Appeal to the President

герб

Member of Parliament of Ukraine

Interfactional Parliamentary Association
“For the Protection of Violated Rights of Citizens and
Against Political Repression
“Forbidden to Forbid”


To the President of Ukraine
P. O. Poroshenko

MP Appeal

Dear Petro Oleksiyovych!

Part 4, Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine determines that no one can be relieved of their obligations before the state or refuse to observe the laws on the basis of their religious beliefs. In case the observance of military duty contradicts religious beliefs of the citizen, the observance of such duty shall be replaced with alternative (non-military) service.

Details of the aforementioned provisions are defined in the laws of Ukraine “On military duty and military service” and “On alternative (non-military) service”.

However, current editions of the laws of Ukraine “On alternative (non-military) service” and “On draft and conscript training” do not account for the aforementioned requirements of part 4, Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine. Meanwhile, draft practice reflects the possibility of involving drafted persons in the events related to the use of weapons, which is unacceptable to the believers.

In order to reconcile part 4, Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine and the Law of Ukraine “On draft and conscript training” I have employed my right of legislative initiative and thus developed and presented to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine a draft Law of Ukraine “On amending the Law of Ukraine “On draft and conscript training” concerning alternative (non-military) service for the citizens of Ukraine, whose religious beliefs prevent them from performing their military duties” (register #2034a from 05.06.2015).

In the course of discussion regarding the aforementioned bill at the meeting of the National Security and Defense Committee, the Committee has pointed out that currently there are several bills registered at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine that are aimed at resolving the same matter, for instance, the bill presented by Member of Parliament of Ukraine Y. Mamchur “On amending several laws of Ukraine concerning the improvement of defense issues” (register #2191, reworked), which awaits to be considered by the Verkhovna Rada.

I have an opportunity to draw your attention to the fact that this bill (register #2191, reworked) encompasses only the sphere of improvement of defense issues and is in no way aimed at resolving the matters related to the provisions of part 4, Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine – alternative (non-military) service for the citizens of Ukraine, whose religious beliefs prevent them from performing their military duties.

Based on the results of the meeting of the National Security and Defense Committee on July 12, 2016, a draft resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine was registered under #2034a/P: “On rejecting the draft Law of Ukraine “On amending the Law of Ukraine “On draft and conscript training” concerning alternative (non-military) service for the citizens of Ukraine, whose religious beliefs prevent them from performing their military duties” (register #2034a).

Keeping in mind Article 9 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms  (ratified on July 17, 1997) concerning the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and the practice of the European Court of Human Rights that confirms the right of persons to an alternative way of performing their military duty, which is defined in court decisions on the cases Bucharatian v. Armenia (appeal #37819/03 from 10.01.2012), Stefanov v. Bulgaria (appeal #32438/96 from 03.05.2001), Yerchep v. Turkey (appeal #43965/04 from 22.11.2011) and others; considering the fact that you are a guarantor of the Constitution of Ukraine and the rights of the citizens of Ukraine, as well as the fact that practical implementation of part 4, Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine requires current legislation to be amended, namely, the Law of Ukraine “On draft and conscript training”, I hereby kindly request you, within the limits of your authority and in a manner provided in the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine, to support the draft Law of Ukraine “On amending the Law of Ukraine “On draft and conscript training” concerning alternative (non-military) service for the citizens of Ukraine, whose religious beliefs prevent them from performing their military duties” (register #2034a) drafted by me, or, employing your right of legislative initiative, to develop and present to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine your own bill on observing the rights of the citizens to  alternative (non-military) service.

I kindly request you to inform me of the results of your consideration of this appeal and your decision in a manner and within a period determined by the Law of Ukraine “On the status of Member of Parliament of Ukraine”.

 

Respectfully,

                                                                                                                                                    A. L. Derkach

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