Public organizations call upon the Verkhovna Rada to cancel e-declaration for anti-corruption activists without the additional tax accounting.
This is indicated in the statement of the public organizations platform, the Human Rights Agenda, signed, in particular, by the Information Center for Human Rights.
The authors of the statement pointed out the presidential bills № 6674 and № 6675 registered in Parliament in July 2017. According to them, it is proposed to replace electronic declaration of anti-corruption social activists, which is regulated by law № 1975-VIII. Instead, it is suggested to introduce additional tax accounting for organizations and individuals-entrepreneurs, as well as enterprises, institutions and organizations that provide services to them.
The public activists themselves consider the obligation to file additional report as unjustified. In addition, it has emphatically punitive character, since in case of failure to provide the accounts the organization may be fined and withdrawn of the status of non-profit organization.
“Such punishments is nothing more but imposing of selective pressure tools on the organizations which are disloyal to the Government,” the authors of the statement emphasize.
This bills initiative of the President of Ukraine is something that the signatories regard as a disproportionate interference in the activity of public associations and gross violations of international standards guaranteeing freedom to form associations and prohibition of the State interference in the activity of such public associations.
“Parliament should stop the attack on fundamental values of democracy such as rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly”, the statement says.
It should be reminded that the Verkhovna Rada approved draft law № 6172 on March 23, 2017, exempted non-commissioned officers, junior officers and other enlisted members of military services from the obligation to e-declare. Meanwhile, it obliged other people to file e-declarations: anti-corruption individuals (leaders or members of the supreme management body of public associations engaged in action against corruption), public council members of State agencies, candidates for elected office.
On July 10, 2017, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko introduced to the Parliament a package of bills on restriction of e-declaration for anti-corruption public organizations.
The process of registration of electronic declarations for government officials has started on January 1, 2018. The process is scheduled to continue until April 1, 2018. The representatives of non-profit organizations should also submit their declarations this year. Human rights activists urge the Ukrainian authorities to stop persecuting anti-corruption activists in Ukraine. Previously, the European Union also noted that e-declaration for activists exerts undue pressure on non-governmental organizations.