First round results give Poroshenko ‘F’ on human rights report card, says commissioner

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MOSCOW, April 2. /TASS/. The outcome of the first round of Ukraine’s presidential race shows that President Pyotr Poroshenko has received a big, fat ‘F’ for failing to observe human rights and freedoms, Russian Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova said.

“Pyotr Poroshenko is garnering just nearly 16% despite the unprecedentedly massive election campaign, despite the information, agitation and administrative resources that had been utilized. This is only possible when the people have become fully disenchanted with the current authorities,” the ombudsman told TASS.

According to her, “there are plenty of grounds for this. Millions of Ukrainian citizens have left the country in search of work and the fratricidal conflict in eastern Ukraine still persists, people are getting arrested and convicted for political reasons, and reprisals against journalists and dissidents are widespread, muzzling their freedom of speech.”

Besides, the ban on polling stations in Russia and Donbass deprived them [citizens of Ukraine] of their voting rights and the authorities’ flagrant meddling in church affairs, which has come down to violent acts provoking a split, infringes on their right to freedom of religion. “It seems there is not a single point of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that has not been violated during Pyotr Poroshenko’s presidency,” Moskalkova stressed.

Therefore, it is not surprising that during his [Poroshenko] rule, the Ukrainian population dwindled by more than three million people who have been forced to flee the country for political reasons or seek employment in Russia or European countries, she noted.

“The protection of human rights and freedoms has always been, is and will be a key measure and an indicator of a society’s attitude towards its authorities,” Moskalkova emphasized. “The people have given Ukraine an F mark on the topic of observing human rights and freedoms and the activity of the duty-bearer of these core values,” she stressed.

On March 31, Ukraine held its first round of the presidential election, but none of the candidates managed to obtain the 50-percent majority of the vote. With more than 98% of ballots counted, leader of the Servant of the People political party Vladimir Zelensky with 30.24% and incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko with 15.93% are head towards the runoff.

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