Members of the Ukrainian intelligentsia call for Lukashenko to be declared persona non grata

On 16 May, on SOLIDARITY WITH BELARUS DAY at 13.00 in the UNIAN press agency members of the Ukrainian intelligentsia will present their open letter to the President of Ukraine in which they call on Viktor Yushchenko to show solidarity with Belarusian victims of repression and in deeds, and not just in words move closer to the EU by banning Belarusian violators of human rights from entering or travelling through the territory of Ukraine.

“We don’t understand why individuals implicated in the rigging of elections, political killers and abductions in Belarus who are forbidden entry to the European Union, the USA and countries who are hoping to enter the EU, can travel freely around Ukraine and enjoy holidays at Crimean resorts”, the letter states.

The Press Conference will be attended by Ukrainian and Belarusian literary figures and intellectuals, including Igar Babkov, Andrei Khadanovich, Ostap Slivinsky, Dzvinka Matiyash, as well as Andriy Mokrousov (the journal “Krytyka”), Viktor Zahreba (the Initiative “Solidarity”), Dmytro Potyekhin (the Initiative  “Znayu” – “I know”).
The letter is available for anyone who would like to add their signature at the website:  in the section  «відкриті листи». [“open letters”]

On 16 May at 15.00 in the Culture and Art Centre of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Voloska Street, 9) with the support of the Polish Institute in Kyiv a meeting will take place with Belarusian and Ukrainian  poets and translators with a presentation of the anthology of contemporary Ukrainian and Belarusian poetry “Zvyazokrozryv / Сувязьразрыў” [“Contact – rift”] which has just been published by “Krytyka”

At 18.00 on Belarusian Solidarity Day near the Belarusian Embassy in Ukraine (Kotsyubynsky St, 3) a performance will take place by citizens of Ukraine who will declare Belarusian violators of human rights persona non grata personally – they will establish a control point opposite the Embassy and will check all those leaving the institution to ensure that they do not belong to the list of people banned entry to countries of the EU.

* * *
The Committee on Legal Issues and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe suspect the following individuals of crimes against humanity including abduction and murder: (from left to right) the Head of the Pre-Election Headquarters of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Viktor Sheyman, the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Yury Sivakov, the Present Minister of Internal Affairs, Vladimir Naumov, and Dmitry Pavlichenko, a commander of the special forces.

These individuals are suspected of involvement in the abduction and murder of prominent Belarusian political and public figures:  Yuri Zakharenko, former Minister of Internal Affairs (disappeared on 7 May 1999), Victor Gonchar, former Vice-President of the Parliament of Belarus  and Anatoly Krasovski, businessman (both disappeared on 16 September 1999), and Dmitri Zavadski, cameraman for the Russian television channel ORT (disappeared on 7 July 2000). 

In the early morning of 24 March 2006, the Belarusian OMON (riot squad) stormed the tent city on October Square, brutally beating many of the peaceful demonstrators who were protesting against the rigging of the Belarusian Presidential elections.  Around 400 people, among them Ukrainians, were arrested.

Members of the Belarusian opposition are also calling upon the Ukrainian President to do all he can to prevent a union of Belarus and Russia and to involve the world community in this. On its part, the Ukrainian Student Fraternity has stated that a number of Ukrainian higher institutes have already said that they are willing to admit Belarusian students..

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