UNHRC demands that UOC believers be protected from violence

12 November 2021 14:42
Флаг ООН. Фото: image.stirileprotv.ro Флаг ООН. Фото: image.stirileprotv.ro

The UN Human Rights Committee recognized the violation of rights of the UOC and called on Ukraine to protect believers and their churches from violence and vandalism.

On November 11, 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHCR) issued its decision on Ukraine's compliance with its international obligations, expressing its concern at reports of violations of the rights of UOC believers. This was reported by the NGO Public Advocacy.

In particular, the decision of the Committee on Ukraine noted the following: “The Committee is concerned at reports of violence, intimidation and acts of vandalism of places of worship in connection with the process of transitioning churches and religious communities from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the newly established Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Committee is further concerned at the reported inaction of the police in such incidents and the lack of information on investigations conducted by the State party (art. 18).”

In this regard, the UN Human Rights Committee recommends that Ukraine ensure the effective exercise of freedom of religion or belief, including by protecting places of worship from violence, intimidation and vandalism, and to ensure that all cases of violence be thoroughly and promptly investigated and punished.

President of the NGO Public Advocacy Oleg Denisov called this decision of the Committee a positive fact of the response of international human rights organizations to lawlessness and arbitrariness against religious organizations and believers of the UOC in Ukraine.

He stressed that in this case we are talking about the organization of the UN system, which has the highest legal status in the system of international law, and "there are no more authoritative ways of international criticism of the developments in Ukraine in relation to UOC believers."

"This decision imperatively indicates to the Ukrainian authorities that their policy towards the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is unacceptable. Such decisions also contribute to the refutation of fake information about the ostensibly "voluntary" transfers of UOC communities to other denominations. Although the circulation of information in the UN system usually takes a very long time, the UN Human Rights Committee is the most systematic body among international organizations with really working procedures for reviewing information and reports on human rights violations," said the human rights activist.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the formation of a negative image of UOC believers in the socio-political sphere of Ukraine and the violation of the rights of religious communities due to the so-called law on renaming was reported at the UN.

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