United Nations


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Distr.: General

2 November 2021

Original: English

Human Rights Committee

133rd session

Summary record of the 382 1st meeting

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on Tuesday, 26 October 2021, at 10 a.m.

Chair:Ms. Pazartzis


Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant (continued)

Eighth periodic report of Ukraine (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m.

Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant (continued)

Eighth periodic report of Ukraine (continued)(CCPR/C/UKR/8; CCPR/C/UKR/Q/8; CCPR/C/UKR/RQ/8)

1. At the invitation of the Chair, the delegation of Ukraine joined the meeting.

2.The Chair invited the members of the Ukrainian delegation to continue replying to the questions put at the previous meeting by Committee members.

3.Mr. Sokolkin (Ukraine), referring to paragraph 13 of the list of issues, said that progress had been made in following up on allegations of torture and ill-treatment: whereas in 2020, 83 cases had been investigated, in the nine months of the year to date, proceedings had been brought in 188 cases. A full investigation had been made over the course of eight months into the allegations of torture at penal colony No. 25. The prisoner who claimed to have been tortured while in isolation had been questioned using a polygraph; on the basis of that test, it had been concluded that he had fabricated his story in an attempt to obtain a move to another prison. Indeed, he had subsequently been moved. Although the investigation had not identified any potential perpetrators, special training had nevertheless been provided, in cooperation with the regional prosecutor’s office, on the correct way for staff to deal with allegations of torture and ill-treatment. In addition, the Prosecutor General’s Office had issued recommendations on methodology and made arrangements to provide full oversight.

4.Mr. Bielousov (Ukraine) said that the Prosecutor General’s Office had also drafted a national strategy and a three-year action plan to combat torture and ill-treatment, which should be adopted in November 2021.

5.In reply to the questions on paragraph 11 of the list of issues, he said that since 2014, 30,000 criminal cases relating to the conflict zone had been registered. The Prosecutor General’s Office had referred more than 100 cases of unlawful deprivation of liberty or enforced disappearance to the courts. In addition, 29 persons were suspected of war crimes. In the temporarily occupied territories, 160 places of unlawful deprivation of liberty had been identified, where more than 3,000 people had been held at the start of the conflict.

6.Since 2014, 39 criminal proceedings for misconduct had been brought against members of the Security Service of Ukraine; of those proceedings, 28 had been closed, 9 were under investigation and 2 had been brought to court, yielding one conviction to date, with a sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment.

7.Mr. Yablonsky (Ukraine) said that the special unit set up in 2020 in the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate crimes associated with the protests of 2013–2014 had attempted to investigate the incidents as objectively as possible. Charges had been brought against 84 persons. In addition, 46 cases involving 60 persons, including some who had been the subject of international search warrants for six years, had been referred to court. Steps taken to recover assets illegally obtained by former senior officials had resulted in the seizure of property worth more than $15 million. Thirteen individuals had been charged with murder in relation to the protests.

8.A former rifleman from the Interior Forces of Ukraine had been arrested and charged for committing 48 killings in February 2014. Two civilians had been arrested for involvement in the abduction, torture and subsequent death of Yuri Yibitsky in January 2014 and another had been detained in the United Kingdom for the attempted murder of law enforcement officials and the murder of two police officers.

9.The law of 21 February 2014 preventing the prosecution of participants in the Maidan protests was not an obstacle to investigation because under article 9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure no law contrary to the Code was applicable. The State Bureau of Investigation guaranteed equality of all before the law and therefore investigated both murders committed by law enforcement officials and murders committed by civilians against law enforcement officials.

10.By way of illustration of the effectiveness of the investigations, he said that in September 2021, a former senior Kyiv police officer who had failed to appear when summoned had been declared wanted and, 12 days later, State Bureau of Investigation officials, with no involvement from other operational units, had arrested him. The court had remanded him in custody on suspicion of organizing and carrying out three murders. Similarly, 19 investigators, four prosecutors and four judges had been identified as suspects in a number of cases.

11.Three judges and two police officers had been identified as suspects in the illegal deprivation of rights of protesters. Two prosecutors and one civilian had been found by the Administrative Court of Kyiv to have illegally obstructed protests. Three public security chiefs had been charged with bringing arms and riot-control equipment from the Russian Federation into Ukraine.

