Facts of violations of the UOC believers rights in Zolochiv presented to UN

United Nations flag. Photo: zdaarau.ch

Representatives of the human rights organization reported to the UN the details of offenses against the priest and believers of the UOC in Zolochiv.

A written statement on the violation of the believers' rights in the city of Zolochiv, Lviv region, was published by the NGO "Public Advocacy" on the UN website and distributed among the delegations of the participating states at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council. It is reported by the NGO "Public Advocacy".

The president of the human rights organization, Oleg Denisov, said in his commentary that the statement indicated facts of violations against the believers of the UOC in Zolochiv. Among them are the public discriminatory statements and actions of the head of the city council of Zolochiv in relation to the priest of the UOC, Father Maxim Yoenko, a "legal attack" on the allegedly unlawfully built fence around the clergy's land lot and interference with his private life.

The human rights activist noted that “as a result of the systematic persecution of the priest, the fence around his land tenure was simply destroyed by radicals who committed this crime publicly and openly, posting the recordings of their crime on social networks. There was also an obvious interference in the private life of the priest’s family, as unknown persons installed CCTV cameras near the priest’s house, which were directed to the territory of the land where religious services were held.”

Mr. Denisov mentions in the commentary that NGO representatives sent requests to the governor of the Lviv region and the local authorities of Zolochiv to explain “who installed these cameras and on what basis, where the recorded information about the priest’s private life is transferred, and how this relates to the legislation on protection personal data and criminal liability for violation of privacy.”

“We also had to shed light on the Ukrainian legislation to the Lviv Regional Administration and the mayor's office of Zolochiv,” the statement says. "In addition, we specified that there are no legal obstacles to the conduct of religious rituals in private territories and premises, which can be disposed of by their owner at his own discretion." 

Comments on the situation in Zolochiv of the Legal Department of the Kyiv Metropolitanate of the UOC and Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, Head of the UOC Representation to European International Organizations, were also reflected in the UN statement by the NGO representatives.

During 2020 and the first half of 2021, the Zolochiv case will be subject to international review procedures in accordance with the rules of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN system of thematic special rapporteurs.

The full text of the NGO written statement is available on the UN Documentation Center website under the number A/HRC /45/NGO/129.

As reported by the UOJ, the head of the human rights organization "Public Advocacy" told the UN about violations of the UOC believers’ rights.

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