"Everyone should be given a chance": human rights activist supported voluntary mobilization for Ukrainians with a criminal record

Military accounting
All citizens should be given a chance to defend their homeland, says Yaroslav Hryshyn

Human rights activist Yaroslav Hryshyn spoke out in support of the mobilization of Ukrainians with criminal records. In his opinion, all citizens should be given a chance to defend their homeland.

Yaroslav Hryshyn voiced his opinion in an exclusive commentary for OBOZ.UA. According to him, Ukraine should have introduced a corresponding initiative long ago.

"There was an absurd situation. A person - either with a criminal record or on parole - comes to the military registration and enlistment office and says that they are patriots and want to be mobilized. They are told that they can not do that because they have a criminal record or are on parole and law does not support this. In fact, everyone should be given a chance to defend our homeland, and a criminal record or parole cannot be a reason to exempt from this duty," the human rights activist explained.

According to him, this is especially true today, when general mobilization is underway in Ukraine.

"We are in a situation where you understand that mobilization measures must be taken, and every soldier, like a diamond, like gold, must be recruited by records and persuasion, as well as carefully trained and involved in defense," Yaroslav Hryshyn added.

He also noted that people who are suspected but not yet convicted should be able to defend their homeland.

"There are crimes of low and medium gravity, involving violence, and different economic conditions. We need to be creative and give people this opportunity, it's the right thing to do," the human rights activist said.

It should be noted that according to the current legislation, citizens sentenced to imprisonment are removed from the military register and are not renewed after serving their sentence. Thus, they cannot be drafted into the army under mobilization or voluntarily under a contract.

On February 7, members of the Verkhovna Rada passed draft law No. 10449 on mobilization in the first reading with 243 votes. It stipulates that convicts with suspended sentences can be drafted voluntarily. However, the new rules will not apply to those convicted of crimes against the foundations of national security of Ukraine, as well as under a number of articles (violation of the laws and customs of war; disobedience; looting; voluntary surrender; desertion; failure to obey orders; evasion by self-mutilation, etc.)

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