Vinnytsia human rights group I commented on the Law "About Modification of Article 301 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine" adopted yesterday by the Verkhovna Rada:
"Accepted by the vast majority of parliamentarians on June 11, 2009 the Law of Ukraine "About modification of article 301 of the Criminal code of Ukraine" (concerning responsibility for storage of works, images or subjects of pornographic character) constitutes danger of rather possible abuses and human rights violations, he at all doesn't answer the purpose which was declared by the author of this bill.
Need of acceptance of changes in the Criminal code of Ukraine was explained by authors of the bill as connected with ratification by Ukraine in 2003 "The optional protocol to the Convention on the rights of the child concerning trade in children, child prostitution and a child pornography". This international agreement really provided introduction of responsibility for storage of the CHILD pornography, however in the accepted changes to the criminal law doesn't contain a uniform mention of a child pornography. But now criminal responsibility will come for the proved storage of any pornographic subjects, works or images.
How the standard of the criminal law "with a sales objective or distributions" is formulated creates for the corrupted and nonprofessional law enforcement agencies of Ukraine an additional source of illegal enrichment and, undoubtedly, will be used with the repressive purpose of a fabrication of the far-fetched bases for arbitrary detentions of "desirable" persons.
Populist manipulations of legislators with norms of the criminal right in such delicate sphere as protection of public morals have to, in our opinion, draw attention of the Ukrainian society and, first of all, the legal public to a problem of quality of the rule of law, especially provisions of the law about criminal liability.The formulation illegibility, and, unfortunately, the Criminal code of Ukraine doesn't contain definition to the concepts "pornography" or "child pornography", not concreteness of the purpose criminally - punishable act, a razmytost of subject structure of a criminal offense during practical application "are converted" in bribes, extortion, illegal detentions, doubtful attraction to criminal responsibility, the illegal condemnations of people broken by the awkward legislator of destiny much. Thus the purpose - protection of moral of society not only isn't reached, but also cynically neglected discrimination application of the criminal law of rather citizens least protected in the legal plan.
Unlike the crimes connected with the illegal address of drugs when criminal responsibility comes only for the illegal address only substances from previously known public list, "offender" any potentially for storage of a pornography can't absolutely be sure that once the expert doesn't recognize this photo, drawing, a sculpture, the story and so forth - pornographic. It turns fight against crime in dirty "a legal roulette".
Bitter experience of mainly shameful "activity" so-called. "A national commission of experts of Ukraine concerning protection of public morals", in our opinion, testifies that awkward, nonprofessional, inadequate "regulation" in the field of public morals harms both morals, and the person and the government. Especially criminalization of acts in the morals sphere as the highest measure of legal responsibility is dangerous doubtful according to the legal contents.
The Vinnytsia human rights group calls the President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko to apply the veto rather adopted by BP of Ukraine of the Law "About Modification of Article 301 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine" (concerning responsibility for storage of works, images or subjects of pornographic character) and to return it to parliament with offers concerning storage criminalization on purpose distribution of subjects of a child pornography and inclusion to the criminal law of the accurate link to rule of law which contains definition of a child pornography. We address to the organizations of civil society, first of all human rights - to support our address about veto of the specified law".