The statement on the inadmissibility of persecution for expressing an expert opinion

                                                To the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko To the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko To the Prosecutor of Autonomous Republic of Crimea Giunduz Mamedov                                                On April 13, the office of the International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS) in Kyiv was searched as part of the case on the so-called “peaceful plan of MP Artemenko” by the officials of the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. People’s Deputy Andriy Artemenko is accused of high treason under the Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. He is charged with the assistance to Russia in conducting subversive activities against Ukraine that expressed in the appeals to let Crimea in long-term lease to the Russian Federation and thereby to legitimize temporary occupation. In the basis of the “peaceful plan” of MP Artemenko, as it stated in a court order for search conduction, there is a plan“Ideas for the conflict settlement in Donbas” authored by Vasyl Filipchuk. Not sharing the views of MP Artemenko on “peaceful settlement” ways, we state the illegality of accusations of high treason for the presentation of any ideas, including ideas on peaceful settlement. We are outraged by the search in the analytical center ICPS within the investigation on the case of high treason. These actions of the state are in violation of Article 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and also contravene the practices of the European Court of Human Rights (Zana v. Turkey (1997), Lingens v. Austria (1986), § 40; Barfod v. Denmark (1989), Wille v. Liechtenstein (1999) etc.). The search in ICPS is not limited to the violations of the Constitution of Ukraine and international agreements. We qualify the following actions of the state as the offensive against key freedom – expression of views - as an attempt to monopolize the market of ideas and to enforce a state doctrine to the society as the only possible under the pain of prosecution of those who offer other approaches, in especially serious crimes – high treason. Disproportionate state interference in the activities of think tanks is purely obscurantist attempt to establish a monopoly on the truth. ICPS activities by their nature are research and scientific ones. Ukraine declares its desire to become a fully legitimate member of the EU but violates a fundamental principle of the European Union, enshrined in Article 13 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000), according to which, the arts and scientific research shall be free of constraint. Instead, it is the doctrine of "Russkiy mir" which can be characterized by the state monopoly on the truth, restrictions on freedom of expression, persecution for beliefs. Our war with Russia is primarily a war of values. These actions of the state are the value-based defeat, surrender of public interest and “high treason” in the long run. We cannot fight against “Russkiy mir” by means of “Russkiy mir”. We demand to stop the persecution of the think tank ICPS and immediately return everything that was seized during the search. We consider this incident as a manifestation of general trends on violating the balance between national security and human rights for the benefit of national security by the Security Service of Ukraine and prosecuting authorities. And we want to remind once again that a political regime which violates human rights is doomed to failure. Arkadiy Bushchenko, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union Yevhen Zakharov, Director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group...

ICPS Press


On April 13, 2017 the office of the International Center for Policy Studies was searched. At about 16.00 unknown persons who introduce themselves as investigators of the prosecutor's office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the officials of the Security Service of Ukraine entered the office with the aim to hand suspicion to Vasyl Filipchuk and to carry out the search in the office. For more than 5 hours, employees were limited in movement and forbidden to use any means of communication. Physical violence was committed against Vasyl Filipchuk which was fixed by respective photo evidence. The entrance to the office space was blocked, investigators refused to pass defenders, lawyers, police and even emergency doctors. According to the investigators, the search was made within the criminal case of “Artemenko”as they consider that ICPS helped the People`s Deputy to elaborate “peaceful plan” of the conflict settlement. WE STRESS that neither ICPS nor experts have been involved in such elaboration of “peaceful plan” or had any personal contacts with the People`s Deputy Andriy Artemenko. ICPS is working for a long time on finding possible ways of peaceful settlement in Eastern Ukraine with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation. All activities within the project “Modelling of the Minsk agreements implementation and support of strategic advisors to the Ministry of Temporary Occupied Territories and IDPs” were PUBLIC, and analytical materials are in open access on the official website of the Center. Ukrainian MPs and the Deputy Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs Georgiy Tuka were involved in pubic consultations. ICPS has always maintained and continues maintaining state position to preserve the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine! ICPS continues current project activities and is committed to its obligations in cooperation with its partners. We consider such actions as unprecedented pressure on civil society and disgrace of judicial system in Ukraine. We call on colleagues from the civil sector, representatives of diplomatic corps and entire international community todemand that persecution of independent analytical centers must be stopped!  ...

ICPS Press