|2004. december 16.||
Ukrainian Parliamentarian Suggests Jailing Freemasons
Ukrainian MP Taras Chornovil has suggested that the country's parliament, the Supreme Rada, introduce criminal responsibility for Freemasonry, the MigNews web-site reported on Tuesday.
Taras Chornovil is the son of the late nationalist leader Vyacheslav Chornovil, and his appointment as an adviser to presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovich on West-Ukrainian affairs earlier this year provoked much criticism in nationalist circles. He will head Yanukovich's campaign headquarters in the repeat of the controversial second round of Ukrainian presidential elections.
He has submitted to the Rada a bill entitled "On amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine", according to which, membership of Freemason organizations, or any other organizations that require rituals and oaths of higher priority than the current law, must be punished by a jail sentence of up to three years.
The bill also reads that the members of Masonic organizations who are Ukrainian civil servants, law enforcers or military servicemen must be jailed for three to seven years.
Ukraine's president, members of parliament, civil servants of ministerial rank, military servicemen and law enforcers of the rank of major-general or higher, if discovered to be members of Freemason organizations, may face up to 10 years in prison.
If the membership in a Masonic organization causes deaths, a threat to Ukraine's national integrity or its defense potential, members of the organization must be imprisoned for 10 to 15 years, the bill reads.
In February, the leader of Ukraine's Socialist Party, Aleksander Moroz, said that about 300 of Ukraine's top officials were members of the St. Stanislaus Order Masonic Lodge. Later, other left-wing parties and also the pro-Western bloc headed by Yulia Tymoshenko also called on the government to ban the St Stanislaus Order in Ukraine.