Dear representatives of international organizations, international journalists, diplomats, and Ukrainian communities abroad!
We are drawing your attention to the situation in Ukraine, and hope for your support.
Ukraine is facing systemic infringement of political and civil rights, and freedoms of people by its Ministry of Internal Affairs. The matter concerns either an absurd prosecution of members of the "entrepreneurial Maidan" for alleged damage of tiles in Independence Square during the protest rallies; or fictitious grounds to seize computers and other media from writers and journalists; or an absolutely fabricated criminal case of terrorism (damage to the bust monument to Stalin in Zaporizhia).
Especially, we want to attract attention of the world community to prosecution of members of the Tryzub All-Ukrainian Association named after Stepan Bandera. This is a patriotic organization that claimed responsibility for the damage of the bust monument to Stalin in Zaporizhia. The monument was erected by communists in the private territory despite of social protests. Tryzub members partially beheaded it.
The police charged them with committing a crime under Article 296 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Hooliganism) and arrested a number of Tryzub members in different cities of Ukraine. 14 activists of the organization were dispatched to Zaporizhia in custody. These are Andrii Stempitskyi, Stepan Bychek, Anatoly Onufriichuk, Vasyl Abramiv, Pylyp Taran, Vasyl Labaichuk, Ihor Zahrebelnyi, Oleksii Zanuda, Vitalii Vyshniuk, Roman Khmara, Yurii Ponomarenko, Viktor Davydenko, Eduard Andriuschenko, and Artem Tsyhanok.
Under the law, the actions committed by the Tryzub could have been examined as damage to personal property, but not the crime under Article 296 of the Criminal Code. The article envisages criminal liability for "hooliganism as gross violation of public order to disregard the community in the most outrageous or exceptional cynicism." So, hooliganism should include actions against social moral, that is, immoral actions.
In this case, we can't say exactly who neglects social and moral principles: the one who sets the monument to the killer of millions of Ukrainians, or someone who has damaged this monument?
The government of Ukraine and its Ministry of Internal Affairs have taken the stance of Stalinists that meets their social policies. Ministry officials do not only protect those who put up the monument to the ever existed torturer and an ogre, but modeling his behaviour do this with extreme cruelty.
The arrested Tryzub members have been long detained without food and warm clothing in cold weather. They were not allowed to meet with lawyers, and exposed to physical and psychological pressure. The parents of the detained activists are intimidated not to make noise around the arrest of their children.
All suffer from persecution: journalists, businessmen, lawyers, bloggers, activists of different political parties and organizations. Mass protest rallies take place throughout Ukraine several times a week to support detained activists, to urge the power to stop political repressions and socio-economic terror against Ukrainians (tax, housing, labor, land, pensions, utilities, education), to oust the government, and immediately call parliamentary and presidential elections. Therefore, the authorities in power are trying to do everything to suppress any opposition from the Ukrainian people.
We have all grounds to state that the detained Tryzub members were tortured because torture murder has become normal in the Ministry of Internal Affairs over the last year. In fact, more than 50 people died in police stations in the previous year. According to sociological estimates, 604,000 Ukrainians were victims of unlawful violence in the interior offices in 2009; while in 2010 their number increased to 790,000. Human rights defenders have assumed that the police in Ukraine commit unlawful violence every 40 minutes.
We are coming back not even to the "kuchmizm" period. Ukraine is turning back to 1937, to Stalinization, with its repressions, anti-popular policy, disregard for human rights and even people's lives.
The incident with Tryzub members is a vivid example of such crime against humanity. One can not share their views, but no one gave law enforcement officers the right to violate the European Convention on Human Rights, the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.
We believe that only a wise and timely response of the international community can help us save Ukraine from destruction, instability and attempts to reestablish true dictatorship. Neither Ukraine nor Europe benefit from it.
Sincerely,The Tryzub All-Ukrainian Association named after Stepan Bandera