SOS information

22 აგვისტო 2018

To the Commissioner of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport Mr. Tibor Navracsics And European Union Representatives’ in Ukraine

We are addressing you from the Association of Private Universities. 

We present our compliments to you and have the honor to draw your attention to the situation that has happened to the actual member of our Association -“Ukraine”, the private higher education institution of the Open International University for Human Development (hereinafter referred to as the “Ukraine” University).

The University "Ukraine" is the only barrier-free higher educational institution of the inclusive type in Ukraine that provides with equal access to quality higher education for all members of the civil society; students with disabilities amounts up to 6% of the total number of students in the University.

Over 20 years of the activity of the University “Ukraine”, almost 150,000 students, including 25,000 students from poor families, orphans and students with disabilities (at least 13,000 people) have graduated from it and become specialists in various fields.

On August 7, 2018, at 18.00 a large group of young athletic people (about 70 people) in black clothes and balaclava broke into the premises of the University "Ukraine" in Kiev, Lvov str. Bldg. #23; introducing themselves as the representatives of the new owner, they blocked the entrance of the University, forced the guards of the educational institution to leave the premise and roughly pushed the staff and the students out of the University; thus they violated the UN Convention on the “Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”, the UN Convention on the “Rights of Persons with Disabilities”, international legislation and the legislation of Ukraine; in particular:

- Penetration into the territory at a later time without permission and legal grounds; violation of the inviolability of another person's property;

- Illegal seizure of three educational buildings, penetration into all premises (the case of the first building is under litigation, the other two buildings are the property of the University). These individuals blocked the work of all structural divisions of the University, the work of the admission committee and suspended the educational process.

- Capture of hostages and detention Ms. Loponosova Natalya Petrovna, the employee of the accountant office of the University for a long time. Subsequently, she was released by police officers.

- Attempts to deliver narcotic drugs within the University premises; a criminal case has been initiated on the fact;

- Seizure and retention of personal files, diplomas, and the attachments thereon evidencing the students’ graduation from the University led to illegal access to personal data and the receipt of confidential information of an individual without his permission;

- Seizure of personal belongings of the employees;

- Seizure and arrest of material values of the University for a total amount of about 20 (twenty) million hryvnias (technical center and server room equipment, computers, student database servers and other servers, uninterruptible power system and air conditioning, furniture, etc.);

For the Association of Private Universities, the main thing is that as a result of violent actions by raider groups, when law enforcement bodies fail to act, the laws of Ukraine and the rights to education of applicants and students with disabilities are violated. Separately, we want to draw your attention to a glaring case of neglecting the fundamental right to private property!

In connection with the above, we ask you to make the relevant statement and draw the attention of the highest officials of the state of Ukraine, the European Union to the urgency of investigation of the violent actions of criminals, who seized the educational institution of private ownership - one of the few institutions in the state ensuring the vital right of citizens with disabilities to higher education.

We will be grateful if the results of review of the letter submitted by the Association of Private Universities will be informed.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Executive Director

Zaza Maruashvili

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