Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Opened letter to the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma


Copies to the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers, political parties, public organizations, non-government investigation institutions and funds, to mass media.

Respected Mr. President!

We belong to the new generation of Ukrainians, for which the independence of Ukraine has become the basis for comprehending the world and our place in it. Now we are getting education abroad and want to make our contribution to the development and blossoming of democratic Ukraine. Being citizens of Ukraine, we may not keep silence, when principles of democracy and superiority of the right stipulated by the Constitution are ignored in our country. Being governed by the civil and moral responsibility, we jointly protest against it and appeal you to heed our voices.

Concerning the volume of power concentrated in your hands during the later six years, you bear the greatest responsibility for the situation in the country and for the direction of its development. During all the time of being the head of the state you more than once promised to promote democratic changes in the country and its integration to the European community. Alas, actually the democratic values have been sacrificed to meet the needs of the state authorities. The so-called ’support of millions’ at the last election you got only owing to the administrative pressure on the elective process, manipulation with the public thought and the biased count of the votes. So the ’support of millions’ really was the demonstration of force of individuals.

At the time when the public accusations tie you directly with journalist G. Gongadze’s case, the criminal investigation experiences the pressure, and the state mass media describe the investigation and events around it in a manner far from being objective. The weighty proves presented by O. Moroz, S. Golovaty and other MPs are considered by the General Prosecutor as false even before their detailed study. Refraining from attracting foreign experts and close cooperation with MPs, you do not permit to keep the case investigation transparent and independent. Basing on the above arguments, we come to the conclusion that you are unable to guarantee the fulfillment of the Constitutional rights of the Ukraine people. Moreover, you admit the violation of such rights. That is why we are sure that the only dignified way for you is to retire.

We want to point out that by this letter we are not going to commit the coup d’etat, as you and your assistants often classify such actions. On the contrary, we want to put an end to illegal actions of the authorities promises of the ’brilliant future’, which vainly expected our parents in the Soviet times. We have no time to waste and we want to live in a free and democratic Ukraine just now!

57 signatures of Ukrainian students – members of the public organization

’Forum of Ukrainian students in America and Europe’

Note: Forum of Ukrainian students in America and Europe unites students from Ukraine, who study various professions in universities of the USA, Canada and Western Europe and encourages their active participation in the civil life of Ukraine. The e-mail address of the Forum: [email protected]

PL commentary.
Vivid and emotional appeal of M. Svistovich expresses well the mood of the inhabitants of the tent camp on the Nezalezhnost Square. The growing pressure of the power on mass media, on the will of citizens, especially during the presidential election, the initiation of the referendum and how it was conducted -- resulted in the increasing protest of the society that exploded after the disclosing of the audiocassette with the accusations of the top state officers.

One cannot help sympathizing these boys and girls. But it is unreasonable to demand the retirement of the retirement of the President on the basis of unproved accusations – in our opinion it makes all the action null and void. Besides, if one tries to understand what namely the picketers demand and imagine the consequences of their demands if they were realized, then one should conclude that the success would be illusory. The position of the students’ Forum seems more reasonable and well-grounded.

In general, the replacement of the persons at the top is not worthy much without the changes in the society, which must be able to control the power. In our opinion, people must demand the adoption of laws on the parliament and non-parliament control over the power, it is necessary to care about the openness of the power and independence of courts. Unfortunately, the young forget about this.

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