12.As to the incidents in Odessa, charges had been brought against former senior municipal officials for negligence in the discharge of their duties and for deliberate facilitation of actions that had resulted in death.

13.Mr. Ben Achour asked whether the State party intended to repair the broken bridge at the entry/exit checkpoint at Stanytsia Luhanska. It created enormous difficulties, particularly in extremely hot or extremely cold weather, for the thousands of people – the majority of whom were older persons and persons with disabilities – wishing to cross into the temporarily occupied territory of the Luhansk region, thereby restricting their right to freedom of movement.

14.With regard to the shift in affiliation of religious communities to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, notwithstanding the State party’s assurances that the transition was going ahead peacefully, several violent incidents had occurred. The Committee was concerned at the involvement of non-religious actors in the process, including local authorities and extreme right-wing groups, and at the fact that the police had in certain cases failed to act. Did the State party intend to take action against the police officers concerned?

15.Priests belonging to organizations with links to Russian religious centres had been banned from entering premises of the Ukrainian armed forces for reasons of national security. Did the delegation consider that measure to be compatible with article 18 (3) of the Covenant?

16.Mr. Yigezu said that, according to information received by the Committee, anyone wishing to seek asylum who was denied entry into the State party’s territory from an airport transit zone was informed by the Border Guard Service that their asylum application had been rejected. No effective legal remedy could be invoked to challenge that decision since the person was not on Ukrainian territory; for the same reason, they had no means of obtaining legal assistance. He wished to know whether the State party intended to protect asylum seekers in such situations from refoulement, for example by putting in place an effective remedy, with suspensive effect, to challenge decisions by border guards refusing entry to Ukraine, and guaranteeing the provision of legal and other assistance.

17.Noting that, under the draft law on protection for foreigners and stateless persons, asylum seekers could be automatically detained for up to 18 months while their applications were considered, and that their right to marry was restricted, he said that he would like to know whether the State party was considering revising those provisions in order to bring the bill into line with the Covenant.

18.Various sources had reported irregularities in the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections that had cast doubt on both the credibility of the election process and the free expression of voters’ will, including instructions and inducements given to civil servants and voters, and a lack of transparency in campaign financing. Although criminal proceedings had been brought in order to address those irregularities, the majority of the cases had been closed or were still pending at the pretrial stage, and he would like to know why. He also wished to know what specific charges had been brought in those cases under electoral law.

19.He would like to know whether steps had been taken to submit draft legislation to parliament on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples and national minorities, as required under the law of 25 April 2019 on the use of the Ukrainian language as the State language. He would also like to know how the State party intended to address what appeared to be discriminatory treatment, under the law on education, between national minorities and indigenous peoples with regard to education in their respective languages.

20.Mr. Zyberi enquired as to whether the new draft law on personal data protection was likely to be adopted in 2021, and in what ways it improved on existing provisions.

21.He said that he would like to know what safeguards and controls were in place to ensure that surveillance activities by law enforcement and intelligence agencies complied with article 17 of the Covenant. Were all activities that interfered with personal privacy subject to judicial authorization and independent oversight?

22. He would welcome an update on the progress of the investigation into the public release of personal data of individuals labelled as “terrorists” by the Myrotvorets website. How many cases of violation of privacy had come before the courts? Were effective remedies available to those affected?

23.In the light of recent attacks on journalists and civil society activists and the murder of others, and given that the authorities appeared to be slow to launch investigations, he wished to know what measures the State party had taken to prevent and investigate harassment and assault against media professionals and human rights defenders. Were such attacks properly classified under the Criminal Code and promptly investigated? He would appreciate information on progress in the investigations into the killings of Oles Buzina, Pavlo Sheremet and Vadym Komarov in particular, the first two of which had been ongoing for two years.

24.The Committee was concerned that the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine remained underfunded and that the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting might not be impartial, as its members appeared to vote along political lines. He would welcome the delegation’s comments.

25.Restrictions to freedom of expression online, including by blocking Russian websites and Russian social media and prosecuting allegedly extremist or separatist opinion, had been justified on grounds of national security. He wished to know what safeguards were in place to ensure that restrictions affected only extremist websites and war propaganda, leaving other communication channels available to the public.

