Metropolitan Theodosius of Cherkasy and Kaniv Initiates Human Rights Group for Defending UOC Rights
Information and Education Department of UOC – OCP News Service – 06/11/2023
Kyiv – Ukraine: Metropolitan Theodosius of Cherkasy and Kaniv, who had recently obtained the status of a UN human rights defender due to his speech at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, spoke about his plans to create a human rights group for combatting violations of the rights of the clergy and believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. He informed about it in his interview to Deacon Serhiy Heruk, a publicist, the Information and Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reports with reference to the press service of the Cherkasy Diocese.
The administrator of the Cherkasy Diocese noted that “the status of a UN human rights defender opens up a wide range of opportunities to convey truthful information about human rights violations to the broader international community.” He stressed that first and foremost, he was talking about the persecution of the UOC.
“This status is regulated by the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. In addition, the status of a UN human rights defender allows for the use of UN resources for their protection, which has a special mandate, regulations and protection procedures for persons who contact the UN on human rights issues,” said the hierarch.
Answering the question of how he intended to use that status, Metropolitan Theodosius said that “based on the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, we plan to convene a broad human rights group in the near future to defend the rights and freedoms of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
The metropolitan noted that first of all, hierarchs, clergy, and laity who were ready and able to defend their Church during persecution would be invited to the group.
“If nothing changes with the freedom of conscience in our country in the near future, one of the priorities of our work will be the preparation of materials for the case to prevent the crime of genocide against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (religious group) on the basis of the relevant Convention adopted by Resolution 260 (III) at the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1948,” Metropolitan Theodosius also emphasized.
According to him, the human rights defense work has already begun. He informed that “The legal department of the Cherkasy Eparchy sent a 10-page appeal to the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights with a detailed factual description of violations of the rights of UOC believers in our eparchy in recent years.”
“The 10-day period in which the Ombudsman’s office could return the document to us for revision has already expired, so now we are waiting for the results of the Ombudsman’s work to protect our rights. I hope that they will be objective and adequate,” added the administrator of the Cherkasy Diocese.
We remind that on October 9, 2023, the UN Human Rights Council watched a video address by Metropolitan Theodosius of Cherkasy and Kaniv, who at that time was in court on the case of choosing a measure of restraint in the form of detention for him in relation to a criminal case.
OCP News Service