The patients-led organization filed a lawsuit against a people’s deputy for defamation
We, the largest patients-led organization in Ukraine, CO “100% Life” (former the Network of People Living with HIV), have filed a lawsuit against MP Andriy Derkach to defend our honor, dignity, business reputation and to refute false information.
We regret very much that some media outlets are spreading false information about our work against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
The source of this misinformation was Member of Parliament Andriy Derkach, who on February 14, 2020, on his Facebook page, published a post accusing the head of our organization Dmytro Sherembei and the head of the Anti-corruption Action Center Vitaliy Shabunin of allegedly stealing $ 143 million from the US government, and he reported that National Police initiated a criminal case according to his statement. On February 28, 2020, Andriy Derkach gave also an interview on the Youtube channel of Rudy Giuliani, a well-known American lawyer and politician, where he reiterated and elaborated more on his statement, raising the amount of allegedly stolen money to $ 5.3 billion.
These theses voiced by Andriy Derkach are untrue, groundless and aimed at discrediting organizations which act effectively to combat corruption and protect patients’ rights in Ukraine; in our view, such allegations aim at reducing international support for Ukraine. We consider all these actions as the revenge of corrupt officials personally on Dmytro Sherembei and Vitaliy Shabunin. We once again draw attention to the fact that A. Derkach is a graduate of the FSB Academy and has repeatedly acted in the interests of Russia. This suggests that this time Mr. Derkach is pursuing his own goals.
At present, the case involving this lawsuit is at the stage of appointment of the court. We also announce that we are fully cooperating with police representatives who have reviewed the Derkach’s statement, and we provide comprehensive information and documentary evidence of the intended use of funds.
We ask the media and organizations to refrain from spreading false information shared by the people’s deputy A. Derkach until a court decision.
In turn, we are always open to any questions. We note with sadness that during this time no media outlets that have published A.Derkach’s information have requested comment of our organization or used the organization’s official position stated in our official statements on the site and social networks. “There is one very important indicator in this case – we have NEVER received a grant for such a large amount of $ 143 million. And this indicator demonstrates all the absurdity of the allegations!” emphasized Dmytro Sherembei, Chairperson of the Coordination Council of CO “100% Life”.
Krystyna Rivera, Officer of Communications Department +380675053868 email@example.com
Background information about CO “100% Life”:
- CO “100% Life” (former the Network of PLWH) is the largest patients-led organization in Ukraine whose mission is to fight for life.
- CO “100% Life” works with patients and for patients, including representation of the interests of people living with HIV in 25 regions of Ukraine.
- CO “100% Life” has been operating since 2001 and is a major recipient and implementing partner of the Global Fund’s (since 2007) and USAID’s (since 2013) projects in Ukraine.
- Every year, the leading international audit companies Deloitte and PWC audited CO “100% Life” at least 4 times.
- CO “100% Life” is a leading partner of the state in the implementation of medical reform and the development of the eHealth system.
- In 2016, CO “100% Life” received the PEPFAR (the Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) award for best partnership among NGOs from over 40 countries in the world.
- Since 2016, it has been the largest philanthropist of the country in 2016 and 2017 according to the Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum. Every year, CO “100% Life” attracts at least UAH 700, 000, 000 of donor assistance.
- Annually, CO “100% Life” provides services to over 190,000 patients, 90,000 of whom are people living with HIV.
- Due to “100% Life’s” advocacy activity regarding access to treatment, only in 2017, $ 47,900 000 was saved from the state budget for the purchase of antiretroviral therapy.
- In 2018, $ 2,000,000 from the state budget was saved by reducing the price of hepatitis C drugs.
- In 2019, $ 4,000,000 from the state budget was saved due to advocacy efforts related to access to tuberculosis drugs.
- Due to CO “100% Life”, all HIV-positive people in Ukraine are provided with ART therapy, the state program is scaled up covering the treatment of hepatitis, and medical procurements are stabilized regarding the treatment of tuberculosis.
- Our procedures and policies are in line with the highest requirements of international partners, and this was confirmed by findings of independent international audit companies, which are among the “great four” audit companies in the world. They reaffirmed that CO “100% Life” applied financial discipline and made targeted use of grant funds.