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UDPATED: Ukraine appeals to CoE regarding derogation from parts of Convention on Human Rights and Freedoms due to martial law

by Kateryna Hodunova April 29, 2024 3:46 PM 2 min read
The EU flag and the Ukrainian flag fly together by the Tower of the British Parliament as part of a pro-EU demonstration in London on Nov. 15, 2023. (Krisztian Elek/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Editor's note: The article was updated with additional comments by Justice Minister Denys Maliuska.

Ukraine sent an application to the Council of Europe regarding the suspension of the terms of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms due to martial law, according to a statement published on April 28.

Ukraine made the appeal on April 4, but it was published by the end of the month.

Justice Minister Denys Maliuska said that this application was part of Ukraine's regular updates on what restrictions it might impose and is one of Kyiv's international obligations, adding that some suspensions were actually removed in April. The first such application was submitted in 2015, one year after the start of Russian aggression in Crimea and Donbas.

The European Court of Human Rights gives Council of Europe member states the right to derogate from some articles under special circumstances, such as armed aggression.

According to Kyiv's application, the military could temporarily implement limitations on certain rights.

These measures would include seizing property for the needs of the state, following the curfew, prohibiting peaceful mass events, and prohibiting residence changes for those who registered with the military or special registry, among other limitations.

The military command is also allowed to inspect the belongings, vehicles, baggage, cargo, office premises, and citizens' homes by the established procedure and implement the special regime for citizens, foreigners, and stateless persons, as well as vehicles' movement.

The military housing duty for individuals and legal entities is also established, complying with martial law.

Martial law was introduced on Feb. 24, 2022, when Russia launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the Ukrainian government has prolonged it several times.

Under martial law, Ukrainian men aged between 18 and 60, with some exceptions, are not allowed to leave the country as they may be called up for military service.

The Ukrainian government is seeking to ramp up its mobilization efforts in 2024 due to the lack of personnel in the Armed Forces.

In April, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the updated bill on mobilization, which will be put into force the following month. It will introduce new restrictions to those who violate it, including sanctions on personal property.

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