Ukraine has violated the rights of internally displaced persons by not allowing them to vote in local elections as the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the case "Selihenenko and Others against Ukraine".
The decision was made on the claim of Oleksandr Selihenenko, Anastasiia Martynovska, Daria Sviridova, and Evhenia Terekhova against Ukraine. All of them live in Kyiv, but were previously forced to leave Crimea and Donetsk due to their temporary occupation and received the status of internally displaced persons.
The complainants applied to a Ukrainian court, and the first-instance courts ruled that the right to vote in local elections in Ukraine was granted to citizens who “belonged” to their local communities and resided in the respective constituencies. This place of residence had to be indicated on their national identity card. This decision was upheld by the courts of appeal.
The ECHR decided that the Ukrainian authorities did not take into account the special situation of the complainants, who, unlike other citizens, could not return and vote at their place of registration. At the same time, they lived and paid taxes in Kyiv for over a year and were interested in the outcome of the elections.
The Court found that the Ukrainian authorities had failed to take into consideration the particular situation of the applicants as IDPs and had discriminated against them in the enjoyment of their right to vote in local elections.
“Even though the applicants had not been treated differently to other citizens with regard to residency, the Court found that they, as IDPs, had been in a clearly different situation to other citizens: they could not simply go back to the place of residence elsewhere in Ukraine and vote,” the decision states.
The ECHR ruled that the authorities discriminated against the complainants, so Ukraine must pay them 4,500 euros to each person as compensation for non-pecuniary damage.
As we reported, Ukraine filed a new intergovernmental complaint against the Russian Federation due to the organization of a number of high-profile assassination attempts and assassinations, both on the territory of Ukraine and on the territory of the member states of the Council of Europe. This is the ninth statement filed by Ukraine against the Russian Federation.