What foreigners should do if detained

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July 2, 2010, 1:06 a.m. | Ukraine — by Kyiv Post

Kyiv Post

Western experts traveling to Ukraine would do well to heed the following rules if detained by the authorities:
  • Do not sign any Ukrainian document.

  • Do not let them have your passport or other form of identification.

  • Call your embassy or consulate immediately. Ensure you have names, mobile telephones and emails of embassy personnel with you.

  • Telephone, text or email Ukrainian and Western politicians and journalists immediately when you are denied entry. Ensure you have names, mobile telephones and emails contacts of Ukrainian parliamentary deputies, journalists and NGO leaders. Bring contact numbers of Western journalists living in Kyiv (Reuters, Associated Press, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Kyiv Post).

  • Ensure you have a mobile telephone with a built-in camera and email and/or texting capability. Make sure it is fully charged and bring one extra battery. Ask another Westerner in line at passport control to take a photo or video of you and send theseto Ukrainian or Western journalists.

  • Ensure you have some cash with you for essential purchases. Most facilities in Kyiv’s Borispil airport do not take credit cards.

  • You do not know when you will see your luggage. Include basic toiletries in your hand luggage.

  • Bring reading and writing material with you. Detention can be for up to 10 hours. Keep a log of what is taking place and what is being said. Use this log to write a blog and/or article afterwards. Publicity is good for your plight.

  • Use twitter or texting to keep people informed. To save time, prepare a mailing list on your mobile phone of key people (embassy/consulate officials, Western/Ukrainian journalists, Ukrainian politicians and NGO activists) you would wish to keep informed of your plight.

  • Before traveling to Ukraine, ask your colleagues for contact details of a Kyiv-based lawyer whom you could telephone if you are detained.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous July 2, 2010, 1:35 a.m.    

Yes, this is great press for Ukraine. If you are serious, how about providing some information... LIKE PHONE NUMBERS!

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Anonymous July 2, 2010, 2:19 a.m.    

Record the NAMES of those who abuse you so they can be brought to justice when Ukraine eventually gets a &quot;normal&quot; civilized government!

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Anonymous July 2, 2010, 9:18 a.m.    

&quot;Ensure you have names, mobile telephones and emails contacts of Ukrainian parliamentary deputies, journalists and NGO leaders.&quot;

journalist phone number ... definitely will not need the number of the &quot;journalist&quot; writing such crappy articles.

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Anonymous July 2, 2010, 10:43 a.m.    

&quot;Do not sign any Ukrainian document.&quot;

But this will not stop your deportation. The deportation notice will simply say &quot;Refused to sign&quot;, just as a US, UK, German and any other national deportation notice would do if you refused to sign.

You see, not everybody is pleased to be deported, so they can become a little less cooperative. A nation will still deport you regardless of whether you sign a deporation notice or not.

&quot;Do not let them have your passport or other form of identification.&quot;

Now there is a reason for not being allowed in at all. How do you get into the country without giving your passport to the Borders personnel at the Kiosk? How do they scan it/swipe it into the computer system if you do not give it to them?

Once you have given it to them to do this, they have it. It is only then any problem will be highlighted.

Who wrote this utter rubbish? Obviously no legal advice was taken when this article was written. Obviously no thought was given as to what happens when you actually enter the country by way of what documents you provide to actually get past the reception area on arrival at the airport.

What do you expect an Embassy to do? Have you contacted an Embassy and asked them what they do in such circumstances?

I can tell you want they can't do - that is force Ukraine to let you in as that is a matter for the Soveriegn State of Ukraine as to who they allow in. The Embassy will have a list of lawyers in the slim chance they can do something.

&quot;Western&quot; people are refused entry into Ukraine on a weekly basis, mostly for having stayed longer than 90 days in 180 without the OVIR/VVIR extentions. They are rightly and legally turned away.

Many think a 5 year Visa means they can stay for 5 years which is not the case at all. You can still only stay for 90 days in 180 with a 5 year Visa unless you have OVIR/VVIR registration.

This is not unique to Ukraine. Have a look at the UK website and see how long you can stay in the UK with a 10 year business Visa - the answer is 180 days in a year.

Have a look at the US website - the same. The EU/shegen website - the same.

There are &quot;westerners&quot; deported from Ukraine every single week and mostly because we do not stick to the immigration rules through ignorance or apethy.

Before you write such poor articles, and this is by far the poorest article I have ever seen in the KP under any management, please seek legal advice and embassorial advice as to what is the law and what an embassy can be expected to do for you.

Absolutely terrible article, really, really poor!

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Anonymous July 2, 2010, 9:54 p.m.    

Oh yeah, one more:

• make sure you aren't working for an NGO whose links to the secret services of a foreign country were exposed in 1984 during elections in El Salvador.

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Anonymous July 4, 2010, 6:10 p.m.    

It is a disgrace that the Post considers this article suitable for publication. I would ask any readers to ignore this misleading and inaccurate list of advice,it is quite simply false. Visitors need take only the same precautions as they would visiting any forign country. As a Ukrainian I am deeply offended by what this article implies and shocked that the post will print it without even an authors name.

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Anonymous July 6, 2010, 3:10 a.m.    

Are you serious with this article? I am a huge fan of the Kiev Post and a proud Patriot. I realise the difficulties that people have in coming into our country (and my step dad was one of them) but this seems a little bit too much to comprehend. I think these 'suggestions' give our country a poor name, and even a worse reputation than we already have. I think that informing journalists and politicians is very unrealistic and this is unlikely to happen. Moreover, if it did happen, in my mind there would be very little recognition that this 'event' would ever be broadcast on the biased and censored media which we have.

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