After the successful launch of e-declaration, the ruling authorities decided to crack down on anti-corruption NGOs. The t bill No. 5318 was written by Yurii Derevianko concerning ‘foreign agents’. Transparency International Ukraine and Reanimation Package of Reforms request MPs not to support the bill as it hinders their operations. The anti-corruption community views this scenario as a planned attack against activists who hold the government accountable.
The Derevianko bill revives the idea of “dictatorial laws of 16 January 2014” on the registration of “foreign agents” or organizations that fight corruption through the funds of international donors. The Deputy offers the National Agency on Corruption Prevention to keep records of public associations. Therefore, those who engage with anti-corruption will be considered as potentially corrupt. A similar law has been enforced for over a year in Russia. As a result, more than a thousand NGOs have undergone inspections, dozens of them ‘warned’, fined, and some even forced to cease operation.
The fact that BillNo. 5318 was introduced on October 28 and was sent to the Committee on Legislative Support of Law Enforcement instead of Committee on Fighting Organized Crime and Corruption is perplexing. The bill which came about without any public debate instantly received the endorsement of the committee and consensus among the factions. Parliamentary session will consider it today. These facts indicate a well-planned and coordinated attempt to weaken reformers.
TI Ukraine and RPR calls on MPs to immediately reject the bill №5318, which is a continuation of Yanukovych’s style repression. Its ruling will greatly affect many f public organizations that are revealing corruption in all areas of the state. This will certainly lead to impunity for the authorities and flourishing corruption.
Nonetheless, anti corruption NGOs welcome and fully support the work towards the increasing of transparency in the public sector and will contribute to the proposals development of accountability within this field.