Human rights activists demand that Yushchenko apologise for the deportation of Uzbek asylum seekers



The rights of refugees and asylum seekers were today defended by members of Amnesty International in Ukraine and the Initiative Group “Without borders”. The protest took the form of a dramatized performance, with the roles including that of the President of Ukraine, the Head of the Security Service, the Chair of the State Committee for National Minorities and Immigration and a human rights activist. The main demands of the picketers include an apology from the President to the 11[1] Uzbek nationals deported from Ukraine on 14 February.

Svitlana Morintsova, “Amnesty International in Ukraine”

- “We will continue until we receive a positive result, until those responsible for the illegal extradition are brought to answer, until the President apologises to the families of the victims and until Ukraine gives guarantees that nothing like what took place on 14 and 15 February will be repeated”.

The demonstrators performed so well that they did not notice that Anatoly Matviyenko, to whom they were planning to pass on their demands, slipped by.

Anatoly Matviyenko, Deputy Head of the President’s Secretariat:

- “They were given the right to appeal the ruling in court. They did not make use of this right and therefore I don’t think that the complaints about President Yushchenko’s commitment to democracy are justified, since the person had the possibility of using his right”.

[1] [As KHPG and others have stated on many occasions, there were 10 people deported, and the fact that no one has revealed the whereabouts of the eleventh person detained at the same time, but not deported, remains a cause of grave concern.  – translator’s note]

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