Human rights activists call on to end violence

Peaceful protest rallies involving millions of Ukrainians are going on for almost two months. The ruling regime demonstrated total indifference to the protestors’ demands and exercised repressions against them. On January 16, 2014, the parliamentary majority gave full absolution to the law enforcement who committed crimes against peaceful demonstrators by passing laws that practically prevent any form of peaceful protest, dissent and virtually destroy the civil society. These actions clearly demonstrated to the people that the ruling regime does not understand any arguments except force. And this regime will inevitably face a powerful rebuff on the part of the citizens.

These actions provoked radicalization of protests and, eventually, led to the tragic events on Hrushevsky street on January 19 – 22, 2014. More victims will lead to the spread of radical sentiment, involve a growing number of people in the orbit of a violent confrontation with a growing number of dead and injured. Today the main objective is to prevent new victims. And the only opportunity to do this is to start a dialogue. But if the ruling regime continues to act as it did for two months, it will block the path to any dialogue.

People have lost trust in any promises and guarantees of the regime. Therefore, dialogue is only possible upon condition of some preliminary actions on the part of the President, which will provide grounds for the beginning of such dialogue. Therefore, it is urgently needed:

to revoke the repressive laws of January 16;

to dismiss the Minister of Interior Vitaliy Zakharchenko;

to revoke the law indemnifying those guilty of acts of violence during the protests and conduct thorough investigation of the events of the nights of November 30, 2013 and December 1, 2013, as well as other crimes connected with persecution of the participants of peaceful assemblies.

It is also necessary to stop violence and any preparations for the use of violence for the period of negotiations.

Today, the chance for a peaceful resolution of the crisis has not been lost yet. 


Mykola Kozyrev, Chairman of the Board, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Arkady Bushchenko, Executive Director, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Yevgen Zakharov, Director, Kharkiv Human Rights Group

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