NGO Ecoclub has appealed to the Supreme Court to protect its right to freedom of speech in the case of Kronospan.
On February 24, Ecoclub filed a cassation appeal to the Supreme Court, asking the Сourt to protect its right to freely disseminate criticism of the construction of the Kronospan woodworking plant and to revoke decisions of previous trials.
In our opinion, the previous court decisions go against the law; they violate the constitutional right of Ecoclub regarding the freedom to disseminate the comments that we had provided in the process of environmental impact assessment.
We also believe that these decisions violate the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Aarhus Convention, in particular through harassment and persecution of the public participating in the environmental impact assessment. In the cassation appeal, we ask the court to protect our rights and remand the case.
In the summer of 2019, Rivne media disseminated the intentions of Technoprivid Invest Group LLC (now Kronospan Rivne LLC) to build a woodworking plant in Horodok village (near Rivne). Local communities were concerned about possible harmful emissions, the factory’s proximity to houses and the non-transparency of negotiations between the company and authorities. They have turned to Ecoclub for support. Ecoclub analyzed the environment impact assessment report and published its comments.
In February 2020, representatives of Kronospan filed a lawsuit against Ecoclub for the damage to business reputation caused by the dissemination of the information about the environmental consequences of the construction of the planned plant, which was granted by the court and was recently left unchanged by an appeal court.
Decision of the Appeal court in the case 918/132/20 (in Ukrainian): https://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/94487209
Inna Muliavka, press officer, NGO Ecoclub,