26.The Committee was concerned about attempts to interfere with journalists’ investigative work, for example by seeking to obtain access to confidential communications between journalists and their sources. He wondered what measures the State party intended to take to investigate such incidents and prevent their recurrence in the future. Draft legislation on whistle-blower protection that would also have protected journalists’ sources had been submitted to parliament in 2016 but never debated, so he wondered what steps the Government planned to take to provide such protection in law.

27.Noting that 16 per cent of the population were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, he asked when the State party expected to have vaccinated the majority of the population and what provision had been made for vaccinating persons with no fixed address or with no documentation.

28.With regard to gender equality, he would like to know what steps were being taken to ensure proper political representation for women from vulnerable groups and to address the 20 per cent gender pay gap.

29.Lastly, he wished to know what steps had been taken to investigate those killings of civilians during the armed conflict that still remained unpunished.

30.Mr. Gómez Martínez asked what had caused the mass resignation of judges that had taken place when the High Judicial Qualification Commission had begun its work, and whether it had resulted in a shortage of judges, particularly in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. He said that he would like to know the outcome of the investigation by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office into interference by judges from the Kyiv district court in the Qualification Commission’s work. He wondered whether the Commission had completed its evaluation of judges. He would welcome information on the main changes introduced in the new law on the High Judicial Qualification Commission adopted on 13 July 2021 and in particular on the composition and powers of the new judicial ethics commission also created under that law.

31.He would like to hear about the progress of the draft legislation to amend article 375 of the Criminal Code, which had been declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in June 2020 as tending to undermine the independence of the judiciary.

32.In March 2020, the High Council of Justice had received 1,170 complaints from judges claiming interference with their independence. He asked the delegation to provide a breakdown of the complaints according to the alleged source of interference.

33.He said that he would be interested to know more about the new Court Protection Service, including its composition, to whom it was responsible, its day-to-day operation and the results obtained to date.

34.He would like to know whether the project to make improvements to the Prosecutor General’s Office, launched in 2018 by the European Union and the Council of Europe, was still running and what results it had obtained. He wondered whether the procedure for the appointment and dismissal of the Prosecutor General had been changed to take account of qualifications and competence, and whether objective criteria had been introduced for the random allocation of cases to prosecutors. Was the system of bonuses, to be paid at the discretion of senior prosecutors and thereby jeopardizing prosecutorial independence, still in place?

35.The State party was to be commended for its improvements to due process safeguards in trials of crimes committed during the armed conflict. The Committee nevertheless remained concerned at information it had received to the effect that pressure of various kinds was exerted on lawyers involved in such cases. In the cases of Oleksandr Shadrin, Andriy Khozhiy and Oleksandr Ivanov in particular, could the delegation say what stage the proceedings had reached or whether sentence had yet been passed?

36.Recalling that, in accordance with the law banning electoral participation by the Communist and National Socialist parties, the presidential candidates nominated by the Communist Party of Ukraine had not been permitted to register with the Central Electoral Commission, he asked whether that Commission had taken any similar decisions in respect of candidates from other political parties. Noting that the European Commission for Democracy through Law considered that Ukrainian legislation in that regard did not comply with international standards, he asked whether the State party intended to amend it.

37.Notwithstanding the legislative amendments made to enable internally displaced persons to vote in their de facto place of residence, internally displaced persons had still encountered difficulties in the 2020 elections and were not necessarily aware of their right to vote. Were any measures planned to further facilitate their participation in elections in the future?

38.He would like to know whether the State party intended to take steps to further encourage the representation of minorities in parliament. He wondered whether the requirement for candidates to pay a deposit to run for election could be deemed an impediment to the exercise of the right to be elected.

39.Noting that the Central Electoral Commission had the power to deny registration to candidates on the basis of its own evaluation of their election manifestos, he asked whether that might not amount to an infringement of the freedom of political expression. He wondered why the Commission did not publish its decisions to reject candidates on its website or specify which parts of a given manifesto violated electoral law.

40.Lastly, he said that he would appreciate a reply to his question on the outcome of proceedings in cases involving threats and intimidation against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.

41.Ms. Sancin said that she would like to know whether the restrictions on internally displaced persons’ freedom of movement were still in place, in light of the concern that such persons might forfeit the protection of the law if they were absent from their place of residence for more than 60 days.

42.It was encouraging to note that the State party was considering taking account of the concerns of the European Commission for Democracy through Law when it reviewed the draft law on the principles of State policy for the transition period. Was it also considering incorporating the more comprehensive approach recommended by the Commission, so that the law would cover alleged violations not only by the Russian Federation but also by domestic actors?

