned Russian war crimes, including strikes on Ukrainian facilities and civilians.

“Russia’s relentless attacks against Ukraine are unacceptable. Intentionally targeting civilians or civilian objects amounts to war crimes and serious violations of international law,” said the official.

According to the UN, Ukrainian civilian casualties 20% increased in March 2024, with 604 people affected by an escalated missile and aerial munitions strikes, significantly impacting critical infrastructure, including six main thermal power plants and two hydroelectric plants. Additionally, Russian shelling and bomb attacks on frontline cities intensified significantly.


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