Patriarch Sviatoslav Criticizes Judiciary System in Ukraine
“The present condition of judicial procedure is one of the deepest actual wounds of our state,” said the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) commenting on the recent trials of Y. Tymoshenko and L. Lutsenko in an interview to UNIAN.
“Unfortunately, for a long time in Ukraine, it has often been the case that innocent people were tried and kept in prisons and they need our prayers and support,” stated the patriarch.
He also mentioned prisoners suffering from TB or AIDS. According to the patriarch, “no qualified or any medical help is given to them due to the deficiency of our penitentiary system, and they slowly die in inhuman conditions.”
“They deserve our sympathy, prayers, which, in particular, are offered by our prison chaplains. In my opinion, each faithful of our Church should express their civil position and support the prisoners or even defend them without breaking the Commandments of God and the Constitution,” said Patriarch Sviatoslav.
The head of UGCC specifically mentioned the trial of Tymoshenko. “We understand that the trial on Yulia Tymoshenko is only the tip of the iceberg. It is an opportunity to pay attention to many trials, during which the judicial system, which is dependent on the authorities and oriented to conviction, destroys thousands of ordinary people,” stressed the head of Greek Catholics.
According to the hierarch, the judiciary system clearly indicates if the society observes basic human values on which the European community, where Ukraine aims to integrate, is built.
“One of the main values, the law must protect human dignity, freedom and rights of people, and the justice should stand on guard of the observance of the law,” said the head of UGCC.
He stated that Ukraine “still lives according to the Soviet stereotype and use of justice as a means to establish a ruling force or ideology, justify the guilty and convict the innocent.”
“Our faithful and I are very sad that many people are still being unjustly convicted in Ukraine after twenty years of independence,” said Patriarch Sviatoslav as he commented on the recent trials.