UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

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UWC Calls Upon President Viktor Yanukovych to Stop the Pressure of the SBU on the “Lonsky Street Prison” National Museum and Memorial

#UWC news
June 23,2011 94
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June 23, 2011


PRESS RELEASE


 


UWC CALLS UPON PRESIDENT VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH TO STOP THE PRESSURE


OF THE SBU ON THE “LONSKY STREET PRISON” NATIONAL MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL




On June 23, 2011, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) sent a letter to President Viktor Yanukovych expressing grave concern about the continued curtailing of democratic freedoms in Ukraine as a result of the pressure being exerted by the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on the Director and staff of the “Lonsky Street Prison” National Museum and Memorial to the Victims of Occupational Regimes. The museum conducts important work in exposing the crimes of the Soviet authorities against the Ukrainian nation and informing society about historical events in Ukraine. 

 


In its letter, the UWC reminded President Viktor Yanukovych of last year’s events during which SBU representatives ignored the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the Director and staff of the museum when, on September 8, 2010, they arrested and questioned the Director, historian Ruslan Zabiliy, confiscated his computer and external hard drives, and conducted an unauthorized search and seizure of the museum, removing researchers’ computers and historical documents.

The UWC also pointed out that in June of this year the SBU called in all 16 staff members of the museum for questioning as witnesses based on the criminal charge of allegedly “attempting to publicize information which constitutes a state secret.” According to museum scholars and independent experts, the electronic documents removed by the SBU are historical in nature and relate to the study of the violations of human rights and freedoms in Ukraine. In support of its position, the UWC cited the Law of Ukraine “On State Secrets” which provides as follows:


[…] Not relating to state secrets is information on: 
[…] the violation of human and citizens' rights and freedoms; illegal 
activities of state authorities, local authorities and their official 
representatives [...] 

(Part II, Art. 8)


The Ukrainian World Congress called upon President Viktor Yanukovych to exercise his authority to stop the SBU from exerting pressure on the Director and staff of the “Lonsky Street Prison” National Museum and Memorial to the Victims of Occupational Regimes and to grant museum staff the full freedom to conduct research on and publicize the facts surrounding the criminal acts committed by the totalitarian Soviet regime against the Ukrainian people.








The full text of the letter