UOL: Actions of "Servants" in Phanar have signs of criminal offences

11 March 2021 15:41
Ukrainian delegation to Phanar. A photo: Ukrainian delegation to Phanar. A photo:

UOL lawyers expect a reaction from law enforcement agencies and detailed explanations from MPs in connection with the recent trip of the Ukrainian delegation to Phanar.

The human rights organization "Union of Orthodox Lawyers" (UOL) reacted to the appeal of twelve members of the Verkhovna Rada to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople during their recent visit to Turkey, circulated on the Internet.

“Once again, we state violations by the current government of the Basic Law – the Constitution of Ukraine,” says a message published on the UOL Telegram channel on Thursday, March 11. “So, Art. 35 CU stipulates that the Church and religious organizations in Ukraine are separated from the state. At the same time, Boris V. Yaremenko, allowing gross interference in the affairs of the Church and religious organizations of Ukraine, lacking competence and authority, on behalf of the President of Ukraine and its citizens, turned to Patriarch Bartholomew with an official invitation of the latter to celebrate the Independence Day of Ukraine."

In this regard, human rights activists noted, the provision of preferences to the OCU and the actual confirmation of its funding by the current government are evident.

In addition, in the actions of the people's deputies, lawyers saw signs of criminal offences, "namely: unauthorized appropriation of power (Part 1 of Article 353 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) and violation of the equality of citizens based on their religious beliefs (Part 3 of Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine)".

The UOL stressed that the visit of Ukrainian deputies to Phanar itself, about which “there are no relevant messages either on the website of the President of Ukraine or on the official page of the profile committee of the Verkhovna Rada”, deserves special attention.

“At the same time, this trip took place accompanied by civilians – the wives (husbands) of the people's deputies. This raises the question of the source of funding for this visit in terms of the flight and accommodation of members of the families of people's representatives. Is there a corruption component in this case? This question should be answered by the NAСP and the Accounts Chamber. And we, in turn, are waiting for the reaction of law enforcement agencies and detailed explanations from the people's deputies,” resumed the Union of Orthodox Lawyers.

As reported earlier, Servants of the People combined the meeting in Phanar with a family mini-vacation.

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