Abuse of Military Power - Violating Citizens’ Rights in Ukraine

In a flagrant violation of constitutional law, military entities such as the Armed Forces of Ukraine, State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, National Guard of Ukraine, and others, along with state and judicial bodies and their officials, are systematically infringing upon the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens, directly contravening Article 17 of the Constitution of Ukraine. This article explicitly prohibits the use of military formations to restrict citizens’ liberties.

Despite the clear mandate in Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine on the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which obligates military administrative bodies to uphold the constitutional ban against employing the Armed Forces to curtail civil rights, there exists a pervasive pattern of rights violations orchestrated by the military. These include unauthorized detentions at borders, prevention of citizens’ departures, arbitrary street detentions, and illicit confinements within so-called mobilization and social support centers - Territorial Center for Recruitment and Social Support.

Such actions not only defy the Constitution but also transgress criminal law, as delineated in Part 3 of Article 371 and Part 3 of Article 146 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. These articles prescribe severe penalties for unlawful detention, confinement, and kidnapping, highlighting the criminal nature of these military actions.

Furthermore, Article 426-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine penalizes the abuse of power by military officials, underscoring that any overextension of authority, especially during martial law or combat situations, that results in significant harm, is subject to stringent legal consequences.

The persistence of these unlawful military actions signifies the existence of a coordinated effort to perpetrate mass crimes against Ukrainian citizens, effectively constituting a criminal organization with a defined hierarchy and malicious intent.

Despite numerous criminal proceedings initiated against these unlawful military actions, a concerning lack of accountability prevails. Law enforcement agencies, including the police and the State Bureau of Investigations, fail to thoroughly investigate these crimes, leading to a judicial stalemate where the perpetrators remain unpunished.

Compounding this alarming situation is the state and judiciary’s failure to adhere to Article 22 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which safeguards constitutional rights and freedoms from cancellation or diminution. This neglect extends to the refusal to amend legislation in a manner that would unjustly impose additional restrictions on citizens’ freedoms, particularly concerning the freedom to leave the country and exemption from conscription during mobilization.

Moreover, this systemic disregard for constitutional protections has led to egregious instances of discrimination based on gender, social, and property status, in direct violation of Part 2 of Article 64 and Article 24 of the Constitution of Ukraine. The discriminatory policies, which unjustly restrict the mobility of men aged 18 to 60 and those not in state leadership roles, starkly contrast with the freedoms afforded to other demographic groups, further exacerbating the legal and moral crisis.

In sum, the widespread abuse of military power and the judiciary’s complicity in these acts represent a grave breach of Ukraine’s legal and constitutional framework, undermining the rule of law and eroding the foundational principles of justice and equality in the country.



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