Fifty MPs ask Constitutional Court to recognize as “unconstitutional” law on clemency for Maidan protesters
In February 2014, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law banning prosecution and punishment of participants in the Revolution of Dignity as many activists had been imprisoned, or otherwise prosecuted on fabricated charges.
Photo from UNIAN
The Constitutional Court has received a constitutional submission, signed by 50 people’s deputies of Ukraine to consider whether the law granting immunity from criminal prosecution to the participants in the Revolution of Dignity is in line with the Constitution of Ukraine.
“Today, June 2, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine received the constitutional submission signed by 50 MPs regarding the compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine of the law On the Prevention of Prosecution and Punishment of Persons regarding the Events that Occurred during Peaceful Rallies, and Recognition as Such that Void of Certain Laws of Ukraine, dated February 21, 2014, No. 743-VII,” reads the statement published on the website of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. The constitutional submission was co-authored by almost the entire composition of the pro-Russian Opposition Platform – For Life faction, non-factional deputies Anton Polyakov, Anna Skorokhod, Vadym Novinsky, as well MP with the ruling Servant of the People party, Oleksandr Dubinsky.
They ask the CCU to recognize that the contested law is in breach of the Constitution. In their opinion, while provisions of the law contrary to constitutional requirements, parliamentarians passed it in violation of the constitutional procedure.
Read also New chief prosecutor says law on clemency for Maidan protesters contradicts criminal procedural code
Among other things, it is noted, the law exempted from criminal liability persons who had been participants in mass protests that began on November 21, 2013, and suspects or those accused of criminal acts; as well as exempted Revolution participants from administrative liability, “thereby creating the impression in society of the permissibility to commit with impunity crimes against human life and health, and also legalized the process of depriving victims of criminal offenses from their guaranteed constitutional rights and freedoms, which contradicts the principle of fairness as one of the basic principles of the rule of law (Article 8 of the Constitution of Ukraine).”
As UNIAN reported earlier, on February 21, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law, authored by MP Yuriy Derevyanko, to prevent prosecution or punishment of persons in relation to the events that took place at peaceful rallies and to repeal several other legislative acts. During the Revolution of Dignity, many activists have been imprisoned or otherwise prosecuted on fabricated charges.
The law granting immunity for the participants in the Revolution of Dignity was adopted without prior discussion or relevant committee hearings. The law was set to apply including to individuals targeted in ongoing investigations and possible future ones, related to protests, MP added.
According to him, the law also provides for the exemption from administrative liability of all individuals on whom huge fines had been imposed and drivers’ licenses revoked.
At the same time, as earlier reported by the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, the surge in disinformation and fake news about the Maidan since November 2019 has prompted the Institute for Mass Information and Detector Media to carry out assessments of what both agree are efforts to discredit the Revolution of Dignity. While such attempts are not new, the scale of this campaign is unprecedented, the February report read.
At the very beginning of her study, Poptsova notes that “the objective of Kremlin propaganda is to distort the memory of the events and participants in Maidan. That will allow it to place liability for the crimes committed by Russia and the Kremlin-loyal Yanukovych team on ‘insurgents’.”