"Public Advocacy" tells OSCE about violations of UOC believers’ rights

The NGO "Public Advocacy" presented to the OSCE a number of issues related to the protection of the rights of UOC believers for consideration. The non-governmental public organization also confirmed that the report of the Head of the Representative Office of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at International Organizations Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, read at the OSCE meeting in Warsaw, contains reliable and objective information.

Human rights defender Oleg Denisov, representing "Public Advocacy", in his report to the OSCE paid special attention to hate speeches and rhetoric, which, unfortunately, is often heard from Ukrainian civil servants and deputies at various levels. Denisov recalled that on June 30, 2017, at the Pochaev City Council session, a deputy of the Ternopil Regional Council, V. Gabor, destroyed the documents of the Pochaev City Council in order to disrupt the session, at which the allocation of land plots to the Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra was to be considered. Also, the deputies of the Ternopil Regional Council regularly use in their official documents unacceptable hate rhetoric towards the Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra, calling it "the centre of anti-Ukrainianism" and accusing of separatism. Such expressions and discriminatory attitude towards a religious organization are unacceptable in any state, such manifestations of intolerance, especially from government officials and deputies, indicate an extremely low level of legal culture.

The NGO "Public Advocacy", a non-governmental organization with special consultative status with the UN ECOSOC, is a member of the Human Rights Advocacy Network. Since 2015, it has been continuously monitoring the observance of the rights and freedoms of believers and religious organizations in Ukraine.
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