43.With regard to implementation of the Committee’s Views under the Optional Protocol, she would appreciate clarification of how the State party intended to provide for review of domestic courts’ decisions where the Committee found them to be in violation of the Covenant.

44.With regard to violence against women, while she appreciated the legislative and policy advances made in the State party, she would also like to have specific figures on investigations carried out and penalties handed down to perpetrators.

45.She welcomed the information on cases that had been brought to court in connection with human rights violations during the armed conflict, but she wondered whether any of those cases concerned violations such as torture and incommunicado detention allegedly perpetrated in the unofficial detention facility in Kharkiv between 2014 and 2016.

46.She would appreciate the delegation’s comments on the provision of draft law No. 3553 that apparently made it legal for the police to hunt for conscripts and forcibly transfer them to army recruitment centres. She would also like to know what was being done to address the problem of prolonged pretrial detention for children.

47.She would appreciate an explanation of how and when the State party intended to take further measures, in practice and in law, to protect peaceful assemblies, attacks on which were reportedly still not adequately investigated. What steps were being taken to prosecute those responsible for attacking women’s marches on 8 March 2018; political figures and activists in connection with the 2019 elections; and other assemblies organized by Roma and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community? She would be interested to know when the State party intended to adopt a law regulating peaceful assembly in compliance with the Covenant. Lastly, she would appreciate the delegation’s response to the Committee’s concern at the classification of peaceful assemblies during quarantine periods as administrative offences and at the involvement of the National Guard in the performance of police functions.

The meeting was suspended at 11.15 a.m. and resumed at 11.35 a.m.

48.Mr. Yaremenko (Ukraine), illustrating his statement with a short video, said that conditions at the entry/exit checkpoints had changed dramatically since 2019. The Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine had made the organization of crossings in the east and the south of the country a priority. A broken bridge had been repaired and reopened in 2019 and, in line with the agreed conclusions of the Paris Summit of 9 December 2019, two new checkpoints had been opened in the east, near Luhansk, in November 2020. They had been built to a very high standard; the other checkpoints were being modernized accordingly. Services included a bank, a shop, medical facilities and a children’s play area. In addition, free COVID testing was available.

49.The number of crossings had dropped significantly in the east and in the south, on the administrative border with Crimea. Since June 2020 there had been fewer than half a million crossings in the east and in the previous 24 hours fewer than 300. The reason was that the Russian Federation had closed all the checkpoints except the ones in Stanytsia Luhanska (Luhansk region) and in Novotroitske (Donetsk region). The justification given was COVID-19 restrictions, yet the number of those entering the temporarily occupied territories was greater than the number allowed to leave them. Those seeking entry were required by the occupying authorities to provide specific data before approval was granted.

50.He wished to point out that Ukraine made vaccinations available to residents of the temporarily occupied territories: more than 6,000 people there had been vaccinated to date, free of charge.

51.Mr. Shevchenko (Ukraine) said that the law provided that the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine must be allocated the necessary funds for day-to-day operations; the funds allocated in 2020 were detailed in the law on the State budget of Ukraine for 2020. Half the members of the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting were appointed by the President; the other half were appointed by parliament. As far as he was aware, the Council’s regulatory activities were conducted independently and without political motivation. Regarding the restrictions imposed in relation to Russian media, the National Security and Defence Council ensured that limitations of freedom of speech were imposed only when necessary to protect a democratic society. It took such matters very seriously and sought to enforce an appropriate balance between national security needs and freedom of expression. In addition, there was the possibility of bringing perceived violations of freedom of speech before the courts; the higher courts had already handed down decisions in several such cases.

52.The cases involving Natalia Sedletska and Kristina Berdynskykh had been resolved a few years ago. It was important to note that the law provided for guarantees of confidentiality of journalistic sources, including, under criminal procedure law, the right not to give information in certain situations.

53.Mr. Koval (Ukraine) said that the current membership of the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting had been appointed by very different political forces over a considerable period of time: in fact, only three members had been appointed by the current President, and three others had been appointed by parliament in 2014, immediately after the Revolution of Dignity. The Council’s current composition could not therefore be considered to be politically influenced. In any event, all members were required to act strictly in compliance with the law, which required open consideration of all issues, and the Council’s meetings were publicly broadcast; moreover, any of its decisions could be appealed in court, thus ensuring the Council’s independence and impartiality. A new law on the media, the draft of which was currently before parliament, would make it easier to obtain broadcasting permits.

