Ministry of Internal Affairs opened a criminal case against NGO Centre UA - the initiator of CHESNO movement and active participant of EuroMaidan

Ministry of Internal Affairs conducts criminal proceedings against non-governmental organization “Centre UA” under article "laundering of criminally obtained money”. It became known after the police started to come to the employees and partners of the organization with the invitation to provide evidence or come to the investigator. During last Friday the police visited at least 10 people, besides it is known, that around 200 people are planned to be questioned. The proceedings were started on December 11, 2013 but it switched to the active stage only now, when all the persons are called as witnesses so far.

Personnel of Centre UA claim that it considers this criminal proceeding as continuation of systematic repression of authorities against civil society. Oleh Rybachuk. Chairman of the organization, noticed that “dictatorial laws were abolished but authorities’ dictatorial intentions to dismiss active civil society organizations were embodied in other form”. He suggested that similar cases will be brought against other organizations in the near future.

Centre UA is an initiator of CHESNO movement and scandal movie about controversial Presidential residence Mezhyhirya - “Open Access”, its members took an active part in Euromaidan events. Organization members are co-founders of such important initiatives as “New Citizen” partnership, Stop Censorship movement, coalition “For Fair Referendum” and others.  Besides, Centre UA along with journalists of and “Svidomo” bureau has recently launched a large-scale project on investigation of corruption activity of all members of the government, including personally interior minister Zakharchenko, for the leading Ukrainian news web-site “Ukrajinska Pravda” (Ukrainian Truth). 

Svitlana Zalishchuk, Executive Director of “Centre UA”, noted that "Centre UA regularly runs an independent audit, including the one on the compliance of financial activities with Ukrainian legislation, and is proud of its transparency. We consider the criminal case as pressure and intimidation in connection with our activity. "

Centre UA calls on diplomats, international and human rights organizations, members of parliament of Ukraine to pay attention to the pressure exercised on the organization and its partners through a criminal investigation in connection with the activities of the organization, and urges the Government of Ukraine to stop the unwarranted persecution of non-governmental organizations.