Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
09.12.2001 | V. Dzereviago, Kharkov
Politics and human rights

People’s initiative’ as it is


According to my observations, the inhabitants of Kharkov lately suffer from the brutal pressure on the side of administrators of budget establishments and state enterprises, due to the 16 April referendum.

At parents’ meetings at schools the school administration persuades the parents to use the existing opportunity to vote before the appointed term, certainly, agitating them to vote positively. The administration of enterprises makes their subordinates to sign under obligations to read some anonymous rather fuzzy explanations of the essence of the referendum questions and other agitating materials convincing to give positive answers. Dean’s offices require from their students to get certificates on their pre-term voting. The most shameful side of all these acts is the fact that the pressure is directed on subordinates, or, as for example, parents of schoolchildren, who imagine themselves subordinate. During the recent presidential election I was a secretary of an election station. I heard about similar tricks. Now this phenomenon has become so widely used that this or that trick was used on every member of my large family! Most my friends and colleagues tell me about these tricks too.

It is clear that all the petty administrators are forced to do it, and those who pull the strings are local authorities. Whoever pulls the strings are, pardon me, scoundrels, because it is mean to intimidate the dependable subordinates, and reactionaries, because they attempt to return to people the fear from the recent past.

Most probably, the disobedient will not be punished. Maybe some of them will be sacked to give an example to others. But the fear is pumped into the society, and woe to Ukraine if the fear is again rooted in the public consciousness. Then the authorities will have free hands in doing with us what they want. Everyone of us must comprehend this, when we choose our attitude to similar initiatives.

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