SBI does not respond to the incitement of religious hatred by DESS leaders

29 June 16:48
The head of DESS, Viktor Yelensky (right), and his deputy Viktor Voinalovych. Photo: The head of DESS, Viktor Yelensky (right), and his deputy Viktor Voinalovych. Photo:

Journalists have turned to the court requesting that the SBR be compelled to initiate a criminal investigation against the head of DESS and his first deputy.

The State Bureau of Investigations ignored the statement made by the journalists from the "Dialog.tut" project regarding the commission of crimes by the DESS leaders, as stipulated in Article 161 of the Criminal Code (incitement of religious enmity and hatred, humiliation and insult of citizens' religious beliefs) as reported on the project's Telegram channel.

The journalists approached the SBR after receiving a response to the petition addressed to the government titled "Do Not Ban the UOC", which was signed by the first deputy head of State Ethnopolitics, Viktor Voinalovych, instead of the Prime Minister, and a response to the complaint on this matter to the Cabinet of Ministers, signed by the head of DESS, Viktor Yelensky.

The authors of the statement are convinced that these letters contain "illegal and unfounded claims and statements, and the mentioned officials have intentionally taken actions aimed at inciting religious enmity and hatred towards the UOC."

Since the SBR did not initiate proceedings, the applicants have turned to the court requesting that the Bureau include information about the commission of a criminal offence in the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations and immediately commence an investigation into this case.

The court hearing was scheduled for June 28.

"The court summoned the plaintiff on Constitution Day for a hearing at 9:30 am, but at precisely 9:30 am, after examining the documents, the hearing was adjourned. For a formal reason, without explanation of when the next hearing will be scheduled," the journalists reported.

As previously reported, the petition "Do Not Ban the UOC" gathered over 25,000 signatures from Ukrainians on the Cabinet of Ministers' website within 20 days before the voting deadline. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal instructed the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience to respond to the petition.

After receiving a response from the first deputy head of DESS, the petitioner, Yulia Kominko, stated that it contained "a gross violation of Ukrainian Law No. 393/96-VR regarding the procedure for responding to an electronic petition and demonstrates a disregard for the 25,000 citizens of Ukraine who signed the petition." Yulia filed a complaint with the Cabinet Secretariat. In response to her complaint, the head of DESS, Yelensky, claimed that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church supposedly is part of the ROC.


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