Lawyer: Conflicts around UOC churches are organized by VO “Svoboda”

A meeting in front of the UOC church organised by “Svoboda” members in the village of Khodorivtsi. Photo: Facebook of “Svoboda” Kamyanets-Podilskyi

A human rights activist from the Khmelnytskyi region said she is preparing a petition to President to ban VO “Svoboda” due to its activities to incite religious hatred.

Human rights activist from the Khmelnytskyi region Viktoriya Kokhanovska said on her Facebook page that she is preparing a petition to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to ban the “Svoboda” party due to its activities in inciting religious conflicts.

Kokhanovska appealed to everyone "who cares about religion and those who are neutral to religion but found themselves in a certain political situation" with a statement that in the Khmelnytskyi region the representatives of the "Svoboda" party are behind the religious conflicts.

"Not a single deputy from the People's Servant Party, neither from the OTG nor from the district council, takes part in religious battles. Not a single one has betrayed the President," she stressed.

According to Kohanovska, the most active participants in the religious conflicts are representatives of the “Svoboda” and “Eurosolidarity” parties, "who consider themselves entitled to usurp power", hiding behind political slogans about patriotism.

She quoted Paragraph 9 of Article 8 of the Law of Ukraine "On the legal regime of martial law", which allows "to raise in the manner determined by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine the issue of banning the activities of political parties, public associations if they are aimed at the elimination of Ukrainian independence, changing the constitutional system by force, violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, undermining its security, illegal seizure of state power, propaganda of war, violence, inciting interethnic, racial, religious and other kinds of hatred”.

It is this point, including incitement of religious hatred in the country, according to Kokhanovska, that is violated most. In addition, she recalled that during martial law, mass events that regularly take place near the UOC churches with the purpose of their subsequent "transfer" to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are banned.

The human rights activist said that together with lawyers she is preparing a petition to the President of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada to ban the “Svoboda” party. According to Kokhanovska, this party "undermines the statehood" of Ukraine, creates conflict within the state and usurps power.

"We are all citizens of Ukraine and we all have the same constitutional rights" and the people of Ukraine are ready to defend both their rights and their President", the human rights activist said.

She states that she has enough evidence that representatives of the “Svoboda” party had committed illegal actions against the UOC. So, she intends to raise the issue of removing from office those officials who violate the constitution of Ukraine and direct decrees of the President.

The human rights activist stressed that during the proceedings with the "opposite side", apart from insults and calls for discrimination, she did not hear a single reference to the Ukrainian law.

She recalled that many of those who today call for a change of Church and "transfer" to another jurisdiction have themselves changed five or six parties, but their inner essence has not changed: "You are the sediment that keeps muddying the waters", said Kokhanovska.

Instead of uniting the population to fight the enemy together, certain politicians "fight on the peaceful territory" by creating religious conflicts on the ground. "You are mercenaries who need to destroy our people if not inside, then outside. But we will win anyway!", the human rights activist concluded.

As reported, Konotop mayor Artem Semenikhin, a “Svoboda” member, ordered law enforcers to seal all UOC churches in the town.

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The recommendations of the VR committee to hold worship services only in Ukrainian are:
legal requirement of the state
50%
unlawful interference in the affairs of the Church
50%
mere talk
0%
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