UN / UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

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17-Nov-2023 00:04:13
The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights told the Security Council that “concerns regarding the enjoyment of freedom of religion in Ukraine, including in occupied territory, have increased since February 2022.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
TRT: 04:13
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 17 NOVEMBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, flags, United Nations Headquarters

17 NOVEMBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“Concerns regarding the enjoyment of freedom of religion in Ukraine, including in occupied territory, have increased since February 2022. Restoring peace and respect for the United Nations Charter and international law is urgent. While the war and occupation persist, we call on all parties to ensure that all people in Ukraine have full freedom to manifest and practice their religion or belief, in line with international human rights law.”
4. Med shot, Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“Since my last briefing, the civilian toll of the full-scale armed attack by the Russian Federation against Ukraine has unfortunately increased considerably further. To date, OHCHR has recorded nearly 10,000 civilians killed and over 18,000 injured (compared to 7,000 and 11,000, respectively, reported to the Council on 17 January). The conflict has also inflicted extensive damage on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, homes, schools, and medical facilities, and in recent months, the port facilities and grain silos that enable Ukraine to export food.”
6. Med shot, Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“Since February 2022, OHCHR has documented ten cases of physical violence and six cases of threatened violence resulting from disputes between parishioners of different Orthodox communities. Regrettably, Ukrainian law enforcement’s response in these cases has been inadequate, failing to sufficiently investigate incidents and take action to protect members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
8. Med shot, Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“In October 2023, Ukraine’s Parliament approved in its first reading a set of draft amendments to the law on religious organizations. This would establish a procedure for the dissolution of “religious organizations affiliated with influence centers, the management of which is located in a country, which carries out armed aggression against Ukraine.” This draft law is now being considered in a committee in preparation for a second reading. We urge lawmakers to carefully consider Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the related Human Rights Committee jurisprudence.”
10. Med shot, Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“Our Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has reported individual cases of arbitrary detention and torture of clergymen in occupied territory Last month, the documented arbitrary detention of two priests from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the occupied Donetsk oblast was reported; they were accused of anti-Russian and extremist behavior for publicly expressing support for the Ukrainian authorities.”
12. Med shot, Council
13. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vasily Nebenzya, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Russian Federation:
“We wish to emphasize that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church did not turn to us with requests for today's meeting to be held, nor did it authorize us to speak on its behalf. Nor did individual clergy or parishioners do this. We'd say this so that the Ukrainian law enforcement not to take up today's meeting as a pretext to conduct reprisals against peoples and churches who are already hostages.”
14. Med shot, Council
15. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vasily Nebenzya, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Russian Federation:
“If adopted, the abovementioned law would prohibit the activity of any Ukrainian religious organization, judicially, that is affiliated with the influence centers of influence in Russia, this is how it states. Moreover, the authors of the draft today are saying what specific religious organization is in mind. That is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
16. Med shot, Council
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Natalia Mudrenko, Councellor Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Ukraine:
“Since the beginning of invasion, this institution has effectively been responsible for providing ideological support for the aggression, and its leader, Kirill Gundyaev, has translated military propaganda narratives in tune with the Kremlin. When Russia launched mobilization in September 2022, after the defeat in Kharkiv region, Kirill immediately incorporated the relevant propaganda lines in his sermons.”
18. Wide shot, meeting ended


STORYLINE:

The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights told the Security Council that “concerns regarding the enjoyment of freedom of religion in Ukraine, including in occupied territory, have increased since February 2022.”

Addressing the Council today (17 Nov), Ilze Brands Kehris said, “Restoring peace and respect for the United Nations Charter and international law is urgent. While the war and occupation persist, we call on all parties to ensure that all people in Ukraine have full freedom to manifest and practice their religion or belief, in line with international human rights law.”

She said, “Since my last briefing, the civilian toll of the full-scale armed attack by the Russian Federation against Ukraine has unfortunately increased considerably further."

Brands Kehris also said, “to date, OHCHR has recorded nearly 10,000 civilians killed and over 18,000 injured (compared to 7,000 and 11,000, respectively, reported to the Council on 17 January). The conflict has also inflicted extensive damage on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, homes, schools, and medical facilities, and in recent months, the port facilities and grain silos that enable Ukraine to export food.”

She continued, “since February 2022, OHCHR has documented ten cases of physical violence and six cases of threatened violence resulting from disputes between parishioners of different Orthodox communities.”

The Assistant Secretary-General said, “Regrettably, Ukrainian law enforcement’s response in these cases has been inadequate, failing to sufficiently investigate incidents and take action to protect members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”

She said, “In October 2023, Ukraine’s Parliament approved in its first reading a set of draft amendments to the law on religious organizations. This would establish a procedure for the dissolution of “religious organizations affiliated with influence centers, the management of which is located in a country, which carries out armed aggression against Ukraine.” This draft law is now being considered in a committee in preparation for a second reading. We urge lawmakers to carefully consider Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the related Human Rights Committee jurisprudence.”

Brands Kehris also said, “our Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has reported individual cases of arbitrary detention and torture of clergymen in occupied territory Last month, the documented arbitrary detention of two priests from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the occupied Donetsk oblast was reported; they were accused of anti-Russian and extremist behavior for publicly expressing support for the Ukrainian authorities.”

For his part, Russia's Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said, “We wish to emphasize that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church did not turn to us with requests for today's meeting to be held, nor did it authorize us to speak on its behalf.”

He continued, “we would say this so that the Ukrainian law enforcement not to take up today's meeting as a pretext to conduct reprisals against peoples and churches who are already hostages.”

Nebenzya added, “If adopted, the abovementioned law would prohibit the activity of any Ukrainian religious organization, judicially, that is affiliated with the influence centers of influence in Russia, this is how it states.”

He said, “moreover, the authors of the draft today are saying what specific religious organization is in mind. That is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”

The Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine, Natalia Mudrenko, said, “Since the beginning of invasion, this institution has effectively been responsible for providing ideological support for the aggression, and its leader, Kirill Gundyaev, has translated military propaganda narratives in tune with the Kremlin.”

She added, “when Russia launched mobilization in September 2022, after the defeat in Kharkiv region, Kirill immediately incorporated the relevant propaganda lines in his sermons.”
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