We are not extremists. The Open Letter

Open letter of Ukrainian scientists, artists, doctors, lawyers, teachers and journalists to the citizens of Ukraine and the international community.

These days the protests of the Ukrainian people against the policy of the Ukrainian authorities have acquired new forms. The peaceful demonstrations changed into the protesters violent confrontation with the police, it is the sixth day that the real fighting between demonstrators and police take place in the government area in the center of Kyiv on Hrushevsky street. Hundreds of people are wounded and there are dead.

The authorities of Ukraine are trying to show the situation as crushing activity of extremist right-wing organizations members, of Ukrainian neo fascists coming mostly from the western regions of the country.
We are the compensated people of peaceful professions; we have various ethnic backgrounds and live in different regions. We are not right-wing organizations supporters, not to mention being their members. We do not believe that the Molotov cocktails and throwing stones could be means to defend your values.

Nevertheless despite these convictions we declare our solidarity with those who are forced to use these means today.

We are sure the great majority of the protesters are not members of any extremist organizations. Neither 21-year-old farmer from Dnipropetrovsk Sergey Nihoyan, who was shot on Hrushevsky street nor 50-year-old seismologist from Lviv, Candidate of Physics and Mathematics Yury Verbitsky, who was wounded on Hrushevsky street, kidnapped by unknown people from the hospital and taken to the forest, where he died were not members of those organizations.

It was the politics of the Ukrainian Government which made the protesters pass from unprecedentedly massive and unprecedentedly peaceful actions to radical means of expressing their position, as the authorities deliberately ignore the interests and views of the citizens, the authorities used violence against the peaceful demonstrators. The last straw that triggered the fighting in the center of Kyiv was outright usurpation of legislative power by the Party of Regions. On January, 16 contrary to the procedure prescribed by law and actually without counting votes the laws violating badly the Constitution and international standards of human rights were adopted. The President signed those laws the next day instead of exercising his right to veto.

It is the Ukrainian authorities quickly losing the remains of adequacy which made people who never belonged to any extremist groups radicalized. The authorities did not leave the protesters any other choice. Therefore, the authorities attempt to present the protesters as extremist fascist wing to avoid responsibility for the fighting in the center of Kyiv. Forming the according public opinion on anti-government protests among Ukrainian people as well as other countries politicians and citizens is nothing more than manipulation and resistance falsification. It is being done to create favorable informational background for their military suppression of the protests.

At the same time we assert that the prolongation of military confrontation will lead to more violence and more victims. To stop escalating violence, the authorities should withdraw the top brass forces and internal defense forces soldiers brought to Kyiv, the authorities should stop criminal prosecution of protesters, cancel shameful laws adopted on January, 16 and start real, not demonstrative negotiations with the opposition leaders and civil society representatives participating.

Evhen Zakharov, Director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Kharkiv

Serhy Zhadan, Writer, Kharkiv

Viktor Pushkar, Social Psychologist, PhD of Psychology , Scientific Director of IC “Maydan Monitoring”, Kyiv

Olexander Severyn, Lawyer, PhD of Law, Legal Counsel of IC “Maydan Monitoring”, Kyiv

(and many others. the signatures are collected on many sites and several language versions)

To add your signature – use comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s