On Saturday 16 September at 19.00 a meeting will be held on Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square] to mark the sixth anniversary of Georgy Gongadze’s disappearance

19.00  the meeting will begin with participants holding candles forming a circle which will become wider as more people arrive

19.45  the names of all journalists who disappeared will be read out

20.00  we will honour the journalists who died with our silence (last year this was for 5 minutes, one minute for each year; this time it will be twice as long, since a year ago we still hoped that the investigation would be concluded and those who ordered, and those who carried out  Georgy Gongadze’s murder would be punished)

20.10  Procession on foot to the President’s Secretariat

We would ask you to come in dark clothes, with candles and without any banners or other symbols from political parties and organizations.

A special request to the technical staff of the TV Channel “Inter” who have agreed to interrupt their tests of the equipment during the memorial action. Please waiting until all participants have left Maidan before you begin, so that the procession is not marred by cheerful music.

The meeting has been organized not by political parties and organizations, but by concerned individuals with different views. There will be a ban on all party symbols and banners in support of any political force, as well as of criticism directed at any political parties if it has no relation to the deaths of Georgy Gongadze and the other journalists. This in no way stops members of all political parties and civic organizations taking part in the meeting as private individuals. After all, honouring the memory and commemorating the death of Georgy Gongadze which for some even marked the beginning of their political career, is a matter of honour for every decent individual.

Unfortunately, we are forced to state that in the year that has passed since the last meeting which was already under the new regime there has been no particular progress in the investigation of the murder of the journalist. We see on trial at best only those who carried out the killing. Those who ordered the murder have either disappeared or “killed themselves” with two shots, or still remain at liberty. Those against whom there are well-founded suspicions of taking part in the crime are not in hiding, and feel no qualms even about appearing on television screens, attempting to influence the political life of the country.

The promises of the new regime regarding the investigation into the murder of Georgy Gongadze remain promises which they are already trying not to mention. Those who would not be in power now had Georgy not been killed, are trying to hush up the case, bury it in public consciousness as though no longer relevant after the passing of too much time. It is also to be regretted that they are being helped in this by Georgy’s journalist colleagues, and unfortunately they are succeeding in this.

How to behave on that day is a matter for each person’s honour and conscience.  We can only call on politicians not to hold, as they have in previous years, at Georgy’s symbolic grave party meetings with banners and speeches that have nothing to do with Georgy Gongadze and the persecution of journalists and freedom of speech in general, and that serve only their own narrow party aims. In our view, one can honour Georgy’s memory without party advertisements, coming to this place as ordinary individuals and saying a few words only about Georgy and the other journalists killed, without giving your own names.

[PS  A press conference will take place on 15 September, at 11.00 at the Union of Journalists

The Initiative Group for running “Day in Memory of Georgy Gongadze”.


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