54.While acknowledging that, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, television and radio companies had suffered financially – including significant losses in advertising revenue – he was not aware of any allegations or evidence that restrictions related to COVID-19 had affected freedom of expression in the media. A number of measures had been taken by the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting and by parliament to facilitate the continued activities of licensees during the pandemic: specifically, direct contact between Council members and licensees had been minimized by introducing off-site inspections and a content-exchange platform for television broadcasters, with royalty-free content. A total of 178 broadcasters had benefited from the content-exchange platform, which remained operational.

55.Mr. Kuzin (Ukraine) said that the vast majority of vaccine doses had been procured with government funds; just 1 per cent had been obtained with international support. Several types of vaccines were available and rural areas now had better access to vaccines, so that anyone who wished to be vaccinated could be; just in the past week, over 1.5 million people had been vaccinated. Children 12 years of age or older could be vaccinated in any city in Ukraine. The anti-vaxxer campaign, which was bolstered by the Russian authorities, and a lack of medical personnel were the main challenges facing vaccination efforts in the country.

56.Mr. Livaryuk (Ukraine) said that the public education system offered children the possibility of learning various languages, although the curriculum required that all schoolchildren should be fluent in Ukrainian, the country’s official language. Fluency in Ukrainian was not just a matter of social integration, but also of children’s rights – it was important to maximize every child’s chances of entering any university and pursuing any career in Ukraine. Private schools, on the other hand, did not have any Ukrainian language requirements. The Crimean Tatar language was under threat of extinction as a consequence of ruthless assimilation policies in the Soviet era, compounded by the more recent occupation by the Russian Federation of Crimea, where most Crimean Tatars lived. Special measures had therefore been taken to support the Crimean Tatar language.

57.Mr. Horiachenko (Ukraine) said that the national police had a duty to uphold law and order, protect the freedom and safety of citizens and prevent crime. Police officers documented action, including by video recording public demonstrations and any violations of the law. Over the past two years, the police had begun pretrial investigations into 24 cases of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex persons, including assaults by far-right groups. As for violations committed during the Equality March, evidence had been sent to the courts regarding at least four such cases.

58.Mr. Bielousov (Ukraine), noting that the prosecution service had undergone significant reform since 2019, said that, following an attestation process, some 70 per cent of existing prosecutors had been found to be acting in compliance with standards of professional competence, integrity and ethics. A disciplinary unit comprised of 11 members would soon be operational: in September 2021, 10 members had been appointed; the remaining member, to be selected by lawyers, was expected to be appointed shortly.

59.Prosecutors, in addition to a salary, received a yearly bonus equivalent to no more than 30 per cent of their monthly salary. A strategy developed by the Prosecutor General’s Office in 2020 included the automatic dissemination of information about the cases it handled; implementation of the strategy was ongoing.

60.As for places of detention in Kharkiv Province, there were currently nine criminal cases pending against officers of the Security Service of Ukraine; of those, there was one case in which it was alleged that the defendants had been kept in special facilities, but the pretrial investigation was ongoing.

61.Mr. Sigov (Ukraine) said that Ukrainian army chaplains were expected to be inclusive and ecumenical; priests of the Russian Orthodox Church were not allowed to give communion to or even pray with members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, whereas Ukrainian priests gave communion to and prayed with all the faithful, regardless of their religious affiliation. That situation was the result of a unilateral decision, three years previously, by the Moscow Patriarch to sever all ties with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. In August 2021, the latter’s visit to Ukraine had, as in the past, been interpreted by the Russian authorities not as a pastoral visit, but as a provocation, and protests had been organized outside parliament. The authorities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had, however, insisted on trying to re-establish contact and communion without exclusion. Parliament’s adoption of measures to restrict the access of religious organizations affiliated with Russian religious centres to the facilities of the Ukrainian armed forces seemed reasonable, given national security concerns. It was understood that the situation was a temporary one.

62.Ms. Sofina (Ukraine) said that, in order to increase transparency and accountability in the funding of political parties, the paper-based approach to financial reporting had been replaced with an online platform, which had been developed with the support of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Political parties would submit their reports via the online platform, where civil society and the media could access and scrutinize the reports directly. The platform had been operating in test mode since July 2020 to allow political parties to familiarize themselves with it.

63.The draft law on the principles of State policy for the transition period was being amended on the basis of inclusive and extensive consultations, following the issuance of the opinion of the European Commission for Democracy through Law in relation to the draft law.

64.Ms. Bohdanova (Ukraine) said that gender equality was a major priority for the Government, which had set up a gender equality commission within the Cabinet of Ministers. The commission, which comprised deputy ministers and representatives from other executive bodies, met quarterly to discuss gender equality issues. In addition, the Ministry of Social Policy, which had created a special unit to deal with such issues, had issued guidelines in 2020 on how to incorporate a gender perspective in all legislative policymaking. Any legislation being developed or amended was therefore reviewed to ensure that its content would affect women and men equally.

65.The gender wage gap had decreased from 22.8 per cent in 2019 to 20.4 per cent in 2021. In some fields, however, such as information and communications technology, there could be as much as a 30 per cent discrepancy. Equal rights and opportunities for men and women, as well as equal pay for equal working conditions, were principles that were already enshrined in law. In addition, the Ministry of Social Policy had issued guidelines on how to draw up contracts that ensured equal rights and pay. Collective agreements were required by law to include provisions to that effect. One of the reasons for wage inequality was differences in how men and women spent their time; for instance, a recent survey had shown that women spent twice as many hours doing housework than men did. The Government was preparing another survey to analyse the question in more depth, in particular in respect of unpaid domestic work. Recommendations for gender audits in businesses and organizations had also been made, with a view to identifying shortcomings and developing strategies to ensure gender equality.

66.Ms. Boiko (Ukraine) said that the law of Ukraine on the legal status of foreigners and stateless persons prohibited the return or extradition of such persons to countries where they risked being subjected to discrimination. Similarly, the Code of Criminal Procedure prohibited the extradition of persons granted temporary protection or persons who had applied for protection. Specific measures had been taken to ensure that persons in need of international protection who entered Ukrainian territory with the aim of seeking asylum would be exempt from liability and therefore would not be subject to fines. Persons with refugee status or who were recognized as in need of international protection had the same status as Ukrainian citizens, except where otherwise provided by law.

67.Mr. Malovatskyi (Ukraine) said that there was a major shortage of judges in the country, with up to 2,000 vacant judgeships, owing in part to the fact that a large number of judges had not yet passed the evaluation process begun five years previously. It was difficult to predict when the evaluations would be completed because, although the High Council of Justice was still operational, the High Judicial Qualification Commission had been inactive for two years and no real progress could be made until that Commission became operational again. Some 50 per cent of judges were awaiting the outcome of the evaluation process. Currently, eight courts nationwide were not operating on account of the lack of judges; as a result, some 100,000 people did not have access to the courts and proceedings could be prolonged for up to five years. The case involving possible interference by judges from the Kyiv district court in the Qualification Commission’s work was currently under investigation.

68.The Constitutional Court’s decision regarding the unconstitutionality of article 375 of the Criminal Code was under consideration by parliament; in any event, no judge had been charged with a felony in the past year, and the article in question was not actively applied. Lastly, it was his understanding that judicial protection services were working effectively.

69.Ms. Sancin said that she would like clarification as to whether derogations to articles 9, 12 and 17 of the Covenant were still in force.

70.Ms. Filipenko (Ukraine) said that the delegation had taken note of the Committee’s questions and recommendations, and would endeavour to submit any outstanding replies in writing within 48 hours.

71.The Chair said that, despite the technical problems experienced by some of the delegation members participating virtually, the Committee had enjoyed a fruitful dialogue with the delegation, which she thanked for the information it had provided. While the Committee understood the State party’s current limitations in fully implementing the Covenant in areas of its territory that were not under its effective control, it hoped that the State party would continue its efforts to ensure respect of the rights enshrined under the Covenant throughout its territory, wherever the State party’s operations could affect the rights of inhabitants. Recalling also the Committee’s position that, by acceding to the Optional Protocol, the State party had an obligation of good faith to take action in follow-up to the Committee’s Views and to ensure, in practice, that victims had access to domestic remedies, she encouraged the State party to revisit legislative efforts in that regard.

The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.