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Human rights activists and media call for Shufrych's dismissal from chairing the Freedom of Speech Committee

14.11.2022, 16:43
Photo: Channel 24
Photo: Channel 24

Multiple human rights organizations and media demand the dismissal of People's Deputy Nestor Shufrych from the position of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Freedom of Speech; they also demand that a unified policy regarding deputies of pro-Russian parties be developed. This is said in the movement's statement.

The statement notes that in the nine months of the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war, the Supreme Court has banned 12 pro-Russian parties. Still, representatives of these parties, who are mandated both at the local and the national level, retained their mandates from before February 24, 2022.

"We, the representatives of the civil society sector and the mass media, demand that the Verkhovna Rada urgently consider a resolution on the dismissal of Nestor Shurfrych, a person listed in the Register of State Traitors who was elected to the parliament in 2019 from the now banned OPFL party, from the post of the head of the Committee on Freedom of Speech. It is unacceptable that the Freedom of Speech Committee in the parliament is chaired by a representative of a party banned in the country, who, like other OPFL deputies, still has access to state secrets," the statement reads.

The movement notes that both groups formed after the dissolution of the OPFL faction, have a significant number of leadership positions in different committees.

"The Armed Forces have liberated Kherson, the army is fulfilling its mission. However, the state can only be effective in protecting its sovereignty when all its tools are working to achieve a strategic goal. And the parliament is a key body in the political system, which should develop tools at the national level," the statement said.

The "CHESNO" movement notes that the Committee on State Power is currently considering several draft laws regarding the further fate of the pro-Russian parties' deputies in local councils and people's deputies. However, according to the statement, the work on developing a national policy regarding pro-Russian parties is being hindered due to the fact that the specialized committee is not working properly.

"Not only that, but the chairman of this committee, Andriy Klochko ("Servant of the People"), is also lobbying for a legislative initiative proposed by OPFL representatives, which is generally unacceptable and raises questions about the general quality of the parliament's personnel policy," the statement reads.

Accordingly, the movement notes, in order to develop one of the state's key policies in wartime, public organizations and the mass media call for urgent adjustments to the work of the Committee on State Power to be made and for a unified policy regarding local council deputies and Verkhovna Rada deputies from pro-Russian parties to be developed as soon as possible with the help of experts and the civil society sector. 

The statement was supported by: "CHESNO" Movement, Bihus.Info, ZMINA, "Detector Media", Institute of Legislative Ideas, "GRUNT" MEDIA, DEJURE Foundation.

As IMI reported, on May 3, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada banned the activities of pro-Russian parties in Ukraine.

On March 20, it became known that the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine has ended all activities of several political parties for the duration of martial law. The list includes "Opposition Platform – For Life", Shariy's Party, "Nashi", Opposition Bloc, "Left Opposition", Union of Left Forces, "Derzhava", Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, "Socialists", and Volodymyr Saldo's Block.

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