Coercion to co-operate with the occupation administration – what to do?
A Melitopol-based enterprise turned to the #BOC_helpline with such a question. The company wondered how to act when the occupation administration makes it perform collaborative activities (Article 111-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
The so-called occupation administration of Melitopol put pressure on the enterprise, demanding its re-registration and, accordingly, payment of taxes in favor of occupation administrations.
The Council's investigator quickly contacted the applicant and advised the company on the sequence of actions in case of being forced to co-operate with occupation administrations.
Responding to the application of Melitopol enterprise and a systemic nature of the said problem, the BOC gave some practical advice included in the "Business under Blockade" brochure for business in temporarily occupied territories (TOTs).
In the event of physical/psychological coercion against an entrepreneur by occupation administration representatives, the Council recommended that the enterprise apply to law enforcement bodies with a statement to be submitted from Ukraine controlled territory through an authorized representative. Cases of coercion to co-operate with occupiers in the absence of a threat to life should be recorded by collecting available evidence (letters with demands from occupying administrations, screenshots from their websites or other resources). If it is impossible to avoid communication with the occupation administration, it is necessary to meet with the occupier accompanied by potential witnesses (but not neglecting the issue of personal safety and safety of potential witnesses).
For more advice collected by BOC investigators for business on TOTs in a specialized brochure, please, go to https://bit.ly/3A0VycM.