Canada's Bob Decher interview outside Appeal Court in Kyiv
Statement by Ukraine's Ombudsman re beating of Tymoshenko
The situation in Ukraine since the 2012 Parliamentary Elections has been horrendous by any standard. When we highlighted the main issues at CUF’s “Ukraine at the Crossroads” Conference in Ottawa in March 2012, we had no idea that things would get so much worse. Not only did all the International Observer Groups, including the OSCE, CANADEM and the World Congress (including UCC/CUF) Election Observer Missions, find that the Parliamentary Elections were not fair and transparent, but the European Union, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly and other Western European governments found that the elections “did not meet internationally accepted standards for free and fair elections”.
However, more importantly since then, President Yanukovich’s regime has continued its campaign of repression against the political opposition. Despite tremendous international pressure, and the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on April 30th, 2013, finding that her pre-trial detention was “arbitrary and unlawful”, Yulia Tymoshenko still remains in jail, and is now the subject of new criminal charges brought against her. EU Foreign Affairs Minister Ashton, and US State Department Deputy Secretary Ventrell, on May 1, 2013, cited these are further examples of “the selective justice and selective prosecution of opposition leaders” that they said must stop. The rule of law in Ukraine today is virtually non-existent, corruption and personal aggrandizement at the official governmental as well as at the Party of Regions level has increased unabated, and Ukraine has dropped to
However, now is not the time for the Ukrainian community in Canada to give up.
We, at CUF, are inspired by the fearless and heroic work of the thousands of selfless Ukrainian citizen patriots working in newly formed NGOs at the local, regional and national levels in Ukraine.
And we also marvel at the spirit and determination of Ukraine’s youth, and particularly its university students, in opposing attempts to change the language laws of the country, to restrict academic freedoms in their universities, and journalistic freedoms in Ukraine.
CUF supports them and the institutions in Ukraine such as Kyiv Mohyla University, the Ostroh Academy, and the Ukrainian Catholic University, that are waging the battle against the curtailment of academic, journalistic and human rights in Ukraine. Today, more than ever, our focus should be on helping the people of Ukraine at the grass roots, and on strengthening civil society in Ukraine.
And so, CUF is determined, with the support of its donors and sponsors, to continue the work that it started in 1995 at our inception. To do so, we hope for and need your continuing support.
Bohdan Onyschuk, Q.C.,