Law Targeting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a Disgraceful Transgression of Civil Rights

The following press release was distributed to media today.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church Appoints Amsterdam & Partners LLP to Defend Against Attack on Religious Freedoms

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) has announced the appointment of international lawyer Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Partners LLP to assist the international response to escalating attacks by the Government of Ukraine.

The retention of Amsterdam & Partners LLP was approved by the Holy Synod of the UOC in late September and is being announced publicly today following media reports that the controversial Draft Law 8371 is close to passage by the Ukrainian Rada. Draft Law 8371 seeks to amend the Ukrainian law “On the freedom of conscience and religious organizations” in certain respects, allowing the legislature to selectively punish religious communities and interfere with their rights to worship freely.

“Protecting freedom of religion of all Ukrainians is essential to the continued support for Ukraine in both Washington and key European capitals,” said Amsterdam. “Draft Law 8371 represents a significant step backwards, a violation of Ukraine’s international legal commitments and the nation’s own constitution.”

Amsterdam continued: “Contrary to the Ukrainian government’s propaganda, the UOC is an independent church – instead we are witnessing pure political persecution and opportunism, which has nothing to do with Ukraine’s national security.”

Amsterdam & Partners LLP indicates that a full range of legal responses to the state’s attack against the UOC’s rights is being evaluated and considered.

Amsterdam & Partners LLP is an international law firm with offices in London and Washington DC. Among its clients, the firm also represents Vadym Novynskyi, a protodeacon with the UOC who has been the target of unlawful state persecution. More information is available at