Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another undeserving recipient of honours

Yesterday president Yushchenko awarded Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights Nina Karpachova with the Ukrainian Order of Merit - 3rd degree, on her 50th birthday, for her "significant personal contribution to the defence of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, for many years of fruitful socio-political activity and law-making."

c.f. the following from a 17th May 2007 account from the respectable Kharkiv Human Rights Protection [KHRP] group:

"It is now 100 days since Nina Karpachova began her third term in office. Her second was terminated prematurely by the Verkhovna Rada some seven months (rather than the ten days stipulated by legislation) after she was elected National Deputy (MP) from the Party of the Regions. She was then voted back in by her parliamentary colleagues despite a massive campaign by civic organizations throughout Ukraine, and quite unequivocal statements from officials in the Council of Europe and international human rights organizations regarding the inappropriateness of political engagement and clear conflict of interests in Karpachova ’s standing again."..

The above-mentioned PACE report stated: "On 11 January [2007], the Verkhovna Rada was scheduled to elect the new [Ukrainian Parliament Human Rights] Ombudsperson. To our indignation, however, the ruling coalition parties presented the candidature of the same person [Nina Karpachova] that had discredited the independence of the Ombudsman's office in Ukraine for months."

And again, from the KHRP site:

"During the first 100 days of her new tenure, Nina Karpachova launched only three investigations. And this is despite a Secretariat behind her boasting 120 people. The funding allocated from the Budget, human rights groups believe to be 20 million UAH per year."..

In the 2006 elections Ms Karpachova was second on the candidate list for the Party of the Regions.

Other criticism involves her failure to respond swiftly to human rights abuses and her lack of openness. According to Yevhen Zakharov, the Ombudsperson’s Secretariat has mastered the skills of ping-pong with complaints getting sent to the institutions which are being complained about.

...Kateryna Levchenko, member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on legislative backup for law enforcement work told those present that during her first 100 days in office, Nina Karpachova had several times infringed the principle of impartiality, giving grounds for believing that her actions were politically motivated."

LEvko wonders what game Yushchenko is playing..

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