19 May 2021

“The draft law “On the Security Service of Ukraine” restricts citizens’ access to public information,” said NAKO executive director Olena Tregub during the round table “Human Rights Agenda” on SBU Reform, which took place on May 17. The draft law does not comply with the law “On Access to Public Information.”

“The bill does not provide any guarantees that SBU executives’ declarations will be open,| Tregub said. The service also retains a monopoly in the secrecy and management of state secrets. All this deprives the public of the opportunity to exercise high-quality public control over the power structure.

The head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, Matilda Bogner, also noted that the draft law restricts citizens; access to public information. Deputy Head of the EU Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM) Fredrik Wesslau added that “the functions of combating economic and organized crime should be transferred to other agencies: this would meet the best Euro-Atlantic and European standards.”

Director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group Yevgen Zakharov called the draft law “sad and critical”, and said that the document significantly strengthens the SBU’s counterintelligence powers and expands its influence on the appointment of civil servants and prosecutors.

The roundtable was organized by Human Rights Agenda. The event was attended by Members of Parliament Mariana Bezugla, Anastasiia Radina, Dmytro Lubinets, and Valentyn Nalyvaichenko.

The following public organizations were represented: the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, the OSCE, NAKO, Human Rights Watch, Anti-Corruption Action Center, Human Rights Centre ZMINA, Center for Civil Liberties, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, and others.