Ukrainian human rights activists have noted some positive trends in the sphere of human rights protection in 2012, but have drawn attention to some negatives: the dependence of the judicial system and the use of law enforcement agencies as a tool of repression.
"The situation with the observance of human rights in 2012 resembles a spoon of honey in a barrel of tar... The situation is a motley one. One can say that due to the adoption of new progressive laws [in particular, the Criminal Procedure Code], the situation with some rights and freedoms could potentially improve... One can hope that fewer people during the investigation will be kept in detention centers... That is there are some positives things. On the other hand, in other issues the situation has worsened: this concerns freedom of expression, information, assembly. The situation also worsened with the observance of economic and social rights," a co-chair of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group and chairman of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Yevhen Zakharov, said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine, while presenting an annual report of human rights organizations "Human Rights in Ukraine 2012." With regard to human rights observance from the perspective of the work of the judiciary, Zakharov said, the situation in this direction had worsened, rather than improved. "Our justice is totally dependent and unjust, particularly in sensitive and political affairs. There has been political persecution. In general, the situation, in our opinion, remains bad," he said. Zakharov said that social and economic reforms had a negative effect on the main social and economic rights of Ukrainians. The report on "Human Rights in Ukraine" is used by national and international organizations to assess the general state of human rights in Ukraine. The report was compiled by about 40 human rights organizations from all regions in Ukraine and about 60 experts in the field of human rights. The report has been issued annually since 2004.