Union of Orthodox Lawyers: President ignored the appeal of believers
The UOL stressed that the formal and bureaucratic attitude of the President's Office to requests and hopes of ordinary people causes indignation and bewilderment.
On February 22, 2021, the head of the Department for Citizens' Appeals of the Office of the President of Ukraine announced that the collective appeal of the UOC believers addressed to President Vladimir Zelensky will not be considered by the Head of State. This was reported in the telegram channel of the Union of Orthodox Lawyers (UOL).
According to the text of the OP Letter dated February 22, 2021 No. 22 / 008352-26, the appeal of believers to the President dated February 15, 2021 cannot be considered, since “the powers of the President of Ukraine do not include the abolition of laws, and according to the Constitution of Ukraine, the adoption of laws is the prerogative of the Verkhovna Rada."
The Union of Orthodox Lawyers indicated that in their Address to the President, believers reported an increase in the number of seizures and illegal re-registration of UOC communities, asking to take all possible measures to ensure their constitutional right to freedom of religion and pointing to abuse and manipulation by officials of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine ... The believers also drew the President's attention to numerous facts of violation of the Constitution, restrictions on their rights, discrimination on religious grounds of millions of believers and, as a consequence, an increase in the number of inter-confessional conflicts and confrontations.
The Union of Orthodox Lawyers said that "such a formal and bureaucratic attitude to the requests and hopes of ordinary people, believers, cannot but cause indignation and bewilderment."
The lawyers noted that “the abolition of laws really does not belong to the powers of the President of Ukraine. However, according to Art. 102 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the President is the guarantor of the Constitution of Ukraine, human and civil rights and freedoms. The right to freedom of religion and separation of the state from the Church is constitutional and enshrined in Article 35 of the Fundamental Law of Ukraine. Article 93 of the Constitution enshrines the right to legislative initiative of the President in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Bills determined by the President of Ukraine as urgent are considered by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as a matter of priority."
Thus, the Union notes, "The President of Ukraine has a sufficient number of legal tools to develop and implement a mechanism for the legal regulation of public relations in the field of worldview and religion, which will comply with the Constitution of Ukraine."
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the Union of Orthodox Lawyers announced the protection of the rights of the UOC community in Zolochiv.