MPs propose to introduce a legal definition of “a terrorist state”, permit dismissal of collaborationists, and conceal information about service members in court proceedings.
Definitions of “a terrorist state” and “a state sponsor of terrorism”
Draft bill # 8002 of September 6, 2022
Cosponsors: MP Oleksandr Merezhko with his colleagues from factions Servant of the People, Holos, For the Future, Batkivshchyna, European Solidarity, and Trust.
Who is affected: government bodies of Ukraine and russia, diplomats, businesses, and citizens.
Summary of the bill:
- the bill provides the following definition of a terrorist state: a state that holds its power by violating the human rights and freedoms of its citizens and foreigners, intimidating and using force against the civilian population of other states
- the following criteria for recognizing a state as a terrorist state are proposed:
- intentional unlawful surveillance over its citizens, dispersal of peaceful demonstrations, and control over media
- war games and military exercises at the borders of Ukraine
- crimes against humanity
- organization and maintenance of armed mercenary groups with the intent to liquidate the sovereignty of Ukraine or damage Ukraine in other ways
- murders or attempted murders of state and civic figures of Ukraine
- dissemination of information about Ukraine and other countries that violates principles of reliability, credibility, etc. intended to damage the interests of Ukraine.
- a decision on whether to recognize a state as a terrorist state will be made by the National Security and Defense Council. The President will have the power to enact such a decision
- Ukraine will terminate diplomatic relations with a terrorist state, refuse to recognize the legitimacy of its authorities, impose economic sanctions against this state, and support human rights movements in this state
- also, sanctions can be imposed against the states maintaining economic, political, cultural, educational, or other cooperation with a terrorist state.
What is wrong:
- the aim of the bill is unclear. It is obvious that its intent is to be applied against russia. However, all sanctions proposed by MPs are already applied to russia. That is why there will be no real consequences even if russia is recognized as a terrorist state under the proposed bill
- until the allies of Ukraine recognize russia as a terrorist state or a state sponsor of terrorism, the bill proposed by the MPs is senseless. The president of the United States Joe Biden has already declared that russia should not be branded a state sponsor of terrorism
- the allied countries can be recognized as state sponsors of terrorism under the proposed bill: the EU member state, the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, Japan, etc. They do maintain economic, political, cultural, educational, and other forms of cooperation with russia
- criteria of a terrorist state are controversial. For example, neighboring countries — the EU member states — are likely to hold war games near the border of Ukraine. Disinformation as such also cannot be an objective criterion to recognize a country as a terrorist state.
Dismissal of collaborationists
Draft bill # 7731 of September 5, 2022
Cosponsors: a group of MPs from the Servant of the People faction with Halyna Tretiakova and Serhii Minko from For the Future group as the first signatories.
Who is affected: heads and employees of critical infrastructure enterprises and strategic state companies.
Summary of the bill: employers will be allowed to dismiss employees of critical infrastructure enterprises and strategic state companies for offenses concerning the support of the aggressor state.
What is right: it is important to promptly dismiss collaborators from enterprises that are of vital importance to the state, communities, or people’s lives.
What is wrong:
- there is no clear definition of “an offense concerning the support of the aggressor state.” A loose interpretation of this definition could be used for abuse and dismissal of law-abiding citizens
- the intent of the bill is to give the authority to dismiss collaborators only to the heads of critical infrastructure enterprises and state companies. However, the wording of the bill will allow any employer to exercise this authority.
Concealment of information about service members in court proceedings
Draft bill # 7708 of August 29, 2022
Cosponsors: MP Maria Mezentseva and her colleagues from factions Servant of the People, For the Future, Trust, and Holos.
Who is affected: judges and service members.
Summary of the bill: court decisions will have to conceal addresses, names, and other identifying details about army units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other military units, special purpose law enforcement units, the Security Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the State Special Communications Service, and the State Special Transportation Service.
What is right: additional measures to ensure the safety of service members.
What is wrong: although the initiative as such is valid, there is a tendency that the authorities are trying to conceal more and more public information. MPs and ministers should keep the balance between public interest and national security to prevent the concealment of information of public importance.
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