UN publishes report on discrimination against UOC in Ukraine

26 March 11:19
The UN. Photo: e-news.su The UN. Photo: e-news.su

The report talks about anti-church bills as well as SBU "security measures" against the UOC.

On 24 March 2023, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report on religious freedom in Ukraine for the period from 1 August 2022 to 31 January 2023.

In particular, it refers to bills No. 8221, No. 8262 and No. 8371 discriminating against the UOC, as well as concerns about the application of so-called "security measures" by the SBU against the UOC.

"The SBU conducted searches (some of which it referred to as “security measures”) in several monasteries, offices, education facilities and other property of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) in Kyiv, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Dnipropetrovsk, Khmelnytskyi, Cherkasy, Volyn, Kherson, Ternopil, Poltava and Zakarpattia regions," the report said.

" In some cases, SBU officers questioned several clergymen with the use of a polygraph. The SBU confirmed that at least three notices of suspicion were issued to UOC clergy – two under article 161 of the Criminal Code (violating the equality of citizens based on race, nationality, religious belief, disability or other grounds) and one with multiple charges including trespass against the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine, and denial of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. At least two suspects are under round-the-clock house arrest. OHCHR is concerned that the State’s activities targeting the UOC could be discriminatory. OHCHR also recalls the need to ensure that all those facing criminal charges enjoy the full spectrum of applicable fair trial rights," the report said.

As earlier reported, His Beatitude Onuphry appealed to the UN over discrimination against the UOC.

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