UWC calls upon the international community to condemn the attempt by Ukraine’s parliament to recriminalize defamation
September 24, 2012
UWC CALLS UPON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO CONDEMN
THE ATTEMPT BY UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENT TO RECRIMINALIZE DEFAMATION
On September 24, 2012, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij appealed to the international community to urge Ukraine’s governing authorities to abandon the draft law recriminalizing defamation which poses a serious threat to democracy.
As noted in the letter, this draft law provides for the introduction of harsh fines and prison sentences of up to five years. In addition, it could affect visitors for statements made outside Ukraine. The adoption of this draft law would be a step back for freedom of expression in Ukraine and allow governing authorities to muzzle the opposition and media.
The UWC also noted that this legislation contravenes the international conventions ratified by Ukraine, namely the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
A copy of the letter was sent to President Viktor Yanukovych and the Chairman of Ukraine’s Parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn, asking them to abandon this draft law which would stifle freedom of speech and democracy in Ukraine.
The UWC is the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has member organizations in 33 countries and ties with Ukrainians in 14 additional countries. Founded in 1967 as a non-profit corporation, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status.