ABUSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN RUSSIA CONDEMNED
International Remembrance Flame Stopped With Scare Tactics
Winnipeg, October 14, 2008- The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) condemns the recent and blatant abuse of human rights by the Russian government which has banned events planned in Russia to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor - famine genocide in Ukraine of 1932-33.
Prior to the arrival of the International Remembrance Flame in Russia, the Ukrainian Embassy received notice on October 6 from Russia's Foreign Ministry that commemorative events must fall in line with the Russian position on the famine or be cancelled. Russia continues to claim that the Holodomor was not a genocide and that Ukraine's effort to secure such recognition is "a political matter that is aimed against Russian interests."
It has been confirmed by the Ukrainian World Congress that Ukrainian community activists in Orenburg, Tumen, Ufa, St. Petersburg and Krasnodar have been subjected to undue pressure and scare tactics by government officials in the region resulting in the cancellation of planned events.
Russia was the next scheduled stop on the itinerary of the International Remembrance Flame - a symbol which has traveled through 29 countries since April of this year. Events in conjunction with the arrival of the Flame honour the millions of victims of Stalin's deliberate attempt to eradicate the Ukrainian nation through starvation. The Flame will be received in Ukraine in November for nation-wide commemorations.
"The Ukrainian Canadian community is appalled by Russia's continuing disregard for basic human rights, among them freedom of speech and expression," stated Iryna Mycak, Chair of UCC's National Holodomor Commemoration Committee. "Russia must understand that Canada will not tolerate such actions which clearly demonstrate that the country has not shed its past. It willingly continues the tactics of intolerance and oppression that were used by its predecessor regime that also perpetrated of the horrific crime of the Holodomor."
"What is especially appalling is that the international community, including Canada, has recognized the Holodomor as a genocide, yet Russia still cannot come to terms with this dark part of Soviet History," stated Paul Grod, National UCC President.
The UCC urges every Canadian to join in this protest. The international community stood idly by in the thirties as 10 million Ukrainians were brutally murdered for simply being Ukrainian. Let's not repeat the same apathy 75 years later. Contact the Russian Embassy and write to your Member of Parliament and to the Prime Minister of Canada. Let them know that such human rights abuses in 2008 will not be tolerated. Let them know that, this time, the world is paying attention.
For more information contact:
UCC Media Contact
Tel. (204) 942-4627
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Russia prevents Holodomor commemoration
This is a press release from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) on recent events in Russia: