The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Mr. Ambeyi LIGABO paid a visit to Kyiv on 14-18 May 2007 following the invitation of the Governemnt of Ukraine Kyiv, 18 May 2007. The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Mr. Ambeyi LIGABO paid a visit to Kyiv on 14-18 May 2007 following the invitation of the Governemnt of Ukraine. The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Mr. Ambeyi LIGABO paid a visit to Kyiv on 14-18 May 2007 following the invitation of the Governemnt of Ukraine Kyiv, 18 May 2007. The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Mr. Ambeyi LIGABO paid a visit to Kyiv on 14-18 May 2007 following the invitation of the Governemnt of Ukraine.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Mr. Ambeyi LIGABO paid a visit to Kyiv on 14-18 May 2007 following the invitation of the Governemnt of Ukraine

Kyiv, 18 May 2007. The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Mr. Ambeyi LIGABO paid a visit to Kyiv on 14-18 May 2007 following the invitation of the Governemnt of Ukraine.

Speaking at the press-conference today, Mr. LIGABO informed about the results and the preliminary findings of his mission in regard to the promotion and the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in Ukraine. Full statement is available here.

He mentioned that since 2004 the overall situation of the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression has improved in Ukraine. At the same time, Mr Ligabo stated that the current political situation of uncertainty, compounded by uncompromising struggle for power amongst competing political parties has created considerable distress among ordinary citizens: “If this situation not excised properly, it may eventually undermine democratic achievements so far made in Ukraine, particularly, in the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression”.

During his visit the Special Rapporteur met with Ombudsman of Ukraine Ms.N.KARPACHOVA, Head of the Constitutional Court I.DOMBROVSKY, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs V.HANDOGIEM, Deputy Minister of Justice V.LUTKOVSKAYA, Head of the Central Elections Committee Y.DAVYDOVYCH, and also the representatives of the law-enforcement agencies, the National Council and the State Committee on TV and Radio Broadcasting, National Commission on Communications Regulations. According to Mr. LIGABO, he presented his immediate and true-life findings to the authorities and said that there existed undue delays in court proceedings, determining cases of violence against journalists and many of the perpetrators have not been brought to justice. “All sides, particularly the Government, need to make more concerted efforts to protect and promote civil rights of all individuals residing in Ukraine” he said.

Besides, Mr. LIGABO met with the journalists and media professionals, who were subject to violence in their professional journalists’ activities including the represantatives of the TV channel “STB”, journalist V.KATSMAN, journalist S.KUZIN, former lead of TV programme “Toloka” at the 1st National TV channel V.PAVLYUK, journalists of Ladyzhynskaya newspaper and others. The Special Rapporteur emphasized, “Journalists are eyes and hands of the society. They should also be left to run independently without any political interference”.

The report on the findings of his mission to Ukraine, including a list of conclusions and recommendations will be presented by Mr.LIGABO to the Human Rights Council’s session in June.

Mr. Ambeyi Ligabo, a Kenyan national, was appointed Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in August 2002. Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, in which he has been holding key positions in the multilateral sector for several years, he was a renowned free lance writer and journalist in his country.

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The mandate of Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression was established by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 1993/45, and extended by the Human Rights Council by its decision 1/102. In accordance with this resolution, the purpose of the visit of the Special Rapporteur is to gather all relevant information of discrimination against, threats or use of violence and harassment, including persecution and intimidation, directed at persons seeking to exercise or to promote the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion as affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as to recommend remedial measures for such situations.

The UN Human Rights Council on Human Rights was established on 3 April 2006. Currently, it consists of 47 UN member-states. Ukraine was elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council on 9 May 2006.

To learn more about UN activities in Ukraine and worldwide, please contact UN Communications Officer Ms. Veronika VASHCHENKO at veronika.vashchenko@un.org.ua, (044) 254-00-35.