18.01.2005 | Vasyl Ovsienko, laureate of V. Stus premium, former political prisoner

Will we struggle for our liberty?


We got the information from a small village of Bilka of the Radomyshl district (the Zhytomir region): an incident occurred during the calculation of votes at the election station. Head of the district land department Oleksiy Shkabara, an observer from the Party of Regions, hided behind two women and made marks for V. Yushchenko in 30 bulletins. Other members of the commission noticed this offence and raised a clamor, but the district boss swore at them, intimidated the members of the commission (mainly women) and said that they would prove nothing, and, if they would not rewrite the protocol, this would be done on the way, in the forest. He forced them to open the already sealed envelope with five bulletins, which had been acknowledged as invalid, and to add there 30 more bulletins spoiled by him.

Several days later representatives of Viktor Yushchenko’s district headquarters came to Bilka and tried to persuade the members of the commission to hand the complaints against the criminal actions of O. Shkabara. Yet, nobody dared to write such complaint: they were afraid of the revenge.

Well, is it possible to help the people, who do not want to struggle?

I understand well that the fears of the village women are not ungrounded. They would be braver, if the Law acted inevitably, if the criminal case was started immediately against O. Shkabara and the accomplices of the crime (Article 158 envisages incarceration for the term from 3 to 8 years for «forgery of election documents»). Otherwise it is difficult to prove to them that everyone must do his best for our liberty, or we will never be free.

9 November

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