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Ukrainian politicians appeal for help of High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia

22 July 2015

On 21 July, High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia Ella Pamfilova submitted letters of appeal to the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights with a petition of a group of Ukrainian politicians to assist in release of Oleg Novikov, Director of the Kharkov City Centre ‘All-Ukrainian Association of Employable Disabled Persons’.

Earlier, a group of various convocations’ people’s deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine appealed to the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia with a request "to urgently petition the Ukrainian authorities for release of Oleg Novikov, a disabled person of 2nd category, who has one of his legs amputated in a serious accident" and remains a single breadwinner for his two minor children.

In the official letters Ella Pamfilova has underlined that the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia’s mandate does not entitle her to interfere with the interior of another country, at the same time she has expressed her hope that charity will be given in this case. "Taking into consideration not only the letter, but also the spirit of humanitarian values, I cannot disregard the appeal… I hope that you will find an opportunity to make the Ukrainian authorities aware of the public concern, both in Ukraine and abroad, about the situation of Oleg Novikov," the letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, and the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner, Nils Muižnieks, says.

Another request to pay personal attention to the case and take all possible measures within her mandate to alleviate the situation of Oleg Novikov was submitted to Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Valeriya Lutkovska.

For reference:
A group of people’s deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of various convocations: Mr Azarov, Mr Zhuravko, Mr Markov, Mr Oleynik, Mr Bondarenko, and Mr Boldyrev, have signed a joint letter of appeal to the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia having expressed their concern over life and health of Oleg Novikov. "The charges brought against that person are hard to be believed in by reasonable Ukrainians. The case has not been headlined in the mass media. We appeal to you because the Ukrainian authorities deliberately keep silence about their political repressions," the letter says.

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