Cancellation of e-declarations for activists is under threat due to manipulations by the authorities

08:40 03.04.2018

Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko says the government is not interested in canceling electronic declarations for civil society organizations and activists who are fighting corruption in Ukraine as it is a means of controlling them.

“They invented electronic declarations not as an instrument of transparency, but as an instrument of repression and control over activists. This was done to rein in people who started fighting corruption,” Yulia Tymoshenko said on the program “Svoboda Slova” on channel ICTV.

The politician recalled that the first issue the Verkhovna Rada was to consider on Tuesday, April 3, is canceling the requirement for activists to file electronic declarations. Negotiations on this vote lasted all of last week, and the Batkivshchyna faction demanded an urgent vote on the issue. However, the vote will now not be held on Tuesday because the “profile anti-corruption committee in parliament did not meet because of a supposed lack of quorum.”

“What actually happened is that first members of the committee were invited to the meeting, and then our deputy and member of this committee, Ihor Lutsenko, got an SMS that the meeting was canceled, and therefore did not show up. In the meantime, they gathered only 5 deputies and announced that there was no quorum. This is the dirty way this is all being done,” she explained.

Yulia Tymoshenko recalled that the Batkivshchyna faction did not vote for electronic declarations for activists, and immediately after parliament supported the amendment they submitted a draft resolution to cancel the requirement. The initiative was not considered and as of April 1, 2018 activist will be responsible before the law for not submitting e-declarations.

“First they put people at the mercy of the law, and then they propose to repeal it. The authorities needed for April 1 to come so that they had grounds to jail public figures. It’s a shame that everything happens so dishonorably,” she said.

Yulia Tymoshenko reminded the audience and viewers that the international community – EU, US and other countries – “spoke out against this being introduced as a way to take activists by the throat and keep them in semi-jail.”

She said it is urgently important that the Verkhovna Rada pass the law canceling e-declarations for civil society organizations and activists, and consider decriminalizing non-submission of declarations.