UWC calls upon the international community and UWC member organizations to denounce the undemocratic pressure on political opponents in Ukraine
January 12, 2011
UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS CALLS UPON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND UWC MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS TO DENOUNCE THE UNDEMOCRATIC PRESSURE ON POLITICAL OPPONENTS IN UKRAINE
On January 12, 2011 the Ukrainian World Congress called for the condemnation of politically motivated prosecutions in Ukraine with an appeal to the: (a) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay; (b) OSCE Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Janez Lenarcic; (c) Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights Heidi Hautala; (d) Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg; (e) Chair of the European Parliament Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee Pawel Kowal; and (f) Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty.
In this appeal the Ukrainian World Congress states that:
1. Such prosecutions confirm the appropriateness of the following observations made in the European Parliament resolution of November 25, 2010 on Ukraine:
F. whereas following the presidential elections held in January 2010 there are increasingly worrying signs of a lessening of respect for democracy and pluralism, as evidenced, in particular, by the treatment of some NGOs and individual complaints by journalists about pressure from their editors or the owners of their media outlets to cover or not cover certain events, as well as increased and politically motivated activity by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and the misuse of administrative and judicial resources for political purposes.
2. As reported by the Western Ukrainian news agency ZIK on December 28, 2010, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Nina Karpachova stated when commenting on the arrests of former officials that:
My position remains the same – Ukraine leads Europe on the number of such arrests. It is a shame.
3. On December 30, 2010, the United States Government voiced its concern regarding this state of affairs in Ukraine by issuing a U.S. Government Statement on Investigation of Ukrainian Opposition Politicians, which noted that:
Although as a rule the U.S. Government does not comment on the specifics of individual cases, we have raised with the Ukrainian government our concern that while corruption should be pursued, prosecution should not be selective or politically motivated.
In that context, we also raised our concern that when, with few exceptions, the only senior officials being targeted are connected with the previous government, it gives the appearance of selective prosecution of political opponents.
“The Ukrainian World Congress calls upon the international community and UWC member organizations to denounce the deplorable and undemocratic pressure exerted on political opponents in Ukraine,” stated Ukrainian World Congress President Eugene Czolij.
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