15.12.2003 | Irina Chornobay, „Politichna Ukraina“

Who dares to protest against the Iraq war?


A lecturer of the university expected that she would have the problems as a result of public expression of her opinions. And she was not mistaking.

On 26 March Lugansk dweller N. Prishchepa, a lecturer of the West-Ukrainian national university, published in the newspaper „Novy rakurs“ her open letter to the President and MPs. In this letter she protested against the war in Iraq and against sending the Ukrainian battalion of radiochemical protection to Kuwait. In particular, Prishchepa stated in the letter: „I clearly understand that this step will entail the negative consequences, taking into account the modern state of human rights and the freedom of expression in our country“. Really, in the very day of the publication of the newspaper she understood that her phone was wiretapped. She turned to the militia precinct and wrote the appeal to general-mayor Vykhodets, the head of the town militia directorate. The law-enforcers promised to check her complaint. The university administration hinted that they would „examine“ whether she deserved to teach students.

N. Prishchepa told about this at the protest meeting against the Iraq war. MP Sergiy Gmyria, who was present at the meeting, believes that such meetings are attended, as a rule, by pensioners or unemployed, which is a feature of non-democratic society, since those, who have jobs, are afraid to be fired because of their participation in protest actions.

This situation, which qualitatively characterizes the state of the freedom of speech in the Lugansk oblast, was described by two oblast newspapers.

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