Ivano-Frankivsk court orders UOC vacate premises of Transfiguration Church

The Transfiguration Church of the UOC in Ivano-Frankivsk. Photo: glavcom.ua

In 2019, the UN Human Rights Committee ordered Ukraine not to evict the UOC community from its building in Ivano-Frankivsk.

On September 10, 2020, the Regional Economic Court ordered the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy of the UOC to vacate the rented non-residential premises in Chornovola Street in Ivano-Frankivsk, where the Transfiguration Church has been located for over 30 years.

The plaintiff in the case was the Ivano-Frankivsk City Executive Committee – the city authorities have been trying to evict the UOC community for more than a year. The case went through all instances of Ukrainian justice and was heard at the UN Human Rights Committee, which blocked the decision of the Lviv Economic Court of Appeal of October 15, 2019, which ordered the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy to vacate the rented premises. As a result, the case returned to Ivano-Frankivsk.

The lawyer of the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy of the UOC Alexander Ovchenko said in a comment to the PavlovskyNEWS Telegram channel that the city authorities had been trying for a long time to break the lease agreement with the UOC under a variety of pretexts, declaring their desire to equip a rehabilitation centre or a kindergarten there.

As a result of the trial, the director of the Department for Legal Policy of the Ivano-Frankivsk city executive committee Nadezhda Kedyk noted that "the case is not closed yet".

“This is only the second round of the first instance – we won it,” said the city official. “We have been suing, in fact, for a long time. A year ago, the Supreme Court of Ukraine returned this case for a new consideration, and now the Economic Court of Ivano-Frankivsk region has made a decision in our favour."

As reported earlier, the head of the NGO "Public Advocacy" Oleg Denisov called the situation in Ivano-Frankovsk resonant and indicative, since in this case "actions of state authorities of a sufficiently high level in relation to the community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church were manifested".

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