Thursday, 23 January 2014

Grupa Zagranica: Solidarity with the Ukrainians and Appeal to the Polish Authorities

Non-governmental organizations from Grupa Zagranica - the Polish platform of organisations involved in international cooperation - appealed to the Polish authorities for response to restriction of civil rights in Ukraine, connected with the adoption of new law by the Ukrainian parliament.

"We appeal to the Polish authorities to take a firm stand on the Ukrainian authorities’ anti-democratic actions. We express solidarity with Ukrainian society, as well as admiration and respect for the millions of Ukrainians proving every day that their country’s rightful place lies in a United Europe" – said Grupa Zagranica in the statement.

The acts adopted last Thursday by the Ukrainian parliament, greatly strained the restrictions agianst citizens for participation in non formal public gatherings and limited the activity of NGOs. On Sunday it came to clashes between demonstrators and the police in Kiev. On Wednesday morning, the Ukrainian media reported the first fatality.

Grupa Zagranica warns that the newly passed legislation radically restricts the freedom of assembly, and exempts state bodies from liability should force be used against protestors. "New, simplified procedures to revoke the immunity of members of parliament, and allow proceedings to be initiated against anyone who criticises the Ukrainian authorities openly, represent a threat to the freedom of speech and could facilitate the eradication of the democratic opposition" – is underlined in the statement.

According to Grupa Zagranica intentions of Ukrainian authorities is to discredit non-governmental organisations in the eyes of Ukrainian society, to deprive them of independent funding sources, and to prevent them from cooperating with foreign partners.

Read the statement here.

Picture: Euromaidan, Kiev, December 2013, Participants and supporters of the protest leave a mark using the most available material - firewood. Author: Agnieszka Komorowska

Information provided by Magdalena Trojanek, Grupa Zagranica

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