Ukrainian civic activists express their disquiet about the visit of President of Belarus to Kyiv
Open appeal to the heads of states, diplomats and representatives of the international organizations:
Ukrainian human rights defenders, civic activists and concerned citizens express their disquiet about the planned visit of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko to Kyiv on July 1st 2012.
As became known, Lukashenko will visit the final game of the UEFA Championship “EURO-2012” to be held on July 1st in Kiev. This information has been disseminated during press conference of Valentin Velichko, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Ukraine. He also noted that Lukashenko will come to Kyiv on the invitation of President Viktor Yanukovych. At the same time the Belarusian side asked for a formal meeting with Yanukovych and hopes that it will happen.
In solidarity with the people of Belarus and defending the values of human rights that are universal to all people regardless of country of residence, we appeal to the heads of states, diplomats, representatives of the international organizations to prevent the shameful visit of Lukashenko to Ukraine.
Belarusian civil society and human rights defenders suffer from cruelty of country leadership because of attempts to stand for human rights. Belarusian authorities apply to more and more repressive measures - brutal dispersal of peaceful assemblies, persecution of journalists and opposition politicians, imprisonment of human rights defenders. Only the unconditional release of all political prisoners, the removal of repressive measures, support for independent media and civil society, respect for rule of law, free and competitive elections are the way for leadership of Belarus to have a right to occupy appropriate place among European colleagues.
Leaders of the European Union has repeatedly expressed their concerns about Lukashenko's policies, introducing sanctions against individuals who bear direct responsibility for human rights violations in the country, and against Belarusian companies that support Lukashenko’s government and receive profit from such support. The European community unanimously condemned death penalty of Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalev, who were found guilty in the bombings of the Minsk subway on April 11, 2011. Belarus remains the only country in Europe where such inhuman kind of punishment as the death penalty is still applied.
We express our concern about Lukashenko's visit to Kyiv and Final game of the European Football Championship "EURO - 2012", as well as possible meeting with President of Ukraine, which might become an indication of the acceptation of Alexander Lukashenko as a colleague by the leaders of other European countries that will attend the game. We call upon heads of states, diplomats, heads of international organizations to immediately contact the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and demand to retract the Lukashenko’s invitation to the Final game of the European Football Championship "EURO - 2012". In case, if Yanukovych does not refuse the invitation, we urge political leaders, diplomats and representatives of the international organizations to boycott Final match at the stadium "Olimpiyskiy" in order not to sit next to the head of state which flagrantly violates human rights and ignores international agreements.
“Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law-enforcement” (Association UMDPL)
“Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union”
“Foundation of Regional Initiatives”
“Center for Civil Liberties”