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Civil society called on Parliament to protect whistleblowers against criminal prosecution

09.09.2019, 17:47

Photo credit: Transparency International Ukraine's Facebook

The Ukrainian NGOs and international organizations urged the MPs to amend some of the provisions of draft law No. 1010 “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On corruption prevention relative to corruption whistleblowers” that threatens the whistleblowers.

This is stated in the statement issued by the organizations, made public on September 9 on the website of the public organization Transparency International Ukraine.

According to the third sector, the parliamentary Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy has to recommend to the Parliament to amend part 4 of Article 53-1 of Presidential Bill No. 1010.

“Such a provision in the draft law edition does not protect against the criminal prosecution the whistleblowers who report corruption in mass media or other external channels if the information on corruption facts, actually, has the status of a top secret information. This means, for example, that a person who makes public some information about tenders in the Ministry of Defense which is classified as “secret”, that can indicate the theft of state property, will be criminally prosecuted, ” the statement reads.

The authors of the statement said that part 4 of article 53-1 of draft law No. 101 violates the principle of freedom of information and contravenes article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

This provision of the bill does not guarantee the right to disseminate information about corruption in the mass media or other external channels, if it was classified as “top secret”.

In addition, such a rule is also contrary to the articles of the Law on Information and the Law on Access to Public Information. So, the statement said, the provision of the bill creates a conflict  of laws.

The civil and expert community call on the committee to finalize the draft law with the amendments to Part 4 of Art. 53-1 of the bill in accordance with the rules of international and national law. In particular, amend Art. 53-1, adding the following content: “The procedure for reporting information classified as state secret is determined by Art. 11 of the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Public Information”, Art. 29 and Part 3 of Art. 30 of the Law of Ukraine “On Information”.

 

The statement was signed by:

NGO Blueprint for Free Speech,

Transparency International Ukraine,

Center of Policy and Legal Reform

Institute of Mass Information,

Ukrainian Institute for Human Rights,

Labor Initiatives,

Institute legislative ideas,

Anti-Corruption Research and Education Center (ACREC).

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