NGOs Open Letter regarding the abolition of fines at EECPs when leaving the NGCA through the Russian Federation
To the Chairman of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Human Rights, Deoccupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories in Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the City of Sevastopol, National Minorities and International Relations
Dear Dmytro Valeriyovych!
We, The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations Concerning the Protection and Observance of the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and Victims of the Armed Conflict, ask you to support the draft law №5478 of 11.05.2021 “On Amendments to Section II “Final Provisions” of the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Aimed at Preventing the Occurrence and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)”.
Since March 2020, the occupation administrations, under the guise of fighting COVID-19, have imposed artificial restrictions on the crossing of the Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs) through the contact line in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as well as across the administrative border of Kherson oblast and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
As a result, Ukrainian citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories have lost the opportunity to maintain regular contact with the Ukrainian Government Controlled Areas. According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the number of crossings through the checkpoints has decreased 35 times compared to the indicators before the introduction of the quarantine measures by the occupational administrations.
In this regard, the only way to maintain social ties, apply for administrative, social, medical, and other services for citizens is to move from the temporarily occupied territories through the territory of the Russian Federation, which is currently recognized as an administrative offense under Article 204-2 Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses. Thus, for violation of the order of entry into and exit from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, an administrative penalty in the form of a fine of one hundred to three hundred non-taxable minimum incomes (i.e. from 1.7 thousand to 5.1 thousand UAH) is being applied.
Such a situation requires an urgent solution in terms of non-application of measures of administrative coercion to a certain category of persons in the conditions of de-facto movement blockage through the recognized Entry-Exit Checkpoints. The situation is especially critical during the ongoing admission campaign, where children from the temporarily occupied territories travel to the controlled territory in order to enter higher education institutions, and it is extremely important that their first meeting with the Ukrainian state will not be a report on an administrative offense.
The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations Concerning the Protection and Observance of the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and Victims of the Armed Conflict Supports Bill 475478 of 11.05.2021 “On Amendments to Section II“ Final Provisions ”of the Law of Ukraine“ On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Aimed at Preventing the Outbreak and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and asks to support the text at the next meeting of the Committee and recommend the people’s deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to adopt the bill as a basis and as a whole as soon as possible.