UN blocks the decision on eviction from the temple in Ivano-Frankovsk

22 November 2019 21:58
Session of the UN Human Rights Committee. Photo: unfoldzero.org Session of the UN Human Rights Committee. Photo: unfoldzero.org

The request to the UN was initiated by the human rights organization NGO Public Advocacy on behalf of Archbishop Seraphim of Ivano-Frankovsk and Kolomyia.

The UN Human Rights Committee obliged Ukraine not to evict the UOC community from the building in Ivano-Frankovsk which belongs to the community, reports the human rights organization NGO Public Advocacy, which had initiated the request on behalf of the ruling bishop of Ivano-Frankovsk and Kolomyia Eparchy, Seraphim. The bishop is also the head of the UOC church community, which holds services on the premises of the Transfiguration church.

The consideration of the Request of human rights defenders about the violation of the rights of the UOC religious community was examined by the UN Committee in accordance with the additional protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Oleg Denisov, the head of the NGO Public Advocacy, claims that his organization “has been observing systematic violations of the rights of believers of the UOC for a long time and does not see the proper reaction from the state to stop these violations.”

“For this reason, in 2019, the NGO “Public Advocacy” launched a number of direct appeals to international bodies both on behalf of the NGO and on behalf of victims in order to strengthen legal activity to protect victims of the UOC,” the human rights activist said. “The case of the eviction of the Ivano-Frankovsk diocese and the UOC religious community from the building they own is resonant, since government bodies have taken direct steps to evict believers from the building they have owned since 1991.”

Oleg Denisov reports that on November 14, 2019, enforcement proceedings were opened aimed at evicting the UOC church community from its church. This happened despite the fact that the UOC believers had won the lawsuits on the termination of the contract for the use of the temple, which were initiated by the state administration.

“We found out that the steps of state bodies to evict believers are clearly discriminatory, so we decided to liaise with the relevant international authorities so that specific measures are taken to protect the believers. As a result, the UN Human Rights Committee made a reasoned and fair decision and now the believers of the UOC cannot be evicted from their buildings,” the human rights activist said.

It is also reported that the preparation of legal documents in this case was carried out by Denisov & Partners Law Firm, which is involved in protecting the interests of believers on behalf of the non-governmental organization Public Advocacy being in a consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.

Recall, on October 15, 2019, the Lvov Economic Court of Appeal ordered the believers of the Transfiguration temple of the UOC in Ivano-Frankovsk, located at 6 and 6B Chernovola St., to vacate the rented premises.


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